Who Stood Out Whilst We All Stayed In?
The global pandemic has brought numerous challenges to businesses, not least to the world of advertising – brands have struggled with whether or not to speak up, what to say, how to stand out and perhaps most challenging, how to produce content at all. At a time when saying the right thing has mattered more than ever, finding creative solutions to these challenges has (mostly) brought out the very best in our industry. Brands that entertained, engaged, adapted and made us smile throughout lockdown are the ones that’ll be remembered.
Getty Museum Challenge
Ironically, many of the brands warming our hearts right now aren’t the ones being all ‘heartfelt’. In fact, the current outpouring of strategic sentimentality leaves us a little cold. Some of the brands we’ll remember most fondly when all this is over are the ones who made us smile, gave us stuff to do, and took our minds off things.
A great example of this started with a humble social post from The Getty museum in Los Angeles. It simply said: ‘We challenge you to recreate a work of art with objects (and people) in your home’.
With people having to come up with increasingly creative ways to keep themselves occupied at home, this idea literally makes killing time an art. On the surface, it seems very simple but actually, it’s very clever. Not only does it make art instantly more accessible, it changes the way we view and interact with our homes, and the everyday objects we normally take for granted.
The response to the challenge was huge – and hugely entertaining. People got their children and pets involved, generating thousands of ingenious and hilarious recreations. Seeing people all over the world having fun and being creative together genuinely warmed our hearts.
Zara self-shot models
These past few months have been a really difficult time for our industry and clients. One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced is how to keep a ‘business as usual’ approach during lockdown and social distancing. Everyday norms, like a photoshoot and curating content, seem such a monumental challenge and a logistical nightmare.
Well not for high street fashion brand Zara, who in a moment of pure genius, sent its newest lines straight to the homes of their go-to models instead of flying them to exotic locations across the world. Wearing little or no make-up, and without the usual entourage of creative directors, photographers, stylists, set designers and everyone else needed on a shoot – they were tasked to recreate Zara’s signature look with some high-fashion, self-shot photography with their home as the set.
The results are pretty incredible, refreshingly honest, and authentic – especially for an industry where appearance is absolutely everything. This relatable campaign highlighted that the brand was going through exactly the same experiences and life challenges as the rest of us.
Well done Zara – that’s a wrap.
Brands that pivoted quickly
Recognising early on that your brand could be a force for good was an amazing sight to witness at the start of the pandemic.
We saw some brands reacting very quickly and coming forward with solutions to problems that weren’t there the day before.
Brewdog producing hand sanitiser from the unused alcohol. Barbour making the coolest PPE you’d ever seen. Dyson shutting down production to manufacture ventilators within a matter of days.
A marketing masterstroke or just a bunch of decent people looking out for their fellow human beings? We’d like to think the latter.
Stay home. Stay creative.