Did you tune into the First 2020 Presidential Debate last week? One of the biggest topics of conversation during the debate was the COVID-19 pandemic—the virus that changed the way we communicate, live, and work. If you could cut through the shock-value, incessant muttering, and interjections of the debate, you may have heard both of the candidates’ takes on this pressing issue. Nonetheless, COVID-19 is an issue that people and brands alike have had to adapt to, and it has affected every facet of how we work as advertisers.
If your company has gone completely remote, you’re not alone. Businesses and advertising agencies have had to learn how to communicate internally and allocate time and resources to maintain maximum efficiency out of the office. The one thing we all have in common? Most workers have shared this same experience, which has inspired many companies to prepare ads like this Uber ad that encourages people to stay home. Not only were new ads created to form a sense of understanding from businesses, but ads were also swiftly pulled. Ads that encouraged large groups or ads that did not fit the world’s circumstances were quickly pulled and either replaced or let be. As an advertiser, it’s essential to ensure the content you are producing to represent a business does not offend or negatively impact your client’s image, and to do this you must stay up-to-date on world events to ensure your content is not insensitive.
Everything Has Changed
This includes how products and services are advertised and whether or not they are still deemed necessary. This also means that companies may have slashed their advertising budgets almost completely to save money. The point is, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an eye-opening shock to advertisers and businesses, who are shredding plans prepared a year prior. While many small businesses have said their goodbyes to their agencies, the bigger businesses have taken the initiative to maintain relevancy during these “unprecedented times” where we are “all in this together” (getting tired of that yet?).
Here is a shortlist of attempts by large businesses to stay as relevant as possible:
- Apple’s “Creativity Goes On” ad
- Progressive’s WFH ad
- Facebook’s “We’re Never Lost if We Can Find Each Other” ad
- Hotels.com’s “Future Captain Obvious” ad
- Google’s “Work From Home in More Places” ad
While these are just a few samples of work produced during the pandemic, they show that ads must adapt as the world changes—even in the worst circumstances. I’ll leave you with one last question:
Do you find pandemic ads effective?