There’s one symptom related to COVID-19 that no doctor has addressed: paralysis. Not the kind of paralysis you might imagine, but rather the kind that often runs rampant in the world of marketing when we’re hit by change, chaos and uncertainty. Such has been the script for 2020.
Uncertainty was working overtime this spring as one business after another went dark and streets grew silent. It was a good time to go with messaging that was gray, beige and largely unnoticed. Or was it?
In the travel and hospitality industry, there’s a pervasive sense that the only route to take is the one most traveled, the one where messages and signs and ads look more in line with the kinds of safe, uninspiring templates you’d expect from government entities, accompanied by staid headlines that work tirelessly to try and say it all without saying a thing. The end result is a flurry of messages that are easy to ignore, which may well have been the intent. After all, this is another C-word that was best not addressed.
That wasn’t the case with two DAE clients that used the downtime to plan for the day when the lockdown would lift. Working together with these clients, we went where few others would go – to a place where our media would stand out, stop consumers in their tracks, and possibly even leave them with a much-needed reason to smile. All while being respectful to the feelings at hand that surround this crisis.
“We had an opportunity to buy COVID-19 signs from a government website but chose to create signs that complement our brand and that have messages that are friendly, eye-catching and effective,” said Bill Cottrill, General Manager, Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel. “We were thrilled with what DAE&Co came up with. Our guests stop and read them and actually smile. The beauty of having an agency you’ve worked with for over 20 years is that they get to know you so well and they know the significance of something as simple as a sign.”
Kim Painter, GM of Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel, added, “We’ve been closed since Disneyland Resort closed. It’s been a tough time, but as we were looking forward to opening our doors and welcoming guests back, we wanted to be sure they felt the magic the moment they stepped in our doors. The whimsical and clever signage will help set the tone for a family friendly stay with a touch of magic. It is always fun to see our brand come to life.”
It was the best of times to be different, smart, and even a little brave. It was – as all marketing should be – a good time to advance the brand, an approach far more effective than giving in to fear and paralysis.