Covid2019 & brands: Better consumer connections & brand recall

In the pandemic, brands are trying to be creative and responsible in their ad commercials.

NEW DELHI: Like it or not, the Covid2019 pandemic has pushed brands to the heights of innovation. Along with it comes creativity coupled with responsibility in ad commercials. As the pandemic swelled, advertisers saw an opportunity in showing their empathetic side to consumers.

According to industry experts, brands that maintain a presence during a crisis or an economic downturn are noticed and best prepared to benefit from the recovery period. Brand experts also feel that such campaigns resonate well with consumers, which in turn helps the brand to make a positive impact.

AdLift co-founder and CEO Prashant Puri believes, “For a brand, timing is everything and during this pandemic, empathy is everything. Consumers need to know that the brand understands them, the current reality and their needs and trials. Covid2019 frontline workers today are seen as saviours and heroes. By saluting front line warriors through their campaigns, brands are trying to assuage consumers by telling them they are with them in this fight against the pandemic. Consumers will feel a bond with a brand that reflects their feelings and emotions.”

IdeateLabs director Vrutika Dawda believes that consumers are expecting brands to showcase human values and this has the potential for the brands to have lasting relationships with them. “Brands have tweaked messaging from spreading awareness to celebrating the real heroes who are stepping forward to help others. This also portrays that they care and are there to support the people during such conditions. This will lead to loyal customers and strong brand recall in the future. The major objective of such brand campaigns is to build a long-term relationship with their consumers and strengthen their positioning in the market.”

Brands are effectively using social media platforms to create awareness. Some brands even temporarily changed their logos to show solidarity. The list includes Tech Mahindra, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Audi, Volkswagen, Shopper’s Stop and CARS24.

BC Web Wise creative director Anthony Padayachi says, “Brands across segments have often displayed a sense of solidarity with causes that their audience or the masses, in general, are concerned about. When done sensibly and with genuine intent, such campaigns manage to humanise the brand, thereby triggering brand love. Templatised storytelling doesn’t create any impact. It’s important to rethink how these stories are crafted, right from the insight stage. This will lead to stories that are sensible and different.”

Lets Influence founder Bhawna Sethi feels these campaigns drive brand recall without hard-selling the brand’s products. “It resonates well with the audience and can surely help brands to strike an emotional chord with the customers. However, brands should ensure that these campaigns are not force-fit and are in line with its overall purpose and ethos.”

“Marketers and brands are working real-time to outsmart all the changes happening in our ecosystem. While we want to stay on top of every rising tide and trend in the industry, it is important to distance ourselves from any kind of opportunistic messaging. We rather build foundation and integrity than just market share. Tactical trends are going to be momentary however strategic creative pursuits and shareable have always stood test of time," adds DViO Digital founder & CEO Sowmya Iyer.

Here are some brand campaigns from recent times:


Sun Pharma has launched a ‘Thank you Doctor’ campaign to express gratitude towards doctors for their sacrifices and selfless service. The campaign features a one-minute TVC which is based on testimonials of 12 real-life patients who have recovered from cancer, heart attack, Covid2019, among others. The patients are seen thanking doctors for their bigger role of being their family, friend and nurturer. Originally shot in Hindi, the video has been dubbed in six regional languages.


OPPO India announced an initiative to honour the unsung heroes of Covid2019. Under this initiative, named “Salute to the Ultimate 120 with the Power of Change”, the brand showcased 120 Covid2019 innovators from all domains of life on their strategy to manage this pandemic and acknowledge some out-of-the-box ideas. These innovators vary across innovation, endurance, performance and style. This initiative is a testament to salute those leaders who are assisting people to help each other and offer creative solutions to tackle the pandemic.


Supporting the tireless devotion of our frontline workers, who are bringing hope to many during these challenging times, Quaker Oats, from the house of PepsiCo India, launched a digital film based on the The Real Fit Heroes – our healthcare community. Through this film, Quaker urged netizens to salute and thank the Real Fit Heroes – doctors, nurses and many more such healthcare professionals for their compassionate and heroic work in the fight against the pandemic.

Jyothy Labs

The brand launched a new television campaign in support of the #Vocalforlocal appeal made by prime minister Narendra Modi. The launch comes at a time when the entire nation is witnessing an emotion of patriotism and self-reliance. The campaign focuses on the centricity of Jyothy Labs’ evolution and functioning being driven by ‘Bharat’. It depicts the joy and happiness of being a true Indian homegrown company serving its consumers through its various innovative products across the nation.


Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) released an anthem as a tribute to the ‘Indomitable Spirit of India’. The corporate brand anthem ‘Haq Hai Humara’ aims to bring together the people of India and salute their resolve to stand united and stay strong in this unprecedented adverse situation. The song ‘Haq Hai Humara’ depicts gratitude to all frontline workers and the citizens of the country who have risen up to this challenge with their steadfast spirit and for their invaluable contribution in the fight against the Covid2019 pandemic.


In April this year, Mondelez India launched the limited-edition Cadbury Dairy Milk Thank You bar, to highlight India’s spirit of generosity, by acknowledging those who help us every day. To acknowledge and show heartfelt gratitude to those who contribute to our lives every day but often go unnoticed.

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