“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
― Fred Rogers
In this turbulent and unimaginable time for all industries we’ve taken great comfort in seeing some massive brands put profits, influencer content and headlines aside in order to do what they can to enable us to lean into our new normal.
In a leap that we couldn’t have fathomed a mere couple of weeks ago, multinational brewery and pub chain BrewDog lost 70% of their income overnight. The next day they were one of the first companies to champion a beer and food takeaway service via a quickly established drive thru set up. As more news evolved and the climate changed daily – next came the use of their distillery being used to produce hand sanitiser in response to a national shortage. They won’t be selling or making a profit on the coronavirus essential but giving them out to the community and charity groups free of charge. For a brand more aligned with cool kids nights out and after work bevs to have quietly put the resources available to them is highly commendable. In their latest response to the lockdown measures put in place by the government, BrewDog online was borne, open from 6pm on Friday 27th March for beer, quizzes, music and community spirit.
The big 4 supermarkets – Iceland, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons
We have all seen that supermarkets and food outlets have been at the centre of the panic buying furore, the snaking queues into car parks, the disregard for social distancing and verbal abuse of hard working members of staff and so it has been somewhat of a light relief to see that the big four have taken note of some of the issues the Covid19 pandemic is causing in store.
Some of these troubleshooting measures include allotted time slots for key workers from the NHS, teaching profession and food purveyors and also for the elderly ensuring that they are able to get the essential items they need without having to tackle large crowds.
A limit of goods per person to avoid unnecessary stockpiling
In one of the most striking moves to be announced as part of the battle against Covid 19, St Patrick’s Day parades across the world were cancelled. Guinness usually pours a massive part of their marketing budget into the holiday but instead has announced it will set up a 1.5 million fund to help support bar staff and the elderly in light of the coronavirus public health crisis. As they announced their move to support the hospitality industry and all its workers over the next few months, Guinness has urged other beverage brands to get do the same. In addition to backing up industry staff, they are working together with the charity ALONE and its befriending service in a nod to the fact that the closure of pubs can, for some elderly people, mean the eradication of their entire community and daily routine.
Social media giant Snapchat has begun rolling out a new tool earlier than scheduled in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The addition to the platform called “Here For You” is designed to connect those suffering from anxiety, depression, stress and more with safety resources that might not be as accessible during nationwide quarantines and official governmental orders to avoid unnecessary contact with other people.
Coca Cola in Times Square
Wasting no time, Coca Cola worked with Mercado McCann to place a billboard in Times Square using its iconic red and white branding in order to deliver a timely and relevant message encouraging people to observe social distancing guidelines.
“Staying apart is the best way to stay united”
With the closure of the nation’s schools, Heinz is still committed to providing 12 million free breakfasts to the children who need them most. That’s one meal a day, five days a week during the next eight weeks. Working with its partner Magic Breakfast, Heinz is aiming to provide these meals for the children who would usually benefit from their breakfast club programmes.
These are just a small example of brands who have reacted in a very positive way to the current challenging climate we are all facing, gaining even more brand loyalty and pushing a collective message. Let us know of any brands you’ve seen that have responded sensitively and stood out from the crowd.