These are weird, turbulent times, my friend.
All of adland is strapping in for what looks like weeks and weeks of work from home life as the coronavirus outbreak shows no sign of abating. It’s thrown our industry into chaos -- but organized chaos.
But amid the upheaval and trepidation comes a show of unbreakable positivity. Ad agencies and brands are already stepping up in all sorts of ways.
Here are just a few examples of how adland is helping everyone get through the uncertainty with awesome generosity and drives:
This article is being updated in real-time to share the growing number of initiatives.
The telecoms giant is the first to waive internet data caps for its customers as countless Americans move to a work from home environment. Additionally, through Access from AT&T, it will continue to offer internet data to qualifying limited income households for $10 a month.
Fiona Carter said: "One of AT&T’s values is to be there when people need us most, whether it’s our customers, our colleagues or our communities. Now is one of those times for us to be there. And we will.
"We recognize that staying in touch with family, friends, school and work has never been more important so we are taking multiple actions including offering AT&T consumer home internet customers unlimited internet data."
If this isn’t uncharted territory for you, where the hell have you been working?
For many leaders, this will be the first time managing a crisis -- let alone a global pandemic. There will be highs and lows (probably heavy on the latter), so R/GA CMO Jess Greenwood has outlined a rookie’s guide to getting it right, then wrong, then right again.
Well worth a read -- give it a butcher’s.
It’s a company with the sole mission to get people out of their homes and explore.
So when a global pandemic makes it near impossible to do that, the brand’s got to think fast to stay relevant.
Time Out has U-turned itself to become "Time In" with a drive that supports independent vendors and encourages people to adhere to expert advice and lay low amid the global coronavirus outbreak.
Jameson Whiskey, alongside advertising agency Night After Night, spread the word that St. Patrick’s Day is not canceled with a huge donation in aid of our bartenders.
The brand pledged $500,000 to the United States Bartenders’ Guild and is also matching every dollar pledged by the public, up to $100,000, to the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program.
Havas is bringing meditation to the masses among other rituals via live-streaming classes.
The holding company decided to bring its weekly employee sessions to the public as the number of those working remotely continues to rise.
Yoga/meditation classes happen every Monday from 4 to 5PM, while Kundalini sessions will take place on Tuesday at the same time.
Facebook is doing its part to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19 with a $100 million grant program for 30,000 small businesses in 30 countries around the world.
For restaurants, bars, and everything in-between forced to shutter due to social distancing measures put in place by world governments, income will be scarce going forward.
With no concrete timeline on when these small businesses can reopen, some will undoubtedly have to close permanently.
We’ve all had that thought since lockdown: Should we even be ordering food for takeout if we have to come face-to-face with a delivery driver (brave enough to be out there in the elements, I might add)?
Uber Eats has been quick to create a new product tool which asks the restaurant to leave food on your doorstep -- kind of like a ding-dong ditch but with burritos.
Firefly, a digital media network, is donating its vehicle-mounted displays to help provide public health messaging around coronavirus to residents of all cities in which it operates. Utilizing its street-level digital media network, Firefly is able to provide updated information in real-time thanks to its block-by-block geolocation technology.
"Times like these require everyone to work together and contribute what they can to ensure the health and safety of our communities," said Kaan Gunay, co-founder and CEO of Firefly.
Local businesses in New York have been thrown a lifeline by a global ad agency offering free tutorials and marketing services at reduced rates to help combat the economic impact of COVID-19.
We Are Social, which has big brands on its roster including Samsung, adidas and Uber, wants small and medium-sized firms to take advantage of its social media expertise.
It comes as high street footfall plummets amid mass quarantine efforts and social media usage skyrockets.
SS+K and Beekman1802 team up to launch PSA social account
SS+K and beauty company Beekman1802 have joined forces to create a social media account that serves as a PSA to remind citizens to wash their hands properly.
To see the friendly posts and videos, follow @TimeToWashHands on Twitter or Instagram. The program is also being supported by influential people, like Katie Couric, who will share short videos of themselves washing their hands for 20 seconds.
The initiative also encourages the general public to get involved and share fun hand-washing videos, such as singing a song for 20-seconds while scrubbing with those bubbles.