Noticing that over-the-counter pain killers were appearing on TV with increasing frequency in late December didn’t seem unusual – but it had me wondering.

Was this advertising targeted at the “old traditional” festive hangover audience (of which there were few) or was it now primarily the “new normal” sufferers of Omicron or booster jab side effects (of which there were plenty)?

It reminded me that, whilst nobody welcomes a pandemic, it’s not to say that many won’t either have discovered or stumbled upon ways to prosper within it.  My sons’ demonstration of how we evolved from apes, having stayed up far too late on New Year’s Eve, brought to mind just how adaptable we humans are when it comes to survival.

Certainly times have changed in the last couple of Covid years and with that inevitably so have we – as people, partners, parents, friends, colleagues and of course consumers.  Whilst we generally all hope that this doesn’t become the long term for normality, most successful businesses will have implemented routes to effectively reframe all or part of their offering to appeal to an amended target audience with newly adopted behaviours.

Since the pandemic began it’s been intriguing to see how businesses have innovated to realign what they do, and also how some have ingeniously repurposed themselves.  As the old Chinese proverb says “When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills”.

Undoubtedly Covid induced habits are sure to stay with us humans way beyond the pandemic and will keep on developing in various directions.  In this new year ahead I look forward to seeing the invention of more brilliant new businesses, and inspired ways in which existing businesses adapt – all catering for our new ways of living.

Meanwhile, as Media Planners, these rapid and often fluctuating behavioural shifts will continue to provide us with some interesting challenges.  The “new normal” has brought with it an accelerated evolution in audience characteristics, media consumption and effective touchpoints which will inevitably keep us on our toes in the chase for the “new consumer”.

Happy 2022 to one and all!


Oliver Preston

Planning Director


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