How Brands are Appealing to Parents in a PandemicSeptember 01, 2020 - by Taylor Getler
As parents balance working from home (or on the frontlines) and directing their kids through online schoolwork, consumers with children are one of the most affected groups in the pandemic. Brand leaders know this, resulting in a slew of innovative new campaigns. With so many brands scrambling to appeal to this important market, who is delivering winning material?
Facebook, “Born in Quarantine”
Back in May when the future felt especially uncertain for new parents, Facebook launched their new “Parent Support Hub” offering resources that include special groups, fundraising tools, and updates from the World Health Organization. In order to promote this new hub, Facebook also released a touching “Born in Quarantine” ad narrated by Anita Sampson, a 100-year-old woman born during the last historic pandemic.
The comments on the video are highly emotional, showing how well the ad connected with audiences. “Made me want to cry. My sister in-law is having her first baby with my brother. I just sent her this in her inbox;” “25 weeks pregnant and this brings tears to my eyes. So sweet and encouraging! Thank you 🙏🏽❤️;” “I have to give birth alone next month so I feel this;” “I’m 35 weeks pregnant and I watch this every day. it reminds me that it will end one day.”
This commercial really shows the power that advertising can have. Beyond effectively selling a product or service, commercials have the ability to inspire hope and provide a leading message through difficult times. While the commercial was created to promote the new Parent Support Hub, the ad was so moving for viewers that it actually served as a source of comfort in and of itself.
Capri Sun®, #WaterforSchools
As we’ve settled into our quarantine routines and numbers in many states have started going down, some brands have shifted away from their somber tones to take on a looser and more fun energy. A great example of this is Capri Sun’s® #WaterforSchools campaign, which supplied five million pouches of water to schools that are reopening in the Chicago area. Water fountains are off-limits to limit the spread of germs, so Capri Sun’s® filtered water pouches “help students have a safe and fun way to get water this school year” according to their press release.
The accompanying ad is a cute apology to children for the fact the pouches don’t contain juice like they’re used to. One adorable, disappointed little boy asks the marketing team “how can water be Capri Sun®?” Another test subject is asked if there is anything that she wishes Capri Sun® did differently. Without missing a beat, she responds “probably not make it water.”
Huggies® Get Personal at Home
Audiences rarely get a peek behind the curtain at the lives of the creatives that develop the commercials that they watch. However, when the pandemic forced Kimberly-Clark to pause their normal schedule for filming Huggies® ads, the creative team found an inspired and very personal solution. They reached out to directors of photography with their own babies and toddlers, asking them to cast their families in a self-produced ad from home. Kimberly-Clark executives coordinated with these directors remotely to organize everything from props to wardrobes, resulting in an ad campaign featuring infants in their own homes that were filmed by their parents.
Brands have been trying to communicate that they understand the struggles that working parents are facing in the pandemic. What better way to drive that point home than to remind consumers that brand teams themselves are made up of parents just trying to make it work?
As more children go back to school (both online and in-person), parents will be asked to do more and will face tough decisions. Brands will be releasing their own responses to this, offering new products and messages of support. It’s worth keeping an eye on the ways that brands reassure parents that they won’t be going through this time alone, as they’ll have to really step up in order to cut through the noise and resonate with consumers.