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Awesome ways brands have adapted their messaging
Blog / Brand Campaigning

Awesome ways brands have adapted their messaging

With COVID-19 being the overwhelming news story, we look at ways brands have adapted their messaging.

We know the deal, everyone is totally sick of thinking and talking about ‘you know what’. So much so that the vast majority of people don’t want their favourite brands to go into some negative nosedive into how everything is now going to be terrible.

People need some optimism and light relief and (depending on your sector) this is where a lot of brands can play a part. In fact, in a user survey conducted by Twitter, 70% of people said brands should boost positivity and share positive stories. However, only 7% of survey participants said that brands should continue to use their normal tone of voice.

So, where does this leave marketers I hear you ask? Well it seems the message and zeitgeist is clear, remain positive and optimistic, but some acknowledgement of the situation is also needed, brands cannot just pretend this is not happening.

BBH released a great mini guide on how brands should react, which stresses to ask yourself if any marketing that was due to go out is no longer appropriate and the importance of listening in on social channels to your customers. Essentially the key take-away is to be reactive, but to be careful this doesn’t translate into being opportunistic and crass.

Alongside marketing comms, we also need to think about the customers changing wants and needs. Something that was seemingly important to customers at the beginning of March, is now un-important come the end of April. For instance, in March you may have been planning to buy a dress to wear to a wedding you were going to attend in May, but this obviously no longer matters.

Situations such as this render some remarketing strategies effectively useless. It’s important to think through all of your user journeys, if you haven’t done so already you may be missing a trick!

So, what brands do we think have got it ‘right’?

Co-op and FareShare T.V ad

Co-op were extremely reactive at the start of the crisis, redirecting all of their Easter TV ads budget (worth 2.5 million) to support charity FareShare. In the ads they ask their customers to make donations to the food charity and help make a difference in their local community. Co-op have also personally backed the charity by donating food worth 1.5 million to feed those at risk of hunger.

Not only is this a positive story and a change in their normal tone of voice, but the initiative also supports the local community, which aligns perfectly to the Co-op’s ethos and doesn’t feel out of place or like they’re jumping on the bandwagon.

Microsoft Teams T.V ad

Re-directing marketing budget to advertise Microsoft Teams right now, instead of generic Microsoft tech ads, seems like a smart move! Obviously with more people working from home than ever, being able to connect with your team remotely is pretty essential.

The advert doesn’t directly reference COVID-19 and keeps things pretty light, although does place some emphasis on how Teams allows more staff to more effectively work from home. The clever thing is once quarantine is over the advert could be easily repurposed with a slightly different voice over and work just as well.

This is a good example of advertising a product which has the potential to make people’s lives easier and doesn’t overtly reference ‘tough times’, keeping messaging positive.

Henkel and Schwarzkopf Professional’s ‘Help your salon’ initiative

Schwarzkopf Professional, a Pull client, has recently launched the online voucher initiative Help Your Salon This online portal allows salons to sign up for free to a portal which enables them to sell vouchers to their clients for use post lockdown. This means they can keep their customers happy by giving them priority appointments and generate some revenue in the meantime, a win, win situation!

The initiative was developed specifically to help hairdressers and salons, which is perfectly in line with Schwarzkopf’s mission to support the hairdressing and salon community. The site also doesn’t overtly reference the crisis, instead providing an optimistic and positive solution.

Whilst obviously there have been instances of baddddd advertising and initiatives, it’s really great to see some positive actions being taken. With brands stepping up and providing interesting initiatives, helping communities or providing work from home solutions.

What initiatives and T.V. ads have you seen which you wish you’d thought of yourself?

Posted 1 May 2020 by