Coronavirus Impact: How agencies and brands are riding the #wfh wave

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Updated: April 28, 2020 1:33 PM

From Nike to Flipkart and Dettol, brands are harnessing the power of ‘shot from home’ videos to drive conversations with consumers

A number of brands have leveraged the format to create engaging content for consumersA number of brands have leveraged the format to create engaging content for consumers

At a time when #workfromhome is the new norm – brands and agencies have started to find new ways to be creative. As a result, more brands have stepped in to explore different ad formats such as shot-from-home, animations, still images, among others. All of these are directed towards the common objective of remaining connected with consumers. Last week, sportswear brand Nike released a campaign #PlayForTheWorld showcasing black and white still images of athletes and regular people exercising in confined spaces to convey a simple message of how we can play for the entire world by staying inside. “We may not be playing together, but we’ll keep moving forward—all 7.8 billion of us,” the brand wrote on its official Twitter handle.

Over the last few days, several brands such as Apple, Ikea, Honda have adopted the shot-from-home ad format to create compelling messages aimed at providing support to consumers across the world during these testing times. Industry experts believe that as consumers seek reassurance, brands need to plan their messaging correctly. “Brands must not get into transactional advertising, rather they need to be responsible and help consumers by suggesting relevant solutions,” Piyush Pandey, chief creative officer worldwide and executive chairman India, Ogilvy told BrandWagon Online. The veteran ad-maker cited the recent example of short film ‘Family’ featuring actor Amitabh Bachchan and other actors who came together to support one lakh daily wage workers in the media and entertainment industry impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The film was shot at the homes of various actors by their families and pointed out the importance of staying safe at home and maintaining social distancing.

Interestingly, a number of brands have leveraged the format to create engaging content for consumers. For instance, Flipkart brought in a new campaign with actor Varun Dhawan to announce the launch of ‘Entertainer No. 1’ – a stay-at-home reality show under the Flipkart Originals umbrella that aims to provide budding entertainers a platform to stay connected during this difficult time. “At a time when the nation is spending all their time indoors, we found an interesting opportunity to use entertainment and cheer up India in a special way,” Vikas Gupta, head – customer marketing and digital businesses, Flipkart, said. DTH service provider Tata Sky, too, created a television commercial ‘Stay Home, Stay Jingalala’ to announce free access to 10 of its interactive services, enabling customers to learn something new during the lockdown period. “As consumers seek more authentic content, the viewership for the campaign has gone up by ten times. We will continue to leverage animation and shot from home format to drive our communications during the lockdown,” Anurag Kumar, chief communications officer, Tata Sky added. The campaign garnered more than three million views on YouTube.

For advertising agencies that are struggling with evolving business sentiments, the new advertisement format provides an opportunity to connect using bigger ideas, despite the production constraints. “It is like a new medium with its own rules. People, closeups, candid shots or even an edit with still images all make for great content in these times. This could very well be a whole new genre which is more gritty, more real and therefore evokes a whole new emotion,” Tista Sen, regional creative director, Wunderman Thompson, South Asia said. Finally, as Soumitra Karnik, chief creative officer, Dentsu Impact and McGarryBowen explains, in unprecedented times like these, the shot from home format is a display of resilient human spirit, “that despite all odds, the work needs to go on.”

Read Also: How brands can act as a driving force in the fight against novel coronavirus

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