How COVID has changed… brand acts

How COVID has changed...

May 3rd, 2021 By Jack Morton

With live events finally set to return in more parts of the world, we thought it would be interesting to see how the different areas of our work have been impacted in the last year.

In this “How Covid Has Changed” content series, we asked some of our top experts about their respective areas of focus and how brands will need to adapt moving forward. Here is what they had to say….

Question: What do you think is the single biggest consideration for brands engaging in brand acts to integrate into their post-pandemic experiences once live returns?

how covid has changed brand actsValue(s). Before the pandemic, “acts over ads” was quickly becoming the call-to-action of choice from brands to agencies everywhere. The reasons why are clear and compelling.  Brand acts deliver proof on a brand promise in a big way. They are hyper relevant and hyper relatable. They attract attention, earn media, generate content, and build strong consumer connection.

As live returns, brand acts are back and will be bigger and more important than ever. They are the quickest and most powerful way to win back brand love lost during Covid-19 and the love we all seek — earned media. But before we jump back into action, we must take a hard look at the value exchange.

Post-pandemic, most consumers across demographics feel companies must align with their values. The younger the demographic, the stronger the feeling. According to one recent study, 73% of consumers ages 35 to 54 want companies to align with their values while 83% of consumers ages 18 to 34 are looking for alignment. Additionally, according to the EY Future Consumer Index, 69% of all consumers believe brands must positively change the world.

Brand acts offer a unique opportunity to do more than talk about values. They offer an opportunity to demonstrate them. Live. Post-pandemic the best brand acts will be immersive and inclusive. Gone are the days of “witnessed by few, experienced by many.” Consumer expectations demand meaningful participation. After a year-plus of virtual access to experiences they couldn’t access before, consumers will seek out and reward the brands that make it easy to participate.

The brand acts that earn a standing ovation will be the ones that deliver on all four fronts (simple, moving, original and insight-based) — and offer an exchange of both value and values.  An easy task, no. But an important one? Absolutely. Because it’s no longer a matter of acts versus ads. In a post-COVID world, acts are ads. The best kind, in fact.

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