I recently wrote an article about the consumer trends emerging from the Covid-19 lockdown. One of them was about honesty and the need felt by brands to communicate even more but without a thought-through strategy.

At beginning of the pandemic when brands started to announce their donations. It felt nice, but then it started to be like a goldrush in getting PR coverage. It started to feel impersonal, like just ticking the box, without a clear strategy.

Donate? Check.

TV ads started to be the same, reaching the epitome of plagiarism. I wonder if some of these were developed pro bono by agencies.

Most of these Ads showcase a sad piano song, empty cities, a family member melancholically looking out of a window, a 30 sec collage of homey moments with families trying to cheer themselves up, a voiceover saying words like family, together, there for you since nineteen something. A logo shows up and a voice says, “we’ll get through this together”.

Did I miss a Global Zoom meeting on TV Ads brainstorming?

I remember during school, some days, I would come home and tell my mum (a strict Latin teacher) that I got no homework to do. I’d say: “can I go out, then?” she would answer: “no way, revise old lessons or prepare for the next one”. Only then, I could go out.

Good idea, what about doing some homework checking what Ads are out there already?

Often, Ads look alike per product category, but during Covid-19, they started looking alike even cross-category. No matter if it were food, services, etc.

I appreciate the effort of putting a 30 sec piece together using outtakes from old footage in previous shootings with almost no budget.

I admit it, I am not much of a TV Ads type of marketeer. Having mainly worked with premium brands, I believe in seeding the brand from the ground up, with a more bespoke approach, let’s call it the “Malcolm Gladwell – Tipping Point” way.

I am sure there must be reasons that I am missing for this copy/paste exercise; but I am just afraid that this is the tip of the iceberg of the problem with marketing in the recent years.

A marketing that is closed in an office, that likes to spend more time with agencies than with the sales teams at the front line.

More interested in listening to a focus group than to a customer that knows how shoppers behave.

With missed Q1 and hard to get Q2 targets, there will be a need to re-think a lot of stuff.

It’s time for a new type of cooperation between marketing and sales teams.

Marketing teams, get out there, enter a bar, a supermarket, go on a trade visit with a salesperson. Don’t focus on the small details of an unimplementable “picture of success”. Give constructive feedback, don’t bring a problem but a solution.

Sales teams, don’t polish things upfront, prepping a presidential routing of the few supermarkets were things look great. Show marketing teams the real stuff. The ones in which the product is dusty on the shelves and the store manager is mad at you.

After Covid-19 honest communication is king. Only this way “we will get through this together”.