Marketers and brands have had to do an about-face on messaging, communications and advertising as the impact of COVID-19 stretches around the globe. Many messages that may have been appropriate and on-brand in January have lost their lustre, or seem downright insensitive as the world grapples with a pandemic. This has left the best-laid plans to the wayside as brands quickly try to get their feet under them with a message that fits the current emotions and behaviours of their audiences. With no time to plan a full campaign, a “low budget” approach can build connections just as well as a big, planned production.
Budweiser proved just this with its #OneTeam ad. It was, according to a blog by Cint partner Cubery, “one of the first brands to adapt its tone of voice in light of the pandemic, producing a low-budget – but deeply touching – montage applauding the efforts of front-line social and healthcare workers.” Proving that powerful brand messaging doesn’t need to take a long time or a big budget, the beer brand put the new spot together in only a week.
Before attempting such an endeavour, the company needed to understand how its consumer base was feeling and what was important to them during these trying times. Cubery helped Budweiser by testing the ad, using the firm’s usual “3 C’s framework” to test effectiveness, asking “Does it Captivate, Connect and Compel?”
Turns out, it did. Budweiser a subtle nod to sports teams, which it typically strongly supports, while conveying its new initiative supporting the American Red Cross and honouring those who are serving during the novel coronavirus outbreak. Despite a lower-budget, simple production, viewers found the approach to be “genuine and sincere.” It bolstered the Budweiser brand with positive reactions from its audience and made the beer part of the social conversation. In fact, Cubery found it to be one of the “most likeable and sharable pieces of content we’ve ever tested.
Understanding and measuring consumer reactions to ad campaigns with effective digital techniques can help to advise outreach in times of crisis. When emotions are high and unpredictable it can be easy for a brand to make a disastrous misstep, unless they intimately understand their consumers. Using real-time audience insights, brands can create the right messaging and delivery vehicles to achieve desired results.
For the complete results of the Budweiser ad effectiveness study, powered by Cint, you can view the article here.
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