With the constant shocks that coronavirus continues to deliver, it is clear that the impact will be devastatingly wide and deep. Business models, consumer behaviour and our way of life has been irrevocably disrupted.
Little did we know when we launched our 2020 & Beyond trends how significant the theme for 2020 – the year to defy gravity – would be. Nor the urgency for Back to Brand in this new era.
Our industry needs to find ways to re-invent itself and galvanise agility as it copes with this economic pneumonia.
Brands that forge forward with fortitude, act with compassion by putting people before profit and provide them with authentic solutions to alleviate their hardships will be the ones that survive and leave a long-lasting impression.
Head of Strategy & Planning
Are acts of service the way to boost consumer confidence?
Consumer Confidence has fallen a massive 27.8% last week according to the latest Roy Morgan Research.
Recording 17% below the lowest point during the GFC and just above the all-time lows recorded in 1990. This comes off the back of major industries who were also recently surveyed who will now be further hard hit.
The Media Store Take
As more and more people self- isolate and companies take a much more restricted approach to doing business, it is inevitable that there will be a negative impact on most industries.
Despite this, it is positive to see not only a Federal stimulus package of $189bn in total – comprising of $83.6bn plus $105bn banking credit support for small businesses – but a large number of grassroots calls to support Australian businesses. From Isol-aid which aims to support Australian musicians to Buyaussienow an Instagram led initiative which is designed to help local businesses and their employees survive during this crisis and a campaign by the National Farmers Federation telling Aussies Don’t Panic, Aussie Farmers have your back.
In these difficult times, being a beacon of hope, providing safety-net solutions and alleviating their hardships will be needed to carry consumers and businesses through.
The Walled Gardens Grow a Conscience
One of the positive changes is that we are now seeing the tech giants using their enormous power for good.
Having long refused to make their data available to help solve major crimes while at the same time refusing to intervene in the rise of fake news, Facebook and Google are discussing using their smartphone data with the U.S government to fight the coronavirus.
All three Facebook, Google and Twitter are trying to block content exploiting the virus and Facebook is putting authentic, helpful content at the top of its newsfeed.
Facebook have also launched a $100m small business grants program.
The Media Store Take
Unprecedented times. Unprecedented behavior.
It might have taken a virus with potentially devastating impacts for the global economy and its inhabitants, but we now find ourselves in new territory where the tech giants are playing ball and using some of their enormous powers, and money, for good.
We will now be watching Facebook, Google & Twitter closely to see if they can keep adapting to help the world in its time of greatest need. Nothing beats authenticity and generosity. Delivered in a time of such crisis, it could help to change their brands, for the good.
Head of Data & Analytics
Will innovating Cinema’s distribution in a time of crisis help it survive?
The effects of the Coronavirus continue to ripple around the globe, and whilst a number of media channels remain in a state of daily flux, Universal Studios have stepped up with an interesting solution to address the impact on cinema. They are looking to release major titles (including films such as The Invisible Man, The Hunt, and Emma) straight to available on-demand at-home platforms on the same day as the theatrical release, effectively by-passing the cinema release window.
The Media Store Take
This is a smart move, in light of cinema’s now being shut down enabling them to still enjoy a number of premium film releases. It also addresses Universal’s revenue concerns, for movies that have been unable to be pushed back, versus the delay of release dates of major franchises such as Bond and Fast and the Furious.
With a number of the above releases having run at a loss in the cinemas in the short term, shifting the opportunity to the home release is a strong way to access new audience as many people self-isolating are now in need of new content and entertainment.
This is a prime example of a company quickly responding to its environment, showing that movie releases can no longer be defined by a theatrical release date first – the media needs to reach the audience where they are, including the potential to open up opportunity for hard to reach groups, such as the elderly in care homes. Depending on how well this performs for Universal this movement has the opportunity to change film distribution forever.
To get a handle on how to stream Emma and The Hunt click here
Why sensitivity in advertising needs to move fast
A number of brands including Coors and Hershey have taken the decision to pull their ad campaigns as they run the risk of being deemed insensitive to the current Coronavirus pandemic.
Coors’ “Official Beer of Working Remotely” campaign was designed to humorously leverage the lack of productivity during the March Madness Basketball tournament in the US but risked being misattributed to the current shift around self-isolation.
Meanwhile Hershey’s creative featured hugs and handshakes which is contrary to current medical advice of maintaining non-contact during this health crisis.
The Media Store Take
Whilst both brands moved to withdraw insensitive ads they have opted to remain active in market by shifting to product focussed creative .
This follows the news that KFC pulled their famous “Finger Lickin’ Good” campaign following 163 complaints in the UK that it was sending out the wrong message
Whilst the current climate is unprecedented, we have seen in a previous crisis like the recession, brands that continued to advertise throughout this period came out stronger as a result once the economy recovered.
Marketers have an opportunity to rethink their current marketing plans and what role they can play during this uncertain time whether it’s to reassure, adapt their service or even entertain. If they nail the right tone these brands will not only see the benefits long term but potentially gain advocates along the way.
Group Business Director