NORMALHOW THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE SHOULD
EVOLVE FOR A WORLD IN LOCKDOWN
“THIS IS THE
DAY, YOUR LIFE
CHANGE. THIS IS
THE DAY, WHEN
There has never in our lifetime been a more powerful global shared experience.
Or a stronger sense of community.
So, now the novelty is wearing off, it’s time to lift our eyes from the day to day and reflect
more deeply on the new normal. Months not weeks – and potentially over a year – of
disruption to our ways of working, living and interacting.
How should brands that want to deliver excellent customer experiences negotiate
these challenges? And, ultimately, how can they help people feel positively about this
Talking openly to your customers has never been more important.
People are looking for a sense of stability and continuity. So we believe our clients should
be beacons of consistency, support and inspiration. That means moving beyond crisis
communications to consider the impact this new normality will have on the whole customer
Experiences must evolve.
Many of our clients are already considering how they might change. Some will be
compelled to by store closure and operational shut-down; others driven by a desire to serve
people forced to live more isolated lives. You will no doubt be considering how targets will
be met as the year moves on. There’s a danger that this becomes a race to the bottom. A
desperate clutching at the pound in people’s pocket. If so, this is the wrong way round.
People first. Last. Always.
It is vital that we remain focussed on people. People whose needs have changed. People
who are looking at brands to respond. Those brands that do this well can turn this crisis into
a mutually beneficial opportunity. Building relationships and brand trust for the long term,
rather than being seen to profiteer in the short term.
This report provides some simple guidelines to help.
Adam Fulford, Chief Strategy Officer, Proximity
Matt Johnson – The The
”In a world where people are
increasingly focussed on the very
basics of life and living, the truth is
that we work more naturally at the
top of the hierarchy of needs. We
shape brands that create a sense
of belonging and enable people
to express themselves and their
sense of identity.
So, at a time like this, it’s important
that we remember marketing’s
duty to serve and understand
where and how we can make the
right kind of difference. That is
about brand stewardship and it’s
about selfless creativity.”
Chairman and CSO - Saatchi
of people think brands
should stop advertising in
response to Coronavirus
Think brands should
support them in their
Say brands should
inform them of what
Source: Kantar 2020
How people are
reacting to the
change and how
brands must evolve.
Key things to
consider in evolving
we’re seeing in
How different brands
have set the tone
and how the way we
speak is as important
as what we say.
1. THE NEW
THE NEW NORMALAlexa Lynwood- Strategist
Jessica DiMaio - Strategist
Chloe McMahon - Associate Strategy Director
As 1/3 of the world’s population are adjusting to
life in lockdown, working remotely, virtual social
gatherings, and total reliance on digital services
are fast becoming the new norm.
Businesses are adapting to serve their clients and
customers during this time of fear and instability,
but forward-planning is critical.
The decisions people and governments take in
the next few weeks will shape our economy,
politics and culture for years to come.
And many of our long-held beliefs and
behaviours will be changed forever.
This section explores eight ways in which
the Human experience has been changed
fundamentally by life in lockdown. For
brands to remain relevant it is important to
understand and respond to them.
LOSS OF CONTROL
When things are happening in the environment around
us that feel completely out of our hands, we clutch for
ways to retain some level of control or influence, no
matter how small or unconventional.
LOSS OF CONTROL
Stockpiling has become the new
norm. At the beginning of March, 10%
of UK consumers had already started.
Supermarket shelves were quickly
emptied, leaving insufficient essential
supplies for those who need it most.
3.8m people over the age of 65 live
alone in the UK, 58% of whom are
over 75. Major supermarkets are
operating special opening hours for
these customers and rationing certain
essential goods to make sure that the
most vulnerable members of society
don't miss out.
There has been a reinvigorated sense of
patriotism towards those working on the
‘front line’ of the COVID-19 crisis - including
doctors, nurses, teachers, pharmacists,
shop workers as well as politicians who are
delivering daily briefings to the nation.
This sense of patriotism has long been linked
to those in the armed forces – especially in
the US – but the pandemic is making the
public aware of other groups who deserve
suitable recognition for their work.
Empty shelves in Aldi
Medic team at Queen Elizabeth’s
Hospital in Woolwich, SE London
IF IN DOUBT,
Crises can truly bring out the best
and the worst in humanity. Some seek
to exploit the pandemic: evidenced
in the rising number of opportunistic
crimes seen in the UK. Crimes include
theft of hospital resources, puncturing
of ambulance tyres and stealing from
foodbanks, as well as scamming
elderly people on their doorsteps.
As the police are stretched beyond
capacity people are taking it in their
own hands to tackle anti-social, and
Armed vigilantes in Maine use
a tree to block their neighbour
LOSS OF CONTROL
The pandemic is a good time for brands
– especially those with large global
influence – to lead in empathy and offer
comfort to consumers.
Louis Vuitton struck the right balance
between relief and sensitivity when
posting heartfelt messages to customers
in China on WeChat. They also were
quick to help remedy panic buying by
producing their own brand of hand
sanitiser in their perfume factories.
Now is a time of anxiety and uncertainty for millions of customers.
Services are being disrupted and people are facing challenges that they
never imagined coming up against. When emotions are running high,
understanding and honesty go a long way.
Many brands have shifted to a more personal tone when things have
gone wrong, admitting shortcomings, apologising for inconvenience,
and reassuring customers of the steps being taken to minimise it.
HUMAN TO HUMAN
“Every paused journey will eventually
restart. Louis Vuitton hopes you and your
beloved ones stay safe and healthy.” Ocado
In the short term, consumers may find
comfort in words of solidarity and clear,
concise information. But, as the weeks and
months pass, and lockdown measures are
relaxed, they will look for practical tools to
help them understand and regain control
of their ‘new normal’.
For example, those who have suffered
financially may demand more streamlined
management of utilities and finances, and
want additional help planning for the future
now that the business landscape has shifted.
As more people become familiar with a
greater range of digital services, some brands
will have more data at their disposal than ever
before. And the expectation for personally
relevant solutions will be greater still.
LOSS OF CONTROL
People need people. The need for physical closeness among
humans is extensively documented. One very practical,
immediate side effect of self-isolation is a significant
reduction, if not total loss, of ‘touch’ with other humans –
with physiological, cultural and commercial repercussions.
Though we still have some way to go, recent years have
seen a marked increase in the emphasis placed on the
importance of mental health. And the speed at which it
became a big part of the online conversation once self-
isolation began in earnest, demonstrates the progress
that has already been made.
