Catalyst issue 2 | 2023: Off the bandwagon Exchange_Lock

Catalyst issue 2 | 2023: Off the bandwagon

Mind matters with consumer issues

Stepping into spring with sound mind and sound body. That’s the aim for us all, isn’t it?

In our house it’s exam season. Witnessing this, that ‘ice blood’ feeling has certainly resurfaced for me - where your knowledge has decided to make a swift exit upon turning over the exam paper.

With that in mind, we’ve been looking to overcome such feelings, and in doing my research, it was interesting to learn about the ‘lizard brain’. That evolutionary part of the brain stopping you do something stupid. But this lizard brain of ours has become an issue in these modern times. It’s become second nature to worry about things, but without a tiger to run from, the lizard brain - woken from its slumber by anxiety - still believes that there is danger afoot and sits there worrying about it.

This anxious overwhelm chimes with our own research from the latest CMO75 report, which shows that mental health is a top priority for 2023.

We spoke to four marketing experts, who all happen to be mental health advocates or mental health first aiders, to find out their insights into the rising tide of anxiety in our industry.

With that out-of-control feeling that so many of us have experienced comes hope. Hope in the new initiatives being put in place to help the mental health of employees and the frankness of conversation we’re moving towards. It’s no longer awkward to talk.

One thing we know is that mental health awareness isn’t just limited to the marketing industry. We talk to sports apparel and footwear brand ASICS (p38) about the link with the gaming community that they are forging. To the causal gaze, this link might not be obvious, however they are encouraging gamers to get their sneakers on and improve their mental acuity. The brand name interestingly stands for ‘Sound mind, Sound body’- extremely apt.

Running through this edition are the authentic voices in our stories. In our cover story on page 16, Chris Stokel-Walker looks at the need for brands to stand strong in their words by backing them up with actions. If your brand isn’t relevant to a cultural or social moment, should you still chip in with your say, or step away from the bandwagon?

Our roundtable (p26), facilitated by editor-at-large, Lucy Handley, has brands discussing the trust you must have in your intuition when planning media and using creativity to take a key role in in your investment choices. 

As ever, this issue is packed full of ideas from marketing and business experts, in particular exploring the issues that keep marketers up at night. We hope that our fantastic contributors will help fuel your mind - and body. 

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Morag Cuddeford-Jones Editor, Catalyst magazine CIM
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