“In these uncertain times, we would like you to know that we stand by you.”
Possibly the only constant in ‘these uncertain times’ has been brands hopping on to the bandwagon of declaring their eternal love and support towards their customers. As they leave the customers utterly baffled as to how these brands stand by them, the question that businesses truly need to ask themselves is whether their well-intended message is truly necessary.
There’s no doubt about the fact that the world has undergone massive changes in the past few months during the coronavirus pandemic. We have seen governments, businesses and individuals responding to the disaster in different ways, in an attempt to adjust to the new world. With all the ‘rebranding’ going around, it is no surprise that advertising agencies are on overdrive.
The pandemic coronavirus saw agencies treating it as a brief, instead of a life threatening disease. In came brands spacing out their logos to show social distancing, sending vague messages of support and comfort, and rebranding the message of washing hands in a million different ways. While they were entertaining to begin with, and annoying after a few days, quite a few businesses made themselves truly useful.
Along with the essential services, businesses stepped up by manufacturing and distributing medical products and equipment, providing free services of recruitment to those who lost their livelihood because of the N coronavirus, or simply donating money to the ones in need. This is where the role of advertising was amplified multiple times, to the brands as well as to the society.
The legendary copywriter, Claude Hopkins had insisted that while advertising exists for the sole purpose of selling a product, the most effective way of selling is by ‘humanising’ the brand. Essentially, he asked the businesses to be useful to the people, while making money. And who are we to disagree? During the time of the pandemic coronavirus, the businesses that are at work are the ones that need the limelight. Not only does it focus on the relevance and responsibility of the business, but it also builds on the trust of the consumers.
It is time for advertisers (and their clients) to realise that screaming “look at me” on social media is not appealing anymore. It never was. Customers like to take their business to the ones that have a soul, and are sensitive to the needs of the society. Unsurprisingly, focusing more on others advertises a brand more than trying to hog the spotlight does. As the world grapples with the N Coronavirus, it is important for some businesses to take a step back and say “this is not about me”, and for others to listen to Hopkins. Needless to say, he knew what he was talking about.