thought leadership

The Lockdown Diaries: Making society better and virtual connections

As lockdown continues, we take a look at two more trends as part of our The Lockdown Diaries series. This week’s themes are ‘making society better’ and ‘virtual connections.’

The below is a summary of some of the key learnings from MediaCom UK’s latest report, “The Lockdown Diaries.”

Making Society Better

In a time of crisis, we have pivoted to help others.  The pandemic has brought about a collective spirit in the UK that has seen people go out of their way to help and support one another. Thursday evening now sees us gather on our balconies and doorsteps as we #clapforcarers in a shared moment of recognition.  Tens of thousands have volunteered to help the most vulnerable, delivering shopping, medicine and calling on those who are isolated.  An amazing 750,000 people have signed up to be NHS volunteers. Not to mention the beautiful hand-painted rainbows that have appeared in windows and in woods across the UK bring joy to people on their self-isolation walks.

So it’s no surprise that 53% of people think that there is a greater sense of community as a result of Coronavirus (Source: DRG).

But making society better isn’t just about local communities.  Brands have an essential role to play during this crisis.

People increasingly expect brands to show an openness to help and proactively support people during this crisis. 74% of people agree that they want to hear from brands that are helping and 71% go as far to say that brands have a social responsibility to offer aid during the pandemic (Ipsos Mori March, 2020).

A database has even been created to track which brands are offering support during the Covid-19 crisis: https://didtheyhelp.com/

Seeing brands advertise can also bring a sense of security and help to fill the need for positivity and little lifts throughout the day. When asked how people wanted advertising to make them feel during this crisis, Ipsos Mori’s research showed the most dominant theme by far were about security and positivity.  People want to retain a sense of normalcy in their lives right now.  Conversely, only 4% wanted brands to stop their advertising.

Brands that put their staff and customers first are seeing a popularity surge.  Tesco, one our clients, have seen strong positive reactions to their authentically helpful communications.  Their campaign ‘Some Little Helps’ ranked in the top 5% for awareness in Kantar’s recent research.  Tesco’s most recent Food Love Stories campaign, released 3 weeks after Lockdown started, has already received widespread positive response, which was co-created using customer’s mobile phone videos of their own food love stories.

So how can brands help to make society better during this health crisis?

From our analysis, we have identified 4 key ways that brands can support in making society better during the Covid-19 pandemic

  1. improve health and security
  2. increase access and availability of key products and services
  3. support connectivity and comfort seeking behaviours
  4. create a shared purpose

If you want to talk more about how your brands can help to make society better during Covid-19, please get in touch with Claire McAlpine – Joint Head of The Social Change Hub, and Pauline Robson, Joint Head of Real World Insight, for more information.

Click here to read the full report.

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