I’ve been covering the Super Bowl for years and have seen how advertisers have embraced targeted messaging or good vertising like bees around a pot of honey. Money speaks. If you’re ready to go deep in your pockets and take to the public eye for the Super Bowl, you better have something more to your heart than “Look how good we are”, “I get it” or “America is great.”
The pandemic cannot be ignored because we all know someone who has been ill, who has lost a loved one, or who is facing economic uncertainty. But what is the correct answer? This year, however, your message might sound like a president throwing toilet paper. Ask yourself if your contribution or message deserves attention? Frankly, I’m just tired of the Corporate America giants playing the saint at a time when their support is minuscule. Many Americans get by and donate hard-earned money to initiatives like food banks, or devote time or effort to helping the community. Here are four missteps to avoid.
Don’t hold the activist banner, turn people into activists
Yes, brand activism has been ripe during this presidency; it has turned into a festival of screams by brands like Nike, Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia and many less reputable examples. We live in such a divided time, but we certainly don’t need another politician or an ice cream company to tell us we’re right or wrong, but rather someone who can help us with our struggle to cope with the pandemic. People no longer buy why you do what you do, but who you can help them become. Videos of Italians singing from their balconies show people want to participate. And we need people to take action, if we are to solve anything from climate change, racial injustice or a growing health crisis. It doesn’t happen when your brand screams diversity, but by getting people to challenge their own prejudices and prejudices. Values are important, but we need help in homeless shelters.
It doesn’t happen when your brand shouts “We’re responsible!” Carlsberg wanted to support Distressed bars and restaurants in Denmark hit by lockdown. The Adopt a Keg campaign asked the Danes to scan their Carlsbergs to fill a virtual barrel on the brand’s website. By June, 10,000 virtual drums had been filled. Don’t shed light on your own actions, but show how people can be part of the solution.
Don’t be a half hero
We all know who the real heroes are; don’t pretend your brand is one of them. Or don’t think it’s enough to celebrate the heroes, build them a podium, or hold the mic for them. Help them go further. Put your brand’s ingenuity, ability and effort to make a difference. There are no half-assed heroes. Yes, we should recognize the efforts of healthcare workers, first responders, teachers and millions of other Americans who are doing their part, but singing their praises on the sidelines matters less than helping on the front lines.
Starling Bank went an extra length to support volunteers and those who rely on help from the community by launching a connected card: a second debit card with a unique PIN code and a spending limit of £ 200. Now vulnerable people could get the help they needed without worrying – and more than 18,000 ordered the card.
Less bragging, more bang
We’ve all seen the ads that are more boastful than shattering. Take Hyundai’s hope detector from two years ago. According to its own “Hope on Wheels” website, they raised $ 11 million, but think about ad spend and production costs. I hear so often that actions speak louder than words and yes that can be true but then let me see more real impact, more bang. Hand sanitizers are good, but is it enough?