No one has experienced anything like COVID-19 before, which means that a lot of businesses are having to adapt quickly to changes. Some have directed their efforts to support their customers and community, whilst others have approached it the wrong way – trying to take advantage of the situation or using the complete wrong tone. Here’s a list of the good and the bad.
The good list
Some companies are using their physical assets and expertise to help with the crisis.
A lot of colleges and universities in the US have been forced to close so U-Haul is providing free 30 day storage for students forced to move out of dorms.
F1 Mercedes engineers teamed up with university engineers to help design a breathing aid for COVID19 patients that would help reduce the need for ventilators.
Adding to the growing list of fashion outlets lending a hand, AtsumiFashion Co, a sewing company based in Japan isproducing masks by repurposing materials used for women’s bras after an employee realised similar materials were used.
There are also some brands providing support for the community.
Snapchat will be launching ‘Here for you’. Users that search for certain topics including stress, depression, anxiety and even coronavirus, will get safety resources from local experts. Experts include snapchatters from the world health organisation, crisis text line, the NHS and more.
In Australia, Optus has offered an extra 20gb of data to eligible customers during April as a lot of people are working from home. They have also developed an animated adencouraging customers to donate unused data to Aussie kids that might get left behind socially and academically because they can’t access the same things as their classmates.
Facebook & Droga5 created a film called ‘We’re never lost’. The campaign highlights the human connection we can all still access during these tough times. It is promoting it’sCOVID support pages where people can request or offer help with people near you. This is one of the many ways Facebook is supporting the community right now.
Woolworths has opened up delivery again to support elderly and vulnerable Australians. They have launched the Woolworths Basics Box for $80 which contains essential items and food.
The naughty list
The Malaysian government rolled out a tone-deaf campaign on how to prevent domestic violence since the country has gone into partial lock down. The series of online posters included tips like remembering to still put on make-up, not to nag their husbands and not being sarcastic when asking help with chores. The campaign has now been pulled.
Sydney based property management company ‘Sweet Potato living’ sent an email to tenants warning them that there was no excuse to stop paying rent. Urging those who lost their job, to line up at Centrelink. They also told overseas tenants "if you have lost your job and have waited this long, YOU ARE BEING IRRESPONSIBLE FOR DOING SO!!!! Go back home to your friends and family and live through this crisis with their support as many non-Australians have already done"
Bupa health insurance, used a picture of empty toilet paper shelves to promote their health insurance - ‘there are other ways to be prepared’.
Some Australian companies like Crossroads and Katies fed the stock piling panicx by advertising face masks and hand sanitiser with language like ‘stock up now before it’s gone!’
Malindo Airlines advertised'hot and healthy' flightswhile ignoring customers asking for refunds due to covid related cancellations.