Corona and Communication

Corona and Communication

Causes seem to be the new easy-way in advertising. Causes have always been present in the advertising scene. But never did they glide in so easily and never came without being chaperoned by responsibility. With this hand wash frenzy, much of the responsibility seems to be washing off our hands too. May be these are new generation sanitisers that sanitize our sensibilities

Everyone wants to be closer to corona; physical distancing regardless. Corona is the new King of causes.  

Every brand, heedless of the category wants a bit of the corona cause. Every communication corporate or brand starts with “in these times of corona” and ends with use me, stay safe. In a matter of months, Corona has become the new super salesman putting Dicaprio to shame.

I do hope that brands mature to treating causes as a reason to do something meaningful in the lives of those affected, rather than a covert pretense for communication.

Here are some responsible best practices for corona virus messaging :

Don’t sell on vulnerabilities 
People sitting at home are vulnerable. They will miss on many things – exercise, nutrition, socializing, being distanced from their loved ones, medicines. Don’t sell to their vulnerabilities. Help them counter it. Arihant Mattress came under a lot of flak when it advertised its “Anti corona virus mattress.”

Being sensitive, not opportunistic
Lifebuoy’s advertisements in the name of public service messaging seemed opportunistic.

Be hopeful
Not just communicators, we are parents, spouses, sons and daughters, friends, employees, employers who want to feel hopeful that there is a life that lies ahead of the pandemic. We have to tell people that there is a plan ahead and that we are committed to working on it.

Do and then say
Doing is the best way to say.  

Bacardi Rum is helping by committing to produce more than a million bottles of hand sanitizer. Airbnb is providing for subsidized housing for 100,000 health care workers who are fighting the pandemic. Travel accessories brand Travel Blue provided 2,000 N90 face masks to Flemingo for airport staff

Use the right medium 
Content on Radio, TV, social media is being consumed many fold as more and more people are home bound and print has become negligible. For the pharma marketers, close circuit doctor networking portals is an emerging media.

Doctors are human too. They are fighting this situation much harder than the average citizen. It is time to laud their efforts, lend a supporting hand, help them manage their patients, their families, their staff and themselves too. It’s time to tell their stories.

These are testing times. Many are doing it right, many are being brave and waiting for the right time to say the right thing. But overall, that sweet touch of sensitivity will win hearts.

Rashmi Thosar

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