One thing lockdown has reminded us about marketing is the old-fashioned power of campaign slogans. Successful marketing is not just about being present on the right channels – Paid Search, or SEO or Social Media, it’s about creating a clear emotional connection with your audience draw them to your website or encourage offline enquiries. When the ‘Stay home. Save lives’ and ‘Pick for Britain’ campaigns launched in mid-May, the websites immediately buckled due to the surge in traffic.

The ‘Pick For Britain’ campaign encourages people at home and farmers to come together. The idea is that UK farmers can hopefully find members of the public to pick fruit and vegetables this summer as there is a shortage of migrant workers. The latter usually make up a third of the pickers and without them, British farming is likely to really suffer. We think that this presents a great opportunity to get outside in lockdown and from what we’ve seen, ‘Pick for Britain’ captures all the best elements of successful marketing in its campaign delivery.

Granted, video endorsements from Prince Charles supporting your message can’t hurt, along with social media support, press coverage and a clear story to back up the slogan. The surge in traffic and website’s inability to handle it also reminds us of the importance of ensuring decent hosting for our website that is able to handle bursts of traffic such as the one mentioned above.

Customise and Localise your Slogans

I think we’re all familiar with the “Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save lives” campaign by now. This three-month campaign embraced all touch points with newspaper cover wraps, outdoor advertising, TV, social media and advertising in hundreds of regional and national dailies. The message was tweaked and re-marketed for local regions and for special occasions, for example ‘Stay at home this Easter to protect the NHS and save lives’ was one of the follow-on messages. The campaign was developed to meet the additional pressures of the long Easter weekend where many people typically spend time with family or friends. The campaign went even further with a slant to pull more at the heartstrings ‘Stay at home for the NHS, your family, your neighbours, your nation, the world and life itself’.

Slogans Need Clear Messages

As the Coronavirus situation evolves along with the governmental strategy, so must the campaign. It’s a tough gig to message these campaigns to ensure that the campaign spreads far and wide and is immediately understood by its audience. The new communications message, “Stay alert. Control the virus. Save lives” followed. The look and feel of the visuals on the campaign also developed from ‘hazard-style’ red and yellow to a more positive green and yellow theme.

This new slogan illustrates the difficulty of reducing a detailed strategy down into a simple statement. A YouGov poll of more than 6,500 people conducted on Sunday and Monday found that just 30% of people said they felt they knew what the ‘ Stay Alert ‘slogan was asking them to do and with political leaders and the public reinforcing that they felt the new “Stay alert” messaging was confusing, this campaign certainly wasn’t as effective as the others.

Successful Marketing Meets Needs

COVID-19 affects us all wherever we are in the UK and whatever our personal situation and needs. The power of a successful marketing slogan has been shown. ‘Stay home’ and ‘Pick for Britain’ campaigns communicated to everyone and were personalised and adapted to extend reach and relevance.  In a world where digital marketing and content become increasingly relevant, we have seen a flashback that effective marketing on any channel can still benefit from a strong slogan.