We are facing times unforeseen and unimagined. As the Coronavirus pandemic takes over the globe affecting lives and livelihoods, brands are left in the lurch to grapple with the suddenness of the outbreak and uncertainty of what can be called a ‘bleak future’.
But then, you can’t say with complete confidence that all’s lost. Because it is not. There is still so much you can do, there is still hope and there are still ways to look beyond the chaos. This is exemplified by some leading brands that emerged heroes in the time of distress with their indigenous campaigns to stay connected with the audience or simply to put across a reassuring message of being there, come what may.
That said, our inbound agency has compiled a list of 9 brands that have taken the world by storm. Here’s what we picked from a treasure-trove of amped-up content, brand and social media marketing:
Chocolate may not solve your problems but it will give you the emotional strength to deal with them.
DoubleTree, the American hotel chain owned by Hilton is known and loved for the chocolate chip cookies served at the check-in counter. A corporate secret for many years, the recipe of these delicious cookies has been made public for its regular patrons who miss it.
A video that reveals the recipe has been doing the rounds of social media, garnering re-posts by customers, and even offline coverage by other media outlets. Businesses may have turned cold for the hotel but their hearts remain warm towards the public at large.
You realise the urgency of a situation and message, only when you see a brand tweaking its logo, which otherwise stands untouched as a symbol of its identity.
This happened with two famous brands – fast-food giant McDonald’s and leading beverage company Coca Cola.
McDonald’s Brazil ran an ad that depicted the golden ‘M’ separated down the middle. Times Square, New York, has also witnessed ‘Coca Cola’ spelt out with its letter separated. McDonald’s may have received flak for being ‘opportunistic’ but this hasn’t deterred brave brands from venturing into the realms of logo-editing to depict the importance of social distancing. After all, creativity tops everything.
Nike is just doing it and how! The brand has been tackling the pandemic from every possible angle including donations and intriguing campaigns to boot. (See what we did there?)
The leading shoe brand has been generously donating millions of dollars to Oregon organizations. It is offering free access to premium training programmes on its Nike Training Club app.
Through its social media campaign, Nike appeals to the community at large, to ‘play inside, play for the world’. The message coincides with the offering on its app which provides progressive instructions from Nike Master trainers.
Together we can and will make a come-back, just like our beloved sporting heroes.
The company has made an intelligent and timely move by revoking its promotional campaigns and replacing them with ads that address the current situation. They take a subtler route with two striking ads.
One ad titled ‘Built for Right now’ tells the tale of its 100-year history and how it built machinery to support America during the War. The other one called ‘Built to Lend a Hand’ elaborates on its knack for immediacy – its ability to realise and recognise its customers’ needs.
These underline the fact that Ford intends to stick to ‘the greater good’ rather than market its products at such a time.
Ikea’s got an idea: That is to create, not just sell.
McCann Madrid doled out a simple yet effective ad for the firm with a message to hit the intended target, at the right time.
When it seems like the world has turned upside down, Ikea believes that together, we can turn everything around by staying socially distant and spending time with our loved ones in our own, beautiful house. After all, there’s no place like home.
This resonates in the ad.
Imagine your home speaking to you, reminding you of all the times it was there when you were celebrating or were in pain, or when you just needed warmth and shelter from the cold, cold world.
And that is how IKEA made a ‘home run’.
This one’s for the ladies!
With #VeetIsMySalon, the brand - in collaboration with Havas, UAE - has challenged leading influencers and beauty bloggers to share their hygiene and maintenance tips throughout the month of Ramadan (which recently culminated in Eid celebration the world over).
The notion behind the challenge was to reinforce Veet as a ‘salon a home’ brand while encouraging personal hygiene and beauty. Look good, feel good!
We couldn’t help but notice Vodafone’s subliminal message that’s been a constant since the pandemic outbreak:
This got us wondering about what the brand has been up to all this while. What we found will instantly take you back in time. We guarantee you’ll love it - can you hear us complaining?
Ride the wave of nostalgia as the oh-so-loved pug and the terribly cute ZooZoos deliver serious messages in the breeziest way possible.
One of U.S.A’s largest pharmaceutical brands, Walgreens has chosen the somber path to disseminate useful tips and information to the public.
As a leader in the healthcare department, its ‘Ask a Pharmacist’ series has been adapted into bite-size videos that answer your common queries about Covid-19. In fact, they made a sensible move by repurposing an existing email campaign, into a video ad.
Not to forget, it offered drive-thru testing for its first-responders!
Adopt a Keg, a Carlsberg Malaysia initiative is yet another example of brands getting it right.
With the idea of maintaining existing brand-and-customer relationships, while building brand patronage, the brand encourages purchase for home consumption. Once you make your purchase, you will be entitled to a free draught beer, redeemable at local F&B outlets when restrictions are lifted. This redemption at a local bar will also help support small businesses. Wondering how you can adopt a keg? Here’s how to go about it.
In line with the reassessment of their branding and marketing strategies, several brands have gone all-out with their unique and creative ideas, yet staying well within the limits of sensitivity. Though several companies have faced backlash for being apparently selfish and tactless, majority of them seem to have gone down well with the audience. The days to come will tell us how the tides turn. In the meantime, all we can do is support each other and the brands we love!
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