Many recognised the acute threat associated with people
spending long hours alone in their homes and posted
messages of support and solidarity.
TO MENTAL HEALTH
In 2011, Sherry Turkle (Professor of the Social Studies
of Science and Technology) published a book called
‘Alone, Together’ – exploring the shift in relationships
and communication as a result of our increased reliance
on technology. She warned of a degradation of ‘real life’
interactions, as we come to rely on messaging services and
In the current crisis, there is a greater reliance than ever on
the platforms that she argues have led to this behaviour.
But the way people use them is evolving. Facebook shared
evidence that use of video and voice calls on Messenger
and WhatsApp have doubled, and ‘Houseparty’ – the video
chat app allowing ‘spontaneous’ virtual get togethers with
games and activities – saw over 2m downloads in the last
week of March alone.
Where possible, brands are still
trying to maintain a presence at all
times to answer and respond to
customer comments and queries.
As physical stores and businesses
have shut, the in-person
experience has been replaced
with social media, websites and
hotlines. But be prepared to face
a flurry of complaints as systems
will inevitably crash.
Many brands whose products bring people together or have a shared
experience are finding ways to continue to do so. Brewdog have created
an online bar with quizzes, games, and tastings with the co-founders.
Netflix Party synchronises playback and includes a group chat feature
so friends can discuss movies and shows as they watch.
Ford Credit (US)
Ocado and other grocers responding to queries
within minutes and around the clock
Brewdog Online Bar
Brands who have been able to respond
quickly and provide customers with the
services and information they require in
the most seamless, timely way will set
the bar for others in the months to come.
Whilst humans will always yearn for
physical contact with other humans,
brands could benefit from considering
ways to monetise the increased
familiarity and comfort with virtual
DISRUPTION OF HABITS
Social interaction aside, a significant number of the
services we use and the activities we routinely engage in
are no longer available to those in lockdown. As a result,
people are experimenting with new ways to resolve their
immediate needs and achieve longer-term goals.
DISRUPTION OF HABITS
For years, telemedicine has been
on the side-lines, but the spread
of Covid-19 is accelerating these
services into the mainstream.
As health services become
overloaded, remote GP ‘visits’ are
encouraged, helping to ensure
that patients who need the most
critical care will receive it.
Ironing board badminton, balcony beer halls, and
living room HIIT workouts. All over the world people
are finding ways to recreate their everyday habits
at home. Restaurant closures have seen a surge in
home cooking, and country-wide school closures
mean millions of parents have taken to educating
their children at home.
WORLD IN THE HOME
Between the 11th to the 18th of March 2020,
Microsoft Teams’ daily active user base grew by 12
million to a total of 44 million users as businesses
sought out remote working tools to help them
remain operational during the pandemic.
Some consider this virus as a societal wake-up call to
the commercial benefits of more flexible and digital
first ways of working. Others believe professionals
will return to the office more appreciative than ever
of the value of a physical shared workspace.
DISRUPTION OF HABITS
Many brands are adapting their
services in order to inspire and
motivate those stuck indoors,
helping them make the best of
their time, and quickly establish
new routines. With most gyms in
the UK now closed, fitness brands
and influencers are keeping their
customers/followers active with
at-home workout plans and live
exercise classes. This kind of
constructive content helps people
feel productive, whilst sustaining
Given financial uncertainty, and the fact that some services cannot easily
be digitised or performed remotely, many people are DIY-ing things they
would usually pay for. Some brands have tapped into this behaviour,
building relationships with their customers by helping them become more
self-sufficient. Supermarkets are easing the pressures of home catering
by providing tips for cooking with limited ingredients and making meals
last. Bleach London has launched ‘Hair Party’, a virtual salon created to ease
people into at-home haircare since they cannot attend salon appointments.
PEOPLE TO DIY
PE with Joe Wicks
New CH4 series ‘Keep Cooking Carry
On’ with Jamie Oliver, inspired by store
Barry’s bootcamp streams live
workouts on Instagram
Brands will come out of this crisis changed in
unexpected ways. In business and at home people
are becoming more open to exploring new ideas
and innovations – a continued adaptation to ‘the
new normal’. And even though people may not
remain quite as self-sufficient once the pandemic
is over, learned habits such as home cooking,
virtual conferences, self-care and daily exercise
will not be forgotten overnight.
Brands that have encouraged and helped people
form new behaviours today will be valued for
helping people maintain those behaviours in
the long term. Digital services that have proved
themselves more convenient than their physical
predecessors will live on.
DISRUPTION OF HABITS
An evolving global emergency can be an unsettling time for
many. We depend on strong leadership from businesses,
governments and brands to put our mind at ease. When
experts fail, irrational behaviour has the potential to take over.
Experts in the fields of health,
science and statistics have been
thrust into the limelight as the
general public seeks the best
advice during this time of extreme
uncertainty. Boris Johnson happily
shares his stage with Chris Whitty,
the UK’s Chief Medical Officer.
Now implementing mass changes
to society as we know it, how
many people knew his name
before COVID-19 took over?
Anxiety in response to COVID-19 has in some cases
metastasized into xenophobia and racism towards Asians
as people seek scapegoats. In extreme cases this has
resulted in physical attacks and verbal abuse. But it has
also manifested itself in more subtle yet damaging ways,
like declining sales for Asian businesses. Proof that not all
groups are experiencing this crisis equally.
Whilst most panic buyers prioritise
soap and loo roll, others are stockpiling
drugs to provide stress relief in these
anxiety-inducing times. In the US,
cannabis sales have rocketed as high
as 75%. In the UK, consumers are
hoarding painkillers like paracetamol in
anticipation of being infected. This has
led to national shortages of the drug, to
the detriment of those with a genuine
and immediate need.
Injuries of Jonathan Mok who
was attacked on London’s
Oxford Street in February
PM Boris Johnson with experts
Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance
With safety and business protocols being updated
almost daily, some brands are feeling the pressure
to overload communications with information to
ensure their customers are in the know. Though
well intentioned, the number and complexity of
Covid-19 related messages reaching consumers
has been overwhelming. Concise, easily digestible
language is vital for cut through and brands must
decide when their customers need information, and
when alternative forms of support are more appropriate.
As well the various crisis experts, for whom the
public have a renewed respect, the pandemic and its
consequences has revealed a number of everyday
heroes. People are recognising that the hard work and
indispensability of healthcare providers, delivery drivers
and supermarket workers deserves to be noticed and
celebrated. Many brands and service providers have
taken this opportunity to thank their employees.
