After a rough phase of destruction by the COVID pandemic, media companies are planning strategies to re-open their businesses. The bad news is that many of them don’t have an office to return.
The Tribune released a statement last week. They have decided to close their New York daily newspaper and several other offices at different locations. According to a statement provided by them to the New York Times, they would “reconsider their need for physical offices” as they are fighting the way through pandemic and “as needs change.”
According to Fran Wills, CEO of the Local Media Consortium, media houses aren’t just buildings; they are the landmarks, representing culture, heritage from centuries. Frank is an owner of around 4,000 memberships. These memberships include radio, newspaper, online-only news outlets, and TV. Frank added, “They are a big part of a lot of the downtowns in a lot of their communities.” The pandemic broke the backbone of the news industry.
Emily Bell, professor at Columbia Journalism School, tweeted last week, she stated that the closure “represents institutional weakening. The dilution of solidarity against power, the snuffing of a beacon,”
They are the much needed times for newsrooms and newspapers to action around the world, especially in the US. With an ongoing pandemic and rising anger of communities to end discrimination and upcoming elections in November, the US needs its media houses even more now, than ever.
However, media houses have lost the trust of their readers. A 2019-2020 Gallup and Knight Foundation poll of more than 20,000 Americans showed that the Americans no longer trust their media and have a negative viewpoint towards them. The numbers are even lower when compared to the poll conducted in 2017.
The summary of the report states, “Americans have not only lost confidence in the ideal of an objective media, they believe news organizations actively support the partisan divide.”
The biggest challenge faced by the industry is to maintain the real state that they have accommodated. With several heads to feed, it became difficult for the newspapers to sustain their accommodated newsroom, which was the finest venues, but mostly rented. Also, the decline of the trust of their audience has forced them to stay in low visibility. Now, they gradually try to step up on the ladder of consumer trust, to re-gain their reputation.
Although, the possibilities of media houses losing their trust with the audience even increase with them being in lower visibility. These times should be considered dangerous, the lower visibility might propagate a negative sentiment across the audience’s minds, as the industry work on its cost-cutting plans involving the evacuation of the real estate.
In 2017, The Dallas morning news downsized itself from the famous building “Rock of Truth”. However, they made a smaller iconic version of the monument. The new inscription on the glass states, “Build the news upon the rock of truth”. The new owner of the building states that they will preserve the exterior of “Rock of Truth”.
According to Wills from Local Media Consortium, “It would be beneficial for companies considering moving out of their offices to continue to have some sort of presence or some sort of way their landmarks can be preserved in their communities.”
Jeff Jarvis, a journalism professor at the City University of New York, thinks that this could be an opportunity for the newspapers to go back to their audiences. It will also promote cross-team collaboration and can be useful for sales teams which can spend more time with their audiences.
According to Jarvis, “Slack is a poor substitute for the sound of ringing typewriters, but you start to see the beginnings of that kind of office buzz being recreated.”
The factor of collaboration is not just limited to the sales teams and newsrooms. Even the local outlets are collaborating.
Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst at the Poynter Institute, stated, “Collaborations among formerly competing papers and other news entities have taken off like a rocket over the last few years.”
As an example, Story share launched in February by the AP, a tool that allows more than two dozens of newspaper to share their content plans and also helps them to republish each other’s stories. Nearly, 18 news channels joined hands in Florida to cover the climate changes happening in the states. These included The Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times.
However, journalism seems to be entangled in the cobwebs of old myths, and traits of the days of ink and paper. Journalism needs to break its chains and explore the possibilities of ideas and innovation.
Just weeks into global lockdown, advertising production has changed. It is now confined to homes with shoots canceled or postponed for the foreseeable future. Out of adversity, now comes creativity as advertisers are overcoming the hurdle of not being able to venture out with ads made remotely or entirely from home.
Video advertising isn’t stopped amidst the pandemic but is showcasing creativity in lockdown.
We have handpicked the best ads produced remotely in the COVID- era from around the world.
1. Apple: Creativity goes on
Apple is one of the top names of all brands creating ads from home. The tech giant has captured how consumers are creative amid the COVID outbreak and are using its products for drawing pictures on the iPad, produce video content on Macbook or Facetime with near ones. The film is produced in over two weeks starring many celebrities from their homes and ends with a line reading “Creativity Goes On.”
2. Women’s Aid: The Lockdown by Engine
Engine and Knucklehead created a campaign ‘The Lockdown’ – uses video shot during the daily excursions in London to capture the empty roads and emphasize that domestic abusers are no longer on the streets and are locked inside with their families. Women’s aid has set up a coronavirus advice page to help victims of domestic abuse.
3. IKEA: Making Home Count
An absolute delight to watch the video advertisement and beautiful creative ad in coronavirus outbreak. Ikea Singapore released ‘Making Home Content’ – a short ad made remotely by a team of creatives from TBWA to give thanks to those abiding the lockdown rules. It covers simple ‘joys’ like pets, cooking, and playtime with children and family, using the footage shot by the team who captured their lockdown lives.
4. Vodafone Italy: Importance of Connectivity
Vodafone Italy launched an ad campaign made remotely by the crew to demonstrate the importance of connectivity and raise funds for the Italian Red Cross during the pandemic. The ad features the strapline “Even when we can’t be close, we can be together”.
5.Honda Civic: #StayHome
The 35-second spot is the latest video ad made from home entirely for the Dubai region with Memac Ogilvy Dubai. A classic example of creative video advertising where it started like any other sheet metal commercial but with a twist. Honda uses a full-scale miniature car and the camera shots managed to trick the viewers for some time and feel like watching a real car. The ad ended on a hopeful note reading” Until we drive again” with the hashtag #Stayhome.
6.Porsche: Let it Not Tempt you
Another automobile ads made remotely is Porsche for Poland which created a film overnight with a series of graphics to encourage viewers to stay home despite the beautiful weather. It inspires Porsche owners to share photos of the parked cars on social media and comply with safety recommendations.
7.Nike: Play for the World
Next on ads made remotely is Nike’s inspiring campaign where it is paying a tribute to all the athletes who are training indoors due to quarantine.
8.Birds Eye: So, What’s For Tea?
This creative video advertising ad was made to help families to cope with the coronavirus crisis presenting life hacks like entertaining families that include coloring pages and word searches. Families can download the life hacks on the brand’s website or social media page.
9.Ad Council: #StayHome, Save Lives
The Ad Council has joined hands with Google, the ANA, and other advertising, media, marketing trade associations, on a wide movement that pleads to the people of America to #StayHome Save Lives in order to slow the spread of coronavirus.
10. The BMW: Contactless Experience
The highly affected sector due to these unprecedented times is automotive. A unique and creative corona ad introduces the BMW India Contactless experience with a digital-purchase experience that gives the feel and benefits of a brick and mortar dealership at a click of a button and from the comfort of the home.
11. Audi: The Drive
Audi is offering a pleasant and innovative experience to house-bound Australians through the freedom of open roads. Audi Australia created a 4 hour long long-slow TV film, a masterpiece of creativity in lockdown for the viewers to experience the soothing nature of the road trip from the comfort of their home.
The creative ads in coronavirus pandemic show that it has not put a damper on the creativity of the people and will inspire audiences to StayHome, StaySafe to win over these tough times.