As the world battles Covid19 every day presents new challenges and new targets – some wanted and some not – but what has become more abundantly apparent is how certain parts of the world come together to utilise experience, skills and knowledge for the greater good.
In an industry, which isn’t always portrayed in the best light and is deemed fluffy in some quarters, it’s great to see some of the amazing work being implemented by some of the sectors biggest names to help heal the world.
Our speciality – for Festival of Media and M&M Global – is creating award programmes and events for the advertising industry, so we thought it makes sense to hand out our own gongs to some of the brands, who have been using their infrastructures and mediums to spread awareness and provide much needed aid in a time of crisis.
So here goes:
Best Use of a Manufacturing Plant. There are a few contenders here, but the ones who we feel have lead the way are: Sportswear brand O’Neills for using its production lines to produce protective outfits for nurses and doctors, Brewdog and LVMH for turning their skills and knowledge to create hand sanitizer and Dyson who in just ten days designed a new type of ventilator and have pledged to 15,000 to help fight the pandemic.
Next up, Best Use of Out Of Home To Ensure We Stay At Home. The first nominee – in a sector that has been badly hit by coronavirus – in this category is the Ad Council and Viacom, who worked with Clear Channel to display their Alone Together campaign in key locations such as shopping centres and airports. We were also impressed by a movement that started with a branch in Belgium, Burger King crossed out ‘Home of the Whopper’ from their signage so instead it read ‘Stay Home’. Rounding off this category are the guys in green Paddy Power who ran a wide scale campaign imploring people to ‘Give our NHS better odds.’
With a global situation as unprecedented as this there’s been a lot of confusion and conflicting messages circulating. Which leads nicely onto our next award: Best Strategy To Inform, Educate & Reassure. Cold and flu brand Mucinex worked with McCann ‘Spread Facts, Not Fear’ to encourage safe habits and point people to the experts. Mindshare is working with Tommy’s to launch midwife Alexa skill to alleviate expectant parents’ pandemic anxiety. Finally, to combat the hysteria around panic buying, supermarkets such as Iceland and Tesco, are opening an hour earlier to ensure the elderly can get their supplies and some branches even have a dedicated shopping hour for NHS workers.
But of course, the real superheroes who deserve every accolade going and our eternal gratitude are the selfless NHS staff and key workers on the front line fighting this every day, risking their own health to keep us safe and to ensure we don’t go hungry.