If the return of live events and sports – such as the Euros and the Olympics – has taught us anything, it's that in the ongoing face of the pandemic the way brands communicate with customers must reflect the cultural moment we’re living in. While some have truly hit the ground running with this week’s campaigns, a few have had an unfortunate false start.
‘Wall of Hope’, BT
With the growing interest in NFTs, the intersection of physical and digital has perhaps never been stronger than now. This is epitomised in BT’s latest work with Saatchi & Saatchi as part of its ‘Hope United’ campaign, which uses a 'virtual wall' to display supportive messages left on the Marcus Rashford mural in Withington over the past couple of weeks.
The quick-thinking, celebratory campaign also uses a physical ‘Hope Beats Hate’ mural, created at Kingsway Football Club and designed by local artists and commissioned by Withington Walls. The wall includes a QR code for visitors to scan and access the virtual 'Wall of Hope', in this way allowing everyone across the country to view and share these positive messages.
I love this campaign. By creating a digital home for these beautiful messages of support from the local community, this moment can be memorialised across all different channels – a key consideration for raising awareness about important causes. The speedy creative execution by Saatchi & Saatchi takes a local, physical campaign to a national level, and ultimately ties in to BT’s wider ‘Hope United’ brand campaign. A true example of a simple idea executed beautifully.
The new digital Wall of Hope showcases the moving messages left on the @MarcusRashford mural in Withington.— BT (@bt_uk) July 23, 2021
Click on the mural to read the messages and explore the Wall of Hope at https://t.co/DKCdjPFZ88#HopeUnited pic.twitter.com/o7KWbjpo9g
'Freedom Day', Durex
Durex’s ‘Freedom Day’ billboard campaign by Havas cleverly captures the post-lockdown sense of freedom for modern daters. After 18 months of at-times awkward Zoom drinks and virtual dinners, many will be returning to a more normal, real-life version of dating.
By reminding people to celebrate 'Freedom Day' safely, Durex cleverly shines a spotlight on how people’s lives have been impacted throughout the pandemic. The campaign portrays the simple but confident message, which ties perfectly into the brand’s wider values.
Costa Coffee Olympic sponsorship
Much like the Olympics, Costa Coffee’s sponsorship campaign was delayed by a year due to the pandemic. However, the recently released film by Pablo “In pursuit of perfection since 1971” has made a modest impression, using sounds and dramatic visuals to try to recreate the passion for perfection felt by both athletes and coffee-lovers alike – the latter being something I can especially relate to.
However, the campaign feels a little flat, particularly compared to the emotional hit of some of the other Olympics brand activities, such as Channel 4’s Paralympic promo ad. While the Costa film beautifully combines videos of athletes training with close-ups of Costa’s coffee-making process, it would have been great to see further comms brand action taken by Costa. Perhaps to support athletes in their own personal pursuit of perfection, while waiting in uncertainty for the Games to begin.