Homo-sapiens is Latin for ‘wise man’ – to be wise is to have or to show experience, knowledge and good judgment. It is a result of these times that we become wiser – we gain experience, knowledge and better judgement. There is a quote that puts it perfectly “From limitation comes creativity”.

The Three Guiding Themes

‘Creativity’ in conjunction with ‘empathy’ and ‘necessity’, should be regarded as the guiding themes for marketing during a crisis. Creativity generates interest and provides the positive distraction that is so highly sought-after in times like these.

Simply refer to your social media feed, someone you know has tried their hand at damper or planting a vegetable garden. Experiences are the most effective form of distraction as they create a lasting impact. This is marketing with longevity. Businesses should ask themselves how their product or service can create an experience.

The unique factor about this current crisis is that everyone has been affected, there is no discrimination. It is a rare moment in history where gender, race, ethnicity or social economic status are irrelevant. I cannot see a moment in the near future where myself and Prince Charles will share an experience.

Solace in Togetherness

There lies the silver lining and society’s solace, the fact that ‘we are in it together’. This is a situation where we can truly empathise with one another. The difficulty is understanding how to empathise – by definition commercialism shares more attributes to egoism. How can you market a business during a crisis, like Covid-19, without coming across as an opportunistic, sociopath?

“Hope you are well during these times, enjoy 20% off your next purchase” is not empathy.
Apply WEAREINITTOGETHER upon checkout” – albeit an attempt at unity, is still not empathy.

Back to Basics

The most effective and simplest technique is to ask a vulnerable self, ‘what is it you seek during these times?’, ‘what is it you miss or need?’ and more often than not, there is somebody out there seeking the same.

These questions form the foundation for many effective campaigns and by breaking each down you will find they display at least one of the three aforementioned themes. Consider a campaign that has recently left an impression on you, then note whether they applied ‘creativity’, ‘empathy’ and/or ‘necessity’.

For example:

Candy Crush has offered unlimited lives in line with their World Health Organisation partnership #PlayApartTogether:
Creativity ☑
Empathy ☑


Bunnings has dedicated a DIY hotline service offering supporting to their customers 7 days a week (including public holidays):
Creativity ☑
Empathy ☑
Necessity ☑

Source: https://www.bunnings.com.au/a-message-to-our-customers

Burger King
has invented a 1.5m social distancing crown:
Creativity ☑
Empathy ☑

Source: https://www.adsoftheworld.com/collection/covid19_ads#showdelta=3

Rabita Bank has focused on cashless, non-contact payment methods:
Creativity ☑

Necessity ☑
Empathy ☑

Source: https://www.adsoftheworld.com/media/digital/rabitabank_cashless?className=collection-lb&contentid=386799&inline=true#collection-lb-content

Restaurants have created recipe boxes for customers to recreate their favourite dishes:
Creativity ☑
Empathy ☑

Wine: An Essential Service

The wine industry is no exemption; wineries have displayed sincerity and innovation with:

 – ‘In-home’ virtual tastings to both domestic and international markets: Creativity ☑ Empathy ☑

– Wineries collaborating to create mixed packs: Creativity ☑ Empathy ☑ Necessity ☑ 
– Regional produce partnerships: Creativity ☑ Empathy ☑
– Tasting packs at home: Creativity ☑ Empathy ☑
– Old school mail drop flyers: Creativity ☑ Empathy ☑
– Live streamed interviews: Creativity ☑ Empathy ☑
– Same day delivery: Empathy ☑ Necessity ☑  (wine at home is a necessity)

What is unique about our industry is we not only create a product that is deemed a necessity but one that provides a distraction that can be both shared and enjoyed. Benjamin Franklin claimed, “wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance” and he could not be more true. In times like these, we have an opportunity to use our powers to make daily living easier for the greater good; it would be remiss of us to forget this.

Written by Tijana Laganin, Project Wine