We’re living through extraordinary times. As anyone in marketing will appreciate, extraordinary times require us all to be flexible. Marketing teams - both in-house and in agencies - are all having to find new ways to connect with their audience and engage them in a continued conversation in spite of the fact that we’re far from ‘business as usual’.
Anyone able to strike the right balance in that regard deserves high praise indeed. Life isn’t easy right now, and finding the right words, images and messages is hard. These four examples come from people who we feel have done a great job. Hopefully they’ll serve to inspire you in your quest to continue to succeed in the midst of a pandemic.
We’re a sucker for a campaign that works across several platforms, and this from Bird’s Eye was a great example of something that not only does that, but also chimes with the times.
There’s a nice video that sums up the messaging for the campaign - but that’s backed up with a content hub of ‘helpful ideas’ including recipes as well fun things to do as a family during lockdown. There’s a good sense of search value to these posts too and many should have an evergreen value for when this has all blown over.
Many of the tips and hacks have also been used on social media too, giving followers useful resources and avoiding a ‘hard sell’ brand message at a time when it doesn’t feel right.
Betting brands are reliant on live sport, so what do you do if a pandemic brings all of that to a screeching halt? Well, if you’re Paddy Power, you make your own sport. Plus, you do it all with a twinkle in your eye and a sense of fun. Paddy Power isn’t everyone’s cup of tea as a brand, but it’s got a pretty good sense of its audience and how to engage them.
Its ‘darts from home’ events saw tungsten titans such as Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor and Fallon ‘The Queen of the Palace’ Sherrock face off by using their own dart boards - and even brought in footballers such as Wayne Bridge and Jamie Redknapp for a face off.
This clearly provided some fun on-page and social media content, but there was also PR value in providing some semblance of sporting entertainment for a nation starved of live action. Not every brand will have Paddy Power’s budget, of course, but this does also show the importance of having a little fun during dark times too.
We’re a few months into what many are calling the new normal, and we’ve started to see more and more businesses adjust their messaging to fit our socially distanced circumstances.
The dating industry in particular is having to shift its conversation away from physical connection, and highlight the deeper connections that can be made through their services.
Bumble’s new ad spot begins by spelling out all the activities that are now restricted under current guidelines, before going on to detail the connections that are still possible such as “making them blush”, having virtual sunset drinks and to building anticipation.
It’s a touching 60 second reminder of what can still be possible whilst we’re temporarily forced apart.
Football leagues across the world are beginning to restart with the caveat that the remaining games must be played in an empty stadium, with no spectators allowed. This has proved to be a weird experience for both players and those watching at home, with games resembling more of a training exercise than anything else.
Instead of resigning themselves to this new reality, Borussia Monchengladbach of the German Bundesliga decided to create a more visually stimulating experience for everyone by inviting fans to send in pictures of themselves, which would be printed onto lifesize cardboard cutouts and be placed in the stands to create an artificial crowd.
To feature in the crowd, fans were asked to pay €19 with all proceeds going to local charities. The campaign organisers have been overrun with orders, and are working hard to fill the entire 54,014 Borussia Park stadium with cutouts.
A great initiative from a club whose players, coaches and board members have already agreed to forgo their salaries in order to help the club and its employees. They’ve made a new fan in the UK that’s for sure!
Those are the ideas we want to celebrate and share this month - hopefully they’ll provide you with some food for thought when it comes to striking the right balance with your own brands and how best to spend their budget during tough times. Let’s hope for a safe June and that the nation - and our industry - can continue the road to recovery over the summer..
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