With the outbreak of Covid-19, the whole world is experiencing a dramatic shift. Things turned for the worse, as we had to put our society in lockdown to survive this threat of the virus. Each and every one of us has to actively take steps and take precautions to stay ahead of this virus. These steps include social distancing, staying indoor, not hanging out with friends, stop going to any crowded spaces like restaurants, movie halls, shopping malls, etc. These steps may look like minor inconveniences when it comes to the big picture, but this has affected most businesses who mainly operate by dealing with customers. But these B2C businesses should not think cutting down on costs is the way to survive and thrive in the future. In this age of the Internet with social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc, ‘Negative Advocacy’ during a time of global crisis will affect future business prospective more the one considers, and one should not be downplaying this drawback. One should instead refocus their spending and develop strategies to connect with their customers emotionally and build up their followings and convert them to a loyal consumer base, who will remember you when you open your doors again. One of the key fundamentals of marketing has always been to ‘Adapt’. One must adapt to the current scenarios to survive. One must show compassion in this trying time to make a place in the hearts of the people. Let us look at two companies that have touched the hearts of the people with their online campaigns.
Oyo is a company that is scattered all over India. It faces very high fixed costs, and at the moment they are not generating minimum revenue. Due to the nation-wide lockdown, people are not traveling anywhere. Oyo in the face of this crisis, instead of laying over its employees, they have launched a digital campaign to connect with their customers. They have rolled out three digital films dubbed ‘Everyday Heroes’, ‘Ditch the Handshake, Do the Namaste’, and ‘Heroes of OYO’. The first video gives a salutation to the heroes of our society, the police force, doctors, medical workers, journalists, cleaner, and all other essential workers who are risking their lives to secure the backbone of society. In the second video, they show us the importance of social distancing in a funny and light-hearted bit of animation. In the third video message, they tell us how they are ever prepared to jump back into action for anyone who got trapped in any situation and needs a place to stay.
Mother Dairy is in a similar situation as Oyo. They are generating minimum revenue through sales. On top of sales being on the downside due to lockdown, people are afraid to consume ice cream in fear of catching a cold, fearing that they will not be able to differentiate between the common cold and the preliminary symptoms of COVID-19. Mother Dairy recently teamed up with internet star Zakir Khan for a digital campaign. Their campaign was directed toward the unfortunate people who are stranded alone and could not return home when the lockdown got imposed. The video addressed the emotional stress that many people were submitting to by staying alone, away from their families, and had hard it’s been to cook without previous experience. They launched their campaign under the banner of ‘Rishton Ka Swad Badhaaye’. In the soul touching video, Zakir Khan, in a short poem, conveys us a story about living alone amidst the lockdown and how he has come to recognize and appreciate the many talents his mother. He talks about his feelings when he realized how many simple chores there were around the house. He tells us about the disasters he caused when attempting to cook and shows his regret for not learning such simple things as how to cook from his mother. He talks about how he is learning his many faults and learning to adapt to survive. But in the end what he desires the most is his ‘Maa ka Haath ka Khaana.’
By Kaustav Bose