24 August 2020

by Spark Eighteen

5 Brand campaigns that passed the creative test during COVID-19


There is no doubt about the fact that the COVID-19 outbreak is having a significant effect on daily marketing and consumer behaviour. As a result, brands are leaning on personalized messages in order to create a lasting relationship with their audience – that too from a safe distance. Here we will have a look at some of the most interesting brand campaigns during COVID-19.

Table of Content:

  1. Ikea: I Stay Home
  2. Guinness: St. Patrick’s Day message
  3. Nike: Play for the World
  4. Apple: Creativity Goes On
  5. Ford: Built to Lend A Hand
  6. Conclusion

Messaging around coronavirus can indeed be tough for brands. One wrong move or poorly thought-out post and they could be taken as making light of the situation. Therefore, undertaking the situation with empathy becomes essential to maintain credibility during this time.

warc fact brand campaigns during covid 19

Here’s how these 5 of the most popular social media campaigns of 2020 that have tackled the marketing conundrum amid COVID-19.

Examples Of Brand Campaigns During COVID-19

1. IKEA: I Stay Home

During the COVID-19 outbreak, staying at home and protecting ourselves became an important aspect of our fight against the pandemic which still continues.

And what’s the most perfect brand that comes to our mind when we think of home? That’s right, it’s IKEA!

ikea stay home

In March 2020, IKEA Spain released a video titled #YoMeQuedoEnCasa (I Stay Home) where they urged people to view their homes from a different perspective than feeling trapped within doors.

The ad campaign partnered with McCann Spain reminded people that their homes have always been a place where they’ve celebrated good news and taken “refuge from the bad” – and that now it has become the best way to protect themselves during this unprecedented situation.

The 30-second-long video tells a story of a house as if it is the narrator who’s inviting the viewers to “feel me… smell me…” and take this opportunity to refurnish.

At that time, Spain ranked highest among the nations that were severely affected by COVID-19, which made the ad’s approach to feeling more moving and emotional.

You can watch the video here.

2. Guinness: St. Patrick’s Day Message

As St. Patrick’s Day fell in the midst of a pandemic this year, the iconic parades that draw millions of spectators around the globe, were cancelled at a large scale.

This was the time when governments were pleading people to practice social distancing and large gatherings were getting banned in many countries.

guinness st patricks day

As a result, what would’ve been a day out celebrating in the streets turned many cities into ghost towns!

For many Irish beer lovers, Guinness is almost considered synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day as most of them celebrate the big day raising a pint of this famous Irish beer.

So to uplift the subdued spirits of St Patrick’s Day, Guinness shared a solemn message by releasing a video in which it called on the public to unite and look out for one another during the outbreak.

The one-and-a-half minute long video alluded that St Patrick’s Day will indeed be “different” this year and no matter what the circumstances are in the future, “we’ll march again.”

You can watch the video here.

The uplifting and inspirational tone of the video highlighting the collective resilience struck an emotional chord while demonstrating value and humanizing the brand in uncertain times.


  • According to Unruly, the campaign performed well above the US norm for brand favourability (49%), putting it just outside the top 10% highest favorability scores in the US.
  •  21% of people who shared the video on their social media did so because it defined the spirit and the mood of the times.

3. Nike: Play For The World

In March, as the leading sports brand apparel, Nike closed all its stores in key markets – including the US, Western Europe, Canada, and Australia – the brand has been driving engagement with consumers using digital means.

Nike, through its, ‘Play For The World’ campaign is not only reinforcing the brand’s message but also inspiring people through the power of sports.

nike play for the world

Nike’s digital ecosystem, including the Nike app, Nike Training Club app, Nike Run Club app, and social media channels is giving athletes and other fitness freaks free workouts, content, and expert guidance to help them reach their fitness goals while staying inside their homes.

The video ads released by the brand under the title ‘You Can’t Stop Us’ includes images and short videos of people working out in their homes, be it their kitchen, basement, living room, or bedroom.

These videos also include footage of famous personalities including basketball star LeBron James and volleyballer Sarah Hughes.

Within an hour of the campaign announcement, a batch of Nike’s athletes posted the ad on their social media channels including Cristiano Ronaldo, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods.

4. Apple: Creativity Goes On

When Steve Jobs said, “Creativity is just connecting things.” he was seemingly talking about how creative people are able to connect experiences and synthesize things through them.

The statement is quite relevant in today’s time and it’s evident from Apple’s recent brand campaigns during COVID-19.

apple creativity goes on

In one of their brand campaigns during COVID-19, the tech giant hopes to show that ‘Creativity Goes On’ in a film montage footage of people keeping creativity alive by using Apple products. This includes a young girl drawing doodles on her iPad to an old lady learning piano on her Macbook.

The short video ad is also interspersed with celebrities creating content while being in the shelter of their homes. Some of them including actor John Krasinski producing an episode of his YouTube hit #SomeGoodNews and television personality Oprah Winfrey addressing #OprahTalks viewers on Apple TV+.

You can watch the video here.

5. Ford: Built To Lend A Hand

After meeting with car-dealers around the US asking what they and their customers needed the most, Ford realized that the current basic necessities from customers and dealers were – payment support for customers affected by the economic impact and tools to serve customers remotely.

Keeping this in mind, Ford co-developed a plan with car-dealers across the country offering support to new and existing customers affected by the coronavirus.


Under the Built To Lend A Hand program, customers who finance through Ford Credit can qualify to have the first three months’ payments covered by the company, and the next three months’ payment deferred. In addition, Ford also provided dealers with rewards to help increase customer service during the outbreak. This includes offering payments to dealers who deliver customer’s vehicles.

The results? The campaign performed way above average across the country with  53% for brand favourability which is the fourth-highest recorded brand favourability in the US automotive market currently.

You can watch the video here.


So here it is, the top 5 brand campaigns during COVID-19. The uncertainty of the situation today hasn’t stopped these brands from taking creative steps and being present with their customers.

So while you waste this precious time thinking about if the world will go back to the old normal, know that this is the new normal where empathy is the key.

Deliver it through your messages, and create a personalized brand experience!

Need help with your Brand campaign? Reach us here.

Spark Eighteen

Spark Eighteen is a brainchild of innovative young minds and a group of alarmingly out-of-the-box thinkers who happen to see the world of marketing from a new age perspective. With a proven expertise in the field of Brand consulting, Digital Marketing and Website Design and Development, our team of designers, developers, and creative heads work towards delivering maximum results, tailor-made to all your business needs.
Spark Eighteen

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