What do you do if you have a product to sell, but can’t be sold during the lockdown caused by the pandemic? You can button down and wait for it to end, or you can keep your name before the public.
Looking and listening to commercials, it seems most have taken the route of hiding, or not changing their message, while others have changed their advertising pitch to address the New Normality, or as a friend calls it, the New Abnormality.
Keeping an old commercial can lead to jarring images, such as this one for some male energy product called Nugenix. See the press conference crowded with reporters? Kind of ridiculous, especially when you have seen how reporters are spread out at presidential news briefings and others with governors or mayors.
So now let’s look at some advertisers who have recognized the New Abnormal.
Starting with the radio, Judith Krupnick of Cherry Hill Volvo has a strong presence on KYW NewsRadio1060.
The dealership has one commercial that talks about leasing, but another one thanks health care workers.
In another car commercial, the “Barbera Family” thanks people working during the pandemic. In a print ad, it names “doctors, hospital staff, nurses, firefighters, EMTs, first responders, pharmacists, police, grocery store employees, restaurant workers, delivery drivers, truck drivers.” It also touts Philabundance, the hunger-relief organization.
Now we turn to TV.
“Now more than ever, we need the good stuff in life,” says a commercial (above) showing Mom, Dad, little Johnny. “Togetherness, patience, laughter, love. Milk. Love what’s real.”
“AT&T is here, providing advanced support for first responders . . . Because until their job is done it is essential that we all have their backs. It’s what we’ve always done, it’s what we’ll always do.”
I liked the simplicity of the AT&T commercial. Providence Blue Cross had another simple statement. Maybe too simple.
Background music played over black and white still photos of medical care givers. The message is slightly muddled: “This isn’t going anywhere if you go everywhere.” Huh?
In my research, which mostly meant watching commercials instead of zapping them, I came across a website with scores of COVID-19 themed commercials. In case you need to kill a few hours.
Next up, Nationwide, which has been on your side since 1926. “Today being on your side means staying home . . . Assisting customers with financial hardships and our foundation’s contributing millions of dollars to charities.”
Domino’s has a simple message: We are open and we are hiring, say several franchisees and employees. “We’re putting food on people’s tables and helping you put food on your table.”
Against a series of shots showing its employees, Xfinity says it is here, ready to serve, as it thanks its employees.
Using a woman’s voiceover and a shot over the heads of an audience, the Kimmel Center says, “You are the ones that dazzle us. And although the show may have been paused, we are with you. We are all in this together. And we can’t wait to get back to our seats when the next act begins.”
“For Hyundai and its dealers, the health and safety of our local communities has always come first. And right now we’re all safest at home (above). But should you need a vehicle, we have options to shop online and a participating dealer will deliver it right to you. And to ease the financial strain, you’ll make no payments for four months. Together, we can create a safer, better car-buying experience.”
“We all have the power to protect,” says a woman’s voiceover. “The power to care. The power to provide. And the power to lead. The men and women of PECO share your determination to power through the COVID-19 pandemic. We are focused on maintaining the grid to keep your lights on and gas flowing. Together we will power through this.“
“Dear America, Toyota salutes our unsung heroes — the grocery store employees helping us keep food on tables. . . . All your friends at Toyota.”
My guess is the car company has several of these commercials, saluting a variety of unsung heroes, which would not include this guy:
Nothing against Mr. Pillow, just need a break from the seriousness.
We close with this one from AAA:
“At Triple A, we know the importance of sticking together during tough times. Which is why we are still out there helping those in need get back to their destinations. And that’s something everyone can take comfort in. Thank you to all the tow trucks drivers.”
And thank you to everyone else who keeps all the wheels turning in these tough times.