by Chris Grabowski
The unique thing about Covid, from a comms perspective, is that everyone was in the same boat. For the first time in decades we all had one shared focus, one shared concern, all facing Covid together. Bringing similar challenges to everyone – all stuck in-doors, all worried about friends / family / finances / our own mental state – irrespective of demographics; interests, family dynamic, location…
Consequently, comms activations all fed off this shared challenge and all felt so similar at the start of lockdown 1.0. You’ve seen them, TVCs opening with piano music, deserted streets, people staring out of windows, rainbows artwork, some sort of copy about being a ‘New Normal’ or ‘Unprecedented Times’…They all blend into one another (see for yourself: here)
That’s the problem when using a worldwide / nationwide phenomenon as an insight, it’s applicable for everyone so doesn’t stand out to anyone.
You’d say the same for activations this summer, if you are starting the rationale for your campaign with something along the lines of ‘we’ve all been cooped up for…’ or something about ‘connecting’ / ‘reuniting people’ you will probably have the same issue. The best campaigns over the last year, were aware of Covid and the issues that it created but they were completely their own ideas, ownable by the brand, targeted at a specific audience, with a unique insight for them. Think, Bodyform #Wombstories, Dove’s New Face of Beauty or Xbox Beyond Generations. Each sensitive to the wider situation but specifically targeted at their particular audience.
So, this summer as the nation opens up, maybe think twice before raising a PO for that pop-up-shop / festival partnership / immersive brand experience… if it wasn’t right for the brand before Covid, it probably won’t be right as lockdown eases.