The most powerful advertising and marketing campaigns always capture the essence of a current emotion or event. Sometimes this is the result of careful planning, at other times it’s about seizing an opportunity when it presents itself, like Oreo did with the blackout during the 2013 Super Bowl.

With the advent of Covid-19, the past few months have been difficult for everyone, and have also presented a unique set of challenges for marketers. Sensitivity and an acknowledgement of consequences of the pandemic have both been huge factors to consider. However, some brands have managed to capture peoples’ imaginations during this unprecedented period through thought-provoking and entertaining campaigns.


The hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, with restaurants, pubs, hotels and bars closed to protect public safety and allow for social distancing. Beer brand Heineken recognised this and came up with a social campaign called “#BackTheBars” to support local bars, announcing that they would donate to help local bars remain open after the crisis. They also offered people the opportunity to buy beers online in advance to help their favourite neighbourhood spots survive this crisis.


Many people have chosen to use this unusual time as an opportunity to learn new skills – and one of the best ways to do that is through tutorial videos. YouTube recognised this early on in the pandemic and decided that the campaign #StayHome #WithMe was perfect. It encourages people to remain at home in order to protect themselves and others while also discovering content to make that easier. It invites you to dance, cook, game, sign, weave and a hundred other things; it’s an effective campaign because it offers value and connection at a time when we may be feeling isolated and unproductive.


In the UK, we have been expressing our gratitude to the heroes working for the NHS by applauding from our doorsteps and also by displaying rainbows in our windows. This is a symbol of hope and it has been adopted all around the world, as people remain positive despite being stuck inside. Apple tapped into this hope and this ability to make the best of things by highlighting imagination and inventiveness with their “Creativity goes on” ad. It showcases our adaptability and resilience and is a perfect reminder that even at the worst of times, we have hope.

Marketing can be very powerful and help bring about change. If that’s something you’re interested in, why not consider taking an MSc in Marketing? If you want to talk to someone about studying with us please enquire here or you’re welcome to contact us directly:


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