Brands Launch Creative Initiatives to Help People Impacted by COVID-19: Tuesday’s First Things First

Plus, a helpful guide to resources for freelancers who are out of work thanks to coronavirus

Headshot of Jess Zafarris

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Brands Promote Social Distancing With Altered Logos, Slogans

As governments around the world struggle to convince their citizens to stay home to curb the spread of the coronavirus, brands are stepping up to help. Using their own platforms and marketing teams, Chiquita Brands, Coca-Cola and Mucinex are among the many companies that have debuted branded PSAs urging people to abide by official recommendations surrounding COVID-19.

See it: Check out how Chiquita altered its logo, Coca-Cola encouraged social distancing in Times Square, and Mucinex is spreading knowledge about the virus—and they’re not the only ones joining in.

It’s Not a Real Guinness Ad. But It Is a Perfect Guinness Ad

The praise for Guinness was effusive and abundant. The brand had created a flawless marketing move aimed at keeping people quarantined at home rather than out spreading the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Just one problem: The brand had nothing to do with it. The digital poster, which creates a negative-space outline of a pint glass by topping it with a couch and placing the phrase “Stay at home” at the base, was a spec creation whipped up quickly by Irish freelance copywriter Luke O’Reilly.

See it: View the brilliant ad.

Iconic Album Covers Get the Social Distancing Treatment

In another stunt to encourage social distancing, Los Angeles agency Activista has created 6 Feet Covers, a series of album covers reimagined to show what social distancing should look like. Using iconic covers from The Beatles, Queen, U2 and more, the agency spread out members of the bands in order to comply with social distancing rules.

See it: Marvel at the ingenious creative work.

Popeyes Wants to Share Its Netflix Password With You

Popeyes is giving a Netflix username and password to 1,000 customers who tweet a picture of their at-home fried chicken order with the hashtag #ThatPasswordFromPopeyes. The Netflix accounts will be active for one month. In the midst of all this uncertainty, Popeyes wants “to provide a little bit of happiness and entertainment for everyone,” said global CMO Paloma Azulay.

Read more: The restaurant chain developed the campaign with the help of its creative agency of record, Gut Miami.

What It’s Like on the Frontlines of Panic Buying at Costco

In recent weeks, we’ve seen panic buying in the U.S. spread from masks and hand sanitizer to toilet paper and shelf-stable goods like oat milk and Twinkies. Costco Wholesale, the members-only warehouse that sells goods in bulk at nearly 550 U.S. locations, is arguably the epicenter of consumer panic in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more: We talked to an employee about the madness, including shoppers fighting, climbing shelves and trying to change clothes to come back through the line again.

Freelance and Out of Work? Here’s How to Get Help Now

Many self-employed creative professionals—from freelance copywriters and creative directors, to entire video production houses—are finding that their client rosters are going away quickly. Budgets are being preemptively slashed. Entire businesses are closing shop, laying off not only employees but also cutting ties with contractors. So, what are freelancers and self-employed entrepreneurs supposed to do now?

Read more: Emergency resources are out there and even though things are quickly changing each day, here’s a simple guide to get you started.

Here are some positive ways brands are lending a helping hand during COVID-19:

Ad of the Day: For a World in Quarantine, Ikea Created a Simple Ad About Reconnecting With Your Home

Ikea, perhaps the brand most synonymous with “home,” has created an ad touching on this surreal homebound moment.  The ad was developed by McCann Madrid, which has created several clever and nuanced campaigns for the retailer in recent years. This time around, likely due to the rapid turnaround and limited production options amid travel lockdowns, the spot is relatively minimalist, but the brand still deserves credit for being both timely and sensitive to the range of experiences happening right now.

More of the Latest:


@JessZafarris jessica.zafarris@adweek.com Jess Zafarris is an audience engagement editor at Adweek.
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