As the Covid-19 storm continues, one thing is certain: the world will never be the same again.
In a state of isolation, we all had to adapt to a more solitary existence, increasingly relying on the hyper-connective capabilities of the digital world, as well as our local communities, to navigate these most unusual times.
Since the start of the lockdown, consumer circumstances and buying habits have changed and brands have been forced to change both their operational approach and their messaging in response. Many experts have advised this as a time for companies to reassess their brand strategy – one of the many points that emerged from our recent podcast episode, which included detailed insights into how brands deal with the pandemic.
Despite being a highly creative industry, marketing is not always as innovative or risk-averse as you might think. Many brands choose to remain conservative or ‘play it safe’ when it comes to campaigning for fear of tarnishing their reputation — but now is not the time to sit back and hope for the best. Now is the time for many to pivot, reinvent, inspire, and offer a viable solution to a very pressing problem.
Right now, brands and marketers need to focus on offering short-term communication and innovation to ensure long-term success in this unforeseeable period. And, some of them are doing a wonderful job.
To inspire your Covid-19 marketing efforts, here are five remarkable campaigns that you need to know about.
As the pandemic began to take place in Europe and North America at the beginning of March, and the lockdown began, Guinness stepped up to the mark with his ‘Saint Patrick’s Day Message’ campaign.
The uplifting, inspirational tone of this video, coupled with its theme of communal care and unity, strikes an emotional chord while showing value and humanizing the brand in uncertain times.
Original, relevant and on-brand, Guinness has produced excellent results from this Covid-19 marketing campaign, with high scores in the US (just outside the top 10% of the most popular campaigns). In addition, 21 percent of the people who shared a video on social media did so because they defined the spirit and mood of the times.
And towards the end of March, this Guinness-themed ad posted (featured at the top of the page) began to circulate around social media: created by a freelancer who joined the One-Minute Briefs initiative in the UK, it actually touches on all the long-standing Guinness tropes of creativity and focus.
Lesson: Building a sense of community is essential right now. Focus on messaging that brings people together, offer clear value, let your consumers know that you’re there for them, and you’re likely to win on the commercial battlefield tomorrow.
BrewDog: Making Hand Sanitizer
Aberdeen’s favourite craft beer supplier, BrewDog, took a proactive stance on the pandemic by using its resources to make its own Punk Sanitiser.
Realizing that hand sanitizer had become in short supply, the BrewDog team set out to make large batches and send them to the UK’s frontline services for free.
Speaking on his charitable initiative, the founder of BrewDog, James Wyatt, said:
“We are determined to do everything we can to try and help as many people as possible to stay safe.”
To complement the initiative, BrewDog is offering regular updates through its blog while remaining active on Twitter and Instagram—activities that have kept the brand connected to its audience while creating a true brand buzz throughout the pandemic.
This brilliant initiative has also been taken by other breweries and distilleries around the world, many of which have been committed to serving their local communities.
Lesson: By offering direct value as well as a practical solution to a real problem, and by using your promotional channels to guide consumers to your message, you will build trust, authority and loyalty in these most uncertain times.
In today’s world, people expect brands to take action — and if you can do anything to help, you should. You ought to shout about it, too: tastefully, of course.
In order to help consumers maintain their fitness and personal morality during the crisis, the sporting colossus Nike has made its club training subscription free for a limited period of time — offering the brand’s fans exclusive access to training, health and fitness content.
In addition to its value-driven offering, in-app content and inspirational brand messaging, Nike has also extended its message of staying healthy during the virus to its podcast. As the pandemic continues, Nike continues to maintain a strong sense of brand loyalty, and its collective efforts have also helped to mitigate its declining sales in China.
Lesson: By taking the time to craft brand messaging that is direct and meaningful across a coherent mix of channels, you will boost your brand authority both now and as the pandemic begins to fade and societies to adapt.
We ‘re still in uncharted waters, and for businesses across industries, this is probably the most challenging time you’ve ever faced — and will face.
These five inspiring Covid-19 marketing campaigns prove that by staying true to your values, using your existing resources to offer practical solutions for pressing pain points and maintaining a positive brand presence, you can prevail. We wish you all the best of luck.