Take up any marketing textbook and it will give a simple bottom line. Be adaptable and flexible according to the market dynamics. In reality, almost all marketing teams are working on a defined budget, fixed timelines, and a clear strategy that was laid down months in advance.
Then, coronavirus happened. Everything flipped. The market has seen changes almost as if there has been an avalanche, an earthquake, and a cyclone, all at once.
This is where some brands take up the crisis head on and come up with the most creative use of their assets, reach, or content, as we will see in the examples below.
This is Branding Infinity and this is how some of the best brands in the world are approaching crisis marketing during coronavirus pandemic.
Ford is using its supply chain network in collaboration with 3M and GE Healthcare
When a brand has been around for more than a century, it is safe to say that they have seen some sh*t. Multiple world wars, multiple depressions, The Spanish Flu, and every other crisis that you can imagine.
For this one, Ford has joined forces with 3M and GE healthcare to boost the production of healthcare supplies through its huge supply chain network.
For example, to make air-purifying respirators, 3M and Ford can leverage the parts they already have, like fans used in the F-150 pickup truck and 3M’s air filters.
Similarly, Ford is using its in-house 3D printing facilities to make more than 100,000 face shields per day.
“Working with 3M and GE, we have empowered our teams of engineers and designers to be scrappy and creative to quickly help scale up production of this vital equipment,” said Ford CEO Jim Hacket.
NBA is selling team-branded face masks – for charity
Everyone loves merchandise from their favorite sports team, no matter what the mood. Especially when your purchase could not only make you look “cool but also contributes directly towards genuine charities.
The National Basketball Association is now producing branded face masks, covering all 30 NBA teams and 12 WNBA teams. They are being sold at NBAStore.com and WNBAStore.com, in case you might want to buy one for yourself.
The money generated is being donated to the USA’s Feeding America and Canada’s Second Harvest charities.
“Through this new product offering, NBA and WNBA fans can adhere to these guidelines while joining in the league’s efforts to aid those who have been directly affected by COVID-19.”, said Kathy Behrens, NBA’s CSR President.
P&G goes viral on Tik-Tok, gets 8.7 billion views to promote social distancing
Ohio governor, Mike DeWine, requested P&G to use its immense reach to promote the message of social distancing among Gen Z. This, in the next couple of days, led to the creation of #DistanceDance video, which has so far generated 8.7 billion views and 1.7 response videos.
P&G collaborated with the 15-year-old Tik Tok sensation, Charli D’Amelio to come up with the video. The #DistanceDance challenge was then taken up by celebrities and athletes from different sporting backgrounds.
Here is the best part: For every #PGPartner tagged video, the company will be donating essential items to Feeding America or Matthew 25.
“When we heard the audience was Gen Z,” the first thought was TikTok, says Grey CEO Debby Reiner. “The challenge was reaching people who don’t listen to any PSAs, don’t listen to any press conferences,” says Kenny Gold, director of Social Media for Grey North America.
Domino’s gives away 10 million slices of pizza – that’s a LOT of pizzas
To thank first responders and other emergency personnel, Domino’s is giving away 10 million slices of pizzas to hospitals, grocery stores, medical centers, and others. They said that almost all of their U.S. locations, 6,126 restaurants to be precise, are going to participate in the “Feed the Need” campaign.
Google gives away free search ad space and Google Shopping listings to support small businesses
Google has come up with an $800 million plan to support small and medium businesses. $340 million this budget will be allocated in free ad space. The rest is mainly dedicated to supporting health organizations and government efforts.
Google clarified that the ad credits will automatically appear in the accounts of active advertisers and will be valid till the end of the year.
Further, just today, Google also announced that it will allow business owners to list their products online for free. Usually, the business would need to pay some fee to Google Shopping for the ad placement, but not anymore for the time being.
In an interview with The Verge, Bill Ready, Google’s President of Commerce said, “What we’re seeing is that they are many, many retailers and small businesses that stand ready to serve shoppers, but don’t yet have a great way to connect with them digitally. We think that by doing this, it helps many more shoppers find what they’re looking for, but it also helps bring some quite needed relief to the retail and small business ecosystem.”
Taco Bell’s “Let our drive-thru help you get through” campaign
Taco Bell’s latest campaign shows the customers embracing their drive-thru process while showing off the sticker-sealed bags. “When you need a little light, it helps to open a window,” the voiceover says as the video plays. The content is user-generated and put together by Taco Bell’s creative agency, Deutsch LA.
The efforts of these companies, and many others, are incredible and much-appreciated during the times of this unprecedented crisis. While getting good PR may or may not have been the sole intention, these acts of generosity has definitely helped these brands get a lot of positive attention, excellent brand association, and A LOT of coverage. Every marketer’s wet dream.
Do you think we missed any other significant campaign? Let us know in the comments down below.
Until the next one!