Sending off sweatpants, swapping spit — some advertisers ready to kiss off the "new normal"

Istock Romance 03082021

(LOS ANGELES) — If the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t depressing enough, TV ads are quick to remind you of the “new normal” — where loved ones greet each other from the safety of their driveways or via Zoom, all wrapped in the now-cliché phrase “in times like these…”

Now, however, with vaccination rates on the rise, The New York Times reports some advertisers are ready to cash in on the post-pandemic world. Case in point: a sensual ad from Suitsupply, which makes actual suits.  Not sweatsuits, mind you, but suits — like from the ‘before times.’

The spot, which debuted on Instagram, shows a tangle of clothed and barely clothed bodies and some open-mouth kissing, with the tagline: “The New Normal is Coming. Get Ready to Get Closer.”

Suitsupply already has a reputation for suggestive ads, but its founder, Fokke de Jong, tells the New York Times that change is coming. “We’ve done social distancing for long periods of time, and that’s conditioned people to be fearful of social interactions, which is understandable,” he says. “But we wanted to show a positive outlook on a future where people can get back together and get close again.”

He adds, “We’re going to get rid of the sweatpants pretty quickly.”

Urban Outfitters is also boosting collections of “going out” clothes, and shapewear company Shapermint recently aired spots asking, “Remember Dressed?”

While some advertisers are remaining cautious, others are preparing for what’s next.

“Clients are all over the map right now,” Neal Arthur, chief operating officer of ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, tells the paper. “It’s almost like the stages of acceptance. There’s not a light-switch approach…It’s an acceleration of preparation for when it’ll be clear that the prevailing sentiment is that it’s OK to be back out in the world.”

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