THE NEW HEROES
Daunting vs digestible
– brands communicate
Creature made shareable signs to thank the
people who are still working in essential
jobs during the coronavirus crisis
Trust in authority is fickle and brands
have already shown their ability to help
put consumers’ minds at ease in times of
uncertainty. If the advice of experts fails
to deliver an acceptably positive outcome
for people and businesses, there could be
an even greater opportunity for brands to
step in and support where they can.
By proving their reliability and altruism
in testing times, brands can sustain
engagement, protect their profitability,
and enjoy reinvigorated respect in the
LACK OF VARIATION
Huge numbers of people are having their first experience of
living and working in the same place, with the same people,
doing the same things – for weeks on end. Whilst a stay-at-home
lifestyle has its perks, the novelty can quickly wear off and many
fear that they will turn stir-crazy well before the lockdown ends.
LACK OF VARIATION
Sales of intimate toys are on the rise as lockdown leaves many
people with more time on their hands than they can fill. A
recent YouGov survey found that Brits are admitting to having
sex to ‘pass the time,’ on par with ‘taking up a new hobby’ or
‘playing board games’. Some experts are even anticipating a
second baby-boom once the pandemic has subsided.
Lawyers are predicting that the increase in
households isolating together is likely to spike
the number of divorces and break-ups. With
reduced personal time and space, family tensions
are more likely to bubble to breaking point. And
country-wide school closures could add even more
pressure to strained relationships.
Some local registries in China reported reaching
the maximum number of divorces permitted by
government at the pandemic’s height.
When people in China were asked what activities
they were engaging in most frequently at the height
of quarantine, 58% reported watching ‘long-form
video,’ and 54% were sleeping more to pass the time.
Entertainment streaming services have experienced
surges in viewership as those in lockdown try to
alleviate boredom in the absence of live experiences.
Frequent flyers in the US escape the monotony by
daydreaming about their first post-lockdown getaway
- 55% say they ‘may’ or will ‘likely’ purchase a future
holiday whilst in self-isolation.
LACK OF VARIATION
The severity of this pandemic
and its consequences for
people all over the world
cannot be understated. But
some brands are balancing
reassurance with humour
to provide light relief from
Sensitivity, however, should
always be kept front of mind.
Brands that exist to entertain are experimenting with ways to help their
customers pass the time in lockdown. EA games reduced the price of
The Sims 4 just days after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic, allowing
those in isolation to escape their situation and create a new virtual life.
Museums, operas, theatre plays, and zoos all over the world have moved
online, allowing people to live-stream culture from their living rooms.
PROVIDING A MEANS OF ESCAPE
Nando’s is called out for making light of
the crisis with their pandemic-reactive
ad mocking KFC’s famous slogan
Wash Your Hands song generator,
adds fun to imposed hygiene routines
Many French and Italian psychologists
agree that the key to combating the
negative psychological effects of
long-term isolation is reminding people
that their experience, and their pain,
is shared by millions of others.
However, despite all of our best efforts
to stay busy and stay positive, when the
isolation measures are finally relaxed
brands need to be ready for the surge in
demand for live experiences, in-person
social activities, and travel.
LACK OF VARIATION
A significant proportion of the population now have more time
on their hands. This, added to a forced shift away from mindless
consumerism, means many are taking the opportunity to re-
evaluate and adjust what is really important in their lives.
Trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort
predicts that we are entering a
‘quarantine of consumption’ -
meaning we will adjust to becoming
happy with the simpler things in life
as our buying habits and behaviour
Edelkoort argues that we are
currently being ‘forced to do what we
should have done in the first place’.
So this pandemic could be a time
for us to reset our values – especially
in our approach to the environment
as planes are grounded and factory
production is halted.
A TIME FOR
Galleries, museums, places of worship, theatres and
festivals are just some of the many sites closing their doors
to facilitate social distancing. These closures threaten
the livelihood of millions of artists and the future existence
of cultural venues, many of which rely on donations.
With current access to shared experiences so severely
limited, people are reminded of the importance of
cultural institutions during times of need. Viewing art, for
example, has been found to reduce stress and anxiety,
increase motivation and act as a mood booster.
ON THE EDGE
With a sharp focus being placed on the most
vulnerable within society, the space and time afforded
by self-isolation is breeding a wave of outreach from
those in a position to help.
Community-oriented behaviours such as
helping vulnerable neighbours with their shopping
or offering a friendly phone call to someone in need,
are being revived and elevated to a global movement
under the banner #viralkindness.
This global solidarity in the face of a shared threat,
although idealistic, could lead to greater long-term
national functionality, and a decline in polarisation.
Lockdown is not the time for brands to be
seen to be competing with one another.
Instead, consumers expect brands to
exhibit a sense of shared responsibility,
and rally together in the face of adversity
to continue serving the nation.
This has been seen in the UK grocery
sector – a notoriously competitive arena –
where supermarkets have temporarily set
aside their differences to help feed the UK.
Since the pandemic began to unfold, some brands have been able to offer their
goods/services for free – or at a discounted price. For example, Pret-a-Manger
recently revealed that they would give NHS workers hot drinks for free and half price
lunches, with many retailers following suit. This kind of activity not only helps keep
up national morale – it can increase brand love and loyalty as the crisis develops.
Gary Neville Ryan Giggs have opened
up their inner-city Manchester hotels to
NHS staff for free
‘Working to feed the nation’ statement
from UK grocers
The public’s expectation that
brands should behave responsibly,
and demonstrate a positive
contribution to the environment,
has risen steadily in recent years.
The pandemic could likely see these
factors move closer to the top of
consumers’ decision making criteria.
It will no longer be enough to pay
lip service to CSR initiatives. So
the ‘one-upmanship’ we’ve seen
from brands competing to do the
most good during the crisis should
endure. And give rise to some truly
innovative altruistic action, along
with real headway in the battle
against climate change.
COVID-19 has changed the way we think about health and safety for
good. Although sales of hand sanitiser are through the roof, bigger
shifts are starting to occur – hygiene rules are changing the way we
interact with one another, with implications for global industries.
Although the last few decades have seen a decrease in social touch – attributed
to the increasingly tech-driven, socially disconnected world we live in, as well as
the ‘Me Too’ movement – COVID-19 is likely to embed these changes further. For
example, while the two metre distancing rule is obviously designed to prevent
infection during the pandemic, preventative measures such as this could result
in a lasting negative association between touch, personal space and hygiene long
after. Social touch and the emotions related to it may never be the same again.
A DECLINE IN TOUCH
Billions of people struggling with the reality of
COVID-19 are seeking comfort in their faith.
