With the crisis of Covid-19 escalating, the world is struggling to keep up with the ‘new normal’ and bracing to acclimatize with the fast-changing dynamics. Businesses around the world are also suffering to a great extent. Quarantine restrictions are keeping customers away from bricks and mortar retail stores, making it tougher for brands to operate and run their businesses smoothly.
The crisis has ramped up the pressure on marketers to revisit their marketing strategies to manage the sales and product demand in the market. It is necessary that brands need to be relevant more than ever with their approach. Certain brands are doing a great job in managing the crisis. It is a notion among brands that during unprecedented times like the ongoing pandemic, brands should hold back their PR and marketing efforts. However, some experts say that brands shouldn’t go silent and invisible as meaningful relationships can be built and maintained even during a crisis with the right kind of strategy.
That’s exactly what some brands have done. When the government and health organisations around the world are preaching about coronavirus etiquette, it makes sense for brands to sail on the same boat and amplify the message as much as possible. Let’s look at some brands that have positioned their messaging in a relevant way keeping the current situation in mind:
Some of the Brands doing well during the Covid-19:
Nike’s campaign encouraging people to ‘play inside’ as per the government’s social distancing norms is echoing loud and clear. The slogan ‘If you have dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance. Play inside, play for the world’ gives out the message to the consumers, making the image of the brand positive and relevant. The campaign was also reposted by Nike’s brand ambassadors including Cristiano Ronaldo, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James. Simple, effective, and a good accompaniment to the US$15 million the company donated towards COVID-19 efforts.
Amul has always been known for its quirky billboard advertisements. With the emergence of the corona crisis, the Indian dairy brand put out a series of messages encouraging people to wash their hands, greet others using the no-contact namaste method, and to work from home. The work featured the famed Amul girl. The doodle showing her washing hands with a message saying ‘Better saaf than sorry’ is one of the various series Amul introduced during the crisis. Not only this, after Doordarshan announced that Ramayan and Mahabharat would be broadcast again, Amul’s marketing team tuned into the commercials of that era. Its old ads were a rage on social media; they made people nostalgic and ignited conversations. Amul also dedicated its new doodle to the success of Ramayan, which recorded an unprecedented 7.7 crore viewers on the night of April 16.
During the first phase of the lockdown, e-commerce giant Flipkart started a campaign called 21 Days of Safe Living. It gave one activity every day to people to help them beat the lockdown blues. Sample activity 12/21: ‘Hiding a talent? Record and share a video with your gang.’ Activity 13/21 recommends soaking sunshine for at least 20 minutes to get Vitamin D.
The innovative campaign #DaagGharPeRahenge. The advert created using stills and the narration of seven-year-old Grishma Mohan motivates kids to stay at home with a message they can grasp: The swing, the bicycle, the playground will wait for us—if we just stay at home for a few days. It is quite apt to the situation as keeping kids indoors is one of the hardest thing parents were battling with. This advertisement was able to give parents new ideas to convince kids to stay indoors.
A brand with a wide range of hygiene products, also changed its advertising strategy. The company engaged several celebrities, including rapper Badshah, for its #LifebuoyKarona campaign and other promotions.
Reckitt Benckiser’s Dettol is a household product with tremendous recall and goodwill value. But it too needed a push in this age of hand sanitizers, soaps and bleach. So, it deployed a social media campaign with one of the most viral platforms in the market, TikTok. Its #HandWashChallenge campaign has got over 93 million views so far, many from tier-II and tier-III cities.
At a time, when businesses are struggling to keep going, examples of such brands can become a model for others and motivate the crowd and other businesses to be responsible and lead by example. What’s needed at this hour is awareness, action, funds, and supplies. So, marketers and brand advertising agencies can think about scaling back on the thousands of dollars spent on a billboard placement and try something a little more grassroots-level.