These current times are truly unprecedented. All across the globe, we are witnessing massive shifts in our daily lives as countries and states close their borders and individuals are told to stay indoors following mandated shelter-in-place protocol. All these efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 are flooding our news programs and social media feeds, causing major disruption for marketers. As marketers it can feel as if we’re being pulled in two directions. It is important that we communicate our sympathy and continue to engage with our online community thoughtfully, but at the same time, it is vital that we stay in the mind of the consumer and attempt to combat revenue declines caused by business closures. What is the correct protocol to follow in times like these?
According to survey results posted by Ace Metrix, consumers are really taking note of how brands are responding. Only 10 percent of respondents felt it was not OK for brands to address COVID-19 in ads. Meanwhile, 42 percent say “any mention is OK” and 44 percent say it “depends on the message and/or brand.” But Ace Metrix adds that it is “key for brands to show actual action, not just words” with 75 percent of its respondents saying brands have a responsibility to help out during the pandemic.
Amidst all the stressful unknowns, there are some businesses that are paving the way for marketers by providing clear and concise responses that keep the consumers’ well-being at heart. Here are just some of the numerous inspiring and positive examples:
Popeyes ‘fried chicken and chill’ Twitter campaign
Popeyes prides itself on making its customers feel like family. The fast-food chain was quick on its feet and decided what better way to signal familial ties than sharing a video streaming account? Popeyes still continues to offer delivery, pickup and drive-thru during the pandemic. They asked that customers post a photo of themselves enjoying their Popeyes meal from home using #ThatPasswordFromPopeyes. The first 1,000 people to post gained the username and password to a streaming service. Now that’s thoughtful.
Snapchat is ‘Here for you’
Originally intended to roll out in April, Snapchat is expediting its “Here For You” feature. The feature provides users resources when they search for topics related to mental health, such as anxiety, depression, stress, suicidal thoughts and grief. A section of “Here For You” will be devoted to the coronavirus and will share updates from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Crisis Text Line, National Health Service and the Ad Council. Snapchat also has launched a nationwide filter with advice on how to stay safe.
Anheuser-Busch starts sanitizer production
Anheuser-Busch InBev is one of many breweries working to use their alcoholic goods to create hand sanitizer. The brand responded to Twitter comments explaining it would work “with the Red Cross and other non-profit partners, to determine where the hand sanitizer will be needed most.” This is a great way to utilize your resources to address the needs of your customers.
HBO and National Geographic offer up freebies
While HBO addressed the significant number of hours being spent binge-watching indoors and National Geographic addressed the right of people to remain informed, both graciously offered free access to online material.
Reebok offers adaptable at-home workouts
This tweet is genius for a multitude of reasons. First, they are attempting to promote at-home fitness regardless of what brand of fitness attire/equipment you purchase. Second, Reebok actually takes the time to follow through with its promise by responding to consumer tweets directly with a detailed workout regimine. This is one you have to see to believe.
UberEats keeps hungry communities satisfied
Uber took the initiative to promote staying at home by making their food delivery service as affordable as possible with extra sanitary measures. They also committed to delivering 300K + meals to health care workers and first responders, honoring those who are going above and beyond to keep our country safe.
No Name Brand offers simple handwashing timer
If your business is significantly smaller than the ones listed above and you fear you don’t have any important contributions to make, never fear! Sometimes a simple health tip like this handwashing timer video from No Name is enough to show consumers you care.
I hope the examples listed above helped spark some creative ideas or at the very least helped reassure you that we are truly all in this together. Can you think of other examples you’ve seen that addressed this outbreak in a positive way? Share them in the comments below!
Author: Celeste Russell
Hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada, Celeste began working with NISM as a summer intern in 2019. Since then she has found a real home in the community, earned her SMS certification, and currently works as the Social Media Coordinator. Celeste is expected to graduate this May from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Acting & Communication for the Arts. Her passions have always included effective communication both on and off the stage and she is grateful that working with NISM allows her the opportunity to pursue her acting career simultaneously.
Feel free to connect with Celeste on LinkedIn.