Congregational gatherings that are such a large part
of many major religions can contribute to the spread
of the virus. With social distancing now enforced
across the world, the internet has quickly become
a safe space to ‘worship from home’, with religious
services becoming available via live stream.
SAVIOUR A RISK
WE’RE STAYING PUT
Fear of catching or spreading the virus means consumers are choosing not to
travel. Alongside this, travelling to and from many countries is also currently
prohibited. Combined, the impact on the travel and tourism industries has been
devastating. Those affected include US Airlines (employing 750,000 people),
who will face bankruptcy without government intervention, BA who have been
forced to cut its capacity by 75%, and EasyJet who have grounded all of its fleet.
Grand Mosque in Makkah, Saudi
Arabia, shut amid coronavirus fears
Brands can build and nurture consumer
relationships by acting as a trusted source of
information. Many brands have taken the initiative
to actively promote government advice, such as
Lush who invited in passers-by to wash hands in
their sinks (using Lush products of course). In a
recent survey by YouGov, the BBC was found to be
the go-to source for COVID-19 related info – above
Government and NHS sources – demonstrating the
power that familiar and well-loved brands can hold
during times of rising health and safety concerns.
INFO AND ADVICE
Whilst health safety is of utmost importance, communications to
customers must be as transparent as possible. A strong brand culture
and a clear set of brand purposes are invaluable. Where appropriate,
brands should be telling customers exactly what they are doing
to ensure safety standards in line with real-time news: e.g. closing
operations or deep cleaning stores.
advice from the
WHO on TikTok
Though the pandemic has seen
many people reassessing and
improving their own personal
hygiene habits, it shouldn’t take
a global health crisis for a brand
to do the same.
As more questions and concerns
will inevitably surface in the
aftermath of this emergency,
a redoubling of employee and
customer safety, plus an ongoing
commitment to transparent and
truthful communications, should
remain a priority.
It has taken a global pandemic to reveal that our actions and our
ways of thinking require fundamental revisions. Policies, practices
and systems have been stretched by the virus – shining light on
where we may have been ‘going wrong’ for years.
MOTIVATION FOR CHANGE
COVID-19 is a national emergency – manifesting itself in
subsequent economic, health and political crises. However,
the pandemic has also shone light on the UK’s long-standing
It has taken a novel virus to reveal that a quarter of adults in the
UK have no savings – increasing to 50% of 22-30 year olds. 4.7m
are employed in the unstable gig economy and 70% of small
businesses suffer from cash flow issues even in ‘normal’ times.
Without drastic action sustained after the pandemic’s peak,
a social crisis could persist, or even worsen.
SHINING LIGHT ON
A SOCIAL CRISIS
New reforms especially in health and
education are likely to occur in the
aftermath of the pandemic. There are
learnings from the HIV/AIDS crisis – where
earlier reforms could have prevented
millions of deaths – that governments
could benefit from during this pandemic.
The gay community – in response to mass
government and societal failings – resorted to
banding together and using their own collective
knowledge to fight the HIV/AIDs virus.
The UK’s strict new measures
intended to ‘flatten the curve’
*True as of 23/03/20
As the virus ravages developed nations like the UK and US, it
has shown individualist market systems to be ‘deeply unsuited
at coping with an infectious pandemic’. Moves to ‘flatten the
curve’ such as self-isolation and social distancing haven’t come
easy: fundamentally because they mean we have to change our
On the other hand, China – a socialist market economy – has started
to rebound from the virus according to official figures. Wuhan, the
centre of the outbreak, has reported a fifth day without new cases*
as strict, authoritarian lock down laws begin to be lifted.
NHS top of the
agenda in daily
In a time where fake news
and broken promises
by those in power are
commonplace, trust in
authority, and by association
trust in brands, is low.
Brands that put their money
where their mouth is when it
comes to supporting those
in need are being praised
by consumers and the
Many brands have been slated for
not looking after their staff in times of
crisis. Not only can this be awful for
short-term PR, long-term it can turn
customers against your brand in the
future, too. Wetherspoons boss Tim
Martin has come under fire for telling
his 40,000 staff to ‘get a job at Tesco’
as they face no pay for weeks. Virgin
boss Richard Branson has been heavily
criticised for making airline staff take
8-weeks of unpaid leave – with people
going as far to label him the ‘real villain’
of the pandemic.
Ethical clothing store Lucy
Yak detailing the steps they
are taking to protect their
staff in a customer email
LVMH factory line of hand sanitisers
‘Pay your staff’ graffitied on a
Wetherspoons pub in South London
MOTIVATION FOR CHANGE
‘Talk is cheap’ but enforcing
real action can come at a high
price. Brands that underwrite
change or support worthy
causes will have to ensure they
can fund their promises, or risk
damaging their future long after
this virus is over. Only brands
that sustainably fulfil these
commitments in the long-term
will come out on top.
MOTIVATION FOR CHANGE
GOLDEN RULESAdam Fulford- Chief Strategy Officer
John Treacy - Executive Creative Director
We believe there
are seven key
rules that brands
need to live by as
in lockdown, the
provides a guide
It is fundamentally important for brands to be seen
to respond and reflect the times we live in.
A ‘business as usual’ approach might seem tempting
but without any acknowledgement of current events
it could be seen as tone deaf.
At the very least, brands need to ensure that they
don’t do anything that runs counter to Government
advice or adds to confusion.
Every piece of communication should be reviewed in
the context of our new normal. Consider how it should
reflect the times both functionally and emotionally.
Sports Direct were forced
to u-turn on their decision
to stay open after claiming
that they were essential
for people staying home.
Source: BBC News
Chiquita’s redesigned logo
showing that Miss Chiquita
was already home drew
In response to the crisis,
Pernod Ricard (and many other
distillers) re-tooled production
lines to produce badly needed
Skoda published guidanceon
how to stay safe by disinfecting
key areas of the car.
Both Mercedes Benz andAudi
published colouring pages that
were free to download.
KFC has partnered withnon-
profit Blessing in theBackpack
to help provideweekend
meals to kids whomight have
Netflix Party allowed people
to share their Netflix account
with friends around the
world for free.
WhatsApp created a Covid-19
hub to combat misinformation
shared on its platform in
partnershipwith the WHO,
Unicef, the UNDevelopment
program and the International
Fact Checking Network.
Headspace offered up
space on their platformwith
free meditation, sleep and
UNDER ARMOR is helping
fitness fans remain active
while in confinement, by
launching 30-day “Healthy
BE CUSTOMER FIRST
In its simplest sense the lockdown has transformed
media consumption for most people.
