In wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, brands have shifted their approach and redefined consumer experiences. Advertising agencies around the world are refocussing to get through to consumers in these #StayHomeStaySafe times by creating simple yet powerful works. Some of these effective works were shared during a Live online session by TBWA\RAAD MENA’s Chief Creative Officer Walid Kanaan.
The new abnormal has led not just the adland but also people around the world to explore creativity within themselves. “Spending time in watching more content, reading more books, playing social games, has inadvertently infused and enriched creativity within ourselves,” said Mr Kanaan.
Creativity Needed Now More Than Ever
Mr Kanaan stressed that creativity was a necessity during these tough times. “When all of a sudden you are obstructed by a new lifestyle, it is creativity that will push you to express new emotions and ideas. When you have problems to solve, you have to rely on your creative sense and find solutions.”
When asked about a campaign that he wished he had done in response to COVID-19, he said, “This is a question of survival because of which we are becoming more productive and much more creative than ever before. If I had to wish, it would be to be a scientist in a lab trying to find a cure for COVID-19. That’s the only idea that the world is looking for right now. However, when it comes to advertising, there are lot of examples that are amazing.”
Simple, Fast & Effective
Creativity plays a significant role in helping people deal with stress, fear and uncertainty in times of crisis. What we are seeing now is how it helps people to provide solutions to problems in much simpler and faster ways.
One such campaign was done by Nissan Middle East urging people to stay home. “How would a car manufacturer advertise during times where people are not allowed to drive? By asking them not to drive and asking them to stay home and stay safe. Our campaign with Nissan shows the empty roads of UAE, ending with how the driver is sitting safe at home, while a Nissan car is parked in the drive,” explained Mr Kanaan. Another initiative by the car manufacturer company was to roll out free door-to-door garage services for their cars.
The agency also worked with Louvre Abu Dhabi to bring art to the living rooms of people through the artificial intelligence lenses.
The current crisis has led people to live a digital way of life spending more time online indicating a potentially irreversible change in consumer behavior. However, Mr Kanaan is optimistic on these changes. “We are monitoring the consumer behavior as we go. We are noticing that consumers are spending more on essentials. Luxury is not a necessity anymore. There are categories where consumers won’t consider priority in the survival mode. What we should know is that this is short term. The impact won’t change us from flying around, discovering new countries, from going to restaurants, from living. We are going to hug again, drive cars again, fly again, and have good times again. It’s a matter of time,” sums up Mr Kanaan.