Creativity is believed to be more of a free-flowing river, as opposed to a tap, which can be turned on at one’s will.
In reference to the COVID-19 pandemic, this thought holds great importance, as social distancing and lockdowns have become a norm. While one may think that the world would be draped up in a shroud of dullness, most brands are stepping up to become the beacon of light, hope, and marketing. Much like the silver lining to a dark cloud.
CHANGING THE NARRATIVE
Lately, the phrase – Off to work is synonymous with a hop, skip and jump from one’s bed to one’s couch (read makeshift work desk). With an enormous number of people working from home, an emerging audience is ripe for the picking by marketers. Many brands have taken cue and have begun to change their narrative from selling experiences to distributing awareness and goodwill.
Companies have shed their competitive images, as they put on the hat of compassion. This hat enables them to reach out and add fuel to all their communication channels. The race of advertising is being turned into a marathon, where brands are passing around the baton of safety, stability, and positivity.
ROMANCING THE COUCH POTATO (READ CUSTOMER)
Absence of transit times and watercooler conversations; and the presence of emails that could have been meetings, leave the 21st-century remote working professional with a lot of time on their hand. Social media platforms are buzzing with activity as individuals across generations, try to mark engagement attendance, virtually.
Let’s talk about the beloved Millennials in particular. Here are a few important findings of a study –
43% feel that brands have an important role to play in the current pandemic
36% would prefer brands to double up their communication
83% want brands to design campaigns that help them right now (talk about fast food for thought)
These statistics are echoed in many brand strategies, who are setting their sights on leveraging social media platforms. Many have gone about the DIY approach, (Develop Your Influence), where equal focus is given to big-ticket influencers as well as micro-influencers.
Digital campaigns, that treat no format as black sheep of the online family, are given more importance. Add to this the tasty trail mix of technology – a conscious effort is being made to clog all the gaps and holes in software and other infrastructure. The result? An influx in live programmes, podcasts, creative campaigns and above all, engagement initiatives.
DAWNING OF THE SLEUTH
As the audience adjusts to work and life at home, so do the brand custodians. The comfort of home brings with itself many other comforts. Most important of these is studying the field of one’s influence. Earlier what used to be time-bound exercise, now has the liberty to be stretched into more of a learning experience.
Brands are able to identify and sharpen their individual voice, tweak their tonality and can put an ear to their virtual screens. Social listening is helping brands to find the pulse of their audience online and to toe the line of marketing accordingly. Many brands have successfully hopped on the bandwagon of hope and positivity to create human-centric, wellbeing – oriented messaging.
While it is true that uncertainty looms large over the world today, it is important to remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This sentiment is fast being turned into a contagion to ensure a quick recovery to the normal way of doing things.