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Groundhog Day for Ads

May 13, 2020 | by Ron Wesson | Advertising News, COVID-19

Please tell your CEO to quit emailing us. We get it. These are “uncertain times,” “we are all in this together,” and we are now in “the new normal.” How do we know? Because every CEO who has ever had access to our email addresses has sent us a message to let us know that. Some even multiple times. Most are letting us know that they are all working remotely; even those companies that we know were already all working remotely before the pandemic. And it was understandable – for the first couple of months.

Now, the commercial. You’ve seen it, I’ve seen it. That one commercial that starts with some soothing piano music, everyone moving in slow motion, the voiceover with copy overlay assuring us of all those same things we learned from the CEO’s earlier email regarding the COVID-19 crisis. Wait, that is EVERY COVID commercial.

Somehow all the major brands in the world had the same notion: Target, Apple, Uber, FedEx, Budweiser, Lexus, T-Mobile, the list goes on. While most obviously feel this may not be time to take huge chances in your message, or to appear insensitive, these cookie-cutter ads come off just that way.

Come on advertisers, this is our time to shine. Be sensitive. Stand out. Be different. Be creative. And be real. Make us really believe we are actually in this crisis together. Not just all in the same commercial.

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