Internet usage has increased 71%. Whilst TV, digital,
social, radio, digital audio and podcasts have seen
large listening spikes, predictably cinema and out
of home advertising have fallen (Source Kantar).
We should be cognisant of both consumption
changes and of how needs have evolved.
As the lockdown has taken over people’s lives,
we’re seeing subtle shifts in terms of customer need.
People are re-appraising their priorities in line with
Understanding what is more important for people
today should inform any changes that brands make.
myBurgerLab Malaysia is extending
their services to the elderly and
those with restricted mobility by
paying their staff to run errands for
them during the movement control
order (MCO) period.
Amazon offered the chance
to request at home access
to Adobe CC products for
Students and Educators.
Emotional needs are most powerful
in changing behaviour
Core needs satisfied by the
Needs associated with the delivery and
use of products, this area is especially
heightened in a world in lockdown
PEOPLE’S PRIORITIES HAVE FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED
THROUGH THEIR CHANGE IN CIRCUMSTANCES.
Belonging Security Confidence Well being
To be the
Efficiency Reliability Experience
Information Accessibility Fairness Control
Researchers at Motista found that over 300 emotional motivators are at work behind customer purchase decisions.
Source: Harvard Business Review.
We're seeing that those above the line have become more important whilst those below have lessened in importance.
Uncertainty as to who should
take responsibility; individuals,
governments or corporations,
for persistent large-scale,
Companies are taking note
of a wider range of threats
emerging from culture
demanding new practices
People are rejecting
secrets in favour of clarity
People mistrust authority,
leadership and institutions.
Brands are taking a stance
on political, social, or
Don’t underestimate the importance of the
role of your brand right now.
People expect brands to take a stance, have
an opinion and be a reference point today.
This isn’t totally new, a number of trends were
already leading to this prior to the lockdown.
Brands need to ensure all communications
align to a central idea, and that this idea fits
A SIMPLE BRAND
It is vital that the direction you
set be clear and simple.
Something that places your
brand in the moment in a positive
sense, moving you from crisis
response to positive contributor.
A simple framework can be
a powerful tool in aligning
teams internally and agencies
externally. We’ve found this one
to be especially effective on
a couple of clients.
Align everything to your existing over-arching brand platform.
Connecting to this is vital for credibility.
Base your direction on a defined need people have in this period.
What could your brand offer that no other could?
How will you deliver on your role?
Consider the mood of the nation. What does the public
in general expect?
How should this change the customer experience and
ROLE FOR BRAND
A single unified voice will be critical throughout this.
Nobody needs things to be more complicated than
they already are.
Whilst your PR agency and lead Creative agency may
have been first out of the blocks when the lockdown
happened, it’s important that all agencies link arms.
Then go further, consider how you might connect
suppliers to your cause. Any sponsorships and
partnerships you have in place could and should be
used to amplify what you’re doing.
It’s easy to be consumed by immediate
crisis communications and operational
Brands that go beyond the basics to build
affinity and love can shine in a crisis.
Consider all forms of communication
and how it can build relationships
with your customers at this time.
That means everything from service
communications to re-launch.
WE’RE SEEING A VARIETY OF BRIEFS
COME THROUGH, WITH OBJECTIVES
IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS:
as services are
that bring warmth
and add value
your business can
do to give back to
Plan ahead for
a world post-
a surge in
We need to be sure that communications at his time
do not add to confusion or frustration. It’s especially
important that we consider the impact our calls to action
might have on call centres for example.
We’re recommending that each point in the customer
journey be reviewed in the context of new customer and
Calls to action on all communications from conversion
through to engagement, loyalty and win-back need to
deliver simple effective experiences that can be fulfilled.
There has never been a more important
time to listen, learn and evolve fast.
Businesses have had to evolve rapidly as
the lockdown has been put in place. They
should be prepared to continue to do so as
we feel our way through this.
It is highly likely that the public mood will
move through a number of significant
phases. Reactions to stress, anxiety, fear and
isolation will be strong and will heighten
responses to any advertising messages.
It’s important to adopt agile ways of
working, reviewing hard performance and
social reactions among audiences daily.
This chart from Canvas8 shows the historic phases of emotional response to pandemics.
We need to be prepared for and adapt to these stages in our customers.
SILVER LININGSAdrian Hoole- Strategy Director
Anna Cole- Strategy Director
Anna Laird- Strategy Director
Han-Son Lee - Strategy Director
Richard Colvile - Senior Strategist
The Retail sector faces
significant disruption over the
coming months and years. Like
all forms of disruption there
will be those businesses that
are able to respond and those
that get caught out. We’ve
pulled together an overview of
how we think retail brands can
respond to the tidal wave of
change on the horizon.
SUMMARY OF OPPORTUNITY
1. How people shop is set to change and there are
opportunities for brands that are able to adapt.
2. What people buy in the future is likely to be
affected by the current restrictions on human
movement and product availability that they
HOW PEOPLE SHOP
Much has been said about the disrupting force of technology on our highstreets.
But until recently, adoption has been modest. The UK boasts the second largest
Ecommerce as a share of retail, behind China – however that only amounts to just
over 20% (2019 ONS).
But as the technology adoption lifecycle for ecommerce is being artificially
squeezed by necessary government measures, people are being forced online.
As a result, the ratio of online to instore (along with the general adoption of virtual
technologies) is set to skyrocket.
Lockdown has meant our physical experiences have become extremely limited.
Simply put, we can no longer shop where we want, whenever we want. People
are buying into brands or categories they’ve never bought into before, due to
unforeseen needs and demand outstripping normal supply (Kantar Worldwide,
Mar 2020). They are also shopping more locally.
It has not only thrown out the consumer spending patterns and predictive
modelling that retailers rely so heavily on – it’s also removed an essential part
of the retail experience: face-to-face service.
1. Consumers have newfound confidence in ecommerce, giving
retailers the opportunity to scale cheaply.
2. Consumers will be more likely to adopt virtual technologies
e.g. virtual show rooms/stores as part of their purchase journey.
3. The normalisation of click and collect and drive through services also
presents an opportunity to bridge the physical and virtual worlds.
1. Greater appreciation of the human connection means consumers will
seek more, not less, service support for important purchase decisions.
2. Consumers preferring to shop locally and make more sustainable
choices will seek brands that play a positive role in their community.
