How to Keep Business Moving During Quarantine
In the wake of a pandemic, social distancing is required for both business and the community as a whole to lessen the risk of contracting COVID-19. The beauty of a multimedia/marketing agency is the ability it provides employees to perform remote work. A functioning business is nothing without the ideas of its employees, the work put in by each department, and the effective communication using digital tools.
(Appropriate) Comedic Relief
Relieving the currently dark overtones that paint the world as a dystopian pit of despair is helpful with a bit of humor in advertisements. In fact, most gentle humor has been well received by audiences, even in the midst of a virus which has kept everyone inside with eyes glued to the television. In opposition to popular belief that people seek out tragedy, when they are in the midst of tragedy, they are seeking out humor and lightheartedness.
It’s best to avoid humor directly implying negative impacts of coronavirus, but taking the neutral impacts we’ve all come to face during quarantine can create an interesting angle and improve advertising tactics. But, it’s crucial to draw the line between gentle humor and insensitive/opportunistic marketing. Take Netflix’s successful hand washing ad for instance:
Adjust Current Marketing Campaigns
If your company is currently running advertisements that feature a group of people in close quarters sans gloves and a mask, it’s best to put it on hold. Once the pandemic eases up, these ads can always be picked back up, but for now, it’s best not to give people the wrong idea.
Aside from visual campaign strategies, be sure to use appropriate language during the crisis. Avoid marketing with figurative language such as “hand in hand” or “get in touch” as this could easily be misconstrued and received as unthoughtful in a time like this. Hershey’s, for instance, pulled their recent ad which featured hugging and being close with the community in a physical way and replaced the ad with product-focused advertising.
Don’t Exploit the Pandemic
The coronavirus already did its job of frightening the public into quarantine, don’t make the content viewers consume at home be focused on the big scary virus that awaits them outdoors. Your marketing shouldn’t participate in fear-mongering or spreading gossip about ideologies surrounding the crisis. Keep marketing with a brand-focused attitude, honing in on how your product or service can serve the public as a tool to get through the pandemic. In addition to this, broadcast your brand’s distinct voice, displaying support of those who are impacted, unlike the Coors Light ad, “The Official Beer of ‘Working’ Remotely,” which was removed from the air for its insensitivities toward those affected by Coronavirus.
Plan for Future Campaign Messaging
Use this time to plan for future campaign messaging. How will your brand emerge from quarantine? How will your company continue to push optimism in the meantime? Remember to keep the tone consistent, honest, and sprinkled with gentle humor, but never engage in uneducated branding during a pandemic, like KFC’s classic Finger Lickin’ Good campaign which was pulled this February.
Make Your Brand’s Relevance Known
This phrasing goes along with standing out from the crowd. How do you differentiate your brand from others? What does your brand have to offer during the crisis? Make it known.
With added time in people’s hands due to quarantine, they’re consuming more content than ever before, so now is not the time to cut back on marketing. No matter what medium your team uses to brainstorm, it’s important to keep the ideas flowing. Add value to these dark times, give people content to look forward to, content to embrace, and content to inspire.