There have been more than a few COVID-19 ads over the past few months. However, one in particular stood out for us. The ad campaign #OpenForDelivery for DoorDash hit the advertising sweet spot. As we are sadly aware, the restaurant industry got hit hard during the shutdown. With most US restaurants closing their doors for in-person dining, the restaurant industry had to get creative. To stay afloat, more restaurants than ever started offering options like curbside pickup and delivery. Because of this increasing demand, platforms such as DoorDash decided to lend a helping hand and accommodate more local businesses. In April, DoorDash even reduced restaurant fees by 50% and had more options on their platform than ever.
As DoorDash offered a way for restaurants to keep orders coming in, they released their Open For Delivery ad campaign. The concept showcased the importance of dining at restaurants even if you’re not “dining in”. We believe that this ad struck a great balance of a promotion for DoorDash without overshadowing the positive message. Let’s analyze this ad and talk about what was done right.
Do: Acknowledge The Current Climate
Even though we are all aware of the current climate, ignoring the pandemic entirely can come across as tone deaf. The reality is that these circumstances are unique and impact everyone’s lives. In the DoorDash Open For Delivery ad, they do an excellent job of shedding light on the situation without making it the main highlight. Because, while you don’t want to dwell on the negative (that brings us to the next point), failing to acknowledge the situation will not come across well either.
Don’t: Dwell On the Negative
Being a media buyer agency we believe that you should communicate about the current climate but you should not completely dwell on it. We’ve all been bombarded by pandemic information over the past few months that the vast majority of Americans do not want to hear more than they have to. Our newsfeeds and media have been cluttered with bad news, so it’s important for brands to draw light on the positive. While there should be sensitive undertones with the situation, making your advertisement too “crisis heavy” will only be another bearer of bad news.
Do: Find Ways To Help
As demonstrated in DoorDash’s ad, they used their platform to find ways to help the restaurant industry. They could have primarily focused on how they’re keeping deliveries safe or how they are operating under stricter precautions, but they chose to highlight the importance of American restaurants. This conveys a sense of authenticity to the audience. In a crisis situation, try and find any way that you can to give back to the community and use your platform for social good.
Don't: Overly Promote Your Brand
As a media buyer agency, we know more than anyone how important it is for the audience to know who the ad is for, but when you're advertising during a crisis, allow your promotion to take the back seat to your message. Oftentimes, when companies get in hot water for insensitive advertising, it’s because they had a hard time balancing their promotion with their positive message. So make sure that if you’re aligning with some sort of cause or view, you give that information the recognition it deserves.
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