Our favourite lockdown campaigns

1 September 2020

It has been a strange couple of months for all businesses, with most marketing departments having to change tactics and business activities to keep connected to their customers. But with change, comes new ways of working, and throughout this big switch up, we have seen a huge explosion of creativity and outside the box thinking.

Many big brands have responded excellently to this pandemic and have found innovative ways to turn our new ‘normal’ – social distancing – into something playful and fun. With campaigns adding humour, some providing information, and others sending heart-warming messages, companies have amazed us at how quickly they have responded to a situation none of us could have seen coming.

Considering the degree of imagination we have seen during this time, we thought it would be fun to share our favourite lockdown marketing campaigns to help inspire even more creative thinking.

1. McDonald’s

McDonald’s redesigned its logo to reflect social distancing. As well as being extremely clever and quite amusing, this small edit showcases McDonald’s as a company that is taking accountability for their staff and customers, showing solidarity with enforced government guidelines. Tongue in cheek, it adds an element of humour to current social distancing rules and most importantly, makes customers smile – something we all need right now!

mcdonalds golden arches sign

2. Wasabi

Wasabi donated a whopping 17,000 free meals to the NHS and frontline staff throughout lockdown, supporting keyworkers during difficult times. They teamed up with other foodie brands, such as Innocent, to create a new initiative to support the NHS called #FeedOurFrontline.

This activity is a great piece of brand reputation building. Not only does it get their name out there, but it creates rapport between itself and customers who see Wasabi as a giving, kind, and generous service. What’s more, for those who have never tried their food, it is a great first touchpoint with the brand.


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3. Time Out London

The company ‘Time Out London’ temporarily changed its name to ‘Time In London’, encouraging people to stay in during lockdown. They also provided Instagram streaming services to keep people entertained at home, setting up live baking tutorials, organising live gigs, running online exercise classes and more. They said: “We’re going to make sure that if you’re stuck indoors, you won’t go un-entertained. A little bit of London is coming into your living room.”

We love this piece of marketing. Time Out strikes the perfect balance of continuing to uphold its brand values as an informative, fun focussed company, whilst doing so in an innovative, playful and engaging way. It’s great for brand awareness, continuing to develop that strong relationship with followers.


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4. Nike

“Now more than ever, we are one team”. Nike released this statement alongside its new marketing campaign to promote social distancing.

Within an hour of its release, many Nike athletes had posted the ad on their social media channels, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Tiger Woods. During this campaign, they included images and video footage of people working out in their homes, in their kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, or basements.

When we read this phrase, we automatically feel part of something. Something created by Nike. It offers support and promotes the idea that we are all in this together. That is the ultimate way to create brand loyalty.


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5. Uber Eats

Uber Eats partnered with Curzon cinema to deliver home cinema bundles (popcorn and hot dogs), to help people recreate the magic of the big screen at home. Whilst super simple, we love this concept as brand-building exercise. It aligns perfectly with the government’s ‘stay at home message’, giving customers something to look forward to in a way that keeps both brands front of mind.


6. Heinz

Heinz created a 570 piece jigsaw puzzle that was entirely red- making it the hardest puzzle to complete. We all know how popular puzzles became during lockdown so it was a great way to jump on a big trend, whilst being totally on brand! Who doesn’t love a bit of a challenge? We’re sure they saw some great sales from the campaign.


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7. Paddy Power

‘Remember the crouch’. Paddy Power ran these tactical ads to show what the two metres looks like, using the height of Peter Crouch. This is a great campaign in our eyes, playing off the two-metre social distancing rule in a really tongue in cheek and funny way. Lifting people’s moods with the use of a well know famous personality, it keeps the rules front of mind and makes for a great dinner table conversation.

In times of uncertainty, the most effective marketing strategies focus on developing brand trust, rapport, and confidence amongst their audience. Such campaigns focus on putting the customer first and make sure they are at the heart of the offering. Whether achieved in an informative, humorous, or emotive way comes down to the specific brand’s style and personality, but being creative in their methods is vital to standing out against the crowd and ensuring continued engagement.

Not sure how you can speak to your customers to build that desired level of rapport and generate continued interaction? Speak to our team and we will help you to come up with a full proof strategy that will outlast any pandemic.