All over countries that are experiences social distancing, or even under COVID-19 lock down, we see communication programs and advertising campaigns being cancelled. This clearly makes sense for activities that were intended to trigger a short term reaction, like travel offers or amusement parks, now that the expected response is no longer available.
But a lot of products and services can still be offered and distributed, as evidenced by the surge in on-line delivery. In the context of confinement, consumption will be for many a source of simple joy, of distraction and gratification, in a context where many people will experience social distancing as withdrawal and removal.
Furthermore, those affected will likely have more time on their hands than they would like, a time they might spend happily communicating with brands and organizations. Now is the perfect moment for brands and organizations to talk with people about topics that require an “available share of the mind” – something that is not always readily available in our busy lives. It is also the right time to capture communications as a two way street, while people are experiencing a compulsion to share, take part, interact and be part of communities.
Of course, this requires an understanding of the particular context in which communities find themselves, the anxieties and states of mind they experience as we dive into this unpredictable future. It requires an understanding of insights into health crisis anxieties, isolation and confinement, the phases people experience, their particular needs and wants. We’ve started doing this work on both sides of the Atlantic; from our experience thus far, it is our absolute conviction that as hard and challenging as these times are, they also provide a unique opportunity to create deeper and more meaningful understanding of communities.