3. Consumers will shift from being frustrated over a lack of choice
and availability, to being overwhelmed by choice in a
WHAT PEOPLE BUY
PEOPLE ARE BECOMING MORE
SELECTIVE WITH THEIR PURCHASES
COVID-19 has already redefined what people buy. For
many, it is the first time they have ever had to live with the
challenges of having a limitation on product availability. This
has led to many reassessing their purchases, evaluating the
type of products they want to spend their money on and
realising what they can live without. After all, 7 in 10 people
think the economy will get worse and two-thirds think they
will be personally affected (IPSOS Mori - Mar 2020).
It is these economic constraints that are necessitating a fresh
approach to consumption, one that prioritises ‘needs’ over
‘wants’ and favours retail brands that can be relied upon to
help people through these unprecedented times.
1. Consumers diverting their attention to products positioned
as reliable, long-lasting and serving an essential purpose.
Resulting in, for example, luxury retailers experiencing a
downturn in demand.
2. Increased demand for products that reinforce ‘Fortress Home’
– making us feel in-control and enabling us to meet needs that
have been disrupted. Resulting in, for example, Gym closures
caused by a surge in demand for home exercise equipment.
3. Participation in pro-social behaviour – products that increase
human well-being and the greater collective. Resulting in, for
example, increased sales for Facebook Portal devices.
THREE HORIZONS OF OPPORTUNITY
PROVIDING ENHANCED SUPPORT
AND PRO-ACTIVE SOLUTIONS
BUILDING CONFIDENCE AND
TRANSFORMING THE RETAIL
1. Guide and support consumers
using new remote / online retail
services for the first time.
2. Strengthen initiatives that support
local communities and promote
temporary local services /
3. Pro-actively suggest alternative
products and services when
availability is limited.
1. Invite customers to try new
tools and remote services while
they have more time at home.
2. Create content relevant for
3. Inspire consumers to
explore new categories and
products, with next best
1. Create multi-faceted and connected
shopping experiences with people
at the heart of its service (whether
that be in-person or remotely).
2. Engage in community focused
marketing initiatives and build
relationships with local suppliers /
3. Work collaboratively to provide
curated shopping experiences and
The Automotive sector is facing a challenging time.
Supply has paused
With factories closed around Europe and only a handful
of Asian and South American manufacturers open, the
impact of the coronavirus on car manufacturing has been
catastrophic. In the UK alone, a drop of 200,000 in new car
production* is expected in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.
Demand has plummeted
With people experiencing a period of significant economic
uncertainty, they are cancelling orders for new vehicles. With
every expense being scrutinised, people are putting off
buying high ticket items that are not completely essential.
Restriction of movement means car and van journeys are
greatly reduced. Italy has seen a 70% reduction of road
traffic since the start of the crisis.
SUMMARY OF OPPORTUNITY
1. The way people move around and the
journeys they do make have become
more precious than ever before
2. How people research, buy and
communicate has changed and there
is new opportunity for car brands to
drag their customer experiences into
the 21st century
*Manufacture news March 2020/ Fleet News March 2020
HOW PEOPLE MOVE AROUND
A time of lockdown has forced people
into limiting their journeys, the amount
of time they spend away from their
locality and the way they spend their
free time.When the rules are relaxed,
we can indulge in greater freedom of
movement, with a renewed interest.
However, modes of transport will also
be subject to scrutiny like never before.
People in cities such as Wuhan have
seen ‘markedly lower’ pollution levels
since the lockdown.
When we return to a life of normality,
there will be even stronger arguments
for carless cities and greener public
transport. These will be countered by
the view that those travelling by cars
and vans have a much reduced risk of
contracting the coronavirus compared
to public transport.
Renewed excitement from freedom
After a period of isolation and restriction,
people are going to be doing more,
moving more and appreciating every new
journey they do make.
Therefore there is an opportunity for
Automotive brands to harness this renewed
freedom and inspire people to make every
journey they do take more fulfilling through
in-car tech and inspiring content.
People in busy cities are more likely to
contract the coronavirus. Consequently, the
cleanliness of public transport has been
exposed to more scrutiny than ever before.
This is an opportunity to push Electric
vehicles as the cleanest way to travel for
people and the planet.
*The Guardian 2020
HOW PEOPLE INTERACT
WITH CAR BRANDS
Lockdown means people are
changing the way they buy,
experience and communicate day-
to-day.From virtual dinner parties,
a surge in online shopping and
huge increase in Zoom, Houseparty
downloads and live online events.
Ecommerce is becoming more
crucial to everyday existence.
Large audiences in the UK who
have never done online banking
or online shopping are now
transacting this way.
Adoption of resources such as
Babylon means people are even
discussing things that they would
normally only do face to face
with their doctor.
1. Ecommerce – trust in online selling has
increased so it is a good time to launch
automotive ecommerce platforms
2. As reliance on online platforms has
increased, there is an opportunity to
push contactless services – such as
virtual dealers, virtual test drives and
3. Self-service servicing. A pause in
MOTs, plus a reduction in service
centres means people are having to
carry out regular maintenance checks
on their vehicles
*Image: The BBC ‘Pop stars live-stream concerts from home to combat isolation’
IN A PERIOD OF LOCKDOWN,
BEING RESPONSIBLE ABOUT
WHEN WE PROMOTE OUR
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
ABOUT HOW TO MAKE THE
MOST OF EVERY JOURNEY
A MORE CONTACTLESS,
DIGITAL CAR BUYING
1. Provide car and van care
maintenance tips for people
2. Only promote vans and cars to
businesses and people in need
3. Manage the stock they already
have – get it to people who need it
1. Create personal inspirational
content about how to make the
most of freedom again
2. Tie it to car technology such as
self parking cars, remote start
up, keyless technology
3. Drive interest in ‘cleaner’
cars and their benefits to the
environment and customers
1. Car brands invest in virtual dealers,
virtual test drives
2. Ordering and buying cars online
from manufacturers becomes more
3. More active promotion of EVs
4. Supply issues are overcome by using
technology to show consumers
which vehicles are in stock
COVID-19 is carving a life-altering new normal
as people forge novel ways to connect, stay
informed and keep their minds occupied.
As the living room routine becomes consumers’
reality, SVOD brands have a unique opportunity
to underpin evolving daily habits and routines.
Streaming platforms can become the balm
to uncertainty by filling the lockdown void. In
this way, they will establish themselves as an
indispensable part of people’s lives to drive
Let the Streaming Wars commence!
SUMMARY OF OPPORTUNITY
New viewing behaviours
How people watch live and on-demand
shows is likely to alter as people shift
away from solitary viewing and look to
brands to help them connect from afar.
Audiences that engage with SVOD
platforms in the future are likely to
diversify as older generations adopt
activities suited to their home-based hub.
