JWT’s AnxietyIndex is designed as a place to discuss how brands and consumers are responding to the global recession. With daily content updates, AnxietyIndex.com includes contributions from around JWT’s network, offering a truly global perspective.
At night, some kids suspect monsters are hiding in the closet or under the bed. Some have nightmares, others are just afraid of the dark. A nicely produced student spec spot for German teddy bear brand Steiff offers the bear as a solution to help children cope with these fears and anxieties. We see a little boy alone in a dark forest, chased by a giant monster. The boy wakes up but finds that his nightmare is not over: The monster breaks through the window and bursts into his bedroom. The last line of defense for the boy is his teddy bear. It fights his battles and in the end defeats the monster.
The teddy bear acts as the boy’s defender and his savior. The spot presents the bear not just as a simple fluffy, cuddly stuffed animal but as a protector—a provider of comfort and source of confidence, especially at night.
Who doesn’t love to pop bubble wrap? There’s something about the sound and sensation of this simple act that’s innately pleasurable and a great way to reduce stress. At least, that’s the idea behind the Mugen (Infinite/Endless) Trend line of stress-reliever novelties from Japanese toy maker Bandai. The items (usually in the form of keychains) simulate similar appealing acts, allowing anxious Japanese to pop, zip and squeeze their daily worries away. The range includes Mugen Puci Puchi, or endless bubble wrap; Mugen Peri Peri, which approximates the feeling of pulling a cardboard tear strip to open a pack of cookies; and even Mugen Edamame, an endless version of the feeling of popping soybeans out of their steamed pods.
Now, the company has taken it to the next level with Mugen Beer Can. You know the feeling of grabbing an ice-cold beer from the fridge and cracking the tab … phssssssst? Even before the golden elixir hits your lips, the action of pulling the tab and that unmistakable sound already have the long day melting away from you. For Yen 819 (about US$8.75), stressed-out Japanese can re-create that moment again and again.