Queueing outside supermarkets, social distancing and constant hand washing have become our norm in recent months, as the coronavirus pandemic has swept across the nation. While it’s been challenging adapting to a new way of life, we’ve also spent more time on technology than ever before and our screen time (mine definitely!) has been off the scale. Many well-known brands have been keen to make the most of our increased media consumption, and so, in light of this, we’ve put together a couple of our top brand campaigns that we think nailed marketing during a worldwide pandemic.
Uber isn’t a company known for its emotional marketing, or extensive marketing at all, but with its pandemic campaign it really came into its own. In April, the taxi company launched the ‘Uber Stop Moving’ campaign, urging its millions of riders worldwide to stop using the company, stay home and save lives. With an emotional TV ad, an emailer to all users and social media posts, the message ‘thank you for not riding’ was compelling, and a campaign to be remembered. For a brand that relies on transporting people around, this was a bold and brave move, and one that definitely paid off. Like all good marketing at the moment, it tugged on people’s heartstrings and created an overwhelming sense of emotion for audiences.
Back in March, high street retailer Lush ran a fantastic campaign at the beginning of the pandemic. They encouraged high street shoppers to wash their hands in any of their high street stores, to help stop the spread of the virus. The soap company found a gap in the market for accessible hand washing facilities on the high street with public toilets few and far between, and so they encouraged the public to wash their hands for free in their stores with Lush soap bars and hot water. To accompany this, the retailer also made a singing soap vinyl record available to purchase in their flagship Liverpool store, which played ‘Happy Birthday’ back-to-back. The singing soap was designed to play for twenty seconds – the desired length of time for hand washing.
One of my personal favourite coronavirus campaigns came from snack brand Emily, which I hadn’t heard of before but certainly do now! After purchasing some outdoor media space back in December, they weren’t predicting a worldwide pandemic for their very first media campaign. But, instead of continuing with the already planned ad campaign, they decided to switch it up and make it more relevant to the times. What followed was a series of bus stop ads calling out their marketing mishap, featuring clever wording such as ‘Our first ever poster, seen by a runner and one pigeon. Typical.’ And ‘Hmm…maybe we should’ve made a TV ad instead.’ Which they posted on Instagram. Due to the humorous relevance of the campaign, and the fact that right now all everyone wants is a little bit of light-hearted fun, it resonated with a lot of consumers.
Property developer Storey Homes has made a fantastic effort in regards to a campaign during coronavirus, dedicating one to those people who have helped the country during this time. In early May, the company released details of their ‘Rainbow Incentive’, offering all key workers £10,000 off the value of any Storey Homes property. Designed to help those who have provided essential services during the pandemic get a foot on the property ladder, the generous ongoing discount pays tribute to their incredible efforts. This is a great campaign from a property developer, offering a massive financial saving that is guaranteed to help the heroes of the UK.
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