Coronavirus Impact: Why brands need to be socially responsible with campaigns

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Updated: March 31, 2020 4:19 PM

From Axis Bank to Kamdhenu Paints - brands have joined the fight against coronavirus with awareness campaigns

Brands need to rise to the ongoing crisis and communicate effectively to keep their consumers' trust intactBrands need to rise to the ongoing crisis and communicate effectively to keep their consumers’ trust intact

It was early this week, Coca-Cola announced in Philippines that it is putting a stop to advertisements by going ‘off air’. “Commerical advertising of Coca-Cola and all our brands will be put on hold. All our committed advertising space and budget will be redirected towards supporting COVID-19 relief and response for the most affected communities. We will rechannel PHP 150 million ($2.94 million),” the beverage maker in an official communique said. At a time when brands are realigning marketing spends or trying to raise awareness through various communications at home – Asian Paint (AP) Homes, a multi-category decor brand from Asian Paints has been in the spotlight for its recent advertisement in an English daily. The ad which highlights the offerings of the brand has received a backlash from industry experts both in terms of the communication as well as the message. Post the launch of its home decor business in 2019, Asian paints has been struggling to create a distinct identity for the home decor brand, Kunal Vora, co-founder and partner, ABND – a brand consultancy said. “While the advertisement comes from the home decor segment, the image fails to make a clear distinction in terms of its communication and establishes both the brands into the ‘paint’ category,” he added.

An email sent Asian Paints remained unanswered till the time of publishing the story.

According to industry experts, as consumer and industry sentiments continue to evolve over the current coronavirus outbreak, brands need to move away from being a mere business-driven company to being socially responsible. “The advertisement does not go with the tune and decibel that brands need to adopt given the current scenario,” Harish Bijoor, brand expert, said.

Moreover, brands need to rise to the ongoing crisis and communicate effectively to keep their consumers’ trust intact. Industry analysts believe that when popular brands such as Asian Paints advertises it is expected that it would opt for an emotional approach especially in times like this. According to Naresh Gupta, CSO and managing partner, Bang in the Middle, the ad is related to shop opening. “This is the second time the ad has appeared – first time can be a mistake but second time, it can’t be. Also India is under lockdown so can we be expected to travel across the city,” he added. Meanwhile, Axis Bank has released a campaign today stating, “While we get our salary on time, let’s make sure they get their’s too safely – #DilSeOpen.”

Read Also: Coronavirus Impact: Ad expenditure to decline by 50-55% on TV between April-June 2020

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