Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many brands have taken the opportunity to revise their marketing strategies to show their support for communities, shine a light on brilliant individuals or demonstrate how their business can help people through the difficult times. Our intern, Yasmin Mattocks, recounts some of the most innovative, inspiring and even controversial marketing campaigns during the COVID-19 lockdown…

1. Innocent’s ‘Remember This’ billboard series

Instead of continuing to advertise their brand, Innocent added an element of fun and humour to lockdown by reminding us of the everyday objects and interactions we were missing. Their ‘Remember This’ billboard series pointed out the small things in life that we took for granted until we were alienated from them in lockdown. Whilst a notably more light-hearted approach than most, this campaign was undoubtedly a success, urging us to take joy in the simpler things in life.

Photo via @innocent Twitter and creativepool.com

2. Facebook’s ‘We’re never lost if we can find each other’ 

Facebook tugged on our heartstrings with their ‘We’re never lost if we can find each other’ ad. Using real-life footage from people during lockdown, they reminded us that there is joy to be found in staying connected and that it is something that we should continue to celebrate despite the challenges. 

Video via www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWwVFywBCeY&feature=youtu.be

3. Wagamama’s ‘Wok from Home’ virtual cooking lessons 

Being one of the most popular restaurant chains about, Wagamama was sorely missed when the UK restaurant scene had to close its doors during lockdown. In an attempt to satisfy the cravings of the public, Wagamama launched their ‘Wok from Home’ virtual cooking lessons. The series, which can be found on their Youtube, Instagram and Facebook offered diners simple step-by-step tutorials to recreate some of their most famous dishes. 

Video via www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTcesqUPu9U

4. Nike’s ‘You Can’t Stop Us’

Once again, Nike took the world by storm with an inspiring and incredibly successful marketing campaign. They encouraged us to stay at home but also to ‘keep playing’ at a time when people were generally struggling with motivation. The ad not only highlights their brand’s purpose and values, but also inspires others through the power of sport. By hitting home with a relatable and humble portrayal of sport which anyone can relate to, Nike extends the appeal of its marketing to many.

Video via www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA4dDs0T7sM

5. KFC presses pause on ‘It’s Finger Lickin’ Good… for now’ slogan

KFC led the way by making the bold move of temporarily removing their famous 64 year-old ‘It’s finger lickin’ good’ slogan. The aim behind this was to reiterate the importance of hygiene during the COVID-19 crisis, admitting that, for the first time ever the message was not appropriate during the coronavirus outbreak. They reassured customers, however, saying that the message will return when the time is right. 

Video via www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3-XkAwfsms

6. Uber’s ‘Thank you for not riding’ ad 

In a strange turn of events, lockdown saw companies like Uber thanking their customers for not using their business. Instead, their heartfelt message was one of unity, encouraging us to stay at home and limit our travel in line with the UK government rules to help protect each other.

Video via www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e8XLnMiCOE&t=7s

7. Virgin Media’s ‘Stay home, stay safe, stay connected.’

Virgin Media followed suit in their advert, focusing on the ingenious and resourceful ways that people kept connected during the COVID-19 crisis. The heartwarming video shows just how creative people were so that they could continue their hobbies, keep fit or have fun with loved ones from afar. The ad embodies the spirit of coming together by using the internet, emphasising its importance in keeping us connected during these tough times.

Video via www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3Eom0ZmkSA

8. Budweiser’s ‘One Team’

Budweiser’s touching ad set out to thank all of the workers and heroes on the front lines of the health crisis, informing us that they were shifting their sports’ investments to donate money towards causes to support these heroes. The ‘One Team’ message essentially said that there is no time for division and we are all in this together. 

Video via www.youtube.com/watch?v=DESeMqNDhm8&feature=emb_logo

Blog by Yasmin Mattocks.