Someday, when our history books talk about the coronavirus pandemic, they’ll talk about how unprepared we – the people, and we – the government, were.
I wonder if the history book writers will also talk about how very prepared, and how nimble, our advertising agencies were in creating timely commercials.
Commercials – also called “spots,” by those in the know.
How, in a matter of mere days, car company spots quickly transitioned from “Buy a new car now and everyone will see how cool you are!” to…“Get six months with no payments because we’re all in this together.”
“We’re all in this together” so hurry up and buy a car!
I’m not talking about restaurant commercials – I’m OK with restaurants talking about being “in this together” for a couple of reasons:
First, to accommodate us, many restaurants have reconfigured their businesses to do curbside pickup and free deliveries. And second, I consider restaurant employees to be frontline people – just as much as grocery staff, delivery drivers and postal workers.
Unlike car companies.
And all the other companies who are trying to sell us something just as much as ever, but disguise it as a pseudo-public service because they “care” about us.
Since I mentioned car companies, let’s start with one, namely, Lincoln:
It begins with:
We see a woman looking wistfully out the window:
The voice says,
“More than ever, your home is your sanctuary. That’s why Lincoln offers you the ability to purchase a new vehicle remotely with participating dealers.”
So she’s getting a new Lincoln delivered, and that would be swell except for this:
So face mask, no gloves, no social distancing – and did the delivery guy disinfect whatever that is before he handed it to her?
“That’s the power of sanctuary,” the commercial assures us.
Yeah – they’ll bring a new Lincoln and coronavirus right to your “sanctuary.”
Note: This commercial includes…
The Lincoln commercial was a mere 30 seconds long, child’s play when compared to a 77-second spot from Budweiser.
It starts out with – guess what?
The voice says, “This Bud’s for the blues…the reds…
And more images, one after the other, all for whom “this Bud” is for.
Note: This commercial includes…
But Budweiser’s 77-second effort pales when compared to a 90-second behemoth from Apple.
In it we see videos and still shots of many people doing many creative things – but only with Apple products, of course.
Again we have:
This time the voice is Oprah’s – doesn’t get any more soothing than that – but we hear her only briefly, extolling the possibilities of how the “pandemic is bringing us together”:
Followed by more videos and still shots of many people doing many creative things (but only with Apple products), right up to the end when we see:
Followed by the Apple icon, which is…
Are we seeing a pattern here, or am I imagining it?
No, it’s definitely a pattern, and it even has its own name:
And “COVID-Aware Ads”:
And if you’re an advertising agency that’s stumped about how to convince people that you care about them, there’s an abundance of information out there, including this from AdWeek, the bible of the industry:
Of course, Lincoln, Budweiser and Apple are huge international companies.
But with these examples and tips, local businesses can do the coronavirus-awareness/COVID-aware thing, too.
We’ll start with…
That soothing voice says…
“Hi, I’m Tom, from Tom’s Tire Town. And because I care about you, I’m here to remind you to check the air in your tires regularly. In fact, right now you can bring your car to Tom’s Tire Town, and I’ll check your tires – for free. Yes, free. And that’s a savings to you of $29.95. So, come in today, and remember…