I know you care…so what?!

We have been bombarded by ads and emails by companies that show they care about us during the pandemic. This is nice and I’m glad.

But, I largely don’t care now.

Aside from pulling standard shots with the same tedious voice tone and music, what are you actually doing for me? In most cases, I have never been your customer. Not sure this messaging is moving me forward in my decision path in any measurable way.

Bob Hoffman, The AD Contrarian, had this link in his weekly newsletter:


Same old…same old…yawn…

There are some companies that are delivering messages on brand. ACE Hardware ran this ad last year:


Then they started to run this ad as a result of the pandemic:


Do you recognize a lot of the same images? The music and voiceover is positive. The message is consistent with their brand and the position they set out in their previous ads. This is a wonderful example of what to do.

Contrast this with the companies in the earlier clip Their current messaging is quite different from their previous messaging. Here are some questions you should consider asking yourself:

  • Can you see the bind they are in? What about you? How were you positioning your company and products/services before?
  • Is it a natural extension for you to move into the new COVID ads?
  • Do you garner confidence and trust, now as in the past?
  • What were you trying to be, before you felt it necessary to have somber piano music and a “we’re here for you” message? I hope you are here for me and everyone else! Tell me something useful, please!
  • How are you messaging people now? Have you sent emails to check in?
  • Have you made phone calls just to check in?
  • Do you have something relevant to talk about?

Notice there is no “sales” messages in the questions about your email contact program. Focus on existing customers/clients. If you are doing any prospecting you must be very careful – it is a challenge to forge a new relationship at this time. Having said that, your product or service might be very useful and needed by some customers and you should let them know.

Balance in messaging and approach, and context for the situation your new contacts are experiencing, are essential. This is not the time to make people angry at you. At this time, anger will have a loooooong memory.

This also means that you need to be playing a tactical game as well as a loooong game. There is time for thinking and preparing how you can legitimately help people or organizations as we move forward through the pandemic.

Me? I am an opTIMist.  I practice opTIMism.  We will get through this crisis with innovation and sTIMulating new ideas.

Please stay safe. Practice physical distancing. Practice thoughtful actions.

And enjoy life!


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