We're at war, and your brand can help win this battle

"This situation demands brands to stop talking about their corona idea, and simply help the fuck out where it's needed most."

In 1941, America entered World War II and the country was turned on its head. 

Right away, the Ford Motor Company constructed Willow Run, where they went on to bauild a B-24 Liberator airplane every 63 minutes.

M&M’s didn’t exist before then. They were invented by Mars exclusively for US soldiers because M&M’s are durable in warm climates. 

The Coca-Cola President at the time announced that "every man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca-Cola for five cents, wherever he is and whatever it costs the company".

Over 90 percent of Disney employees were devoted to the production of training and propaganda films, mostly made "at cost" for the government and armed forces.

We’re at war again. A war with a new common enemy. 

And this situation demands brands to stop talking about their "corona idea," and simply help the fuck out where it’s needed most. 

We’ve seen some great examples of brands doing this in the last week or so. LVMH, Absolut Vodka, Facebook, Sweetgreen and &Pizza...

In an era where we talk about brand purpose, social responsibility and corporate activism, this unprecedented moment gives brands the chance to make a real difference in the lives of millions of people, here and abroad.

Think about these things if you want to act.

1. Ask yourself why you’re doing it.

Ask yourself again. And again. Please be honest. Is it to help thousands of lives or is it because you simply want to win awards and make money? If your motivation is the latter, please back away now. The end result will not be good.

2. Choose your battle.

Hospitals are running out of sanitary materials and beds. Families can’t pay their bills. People feel frightened and stressed.... Choose one battle. The more related that battle is to your business, the more chances you have of helping win it.  

3. Acts not ads.

Your acts are much more important than your ads. More now than ever. Talk less, act more. Everyone is online talking and sharing at the moment. If the world likes what they see, they’ll talk about it for you.

4. Don’t overthink.

Act as fast and agile as a startup. No PowerPoints, no long strategy meetings, no research, no "let’s call New York to see what they think." We’re talking about humanitarian help, not your next three year campaign. LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault apparently greenlighted hand sanitizer production in a text message last Saturday night. Get decision makers on a text message group and act now.

5. Collaboration is the new competition.

People all over the world are working together; brands can too, big and small. It took one person in Italy to sing from the balcony, and soon the whole community was getting involved… in the business world Comcast, Charter, Verizon, Google, and Sprint have signed a pledge to keep Americans internet-connected, even if people cannot afford to pay. Think about who you could work with, especially if it feels too hard as a brand acting alone.

The world is fighting a new war and only by working together individuals, governments, organizations and companies can win it. 

What can your company and you as an individual do to help? 

Think fast. Act faster. 

Paco Conde is the co-founder and ECD of Activista LA, an MDC agency launched by Paco Conde and Beto Fernandez in partnership with Carl Johnson at Anomaly.

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