Amidst the Coronavirus outbreak and worldwide pandemic, brands are now faced with a challenge unlike anything the marketing world has seen before. The unfortunate truth is that there are many brands that will not be able to brave this storm. Marketers must consider a barrage of impossible questions – Should our brand continue to spend on advertising? Should our brand respond to the situation, and if so, how? Will customers respond positively to our efforts?
With an excellently crafted commercial released on Friday, March 13th, just days ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, Guinness has set itself apart as an industry leader that is willing to do the right thing, and other brands should be paying attention.
The commercial, titled “A St. Patrick’s Day Message From Guinness” perfectly (but subtly) addresses that this St. Patrick’s Day will be different than usual, and offers up a positive message encouraging people everywhere to be good to one another and keep each other safe. (Don’t just take our word for it, we really think it’s worth a watch).
The message as a whole touches on nostalgia, unity, hope, and social responsibility, and does an outstanding job of easing public worry while also instilling confidence in their brand. Guinness also committed to donate $500,000 through the Guinness Gives Back Fund to “help communities where we live, work and celebrate”, putting real action behind their words.
In the face of a complicated challenge, Guinness and their agency partner Quaker City Mercantile acted quickly, cleverly, and most importantly in this case, responsibly. This St. Patrick’s Day we’ll be raising a pint to you, Guinness!
As other food and entertainment industry brands are forced to close doors, the transition to takeout-only business models, and pivot their marketing strategies to consider things like social distancing, it will be interesting to see how advertising changes. This example from Guinness proves that being a good and trustworthy community member can go a long way.
Other brands have also taken proactive steps to show their customers that they are thinking of their well-being at this time and doing what they can to help. PBS is streaming Ken Burns’ Baseball for free. Disney released Frozen 2 to Disney+ a few months early. CorePower Yoga has uploaded a special selection of classes online for free so customers can continue to work out at home while studios are closed. The list goes on.
As we think about ways to help our clients in this trying time, we will be heavily considering what customers need and value in this scary time, and how brands can help people, even just by making them feel a little bit better.
For your safety and health regarding the Covid-19 Coronovirus see these pages from the Center From Disease Control and Prevention.
After receiving praise across the internet, the ad’s creator was revealed to be a freelance copywriter Luke O’Reilly with no direct affiliation to Guinness. His credit was dropped as the image circulated across social platforms, and many (including us!) attributed the ad to the brand. Cheers to you Luke, great ad!