How Do Creative Agencies Navigate Times Of Crisis

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How Do Creative Agencies Navigate Times Of Crisis

Times of crisis can make a brand or break it. People will talk about who stood out, who crumbled or who committed a cardinal sin in the advertising world and is still continuously shamed even in 2063. Creative agencies are now taking the lead to respond to this crisis creatively and brands who are positioning their messages who have been hard hit in such times and trust me, you might want to sit down and listen.

This pandemic has spawned countless memes, if you pronounce it as me-mes, you’re entitled to your wrong opinion and should be shamed. Brands can come out with either inspiring, funny or touching content to reach the masses which lap it up spending most of their time at home.

Buckle your seatbelts, wear your surgical masks and disposable gloves, my socially-responsible readers as we venture further to how creative agencies navigate times of crisis.

Helping out

Have you heard of the story of how a bundle of sticks is almost impossible to snap as compared to snapping a single stick? The same thing applies. Oh Snap. Pun intended. Likewise, we need to stand together whether as a team or an organisation. More importantly, as an industry to help everyone get through tough times. While budgets are being pulled and campaigns postponed indefinitely, we need even more supporting efforts to help bring us out of tough times. Google, for example, going creative to manage this crisis by helping to build websites for medical staff and for the general public to check their symptoms and see whether they should seek medical attention.

Problem Solving

As creatives, we are driven by a constant need to problem solve so who better to ask to crack such difficult questions? Creative agencies have helped many brands overcome disasters, calamities and even economic downturns. 

One example was the agency Fallon, which handled the post 9/11 fallout for United Airlines. The creatives hunkered down to develop a creative strategy and eventually emerged with the campaign “We Are United” — reminding people why we fly which help United Airlines move past the crisis. Now that is good copy and strategy. 

Finding our purpose

In these difficult times, many agencies have implemented working from home. While it may cause many to flounder not having a proper workspace at home, DO NOT PANIC, all is not lost. Management from the top down echoing the same encouraging message has the potential to instil confidence and inspire greater efforts from those under them. Little efforts to keep spirits up can go a long way. 

A little quirky thing that BBDO for employees working from home to was to release a logo/ email signature generator where one could enter their home/working space address and generate their own email signature.

This is the message that accompanied the generator if you can’t access the link.


*Obviously you’re not launching a new BBDO—but you are

making BBDO stronger than ever, from wherever you are.


We know these are difficult times, and working from home can be a challenge.

(Heck, even buying toilet paper seems daunting these days.)


But if we all work together, we’ll get through this. With equal parts smart thinking,

hard work, and humor, plus a decent WiFi connection, we can boost each other.

Help our clients. And come out stronger on the other side.

Thank you for making your home a little part of BBDO.


Cute and inspiring don’t you think?

Going long term

In a climate where everyone is cutting back on their bottom line… and waistline, smaller players will have a tough time keeping up with the sudden loss in income. Business Continuity Plans for creative agencies can look like salary cuts, unpaid leave and even loss of jobs. 

However, going for long term projects can help to alleviate cash flow issues and build relationships with brands. Now is the time to go back and relook at long term goals and to redevelop strategy to develop long term plans with clients. Sis, we’re all in it for the long term because it benefits everyone.


One particular meme talks about how those going for job interviews should ask their interviewers how the company handled matters in light of the COVID-19 situation, to see how they react during a crisis. This can be a wake-up call to creative agencies to keep up in the fast-changing world. Therefore if you need an agency that can keep up with such demands, drop us a message.

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