Adhesive brand Fevicol recently grabbed viewers’ attention with its latest digital campaign around social distancing that showed two elephants pulling away from each other. The tagline says ‘Kal ke mazboot jod ke liye, aaj thodi doori maintain karona’.
Similarly, Mumbai-based Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL) launched a social media campaign to create awareness around regular washing of hands to prevent coronavirus. The #ProtektIndiaMovement focuses on the use of its Protekt range of hand wash and sanitizers.
These times are hard for marketers – product launches have been canceled until further notice, malls are closing, restaurants are shut, streets are empty and travel has ground to a halt. Yet, this time also presents an extraordinary opportunity for marketers to engage with their audience.
With an increasing number of people practicing social distancing, brands can now capture the attention of the audience with their digital campaigns and social media communication.
Digital media at its peak
While Facebook has dominated the social media market for as long as a decade, emergence of other platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Telegram are also giving it a tough fight. In fact, TikTok is also becoming increasingly popular in small towns and rural parts of India, and brands are leveraging its popularity.
Hygiene brand Dettol has been running a #HandWashingChallenge campaign on TikTok that has garnered over 18 billion views and generated over 123,000 user participation videos since March 14.
Registering a change in consumption patterns, the report highlights digital channels and OTT platforms are keeping consumers informed and entertained as they stay indoors.
That’s not all – as people stay indoors, search traffic has grown significantly during the lockdown period.
Video analytics firm Vidooly has reported a 20 per cent jump in video consumption on OTT platforms during the lockdown. At 82.4 minutes, daily OTT usage has increased by 34 per cent. In the audio space, commercial music streaming service Gaana, has seen 15 per cent increase in average session time.
Brands are also increasingly leveraging digital influencers, marking a 25 percent growth in influencer marketing activities.
Increased sensitivity in brand messaging
Times of crises call for a brand voice that goes beyond product. The product might not be on offer, but the values a brand exudes and why consumers should remember a brand, are more critical than ever before.
Remaining sensitive to customers’ needs during this time period is going to be crucial to a brand’s success and ability to thrive in the future. It’s going to be difficult to turn a profit now more than ever as unemployment rates soar. This is not a time to implement fancy marketing strategies, but a focus on sensitive messaging.
Instead of focusing on acquisition, the focus must be on improving the customer experience throughout the entire sales pipeline, both on and offline.
Packaged consumer goods firm Dabur is running a series of awareness campaigns across digital platforms, social media and mainstream media to educate the public on how to keep themselves safe from Coronavirus(Covid). Dabur Chyawanprash, ImmunoDab and Giloy Ghanwati are some of their products that have seen a spike in sales.
One of India’s most-loved brands, Amul, released a creative with Amul’s mascot, wearing a mask, standing in the balcony and banging plates.Besides, it also did a topical ad featuring its brand mascot – the Amul girl – washing hands as the copy read ‘Better saaf than sorry’.
Zomato has also been running social media campaigns with a simple text in extremely small size against a red backdrop. Users have to zoom in to read the message which states ‘Germs are tiny. So tiny you can’t see them with your eyes’.
Greater focus on customer-centricity and reassurance
According to research, it takes a whopping 5x more to bring on a new customer than it does to simply keep an existing one. At this point, the focus is not on winning business, but companies are looking at customer retention and building long-lasting relationships with their customer base.
Lifebuoy has joined hands with Paytm in a crowdfunding campaign to donate sanitisers and soaps to frontline workers and the disadvantaged.
Similarly, Bisleri has offered free packaged mineral water to recognise the efforts of frontline workers. Free packs of bottles have already been distributed across hospitals, police stations and traffic signals in West Bengal, Maharashtra, Delhi, UP, Karnataka, Telangana, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
AB InBev and Budweiser, in a joint initiative, have donated 30,000 litres of hand sanitisers and 25,000 FFP2 masks in Delhi, Maharashtra and Haryana, to support more than 15 lakh frontline workers across these states.
Nivea India’s plant at Sanand in Gujarat which originally manufactured skincare products has begun production of alcohol-based hand sanitisers that will be distributed free of cost to the public hospitals and healthcare institutions in Ahmedabad and Vadodara.
Crises are difficult to navigate, but they can be a place where brands prove their purpose, values, and commitments, while also showing their agility, creativity and spirit. It’s a time where the strength of a brand pays off.
It’s not a time for brands to go too far out of their comfort zone, but there is some opportunity to fill certain consumer needs that a brand may normally not. The key for a brand is to make sure there’s an intersection between a brand’s purpose and an issue they can credibly step up to.
(Edited by Anu Choudary)