You’ve probably seen it – the many “thank you for standing with us in this fight…” or “in these unprecedented times…” and even “united through…”. Yes, these messages and creative campaigns about brands going through COVID-19 together is getting kinda old now so what’s next for brands you ask yourself? Well, doing something concrete whether it’s doing their part in minimising impact to their environment, giving back to society during this COVID-19 period or helping to make these times easier to go through, means they’re doing a good job of taking the next few steps on the road to recovering a semblance of our past lives. Brands who make the effort to positively contribute in terms of actions – like the Vanguard Heroes, and/or words is the new standard of creative campaigns in a post-COVID-19 world. Brands can evolve their strategy to accept the new changes in advertising, doing their part for the community and add some fun and humour to keep us all sane.
Hear me out, while we’re in “grief” over what could have a been a great year for many, getting used to our lives with Coronavirus is similar to the Five Stages of Grief by David Kessler and Elisabeth Kluber Ross. Denial and anger that our lives were upended or that people we know had passed away due to this virus, bargaining and depression
Pursuing the same vein as the stages of grief, brands have to accept (final stage) that the advertising landscape has changed and thus have to adapt their methods to the new norm.
For the publishing industry, FaceTime photography could be the new norm for fashion editorials.
Doing your share
In times where humanity has to stick together, it’s tough navigating this space as a brand. Actions by the government can even be shot down as a result of ill-timing or just coming across as insensitive. For example, Gov.sg published an awareness campaign about their Vanguard Heroes and was taken down a day later due to complaints by netizens.
Creative campaigns like Phua Chu Kang’s recent comeback with a rap about taking care of personal hygiene during COVID-19 have struck a chord and been well-received.
Playboy, a men’s magazine, even published a sensual social distancing campaign about social distancing and safe sex. Playboy drew parallels between practising safe sex and methods to prevent the spread of COVID-19. How progressive is that!
Making your actions count
As brands continue to do their best in this new world, actions still matter more than words. Apart from raising awareness about the sacrifices of our frontliners, other groups like SPCA launched a “Background Homes” initiative that includes virtual backgrounds especially Zoom, and places animals that are up for adoption into them.
Viewers are then able to ‘imagine’ what these animals might look like in their homes. By using these backgrounds or wallpapers, users become advocates for the animals, driving awareness for both the animals and the website.
By integrating these little actions, brands encourage their followers to follow in their footsteps and make the world a little better despite the ongoing circumstances.
Injecting some fun and humour
While most of us are getting used to the rhythms of working from home, Ikea came up with an ad have those at home looking forward to their free time. They released “easy-to-follow” instructions on how to build furniture forts from existing products. Wouldnt you want to build something like that at home?
Messages and creative campaigns in a post-COVID-19 world are an open-ended question. With this virus setting precedence, it’s up to us to craft messages that create a better world for all. It’s how you want to craft it now. Ball’s in your court.