Creative brand efforts during COVID-19
The unprecedented effects of COVID-19 have severely affected marketing efforts. As the world was forced to a standstill, businesses endeavoured to find ways to get the word out while being sensitive to the times. Here are some creative brand efforts during COVID-19 that have become the gold standard for crisis marketing.
Taking its cue from pop culture. To cushion the blow, many brands turned to pop culture for inspiration to rev up their marketing efforts. From utilising memes to tapping into the power of influencers, heartfelt mass accessibility became the lifeline for most businesses. Here are some of the best pop culture-inspired brand efforts during COVID-19.
Social media. As the pandemic started to rear its ugly head in the first quarter of 2020, many turned to social media as their marketing tool of choice. Leading the charge was KFC as it debuted its Mother’s Day marketing campaign via Facebook Messenger. This included personalised invitations, digital and video chat stickers, and event reminders. KFC’s pivot to virtual marketing was a blatant sign of things to come.
Photo credit: KFC Uganda
Music and Augmented Reality. Doritos went all out with Super Bowl Ad. They went pop-culture heavy with Rapper Lil Nas X and Sam Elliot, recreating the former’s top hit “Old Town Road” at the Cool Ranch. The folks from Doritos did not stop there. They collaborated with the Sway: Magic Dance app which transposes a mobile phone user’s image over a video of a professional dancer via artificial intelligence. Now that’s a pop culture-derived one-two punch only expert marketers can cook up!
Photo credit: NJ Advance Media
Empathy and inspiration. As thousands of people around the world have had to deal with tragic losses of loved ones, jobs, businesses, many brands have taken the route of empathy and inspiration, a veritable way of raising each other. This was the key message of Ireland-based Guinness & Co. Brewery in honour of St. Patrick’s Day.
Photo credit: Guinness Beer
In the video, the company shares: “While we know this year things feel different, we’ve learned over time that we’re pretty tough when we stick together. So what do you need for some Saint Paddy’s Day cheer? A pint? Sure. We’ll take one. Some corn beef? Yeah. If you’re offering. Irish music? We’ll sing along. A big parade? Don’t worry; we’ll march again.”
Another example closer to home, Ikea who came up with a particular video, titled Making Home Count, to thank and encourage the community for staying at home. This heartfelt video by Ikea tells the audience to make moments at home special and spend the time well with their families. Also, this video was a home-made film from all over Singapore which makes it feel more real and touched many hearts of the community. Such simple and short videos can create a significant impact and send the brand across as well!
Photo Credit: Ikea
Fun and humour. In the face of such widespread doom and gloom, we need a little fun and humour. This is where the marketing campaign of an American restaurant chain, Denny’s, kicks in. Witty, light-hearted, and relatable, their hilarious Twitter posts are just what the doctor ordered.
Photo credit: Denny’s
Kindness and generosity. One proof that things have already gone awry was a group of people fighting over toilet paper. Cottonelle, one of the world’s largest toilet paper producers, addressed the issue head-on. Their “Stock Up on Generosity” campaign sought to discourage panic buying while their #ShareASquare social media efforts raised a million US dollars for the United Way Worldwide’s COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund. What a way to change the narrative!
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