Whether it’s professionally or personally, we’ve never had to deal with a pandemic of this scale before. As a marketer, it can feel like you’re flying blind, trying to walk the tightrope of hitting the right tone while also protecting your brand and market share. You might have had to pause campaigns, scrap previously produced creative assets, or quickly create a whole new campaign in response.

To see just how dramatically different the consumer and marketing landscape is, here’s a snapshot of what has happened.

Consumer goods and e-commerce are riding the wave, while industries like travel and hospitality are drowning. This pandemic might not be treating brands fairly but there is a silver lining. Marketers that have the means (and the guts!) to keep marketing during this time, the benefits can be immense. History shows that brands that increase spending during a downturn gain an average of 1.6 percentage points of market share during post-recession.

In short, winning brands aren’t going silent. And consumers are responding positively to brands who are stepping up. Does it mean that you join the echo chamber of emotional thank you/ we’re here for you films that are so popular right now? Perhaps not, but you should have a point-of-view during this pandemic.

It’s all about being sincere. Tell your audience about your new curbside pickup. About what you’re doing to make deliveries safer. Think of how you are removing friction and easing consumers’ worry and then communicate about it.

Who’s getting it right? Below are ideas and approaches from brands we found to have hit the right tone.

 

The idea: Ford created illustrations on how to safely disinfect your car to avoid the virus

The takeaway: you can advise on a serious issue if your brand has skin in the game.

 

The idea: Old Spice repurposed old footage from humorous campaigns to promote handwashing.

The takeaway: people need comic relief, if your brand persona is funny, you can stay true to that.

 

The idea: Olive, an 93-year old woman was social distancing alone. She went viral for holding a “Need more beer” sign outside her window. Coors Light delivered 150 cans to delight her.

The takeaway: good needs don’t always need to be grandiose, they just need to feel relatable.

 

Production Woes During Covid-19

 

Aside from finding the right story angle, many marketing and in-house creative teams are struggling to produce enough new assets and push them quickly out the door. Here are some of the most common challenges creative teams might face while producing remotely.

Shifting campaign assets to e-com only

Are your brand campaigns on hold and you want to drive consumers to shop online, instead? You’ll need to update the messaging and product images to reflect the change. Aside from creative, be prepared to version your assets to fit various social ad formats like Stories, Carousels, and so on.

Changing the story on-the-fly

Right now, it feels off to see ads and content where people are socializing outside, coming together in groups, or even just working in the office. Brands need to find a way to represent the new normal both visually and in copy and make those updates to live campaigns quickly.

Local Markets Need New Assets, Fast!

If you’re running international operations, not only do you need new master assets, you have to equip local markets with creative templates they can adjust to their unique situation as every country has its version of what the new normal looks like. The challenge is to be able to distribute these assets fast enough and empower markets without letting them go off-script or off-brand.

Figuring Out Remote Workflows

With creative teams (both internal and external) operating fully remote, many are struggling to bring everyone together to ideate, produce, give feedback, and effectively launch creative fast enough.

 

Finally, How Do You Make It Happen?

 

The new normal is forcing rapid digital transformation in organizations, the same goes for creative production. Ask yourself this question: do you want to run your current workflow a little better or is it time to turn to something completely different?

At Celtra, we’re seeing first-hand how our brand customers have been able to get ahead with their creative production by using software to automate and scale. In practice, it means that they’re able to make changes to existing creative faster, get more done with the same resources, and bring remote teams together for an agile response during this time.

The results of cloud-based collaboration speak for themselves: we’re seeing creative teams triple their production speed while pushing out 4x more content just by introducing automation to the mix.

Brands that are quick to adapt their production approach today will be ahead of the game once we return to more normal times. Crisis or not, the world is evolving to digital. Brands that are backed by speed and flexibility will be able to launch more content that resonates. With more relevant content, you can reach and activate the right audience and ultimately out-market your competitors.

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