In the US, every Covid-19 commercial is exactly the same

When media, marketers and agencies are having such a tough time, it seems wrong to gripe, but this compilation shows that any businesses brave enough to advertise at the moment are treading very, very carefully indeed.

YouTuber Michael Sam has cut together a load of (mostly) US ads that all use exactly the same tropes in response to the pandemic. At least these brands — including Uber, Samsung, Google, Facebook, Mastercard, Tesco, Apple, Ford, Budweiser and Toyota — are buying air time and giving agencies work to do — something we are not seeing so much of in the UK.

On this side of the Atlantic, we are more averse to cliché (‘we’ve always been there for you,’ ‘in these uncertain times,’ ‘we may be apart but we can stay connected,’ ‘we’ll get through this together’) and less inclined to sentimentality.

Obviously a global pandemic is tricky territory for brands, which is why planning brains are at a premium right now. Marketers would do well to listen to them.

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall
Emma Hall is the former London Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.

One comment

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    I choked on my breakfast beer when I saw this. As I said on AdScam… it demonstrates how cookie-cutter clueless the ad biz has become. I would recommend “self-immolation” from the current garbage passing itself off as advertising. Time for lunch time wine. Martinis later.
    Cheers/George