STREAMING SERVICES (SVOD)
NEW VIEWING BEHAVIOURS
Underscoring people’s desire to feel united, people are tuning
into video to tune into one another’s lives.
Brands such as Instagram are launching media sharing for users
to view posts simultaneously over Video Chat. Meanwhile Netflix
Party points to the power of people’s desire to stay connected
over virtual experiences.
In a life lived at home, traditional live viewing is also evolving.
Viewership for Facebook Live has increased by 50% since January
in the U.S.
With little to differentiate between Saturday and Monday night,
the chance to stream shows live rather than watch them later
on-demand offers people the chance to enjoy shared social
moments at specific times.
THREE THINGS STREAMING BRANDS
SHOULD DO RIGHT NOW
1. Provide services that help consumers maintain
the social moments they’ve always enjoyed.
By adding a sense of normality to a life turned
upside down, streaming services can become
fundamental in people’s pro-social habits.
2. Inspire new watching patterns through live
streaming and live broadcast TV. As people’s
habitual behaviours are broken by the pandemic,
soaps, news, regular slots and family shows have
the chance to reaffirm people’s schedules.
3. Cultivate community to aid programme
discovery. With people turning to their peers
for tips, tricks and recommendations to help
them through crises, streaming brands have the
opportunity to help communities recommend
favourites and make sharing shows seamless.
STREAMING SERVICES (SVOD)
From escapist entertainment to expert education,
SVOD platforms are becoming a cornerstone of
uncertain times. Globally, over 50% of people are
watching more streaming services as a result of staying
at home. Yet streaming services have been primarily
used by younger audiences. In 2019, over half of SVOD
users were under 35 with just 14% of viewers
aged between 45- 54 years old.
Those over 35 have previously missed out on the
benefits of on-demand viewing: entertainment curated
around their personal interests and available to watch
at any time.
With more time at home to reflect on their own
interests, SVOD brands will attract a broader audience
to adopt their services.
THREE THINGS STREAMING BRANDS
SHOULD DO RIGHT NOW
1. Drive home the benefits of personalised viewing
to attract older customers and delight existing
2. Incentivise new viewers outside their traditional
audiences with free trial subscriptions and
limited time upgrade trials
3. Demonstrate the benefits of anytime, anywhere
viewing as the perfect accompaniment to ‘the
new normal’, as people adapt to new viewing
routines and cycles
THREE HORIZONS OF OPPORTUNITY
STREAMING SERVICES (SVOD)
CULTIVATE COMMUNITY AND
GIVE-BACK TO AUDIENCES
REWARD CUSTOMERS FOR
A CORNERSTONE OF HUMAN
1. By creating experiences designed
to be shared virtually, SVODs
have the opportunity to become
a social pillar in people’s lives.
2. Lean in on social proof. Make
it easy for people to share
recommendations with peers
and help people feel a sense
of community in their viewing
3. Attract new, older audiences with
free platform trials tailored to the
kind of content they love.
1. As people tighten their belts post
COVID-19, they may experience
subscription fatigue and look to
narrow the services they use.
2. The brands that will win the
streaming wars will not just match
their customers’ content cravings
but reward them with privileged
content access, unique viewing
opportunities and other tangible
expressions of value, such as
events linked to shows they love.
1. Curate mood-based viewing.
People are beginning to turn to
SVODs throughout their day when
they are experiencing everything
from uncertainty to hopefulness.
2. Where content has been typically
segmented by genre and
recommendations based on past
viewing habits, mood-matching
responds to viewers changing
mindset within their daily routine.
For the first time in many generations,
the whole world is experienced a
new form of FMCG – Not Fast Enough
Moving Consumer Goods.
As supply chains struggle with the new
demands being placed on them from
previously staple products, and in a time
where everyday essentials threaten to
become the new gold, adjusting to a
new reality of FMCG may have bigger
consequences than first meets the eye.
SUMMARY OF OPPORTUNITY
1. Product essentials being prioritised means
traditional FMCG brands will have opportunity
to strengthen their position and drive their
innovation quicker to market.
2. How people shop is set to change and there are
opportunities for brands that are able to adapt
to new local norms.
WHAT PEOPLE BUY
SEEKING LOCAL ALTERNATIVES
With the disruption of global supply chains, ongoing trade wars that drive
up prices for imported goods, people are seeking local product alternatives.
Under this new reality, companies will be forced to actively consider
ways to diversify their supply chains and reduce their dependence on any
We will be seeing rises in small, regional brands, providing local competition
and decentralised alternatives – as long as they can deliver to a consistent scale.
ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL
Consumer concern about sustainability and environmental impact is set
to increase as pandemic exposes the vulnerability of our ecosystems.
Activist groups are calling on various levels of Government to prioritise
supporting greener and sustainable industries and companies after the crisis.
FMCG brands may need to rethink their end-to-end product life cycle to
meet the new consumer expectations.
1. Consumers will seek brands and products that use local ingredients
and rely on regional production.
2. Production disruptions, largely due to logistical issues, will pose
challenges to food supply chains and food brands. Consumers are
likely to be impacted through higher prices or forced to choose
1. Consumers will expect brands to play a much more active role in
tackling the looming environmental disasters.
2. Governments and international organizations will play much larger
role in driving the environmental agenda.
3. A brand’s focus on how it treats and manages its people will come
into the public eye at greater speed than ever.
HOW PEOPLE BUY
EXPANSION OF E-COMMERCE
As people get used to shopping online for a large variety of products and
services, we will see the emergence of new forms of e-commerce solutions
for FMCG brands that work locally and directly to the consumer.
Brands will consider a larger reliance on O2O platforms for local delivery in
the future, potentially shifting some demand away from e-commerce giants.
DTC business models will also morph and take new forms in response to
Covid-19. The cloud-based e-commerce company Shopify has seen its stock
surge amid Covid-19, a testament to a move towards direct e-commerce
presence for a variety of brands.
After the 2008 recession, industrywide structural changes allowed the
consumers greater access and choice to the products. For some companies,
this period of accelerating competition paved the way to success, while others
struggled to survive, or lost the battle altogether.
Covid-19 crisis is expected to wipe out mid-market brands with high debt levels
and startups without a clear path to profitability.
Traditional FMCG brands like Unilever or PG have so far been less affected
and are faring quite well, as consumers prioritise essentials.
1. Consumers will develop a repertoire of shopping behaviours online,
moving away from reliance on one e-retailer for all product categories.
