Which Brand Is Brave Enough To Say Thank You, COVID?

Which Brand Is Brave Enough To Say Thank You, COVID?

Some brands have the opportunity to win gold during this dire and unpredictable time of lockdowns and bad news. Why? Because in times like these, all people want is a little positivity and hope, writes Elise Gill (main photo), strategist at Are Media…

Emotions are running high right now, with multiple, ongoing lockdowns hurting millions of Australians. In response, we’re on the hunt for good news and good stories: something that brings a little humanity back into our lives. We all love a silver lining, after all.

This mindset has me wondering: which brand will be the first to recognise and respond to our craving for silver linings by turning these challenging times into a positive? And is that even possible?

I believe it is, and all it takes is the simple act of saying ‘thank you’.  Thank you for mask-wearing. Thank you for sidestepping. Thank you for contactless delivery. Thank you for helping my Granny.

Facing the pandemic in a positive way is something we could all use right now. With the endless slog of bad news on the TV and in the news, any positive communication will get noticed. People will not only notice it but welcome it. Yes, the anti-vaxxers are out there, but all the more reason for a brand to stand for something they believe in.

Who can say thank you?

From where I’m standing, the race to say thank you is on. So what’s the hold-up? There are a few things to bear in mind before any brand starts making any bold statements about the pandemic. The brand that will get it right needs to have a triple-A threat:

First, their stories must be relevant to an Australian audience. Every country is unique, and are all dealing with the pandemic differently. In order to be relevant to Australian audiences, brands need to recognise the unique challenges faced by so many of us right now (such as Melbourne’s 200-day lockdown milestone, perhaps).

Secondly, any ‘thank you’ stories told by brands need to be authentic to the brand’s voice and history. They need to be told in a genuine, understanding, caring and emotive way that makes sense for the brand.

Finally, thank you stories must have a ring of authority. They can do this by getting the facts straight, using real-life stories and situations, and ensuring that anyone featured is actually helping to make Australia a safer and better place right now.

It’s been done before

The iconic 2010 Proctor & Gamble Olympics global ‘Thank You Mum’ campaign that aired at the London 2012 Olympic Games was the biggest and most successful global campaign in P&G’s 175-year history. It was a great example of how saying thank you in the right place, at the right time can pull on heartstrings across the world.

Who is already in the lead?

Qantas is getting all the high fives and kudos for its recent tear-jerker of a campaign, the emotive ‘Fly Away’ ad. The ad has been making Australians around the country cry this week, as they look forward to a time when they can finally be reunited with their families.

Globally, other brands are tackling COVID-19 messaging by reminding people how they can stay safe in the face of the virus. Take, for example, the National Health Service in the UK, which has implemented a message of Hands, Face and Space as a reminder to stay safe.

At Are Media, we know how to tell stories that engage, connect and celebrate key cultural moments. One of our projects with Woman’s Day will be saying Thank You to the frontline workers and community heroes at this difficult time. It’s one of the reasons why our readership is up eight per cent quarter on quarter to 752,000 (Roy Morgan June 2021 Print Readership).

Ultimately, there is still so much opportunity for brave and bold brands to engage Australians on an emotional level right now. The gun has been fired and Qantas is in the lead. Who will be next?


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Are Media Elise Gill

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