If it seems like big brands are in “disaster default” mode, it’s because they are. From the soothing piano to the surreal, empty landscapes this super-cut of COVID-19 ads shows just how formulaic the response to the pandemic has been in Ad Land.
We get that it’s important to show empathy and share how you’re helping families, communities, the nation, etc. As Harvard Business Review wrote in early April:
“Feel-good content that alleviates anxiety and promotes positive messaging will go a long way to enhancing the brand. However, companies need to show that their contributions are material and not solely for commercial benefit. Consumers recognize authenticity and true purpose.”
It’s time for brands to move beyond the generic “thoughts and prayers” response and to share meaningful stories of the good they’re doing now and the changes they’re making for the future. Pre-pandemic messaging and old disaster response tropes won’t cut it for much longer.