5 Ways Brands Are Using Video During COVID-19

By Alison Osborne

April 15, 2020

It is blatantly obvious that we are currently in an advertising landscape that marketers have never experienced before. As brands try to adapt their advertising to the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is faced with finding the best tactics to use during this time of uncertainty.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) recently stated that according to 74% of media buyers, planners and brands, Coronavirus will have a bigger impact on advertising than the 2008 financial crisis. The majority (63%) of advertisers have already changed the messages they are touting in-market, increasing:

  1. Mission-based marketing (+42%)
  2. Cause-related marketing (+41%)

One thing for advertisers to take note of is that according to research from Nielsen - people watch about 60% more content than usual when they are forced to stay inside. We’ve seen brands begin to adapt to the changing times and produce coronavirus-focused content which according to research done by Berlin Cameron and Perksy, more than 4 in 10 Millennials believe brands play a crucial role during this pandemic and should be stepping up to show their support. One in four Millennials even think that currently, brands have just as much impactful power as the government. 

With that being said, 83% of Millennials say that brands need to start launching their initiatives and support now, not later. And these statistics have proven to be true. Around St. Patricks Day, Guinness released “A St. Patrick’s Day Message From Guinness” stating that yes, this St. Patricks Day does feel different but not to worry, they have signed a 9000-year lease on their brewery so they are not going anywhere. After this spot was released, Ace Metrix found that the ad produced a large positive response and increased purchase intent for 7 out of 10 beer drinkers. 

It is clear that there is a large amount of value when it comes to brands producing content right now. So, we have listed 5 ways brands can use video for their marketing efforts during COVID-19. 

1. Be Informative 

Probably one of the most useful forms of video is value and information-packed content. Video is an incredibly easy way to communicate key messages to a wide audience. For example, the CDC has been providing people with a variety of informative content. One that we especially loved was “Protect Yourself: 30”, a quick animated video that lists the types of individuals that are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 as well as tips on how they can avoid the virus. 

The Ohio Department of Health also released an awesome video demonstrating the positive impacts of social distancing with ping pong balls and mousetraps. The message in this video is clear and concise, but also uses a unique format in showing how we can all flatten the curve by social distancing. 

2. Provide Hope and Inspiration 

As individuals around the world continue to live in quarantine without an end in sight, it’s incredibly easy to become overwhelmed and stressed about the situation. 

We’ve been seeing various brands create campaigns with a focus on providing hope to audiences, letting us know that we will get through this and it will eventually come to an end. One example is Jeep’s, “Same Day” campaign. Jeep cleverly jumped off “Groundhog Day”, stating that they understand we may feel like every day is the same, but to remember that we will all be able to go outside once again. 

Realtor.com also came out with their “#StayHome” video showing us everything that a home can mean. The main messaging behind this video is that this time will pass and one day we will be able to go outside and socialize, but for now, we need to stay in our homes. 

*If you are feeling stressed or anxious about COVID-19, the CDC has released useful tactics and advice when it comes to coping with the current situation. Check it out here

3. Show Your Support

Brands are showing their support in a variety of ways whether it’s giving thanks, donating, or both. Dove recently came out with their “Courage” campaign, showing images of front line health workers and the marks that face masks are leaving on their faces. The video was made even more powerful by sharing the names of healthcare professionals depicted in the video. Overall, the campaign gave thanks to these workers and showed the courage that they all have during these times.  

Burger King recently released a lighthearted video, “Stay Home of the Whopper”. The goal of this video is to encourage individuals to stay at home. Burger King also announced that they are donating Whopper sandwiches to healthcare workers as well as supporting the American Nurses Foundation.  

Amazon is one company that has definitely seen an increase in demand as individuals continue to order supplies online. The company recently announced that they are looking to hire around 100 000 new warehouse workers to try to keep up. In “Thank You Amazon Heroes”, Amazon thanks all of their workers who are working through this crisis.

4. Send a Message 

Brands are using video as a way to send powerful messages and reminders to everyone at home. Apple recently released “Creativity Goes On”, conveying that although we are stuck at home, creativity still lives within us and we can find unique ways to connect with one another. 

In Portugal, McAnn changed their name to WeCANN in their latest video to provide hope and support to audiences around the world. 

Finally, Uber released their campaign “Thank You for Not Riding” with a powerful video thanking everyone for staying inside. 

5. Provide Some Laughter 

Now, this is a much newer way to use video during COVID-19 and brands must be incredibly cautious and cognizant of the message that they are sending. Doritos was one of the first brands to launch a lighter-hearted and humorous video about rationing your Doritos until the next food delivery. 

Hotels.com also released a blunt and light-hearted video just telling people to stay home with Captain Obvious in “Social Distancing”. 

Marketing During COVID-19 

Overall, video is an incredibly powerful tool brands should be taking advantage of right now. Although we are limited on how these videos can be produced, so many creators are coming forward with creative solutions to continue their craft during social distancing. 

At the end of the day, all brands need to reflect on the message they are sending out to their audiences. Remember that it’s a troubling time for many. So create your videos with empathy and show your support however you can. We all play a role in getting through this.