At the start of the pandemic, brands quickly pivoted their message and focused on connecting with consumers through sincere and empathetic marketing. However, marketing data from May suggested that consumers were increasingly tired of the “we are all together” message and overly sensitive expressions of empathy from companies that did not back it up with actions. According to a survey by market research platform Dynata, 66% of consumers found brands’ ads and social media posts to be repetitive, and 67% wanted more variety. While consumers are clearly bored of redundant COVID-focused marketing messages, the survey results do not clearly indicate which marketing messages consumers find relevant or memorable. Authentic, differentiated campaigns, like the ones detailed below, that use lighter tones to show community support can attract crisis-tired customers.
Brands lighten up COVID-19-inspired marketing efforts
A recent survey by market research firm Magrid for Marketing dive showed that 50% of Gen Z consumers and 30% of all age groups surveyed feel bored as the pandemic progresses. Content described as fun is what they want to see the most in marketing. IKEA and Twisted Tea are responding to this change in attitude with humorous and clever advertising campaigns.
Twisted Tea: Be Creative
Twisted Tea’s new “Get Creative” campaign uses the theme of the pandemic, but celebrates the way its customers are experiencing it. He evokes 2020 as a “crazy year” and greets all those who “go wild”. The ads feature customers who have used their creativity to party safely with their products, including a man catapulting a Twisted Tea to his friend from safe social distancing and a backyard pool party of a truck. Twisted Tea is building on the trend of ‘pop-up concerts’, in which groups that would typically perform in crowded bars or public arenas have outdoor entertainment, to spontaneously engage local audiences and encourage marketing. consumer to consumer via a call for stories shared on social media.
IKEA: look to the future, be healthy
IKEA’s “Tomorrow Starts Tonight” campaign creates a compelling story about the famous tortoise and the hare fable. The TV and social media spot, directed by Sam Pilling, shows a hip but irresponsible hare the day before the big race, partying with his friends (no mask, no social distancing), staying up late playing games. playing video games and watching YouTube videos. Meanwhile, the turtle in his comfortable IKEA-equipped room is resting for his big victory. “Tomorrow Starts Tonight” is part of a larger, leaner campaign called “Look Forward, Get Healthy” that touts the benefits of sleep to promote IKEA bedroom furniture and housewares while attracting consumers who are trying to stay healthy. good health in today’s risky environment.
Brands are recognized by consumers thanks to “Feel Good” campaigns
Consumers today are more aware of how businesses interact with stakeholders, local communities and society. Google and Walmart seek to build brand loyalty through upbeat and positive stories of “well-being” from their community support practices.
Google: support places near you
In the introduction to its “Support Places Near You” campaign, Google says: “This year, people around the world are searching more than ever for ‘near me’. And now these places need our help. Support places near you, with a little help from Google. “The Google campaign encourages users to visit local businesses that have continued to serve customers during the pandemic, such as drive-through movies, take-out restaurants, and hair salons. Google is also encouraging users to support service organizations in their communities, including food banks and pet shelters. As people migrate their purchases online, Google is helping people find and support local businesses, while also building the value of their brand.
Walmart: spark of opportunity
The new Walmart ad features the stories of managers who have grown in the company and the upbeat song “Movin ‘On Up” by Primal Scream. Sophisticated managers take pictures of themselves as goofy teens, giving Walmart opportunities, helping them build confidence, care and empathize with others. In the announcement, Walmart says 75% of its management started out as cashiers, including President and CEO Doug McMillon. The alignment of the song’s lyrics: “I was blind, but now I see. You made me a leader, ”with the message“ The sky’s the limit with Walmart, ”set the tone for customers looking for positive messages and brands that support their employees through tough times.
Leading brand position on social responsibility
The pandemic has accelerated the shift from consumerism from valuables to values. As such, companies that run genuine and genuine corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns connect with conscientious customers. Nike, IcyHot and Mastercard have focused their advertising campaigns on supporting causes beyond the current crisis.
Nike: you can’t stop us
Nike’s The “You Can’t Stop Us” campaign, released at the end of July, can be seen as the model ad “Beyond the Pandemic”. And the campaign was an instant success, drawing over 20 million viewers to Twitter in the first two days. Nike regularly makes relevant connections with causes larger than itself, including the long-awaited return of professional sports and support for student athletes, athletes with disabilities and Olympic athletes whose dreams are on hold due to the pandemic. Nike honors the integrity of activism and the courage to overcome injury. With its ‘You Can’t Stop Us’ campaign, Nike is helping the United States turn the corner from COVID-19, looking to the future of sport while celebrating the perseverance and resilience that athletes have demonstrated throughout. throughout history, making the pandemic another challenge ahead. overcome.
IcyHot: student athletes
IcyHot connects to its audience’s love for the game by showing its support for student athletes who have been “sidelined” by COVID-19. The company pledged to donate one dollar for every IcyHot product sold to the Shaquille O’Neal Foundation, which supports school-sponsored athletics. The IcyHot “Student Athletes” campaign brings interested consumers to their website, where they offer scholarship application and student athlete resources to “get the game ready for the time” to get back into the game.
Mastercard: Stand Up To Cancer: Treat your colleagues
The recent Mastercard campaign features the new ‘coworker’ the family pet with a humorous and flirtatious ad that shows the pandemic’s ‘silver lining’ for those working from home: more time with the fur family. Every good dog deserves a treat, and Mastercard is committed to donating a penny from every qualifying purchase to Stand Up to Cancer, with a total donation of up to $ 4 million. With its pet-focused initiative, Mastercard is making the narrative a positive part of pandemic life and building brand value with civic-minded consumers who want to support something beyond the current crisis. .
Successful engaging marketing campaigns don’t ignore or turn their backs on the lingering crisis, but they evolve into a more upbeat and positive tone, connecting with Americans who continue to live their lives in the best possible way. Social responsibility remains a high priority for consumers, and advertising campaigns that show genuine support for the community and the causes beyond the pandemic reinforce brand value.
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