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Are the ’21st of June’ Marketing Ploys harming our Expectations, or is it the glimmer of

By Claudia Birchenough

A few days ago, the Prime Minister announced the government’s plan to ease lockdown restrictions across the UK. This plan informed the public that if all goes accordingly, we will return to our ‘normal’ lives by the 21st of June; this includes foreign travel, the reopening of nightclubs, festivals and the return to football stadiums. Everyone across the country has been rejoicing in this announcement and has been the most talked about thing on social media since.

Some companies have taken this as far as to use it as a marketing scheme. Aldi UK posted a status that painted an idyllic picture of the 21st of June; beers in hand, music roaring with the sun shining, in courtesy of Aldi’s drink section. Whilst, Boohoo has branded their fashion with a section titled ’21st June outfits’, showcasing outfits to wear on the greatly awaited day that we can resume our everyday lives. But are these marketing ploys harming our expectations, or is it the glimmer of hope we all need right now?

Aldi Facebook Post.

Boohoo Clothing Section.

It seems that companies are taking a positive outlook on the government’s announcement and understand the public’s need for hope in these challenging times. They have used these humorous and light-hearted posts to give their followers something to look forward to, keeping them going through the difficult days of lockdown filled with staring at screens, the same four walls and a lack of social contact. Many people have significantly struggled with not seeing family and friends for long periods, which has massively affected their mental well-being. So, by promoting this idea that this will all be over by the 21st of June, companies give people the hope they may need to carry on and fight through the next few months because we now have a date to work towards.

But, are we putting too much pressure on how we expect to celebrate this day? It’s astounding to think that we are currently in a national lockdown, but in a few months, we can do all the things that were ultimately illegal for the past year. Have we been given these dates prematurely? Obviously, this date is an optimistic target for the complete eradication of all the restrictions that we have experienced, but for the government to announce this must mean that they are confident that this is a definite possibility. Saying that, we have seen these plans and ‘roadmaps’ change at the last minute when we begin to see unprecedented spikes in cases, so it doesn’t seem too far-fetched to doubt the likelihood of these plans going ahead. Of course, I sincerely hope that we are on the right path to getting rid of this virus and being able to resume everyday life without the risk of overwhelming our NHS or getting ourselves and others sick. Still, I am hesitant to believe this is as close as the 21st of June.

Holiday celebrations posted all over Instagram can sometimes induce feelings of ‘missing out’ and force us to compare ourselves to others, so it’s likely that the social media coverage about the 21st of June could do the same. It puts pressure on us to feel like there is a certain way to act or feel once restrictions are lifted, or even how we celebrate this end date. I understand people’s excitement, and I am looking forward to two-for-one cocktails as much as the next girl, but part of me feels like it will be easier said than done or won’t be how social media is portraying it to be, nor will everyone adapt to change at the same time or in the same way.

When the day comes, I wonder if I will even feel comfortable enough to do activities such as going to nightclubs or festivals so soon. After over a year of being told to remain at a two-meter distance, wearing face coverings in public spaces and continuously washing my hands, I don’t think it will be that easy to throw caution to the wind and forget all of these rules overnight. I’m sure this is the case for many others, and constantly being reminded that ‘normality’ will resume through social media can be quite daunting. It’s okay to take the return as slowly or quickly as you want to.

It is clear that better days are coming. Soon we will all be by a pool or a bar, hugging loved ones and doing whatever it was that we did before lockdown. But how soon do you think this will actually be, and how will you be celebrating this?

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