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The Impact of Covid-19 on Brand Advertising and Marketing


We are into the second month of lockdown and some of the rinse-repeat creative from brands around COVID-19 has become pretty tiresome.

We’ve seen the same melancholic piano music, panning shots of empty cities and conspiratorial voiceover over, and over, and over, and over and over again…

In fact, this article from Adland sums it up perfectly in its abrupt, tell-it-like-it-is way:

See what we mean?

Pivoting doesn’t mean updating your strategy as a one-off and hoping it stays relevant for as long as possible.

As soon as you’ve launched one new strategy, you should already be thinking about the next.

Is anyone getting it right?

Some of the Front-Runners

We’ve seen some impressive creativity from British Gas in their latest TV ad, “Helping every way we can | Here to solve”.



The new campaign is much more fun and exciting than the sad-piano-city-panning-shot we’ve been bombarded with up until now.

Not only does it bring with it a boost of positive energy, but it serves to demonstrate British Gas brand values in a less in-your-face way.

Tonally, this ad hits the mark for the nation – it’s about getting on and doing what you can with a smile on your face.

It’s a winner.

Adapting to Advertising in a Crisis Doesn’t Mean Abandoning Your Plans

Let’s take a look at Just Eat, for example. Susan O’Brien, CMO at Just Eat, has been working closely with partners and their agency, McCann London, to create the new ad campaign launched last week starring none other than Snoop Dogg.

The ad itself has been ready to launch but kept “on the back burner” for over a month as execs watched the mood of the nation closely to decide when the time was right.

Now, they feel, is the time to unleash some positivity, humour and urban coolness on the nation. 

 The ad was initially sidelined in order to support ITV’s ‘Britain get talking’ campaign with a generous ‘thank you’ message from Just Eat.


Their strategy of close social listening has allowed them to land their latest ad with Snoop Dogg to hit the mark and open the field for marketers to approach new, upbeat messaging.

Read more about the ad in the Campaign article here.

Innovators Leading the way

The speed at which these campaigns have been produced under unexpected circumstances is quite remarkable.

It shows that advertising isn’t dead or dying – we just need to try harder.

For successful brands, and the creative agencies behind them, the message is clear – brands that adapt will be the ones that thrive post-COVID-19.

If any of this has piqued your interest, check out our blog on developing your brand strategy in uncertain times. 

[With thanks to Campaign and Adland for imagery and inspiration.]