How Brands Are Helping In The Covid-19 Crisis

April 7th, 2020 | ACA Team, Association of Canadian Advertisers

Medical supplies: mask, gloves, hand sanitizer

As the world grapples with the growing COVID-19 pandemic, many marketers have hit the pause button on new campaigns and product launches. However, that doesn’t mean they’ve gone completely dark.

Across sectors, brands are putting their talents and resources into the fight against COVID-19. Brewers and distillers are retooling their manufacturing facilities to make hand sanitizer; global fashion brands are making masks and gowns for healthcare workers; and grocery stores are feeding kids who are out of school—to name just a few.

While lending a hand in this crisis is unequivocally the right thing for brands to do, consumers also increasingly expect companies to make a positive difference in the world. Numerous studies show that consumers are more likely to choose, stay loyal, pay more and recommend brands that genuinely do good.

That said, there is no cause-marketing playbook for a global pandemic, and brands have to tread carefully to avoid the risk of being seen as opportunistic. This is a time for brands to show a more human side and be truly helpful, supportive and empathetic to their customers and communities. Whether local, small- or large-scale, brands that step up now can make a big difference in people’s lives—and be remembered when the crisis is over.

Here are just a few examples of ways brands are helping out:

  • On the healthcare front, Canada Goose is making scrubs and patient gowns, and donating them to Canadian hospitals. In the U.S., Ford is working with GE Healthcare to produce 50,000 ventilators for hospitals within the next 100 days. Montreal-based Air Transat is donating more than 300,000 gloves and 44,000 masks to the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services. And Burberry and Dior are among many global fashion brands that are making masks and gowns for healthcare workers and patients.
  • A number of brewers and distillers are shifting production from beer and booze to hand sanitizers, which are much in demand. Labatt Breweries of Canada has pledge to product 50,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, which will be donated to Food Banks Canada, frontline workers and restaurants that remain open. Windsor-based J.P. Wiser’s is making hand sanitizer for local hospitals, long-term care homes and health facilities.
  • In the wake of government-ordered temporary restaurant closures, Labatt-owned Stella Artois launched “Rally for Restaurants,” a gift card program that provides local establishments with immediate financial relief. Part of a global initiative in 10 countries, the program is open to all bars and restaurants across Canada. The program encourages Canadians to buy a gift card that they can use at their local favourites upon re-opening. Stella Artois is adding an extra $10 to the value of every gift card purchased.
  • Langley, B.C.-based Save-On-Foods has launched a $1-million campaign to give kids who rely on school nutrition programs easier access to meals during the pandemic. For this year’s Toonies for Tummies campaign, customers can donate $2 or 500 reward points online or at the till of any Save-On-Foods, PriceSmart Foods or Urban Fare location. Save-On-Foods will match all donations to a maximum of $500,000.