“Can you spare a square…?”
“I’m sorry, I don’t have a square to spare.”
This iconic Seinfeldism became an all-too-real reality thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, with consumers hoarding toilet paper at unprecedented levels, leaving store shelves barren and households in need.
The shortage soon sparked satirical tweets and memes. Recognizing there was anxiety behind all the laughter, Kimberly-Clark’s toilet paper brand Cottonelle quickly took action to turn a negative into a positive social movement. Through June 1, 2020, for every person who posts the #shareasquare hashtag on social media, Cottonelle will donate $1 to the United Way Covid-19 Support Fund up to $100k; additionally, to up the ante, parent company Kimberly-Clark donated $1 Million and a million rolls of Cottonelle to the non-profit.
Other brands have also stepped up to support industries and workers affected by Covid-19. High Wide & Handsome dreamed up The Great American Takeout to help drive business for the restaurant industry, SnapChat introduced an AR donation lens for The World Health Organization, and one of the first brands to come to their industry’s aid, Miller Lite, created a virtual tip jar to support the US Bartenders’ Guild. These are just a few of the brands that rallied around the communities they serve.
In modern times of crisis, successful strategies now must involve consumers as part of the solution within a larger social narrative. Here are a few of the most recent examples:
Celebrating a bespoke occasion – “The Great American Takeout”
The Great American Takeout was created to support the restaurant industry and its workers. The campaign began on 3/24, and has since amassed a coalition of restaurants and brands that are rallying behind it and the food service industry. Since its launch, the campaign has evolved from an awareness driver to one that includes a consumer activation and charitable giving component, including a sweepstakes to amplify awareness and participation, and continues to evolve today.
Driving action & awareness with reminders of what’s missing – Miller Lite “Virtual Tip Jar”
By showing striking images of empty watering holes from Any-towns, USA, Miller Lite reminds us that we can support our favorite bars during their mandatory closures by donating to the USBG’s “virtual tip jar.” To kick off the campaign, parent company Molson Coors donated $1 Million, and activated it socially by making backgrounds available for virtual happy hours to raise awareness for this great cause. To download your own background, visit https://www.millerlite.com/backgrounds. Donation links can also be found on the site.
Using consumer engagement to drive donations – Snapchat AR Donation Lens
In addition to helping family and friends stay in touch during this time of social distancing, Snapchat launched a new augmented reality lens that enables Snapchatters to donate to the World Health Organization. By scanning 23 international currency notes across 33 countries, an experience is triggered that shows how donations are supporting the World Health Organization, how WHO is helping those in need, including frontline workers, and how to make a donation. To see how this experience works, visit https://youtu.be/N0726ZcBnyQ.
What’s wonderful about these campaigns is that they’re involving consumers who are doing their part by staying home, but giving them a way to be active and engaged participants rather than passive onlookers.
These days, everyone is trying to do right by his or her local and global communities. And although these are unprecedented times, brands, corporations, and individuals of all creeds are coming together for the greater good. PrizeLogic would like to salute these brands, our essential workers, and those on the front lines of this horrible pandemic. We will get through this together – one small act at a time.