Marketing always seems to follow a cycle. It feels like this:
We revolve around the 3 core advertising triggers: to feel, to learn, to think. It’s these drivers that engage your viewer, their time is as precious as yours so there needs to be an exchange of goods. Their time, in exchange for an experience.
What we need to focus on, is where we are in that cycle right now, and what parts of the cycle have we just been through. In March, we were in the ‘Learn’ phase. Explainers and on-screen text removing some of the emotion and replacing it with information. We were, in fact, ripe for some quirky cleverness. But… with the advent of a global pandemic, quirky has no place here. We need to reflect the tone of the nation, we need to be agile and responsive.
In April, and into May, we’ve been in the ‘Feel phase’. Universally the world has been allowed to see us in our homes and our pyjamas. Smartphones have enabled the blitz spirit in all it’s unvarnished glory, making way for genuine, sincere, wobbly montages of cats on our keyboards sporting the message ‘Keep Calm and Carry on’.
Now, we are entering a unique time where viewers both have a need to Learn & Feel. We are back to learn, but a more human version because we’re all thinking emotionally right now. People want to see safe, reliable faces in front of the camera. They want to hear straightforward messages reassuring them that you’re open and explaining clearly what steps are being taken to negate the threat. Having written this article pre-Sundays speech with Boris Johnson, it reinforces my point.
So, from a marketing perspective what should you be doing now?
You need to be teaching people your plan with words and encouraging their trust with your face. Nothing too clever or quirky, that will come back in time, but right now, let’s inform, educate and reassure.
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