Who would have thought that Steak-umm, the brand of frozen processed meats, would become a “voice of reason in the pandemic” (Fast Company). The article highlights some of the Steak-umm brand posts that encourage media literacy and for people to pay attention to the science behind the pandemic. The brand’s simple, honest posts got it positive press. Not sure how it fits with the brand, but perhaps “all press is good press.”
Archives for April 2020
Brilliant Ads put together a fun “Emoji Brand Quiz“. They have 60 brands in emojis (examples and brands included below). See also this one (with different emoji/brand combinations) at Buzzfeed. This could be a lot of fun to show in class. I might create a little contest to kick off class in the fall. It might also work well when you cover brand names.
Actress Reese Witherspoon’s fashion line, Draper James’ marketers thought they had a great idea. The brand wanted to support teachers–who have been challenged with delivering education in a whole new format. So they decided to give teachers a free dress.
“On Thursday, April 2, Draper James announced the offer on its Instagram page, writing: “Dear Teachers: We want to say thank you. During quarantine, we see you working harder than ever to educate our children. To show our gratitude, Draper James would like to give teachers a free dress.” They were instructed to apply by a form, given a deadline, and told when “winners” would be notified — as well as that it was valid “while supplies last.”” [quote from New York Times article.]
At first, of course it got the brand a lot of great publicity (for example, both the “Today Show” and “Good Morning America” promoted it). Unfortunately, they only had 250 dresses and when 10s of thousands of teachers applied, it meant that many ended up disappointed. A promotion that started with the best of intentions came across as an example of “Celebrity #Covidwashing,” making the Draper James and Reese Witherspoon brands look bad. Read the whole story at “Reese Witherspoon’s Fashion Line Offered Free Dresses to Teachers. They Didn’t Mean Every Teacher.”
A few weeks ago we posted on a couple of articles discussing the question about how to advertise in a pandemic. This week, I thought I would share some favorite advertising that directly addresses the pandemic. It is amazing how quickly some brands (and their agencies) have created powerful ads in a short time.
Check out these ads (links to a YouTube video of the ad you can watch and show your students):
- McDonald’s: Unskippable Ad is a handwashing reminder that runs pre-roll (before online video). While such ads are usually skippable after 5 seconds, this one cannot be skipped. It was part of a McDonald’s Russia campaign “We are for safety. With both hands.” The ad educates while also letting everyone know that McDonald’s is a safe option.
- The Ohio Department of Health created “Flatten the Curve” to educate Ohioans (and others) the theory behind social distancing. A great example of how a short video can communicate a great deal. It is also a nice example of Marketing for a Better World (#M4BW). This simple video communicates a lot.
- Nike: Play for the World, You Can’t Stop Us shows Nike athletes and everyday people who are still playing — though now indoors. Nike has long used its advertising to encourage us to “Just do it” or get out and play. This ad fits the times.
- Dove has long been a leader (that link shows they have been doing it for more than 15 years!) in re-defining beauty. In a pandemic, they show some “beautiful” front-line healthcare workers in “Courage is Beautiful.” Great fit with its image. Authentic. But maybe uplifting for some of our students who are struggling with the current situation.
This short article, “Corporate America must learn to innovate frugally to get through the coronavirus crisis,” (Fast Company, March 27, 2020) provides some great tips on frugal new product development. While the title of the article implies a coronavirus connection, the advice is universal. The author also gave a great TED Talk, “Creative Problem-Solving in the face of extreme limits” see below. The TED Talk includes some great #M4BW examples.
This article and video fits well with a discussion of new product development (Chapter 9).