Corporates work on new campaigns, product promotion strategies related to coronavirus

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla | Updated on March 24, 2020

Representative image   -  The Hindu

While some companies create campaigns to raise awareness about social distancing and hand-washing, some others are promoting products that boost one's immunity

As the Covid-19 outbreak continues its charge, brands are grappling with the new reality of social distancing and self quarantine lockdowns, with many tailoring their messages to comment on the virus, while others are seizing the moment to promote products with immunity boosting properties.

While ITC Savlon decided to team up with the Kerala government to break the chain, Mankind Pharma decided to thank the medical fraternity for their selfless service during this time.

Raising awareness on four simple steps of hand-washing, germ protection brand Dettol launched a hand wash challenge on TikTok. The challenge, which kick-started on March 14, garnered over 18 billion views.

The crisis has brought about a rapid change in market dynamics. So much so that search-engine giant Google, which has been constantly reassessing its brand campaigns across paid and owned channels, from video ads to automated emails, has noted that  different creative elements like tone, visual imagery, copy and keywords need urgent scrutiny during the crisis. Joshua Spanier, Google’s global marketing VP for media, says in a blog post that slapstick humor is not appropriate for its brands right now, and that the company is holding-off on some campaigns that were funnier in nature.

"We’re reevaluating creative that shows interactions like hand shakes, hugs, and high-fives, since social distancing is an important tactic for slowing the spread of illness. We’ve also reviewed all our Search ad copy to spot phrasing that’s now awkward - 'virus checks', for instance, have taken on a whole new meaning in light of this moment." Other social media apps and platforms are also constantly making updates to fight the crisis. In an attempt to stop the spread of fake news through WhatsApp, the app launched a Covid-19 info hub. to provide accurate information.

Additionally, WHO and the Indian Government have also created a bot on the app. Snapchat has also partnered with the World Health Organisation and the US Centers for Disease Control to provide consumers with the latest and credible information during the Covid-19 pandemic. The platform now offers Coronavirus-related coverage across seven countries and in six different languages. In Kerala, ITC Savlon has partnered with the state government to help 'Break the Chain'.

The company's mass hand-washing campaign 'Break The Chain' is now a state-wide initiative to contain the spread of Covid-19. Savlon has undertaken the responsibility of supplying Savlon handwashes, free of charge, to ensure ready availability at all the booths set up by the government in public spaces to curb the spread.

Since the outbreak, ITC Savlon has been working towards increasing awareness on the necessary precautionary and preventive measures. Even as the brand has initiated a nationwide awareness programme on hand hygiene best practices, it has also setup an expert panel headed by a leading medical practitioner to answer questions on the subject. More than 150 questions in multiple languages have been directly addressed on social media channels through its 'Ask the Expert' campaign, the company said. Mankind Pharma decided to say #ThanksForBeingMyFamily to the medical fraternity during this time.

The drug company took the initiative to pay tribute to the unsung heroes battling the crisis. In their latest film #ThanksForBeingMyFamily, the company thanks doctors, nurses, and hospital staff for their selfless service. Joy Chatterjee, DGM, Mankind Pharma says the film is just a small attempt to thank these superheroes as they continue the fight, "stepping out of their own homes, working away from their loved ones, to take care of others."

The film was conceptualised and executed by ADK Fortune Communications. Subroto Pradhan, Managing Partner at ADK Fortune Communications said, "As the old saying goes, tough times don’t last, tough people do. And helping us sustain through these hard times are doctors, nurses, and hospital staff. Thanking them for their selfless service is the least that we can do."

Dettol with its's #HandWashChallenge on TikTok also scored huge. The campaign aimed to raise awareness on four simple steps of handwashing, leveraging the issue and rolling out the campaign on the platform that has a substantial amount of regional users. The #HandWashChallenge filter states the brand name and the steps to wash hands while the user dances out the steps.

The campaign was given an initial push by collaborating with several TikTok influencers such as television actress Avneet Kaur and actress Urvashi Rautela. The most viewed videos of this challenge from top influencers scored over 3 million views.

Published on March 24, 2020

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