Before the Corona Virus came to town, we always made sure our marketing solutions resonated with the intended audience, and now that’s more important than ever.
We call it the Compelling Emotional Truth.
It means the communication makes consumers feel something, whether it’s an idea they can relate to, laugh at, or one that makes them nod their heads up and down. It goes to the heart, the intellect, or the sense of humor. It speaks to consumers, not at them. It’s honest and it’s genuine. It’s memorable and it’s likable. The Compelling Emotional Truth tears through the billion blah, blah, blah messages we see in a day. Most importantly? It sells.
Right now, it’s essential that your brand is getting the right kind of attention. You just can’t ignore that we’re living through a pandemic. So, the best way to approach marketing is — to paraphrase President John F. Kennedy’s most famous line — to ask not what your audience can do for you, but what your brand can do for your audience. Do you have a product that can help someone living through quarantine?
Take a look at this Eva Longoria commercial for L’Oréal. Salons are closed (can you feel the collective panic) and women all over the world are waking up to gray hair. And they are not happy! And while this may feel like an unimportant and inane thing to be concerned about while a virus ravages the globe, it’s a very real common experience. Who wants to show up on a Zoom meeting looking like a skunk?
This commercial is beautifully done. No woman out there who dyes her hair isn’t loving that a celebrity is showing us her gray and how to get rid of it on our own. Looking good, L’Oréal.
Laughing is about the best Covid treatment out there (not to mention the only Covid treatment out there). This Burger King commercial combines hilarity with a public service announcement, and wraps it all up by letting consumers know what they’re doing to help. As good as it gets!
If you don’t have a brand that can help make quarantine and social distancing more tolerable, no problem, go at it a differently, by advertising in a way that speaks the language of the moment, like this adorable, feel good ProBalance dog food commercial with dogs on Zoom. It’s dog food, but it’s hitting us where we live right now (on the couch).
Hope is always a good way to speak to your audience during times of crisis and it’s especially welcome right now. Take a look at this extraordinary Coca-Cola commercial from Dentsu in Malaysia. This Cadbury commercial has absolutely nothing to do with the product, but it speaks to all of us right now. If you’re not moved after seeing this, you’re sleeping. (If it’s a successful piece of communication, the compelling emotional truth is the reason.)
Many brands are supporting organizations that are helping those most in need. Here’s a list of companies compiled by Insider, who are giving back. Again, doing the right thing is a sure-fire winning strategy, and will get your audience’s attention.
This is a completely crazy and unprecedented time in modern history and there are no guidebooks to help us along. But there’s no doubt that relating to consumers right now has has to do with our commonality in fighting and living through this crisis. And in doing so, compelling marketing has to contain a compelling emotional truth. It has to be relevant and make an impression. Help someone, make someone laugh or tear up, or care, and you’re in the game. This is covid-tising, 2020.