Brands Are Creating Zoom Backgrounds to Class Up Your Quarantine

The videoconference platform is becoming a creative playground

A virtual background of a table, lights and cabinet
The Behr paint brand was one of the first to take advantage of Zoom's popular virtual-background option. Behr

We’ve all been there: The videoconference is about to start, and you find yourself scrambling for a suitable corner of your home—one that preferably doesn’t expose your piles of laundry or unkempt kitchen.

Most of us were used to sharing pictures of our rooms online only when they were looking Insta-ready. But the coronavirus outbreak and its resulting era of quarantine has us all beaming unfiltered versions of our homes out to the masses, bosses and clients included.

Luckily for everyone on lockdown, some clever brand marketers have developed a solution to a problem we didn’t even know we had until a few weeks ago. As video platform Zoom explodes in popularity and users play with its “virtual background” option for green screen-like video backdrops, brands are quickly jumping in to get ahead of the demand for suitable images.

Behr Paint has developed Behr Your Background, a new library of styled and stylish room designs that anyone can download free for their next Zoom video call.

One of the Zoom virtual backgrounds offered by Behr.

Want to transform your boring apartment into a beautifully designed home office or a huge kitchen? No problem. Just upload your chosen background via Zoom’s virtual background tab (though you’ll likely want to sit in front of a plain wall to make it work properly).

A virtual background image for Zoom from Behr

Furniture and home decor retailer West Elm has also developed a range of backgrounds, including uber-stylish log cabins and chic living rooms, which you can download direct from its Instagram account.

Or if interior design isn’t your thing, the team at restaurant review site The Infatuation has developed a library of appetizing backgrounds that pay homage to food.

Those who prefer a more quirky background and want a slice of the action can choose between pepperoni pizza, sushi, fries, grilled cheese, doughnuts and salad.

A peperoni pizza background created for Zoom
A pizza background created by The Infatuation
The Infatuation

Or if you like to keep things simple, Zoom has its own free library of backgrounds already embedded in the app. There’s also a vanity filter called Touch Up My Appearance, which will make it look like you haven’t just rolled out of bed or peeled yourself off the couch—a feature that could become increasingly useful as the lockdown drags on.

@saramayspary Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.