The pandemic era
The Covid-19 virus has come into our lives in unexpected and violent ways, putting governments and healthcare institutions to the test. A new reason for social activists to seek a stronger response from companies. This generation of consumers, who have lost faith in governments, claims the social role of brands should not only promote consumption, but act in all areas of consumers’ lives. It seems that, in this chaos, a real opportunity opens up for brands to lead by example and become the true Robin Hoods of this multi-front battle.
Let start with hygiene. Many personal care brands such as Dove and Lush Cosmetics are sharing basic guides on how to properly wash your hands on their social networks, as it is the first step to counter mass infection. Without a doubt, promoting this habit seems very useful to us, but the crisis has reached such high numbers that publishing preventive content is no longer enough. All those brands with economic availability and influence have to step forward and demonstrate their values. This is the case of businesswoman Cristina Fogazzi, known under the name “Estetista Cinica”, who, with the collaboration of Biogei Cosmetici company, has managed to donate hydroalcoholic gel to a hospital in northern Italy and consequently with every order from her online store. Take note people. In addition to hydroalcoholic gel production, LVMH company has also stopped all luxury perfumes production to be able to offer help to French hospitals.
Fighting in confinement
Donations are of great importance at this time, but it is not the only way to contribute. It should be remembered that many countries are living confined to their own homes and, of course, staying at home comes at a cost. Basic supply companies have announced social responsibility programs during the pandemic. For instance, Iberdrola has made payments more flexible to alleviate the economic effect of the virus. At the same time, Telefónica also does its bit by increasing the GB for free and guaranteeing complete coverage for communication routes. A decision that will benefit everyone, from separated families who can organize joint purchase by Skype, to schools with their online classes.
Speaking of basic supplies, we cannot fail to mention the great general hysteria that we are experiencing in supermarkets. Running out of food is not an option, governments guarantee daily supplies for everyone and large companies such as Carrefour guarantee home delivery for those most in need. The greatest concern is also towards those who survive on aid such as children with access to the school cafeteria at a reduced price. To solve this, Madrid has agreed with Telepizza to deliver a closed and varied menu. Doubts about the nutritional contribution of these menus haunt us, but we agree that there is to appreciate the gesture. We cannot have the same opinion of other restaurant chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King that are sending ERTEs to their workers and are “limited” to delivering home orders by freezing food until greener pastures come. What will they do with so much food?
Would it be better for us to open dining rooms for homeless people or even organize home menus for grandparents and/or families who really need it? With great power comes great responsibility, they say. It seems that these giants have forgotten that, apart from playing cat and mouse with each other, their audience needs them. On the other hand, there are other, perhaps smaller institutions that deserve a mention, such as Liverpool F.C which is contributing donations to food banks for the less fortunate. We are waiting to know what F.C Barcelona or Real Madrid, clubs with fans around the world and billion-dollar contracts with the best brands… Will they think more about them than about their fans?
Who are you?
The road ahead is long and complicated. There is a lack of brands that support us, committed to our society and responding the call of social activists. It is time to think beyond financial benefits and claims of “love for the consumer”. More facts and fewer Instagram posts. Brands that are our heroes, that are next to their consumers and collaborate together for a greater good. And you, how do you want to position yourself in this society? Reflect and work from home if you can but most importantly, stay safe.