Best Examples of Brand Messaging during COVID-19
The interruption by COVID-19 has led some companies and brands to shift their strategies, especially in keeping engagement in the time of social distancing. Below is a summary of examples of brand messaging by some severely impacted companies and brands.
Major League Baseball
- With its opening day postponed, Major League Baseball (MLB) is turning to social media with a clear message that "Even though we're apart, we can come together."
- It has launched #OpeningDayAtHome, which is among the top Twitter trends as of March 26, 2020. Its past 30 games are broadcast on a number of platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
- Its tweet is paired with a video narrated by baseball star Mike Trout, reminding the audience of the hope, belief and community spirit of baseball. While showing emotional clips of those in isolation apart from their loved ones, the video ends with a message that individuals have a role to play in this team game--resonating with those who play their part to protect their community from the spread of COVID-19.
- With tens of thousands of viewers live watching at a given moment on its YouTube alone, the brand messaging achieves exactly what a baseball game does--bringing people together--only this time, virtually.
- With sporting events canceled/postponed, Budweiser has launched its #OneTeam campaign on social media in partnership with the American Red Cross.
- Budweiser is shifting from sport stars to supporting everyday heroes who are fighting COVID-19 by setting up temporary blood drive centers at stadiums and producing hand sanitizer.
- Its campaign video entitled "One Team" has received some emotional responses from social media users. Building on its existing slogan "This bud's for you," the video reminds its audience that the company is for the home team and that we are all one team in this season.
- Research finds that 56% of consumers approve of messaging that shows brands are helping their communities fighting this pandemic. "One Team" is effective in that aspect by communicating that the American-style beer is here to support Americans in this difficult time.
Discover Puerto Rico
- Travels have been restricted, so Discover Puerto Rico brings Puerto Rico to customers--virtually. The company plans a three-day weekend itinerary that includes salsa dancing, cocktail making and cooking, featuring local talents.
- While showing solidarity with its quarantined costumers, the company utilizes digital technologies to bring culture right to their devices through platforms such as Zoom and Instagram. In doing so, the company gives the audience a taste of Puerto Rico as a preview for future visits.
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association
- With its games canceled/postponed, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) launched a joint campaign with the World Health Organization (WHO) to fight COVID-19.
- The "Pass the message: Five steps to kicking out coronavirus" video features 28 soccer players in 13 different languages. Sharing five steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the video carries a message that soccer teams are not competing against each other, but they are joining force to fight a common enemy.
- The campaign not only has the potential to reach millions, especially young people, but it also allows the soccer stars to stay engaged with their fans and share their experiences. For example, Gary Lineker, one of the stars participated in the campaign, is also in self-isolation like many of his fans.
To carry out this research, we conducted a search on social media, first focusing on top trends. Then we searched for most viewed materials sorted by keywords, such as COVID-19 and names of the industries severely impacted by the pandemic. We thoroughly studied the brand messaging in the campaign materials that we found and read some of the audiences' comments to understand the reactions and engagements.