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Advertising23 June 2020

“Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change”

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The world suddenly stopped during a pandemic. In a few days our lives, the way of communication, consumption of goods and understanding of the world in general changed, the marketing realities also changed radically. COVID-19 will be something that will permanently direct technological solutions and marketing to other tracks, will everything return to the relative norm we know so far?

Marketing draws inspiration from what society does. It was no different during a pandemic. When the initial shock was over, the brands began to adapt to new realities. They broadcast lockdown ads and the fact that most of us spend days at home. After a few weeks, it turned out that these ads are very similar – implemented in home conditions, using phones and less professional shots. Some companies got involved in helping out, allocating their resources or funds to fight the pandemic, although in action #Hot16Challenge the brands did not meet the challenge, promoting their CEOs without allocating amounts of money commensurate with the needs or even budgets they allocate on a daily basis advertising. The authenticity of all activities will be assessed by customers in front of the store shelf, if they remember them at all.

In recent months, marketing around the world did not look typical, it was a response to the need of a moment, but I do not expect it to last for a long time. Many changes are already visible, a return to relative normality – reality is changing, advertising adapts to it and it has always been so. Business and marketing moved almost 100% to the Internet. This went smoothly and should be taken for granted. Online sales today are simply the cost of doing business. If the trade in a stationary store disappears, and the company is not ready to jump to the network at the moment, then it goes out of circulation, losing a significant part of income. Pandemic time was well used by producers and service providers that were necessary or helped to survive this time – streaming services, online courses, e-learning, delivery meals and everything else that could have been delivered this way. Milton Friedman once said that „only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change”. I would add that the crisis also creates an opportunity on which many have benefited, mainly the e-commerce giants we were dependent on, along with them – flexible, often young and agile startups quickly responding to changes in their environment.

The statement comes from an interview in the July issue of Newonce Paper.

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