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COVID-19 Ads that Should Go Viral

The coronavirus has caused panic in our world much like that seen in an alien invasion movie. This isn’t Independence Day, though. It’s a pandemic. This disease has shaken the world’s countries and impacted nearly every aspect of normal life. Everything -- shaking hands, hugging, working, seeing your friends, going to the movies, going to bars and restaurants, to name a few -- all of has been affected or restricted. This whole era feels gloomy and uncertain. In the world of advertising, it makes sense to address this enormous change to everyday life. Here are some interesting advertisements put out to help spread positive messages about dealing with the coronavirus.

Nissan: “Ode to Empty Roads”

In a Middle Eastern ad for Nissan, shots of empty streets and highways along with a piano melody in the background offer both a desolate and inspiring message. The video showcases beautiful city and desert roads, implicitly empty due to the coronavirus that is keeping the world’s citizens at home.

Most important might be the narrator’s message, describing the “inseparable” relationship between “us” (presumably Nissan’s cars) and “you” (roads). At the end, after reciting this “ode” to the roads and building inspiration, the narrator mentions the “sacrifice” we have to make in order to be reunited with the road. That sacrifice is staying home, and the tagline “Stay home, stay safe” corroborates that this ad is about the coronavirus and the danger that leaving your home poses. It is interesting how this ad balances a public safety announcement with a subtle promotion for their product, as a Nissan car is very briefly shown behind a closing gate. The ad makes you feel like you have the power to help fight this virus and tugs at your heartstrings by framing the road as a friend the viewer misses.


Source: Ads of the World

This print ad from the agency BRID in the country of Georgia puts a clever spin on the “stay home” movement. As news agencies, social media influencers, celebrities and ordinary people shout at the top of their lungs to stay home during this pandemic, it makes sense to center an ad around this idea. We see here a wonderfully designed image of balconies in the shape of pills (hence stayhomICILLIN) positioned aesthetically. Each shows the activities and identities of different people (e.g. the man playing the guitar), perhaps suggesting what the viewer can do while he or she is stuck at home.

On the subtler side, the ad is fairly colorful, which promotes joy in these hard times. In the top right corner, we also see sunlight washing over the apartment building with a golden glow. This could be a nod toward light at the end of the tunnel, or that happiness is on the horizon. At any rate, the message is loud and clear: staying home is the cure to stopping the coronavirus. Social Distancing

In this ad, the notorious Captain Obvious with a giant bowl of popcorn in his lap is given a pump of hand sanitizer and rubs it into his hands before trying to catch popcorn in his mouth. I like this ad because it’s telling the public, “It’s obvious that you should be staying at home, social distancing and washing your hands.” The ad is taking into account the fact that a lot of people still aren’t heeding the CDC’s guidelines to take these precautions, and it’s chastising its viewers who are among those that don’t listen.

Another thing I like about this ad is that it shows that even Captain Obvious, a likeable, outgoing and adventurous character, is social distancing. That makes the coronavirus out to be a pretty big deal. Also, the fact that he’s throwing popcorn into his mouth one by one, well, that’s a huge bowl, but you know he has the time to go through it all.

Buffalo Wild Wings: Sports Live On

This ad is great because it compiles crazy sports feats done at home and fun, goofy music. It tells those who love to watch sports on big HD screens at Buffalo Wild Wings that the excitement doesn’t have to end because the coronavirus is keeping everyone (including professional athletes) home. The ad seems to tell people that they can get creative and do their own impressive sports stunts. Or maybe it says that they can watch these people on social media perform the athletic achievements. Either way, the ad is trying to let people know that they don’t have to lose sports because of the pandemic.

Hershey’s Kisses: "Spread Love from a Distance" campaign

Source: Ads of the World

This Hershey’s Kisses print ad in Israel is one of a series created because the coronavirus seems to have put a halt on physical affection. Despite the fact that you cannot physically kiss your mom/dad, uncle/aunt, or grandparents, Hershey’s reminds you that you can still “spread love from a distance” by sharing a Hershey’s Kiss. It is a clever play on words because, while the joke “‘Can I give you a kiss?’ *pulls out a Hershey’s Kiss*” is well known, it has a special meaning now that the virus has forced people to partake in social distancing. The ad is simple and does its job, making the viewer feel like they can still offer and receive love despite a time of hardship.

You’ve probably heard it a hundred times by now, but these are hard times. Take care of yourself and your loved ones by staying home, washing your hands and staying creative. For tips on how not to stay bored, read Junior Copywriter Richie’s blog on Making the Most of Your Social Distancing. For tips on how to work from home, read my blog on Tips for Working Remotely.

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