Since April 2020 brands across the globe have had to adapt their working practices to meet the demands of an audience that was more attentive and eager for content in a way that hasn’t occurred this millennium.
Working from home, social distancing, and the shutting down of entire infrastructures forced an alteration to the norm and the call was met with resounding results.
Over the last eight months, there have been a number of successful marketing campaigns and advertisements that proved the industry is flexible and attuned to the key and collaborative message of both society and its audiences.
The transformation of how we perceive the nature of content will have a lasting impact post-pandemic. As such highlighting the best lockdown marketing campaigns can give us an impression of how the landscape has changed and will continue to do so.
Audi’s #AudiTogether campaign saw the brand deconstruct and reconstruct their logo to emphasise the importance of working together by staying apart.
This sense of togetherness and community in a time of isolation was rooted in many of the campaigns that emerged in response to COVID-19. Instilling that sense of camaraderie with your audience is a trait that proves effective in leveling the playing field and reminding your audience that we’re all in this together.
The relationship between brand and consumer isn’t one-sided, as recent campaigns have made us more and more aware of it. There is a unity that will continue to be fed into campaigns in the future.
Zara set the internet alight with their models working from home to bring us high fashion with self-shot photoshoots.
Zara is known for their slightly out there stylising techniques which can leave you unable to get a good idea of the item you are trying to purchase. However, it is this signature feature that is key to why these photos made headlines.
The difference between these photos and the ones we are used to seeing on their websites, is simply setting. Some of the images that made it to their websites were equally as head tilting as the ones that have come from the studio in the past. As long as your company is steadfast in its branding then you can both exceed your consumers' expectations, whilst remaining unchanged.
Ikea took a more humorous approach when it came to utilizing their well-known instructional designs to stay on brand by telling us all to stay at home.
Where Ikea differs from some of the above is in the way it almost parodies itself. This branding choice worked in a way to ease tensions and spread smiles, whilst still conveying the unilateral message.
It is smart in its simplicity, with two words not aimed to sell us anything, they are instead showing they are switched on to social issues.
Budweiser’s 1999 ‘wassup’ advert is iconic. There are countless parodies, homages, and spoofs of the advert, but we all know Budweiser is at the source. That campaign alone made its mark by becoming a part of late nineties and early noughties culture, so when the adverts re-emerged over the last few months with a twist, there was a comforting sense of familiarity.
Their message with the revival was simple; Buds Support Buds.
Instead of creating a whole new campaign, Budweiser revived an old classic and played on the audience's nostalgia to touch on mental health awareness and the importance of checking in on friends and loved ones.
They showed with some nifty restoration techniques and a little dubbed audio, you can revive and rebrand and make something new out of something vintage.
Robert Pattinson’s photoshoot, in conjunction with his profile piece in GQ; A Dispatch From Isolation was intimate in a way that felt private and precious. Playing both the role of photographer and subject, Robert Pattinson’s portraits were undeniably unique.
His pictures show a man in isolation and all the truthfully wacky and wonderful parts that come with that. Granted some of those photos are funny but they are mostly striking in their unflinchingness.
Trust is important when collaborating, whether this collaboration takes place with an influencer, celebrity, or with another brand. Everyone has their own creative insight they can impart, to build a campaign that is unrivaled.
Each of the above campaigns, profiles, and advertisements show effective marketing, whilst navigating around uncharted limitations. They also show a rare moment of synchronicity with branding, as everyone came together to instill the same message to audiences worldwide - but each in their own way.
No two campaigns were the same even with their confinements, showing that you can be a part of the conversation whilst still staying to tune to your brand's central ethos.
Life and competitive marketing will of course go back to the way they were, but this period of limitations is a learning curve and a teachable moment, which will change our approach to marketing for years to come.