by Robert Acquaotta, SVP Integrated Media

As I was writing this, an incoming Comscore email interrupted my train of thought. Among the many insights was that fitness video content saw an increase of +147%(!) in the month of March year over year.

Really? Fitness videos?!? I realize this was an entire industry from the late ‘70’s through the ‘90’s, with iconic figures (pun intended) ranging from Jane Fonda to Richard Simmons. Are we really talking “Sweatin’ to the Oldies”?

The stats do not reveal details, but given that states and municipalities have closed parks, it makes sense that people are again looking to technology and screens to do virtually what they cannot do in their normal manner. Given that home fitness lately had seemed to become the sole province of relatively expensive gamified fitness brands like the Peloton bike and Echelon Reflect mirror, it’s refreshing to see the rise of an affordable, accessible and old-school solution.

Speaking of affordable, accessible and old-school solutions, let’s get back to the original topic at hand: ad-supported TV. In our ongoing CARE series, we have discussed how Brands need to provide CARE: Convenience, Accessibility, Resilience and Engagement. As we watch more TV and TV commercials (because really, after watching all that fitness content you must relax!), we see daily examples of brand marketers that are getting CARE right. Here is a look at 8 brands that we think are noteworthy:

Convenience – this is all about brands meeting customer needs by effectively adjusting their service and messaging to our life at this moment

  • Door Dash – This spot makes you feel more emotional about your relationship with restaurants than you might have ever imagined possible. “Restaurants have always been there for you. A place to celebrate. To take a first date…now you can be there for them”.Open for Delivery
  • Verizon – last week we highlighted Verizon’s commercial with their engineers emphasizing a commitment to the network. This spot focuses on convenience, with retail specialists explaining they understand how important it is to stay connected and all the ways you can connect with Verizon.We’re Online 24/7

Accessibility – brands must be there for the customer whenever, wherever and however they want it. These days, that most often means leveraging technology.

  • H+R Block – this brief, effective spot begins with the understatement of the year: “Phew. There is a lot going on.” And then reassures with “But we got this.” Great example of accessibility telling all the ways you can get your return done by dropping it off, filing online or working with a tax pro remotely.Here to Help
  • JP Morgan Chase Mobile App – While mobile banking is not new, it is a tool that makes our lives a little easier at this moment in time. The animated spot clearly demonstrates that with the mobile app depositing checks, paying bills, saving funds, checking balances, etc. can be done virtually from anywhere including home.Bank From Anywhere

Resilience – these brands do an excellent job of communicating that they understand their audience and what they are going through while reassuring that they are here for us and will continue to be here for us.

  • Northwell Health – nothing conveys resilience better than the local flavored voiceover of Ray Romano in this spot: “We New Yorkers have been through a lot. But in our darkest moments we always find the light.” “We’ll heal once again. Together. Because that’s just what New Yorkers do.”We’ll get through the coronavirus together
  • Las Vegas – “We know it’s tough to travel right now. Or to even to be around others. We just want you to know that when you’re ready, we’ll be ready. And better than ever.”The Only Thing That Matters To Us Is… YOU

Engagement – both these spots take advantage of these unique circumstances to make a big brand impact with different approaches: one with emotion, the other with humor.

  • Uber – this one-minute commercial uses a sequence of quick video snippets to capture the “new normal” of our daily lives. People from all walks of life, mostly alone or with a lone pet or child, staring out windows or interacting with screens. It effectively reflects our emotions of the moment and reinforces how we are all in this together. And it still delivers a powerful brand message while supporting the importance of sheltering in place. “Stay home for everyone who can’t. Thank you for not riding with Uber.”Thank You for Not Riding
  • – saving the best for last: years of investment in building brand equity around their spokesperson “Captain Obvious” enables to take creative liberties and craft an engaging and serious branding message perfectly suited to the current environment. Captain Obvious is “going to be social distancing for a while. And you should too”. Just Stay Home. Completely on brand and delivered with trademark humor.Social Distancing

These brands and so many others are making the most of this unprecedented moment. Not only to communicate with people demonstrating their humanity, but also to convey purpose whether emotionally, philosophically and practically. The brands referenced above show they understand the CARE they need to provide: Convenience, Accessibility, Resilience and Engagement. Seeing so many marketers nimbly adapting their messages in such an effective manner is impressive and gives us hope that as Ray Romano reminds us, “with our strength we will heal and move forward”.

As we continue together to navigate a new path forward, know that we at Active CARE and are ready to help our family of current and future clients, media partners and other trading partners achieve your CARE goals.