With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact businesses globally, brands are seeking new ways to engage consumers through virtual marketing -- a result of social distancing measures and limited public gatherings -- along with messaging that is honest and authentic.
While brand activations were a go-to for product launches and experiences pre-pandemic, the pause of in-person events has lead many to reconsider marketing methods by taking these experiences online. Adapting to times of crisis, auto brands like MINI and BMW stand out, launching educational and entertainment programming to engage a broader audience that goes beyond traditional car buffs. While MINI Canada recently launched its MINI Virtual Meetups Series, a collection of branded content and virtual events for all ages, BMW launched its Hynopolis podcast series. The podcast explores science fiction stories and will spotlight six episodes hosted by author Robert Valentine. Moreover, examples like the 'Who We Are,' a podcast by Ben & Jerry's & Vox addresses racism and recent political unrest in the United States by fueling raw and honest conversations. The podcast is hosted by NYT-bestselling author Carvell Wallace and aims to educate listeners with historic lessons, interviews and more.
When it comes to retail innovation, a standout is The North Face Summer Base Camp, a virtual summer camp series on YouTube that targets working parents balancing professional and home schooling duties. A variety of in-game marketing examples in the widely popular Animal Crossing game also stand out with activations by Givenchy, Klarna, Hellmann's and more featured.
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