Keep connecting with your customers, don’t pull the plug.

By Ashley Jouhar | 15th April 2020

Staying visible is now more important than ever. Brands and the way they present themselves have to react to this new reality. We are all now using the internet working from home, having virtual meetings and keeping our businesses ticking over as best we can. The internet was built for this, so let’s use it.

After the initial scare, we are adjusting and with many productions being cancelled or postponed, we have now started the second phase, which is adapting to where we are and how to make it work for us.

Adapting means using what we know but there’s also an element of making it up as we go along – because we haven’t been here before. Productions may be delayed for some months or will be adapted in the short term. It’s vital not to abandon your production plans altogether, though. Now is the time to keep things ticking over, maintaining meaningful relationships with your audiences, whilst looking to the future, preparing for when this is over.

Some brands are performing acts not ads. Bacardi has been putting its distilleries to use to make hand sanitiser. In just 10 days, Dyson has designed and put into production 15,000 ventilators for use by the NHS in the coming months. Others, like Private Eye Magazine, are typically lightening the mood, running a cover for the latest issue of their 48-page magazine that says “48 sheets of toilet paper free with this issue”. Time Out magazine has rebranded itself to become Time In magazine and large corporations like The Olympics, Coca Cola and McDonald’s have adapted their logos, spacing apart the letters to spell out the importance of social distancing.

Like all businesses, the automotive industry has also been hard hit with much of its marketing being put on hold, as travel and shoot productions have been shut down. With governments around the world increasing preventative measures like self-isolation and lockdown, planners are being forced to come up with solutions that rethink their channels, communications and creative work.

These solutions draw on everyone’s creative reserves and range from the use of stock stills, footage, CGI and animation to re-editing existing films. Connecting with audiences is now totally online.

It’s obviously a really hard time for carmakers, but it is also a time of opportunities to engage with a huge global audience that is thirsty for valid content, offering solutions and delivering relevant messages that sit well with your brand.

In these troubled times, with safety for us and our loved ones being the top priority, Rex Briggs, the founder of Marketing Evolution, a marketing measurement and optimisation firm says about car marketing “Brands may need to reconsider their positioning. It’s a car that’s going to take care of the safety of your family. It’s a car with great features that are going to melt away your stress. It’s a car that has the advanced air-filtration system so you’re breathing the purest air possible.”

One brand already practising this in their marketing is Volvo, with a very simple ad that ran on their Instagram feed. Not a car or a road in sight, just a headline that effortlessly strikes the right tone saying “Right now, the safest place to be isn’t in a Volvo”.

Written by: Ashley Jouhar – COO at Domeble

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