2. FMCG brands need to reconsider how their marketing approach will fit
with the new e-commerce boom. In the offline environment, successful
FMCG brands have applied shopper marketing strategies to help
people make intuitive choices while driving sales.
3. To protect their market share in the New Normal, FMCG brands need
to leverage retailer relationships and perfect their presence on more
online touchpoints that are relevant to different consumer types.
1. Consumers will revaluate their purchases in response to anxiety
and financial pressures, so brands should consider emphasizing
value and price.
2. It is common for people to be sticking to the brands they know
during the time of crisis and uncertainty. Anxiety and nostalgia go
hand in hand — when times are tough, people tend to reminisce
about what can seem like simpler times. Brands can act as
THREE HORIZONS OF OPPORTUNITY
PROVIDING SOLUTIONS THAT
DRIVE GENUINE UTILITY
AND RE-ADJUSTING TO
THE NEW NEEDS
TRANSPARENCY OF SUPPLY
CHAINS WILL BECOME A KEY
1. Whether it’s brands providing free
products or expanding their CSR,
there is a consensus on brands
supporting consumers, their
people and the wider community.
2. For some brands, this will
mean being more pro-active,
suggesting alternative services
and product uses when
availability is limited.
1. Brands need to adopt a more
agile and data driven approach
to marketing planning, constantly
evaluating the changing customer
segments and needs, and nimbly
adjusting strategies, tactics.
2. Inviting customers to try new
product offering, delivery options
and services that have been
developed in response to the
changing consumer behaviours.
1. The Employer Brand and Consumer
Brand are set to become one a lot
faster than ever before.
2. Community focused marketing
initiatives and building relationships
with local suppliers / producers will
be a vital opportunity for brands.
SETTING THE TONEKate Amos - Head of Data
Hannah Thomason - Data Planner
Daryl Swinden - Senior Data Director
As customers, we have all
experienced a surge in the
number of emails we receive daily.
Brands are wanting to keep us
updated on how they are reacting
to the Crisis and how this is
changing day by day.
When considering how to engage
over the next months it’s important
to define the tone you want to
set across all communications at
this time. Every brand will need
to approach things in their own
way. For some a dry service led
approach will be necessary, for
others a warmer celebration of life
in lockdown might be appropriate.
Before we set the tone we need to
understand the current sentiment
brands are using.
Our Data Science team have used
Natural Language Processing to
analyse emails from over 140 brands
during the period 6th March - 29th
March. We wanted to understand the
sentiment of the language brands are
using and the content topics.
Based on this insight, we have some
ideas about how brands can use
sentiment to improve the way they
communicate with their customers
during this very difficult time.
SERVICE HAS BEEN
THE FIRST PRIORITY
Analysis of sentiment in emails has
demonstrated how brands have reacted at
speed to a rapidly changing environment
and taken a customer centric approach.
Subject line: COVID-19 dominates the subject line.
From: Emails are coming directly from the CEO/Founder and
personally addressing their customers. This is demonstrating
how seriously brands are treating the situation.
Format: Brands are using long form informative emails to
support and inform their customers.
Service messages: Brands are reaching customers who they
have a direct relationship with but who are not opted into
marketing communications. Brands must ensure that they
remain within the restrictions of service messages.
CUSTOMERS COME FIRST
With most common words used, the focus is on the customer
and the promise of supporting the customer.
Help, service and team are used to reassure the commitment
to helping customers
Shop and online are key to reminding customers there
are other ways to shop.
Brands are using will and help to demonstrate their commitment
to their customers.
Support and time are key to manage customer expectations
Brands are saying to their customers please and thank you.
There is a need for brands and customers to work together.
HIGH POSITIVE SENTIMENT SCORE:
NEGATIVE SENTIMENT SCORE:
COVID-19 is the official name of the virus and most used by brands.
Will is both positive and negative, the initial actions brands are
having to take are negative.
Government advice/law is the reason why brands
are taking this action. This is not the brands’ choosing.
Thank you Online
Words darker in colour and closer to the centre of the circle are used more frequently.
Free dominates the emotive
words used by brands.
We can see how brands have
sought to contribute positively
to the situation. Offering services
free and ensuring that customers
know that disruption won’t leave
them out of pocket.
There is an opportunity for
brands to use even more emotive
language more frequently such
as “love”, “trust”, “proud” and
“grateful” rather than terms
related to value and cost.
EMOTIVE WORDS: FREQUENCY OF USE
grateful positive proud
IT’S TIME TO LOOK AHEAD
Brands have quite rightly been focussed on responding to the crisis. It’s time
to begin to look ahead, responding to customer needs as they change rapidly
over the next few months.
We have seen a decline in the search for Sport Travel as the crisis has
progressed. COVID-19 has dominated search but towards the end of the month
we have started to see consumers searching for a broader range of topics.
Testing for the virus, food, business and employment have started to trend.
As the next month emerges, and we become more accustomed to the new
normal we expect these searches to broaden and diversify into a number
of topics related to life in lockdown.
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Google Trends data: UK search terms 1st March-31st March 2020
It is important that our changed circumstances, and the
crisis as a whole, is reflected sensitively throughout all
communications. ‘Business as usual’ is not relevant at the
moment and could lead to accusations of tone-deafness.
Brands need to react to customers’ needs and
serve relevant content first and foremost. It’s important
that the service message remains true to its purpose.
Once we move beyond core service messages this is
an opportunity for brands to expand their vocabulary.
Using positive emotive language will help build
The art will be to chose a positive and emotive
tone that fits the brand and demonstrates sensitivity
to the circumstances. We’re working with a number
of brands to define their own flavour of positivity,
appropriate to the time.
The Economist’s tone is a conversation that invites you
to be part of a discovery. They’re a brand that expresses
itself in a way that’s as thought provoking and biting as
its content. For them, asking pointed questions about
how the crisis might develop will be key.
Audi is actually all about over simplification. Audi
drivers pay a premium to have things done for them
(keyless opening, mirrors that adjust themselves etc). In
our communications each interaction has a simple and
singular thought, minimum copy and a single button
for your next action. Frictionless, just like the ownership
experience – especially important at this time.
For PG we’re working to develop communications that
support their corporate brand mission to help people
Live, Learn and Thrive. Ensuring that our positivity has a
purpose at the heart of the home throughout the crisis.
+44 (0) 780 3853 052
Thank you to everyone involved in the creation of this document, those
named throughout and those working tirelessly behind the scenes to make
it happen. Special thanks should go to Hannah Pazda and Teii Sampaga
for design, as well as Francesco Perillo for editing skills extraordinaire.