Social distancing - a modern concept we have all become very familiar with. People are being advised to stand at least two metres apart from each other to minimise the risk of catching the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus. The transformational impact on society social distancing has created feels unprecedented, this has also been divisively represented within branding and design campaigns.
I do find it makes you re-evaluate a lot in your day-to-day life and appreciating the small things. Being more creative with food and using that old jar at the back of the cupboard, make-do-and-mend those old items and have a new found acceptance for ‘close’ family!
The whole concept is still so surreal and almost incomprehensible, I wonder what will happen in the months to come and how our lives will be changed in the future.
There is great sadness around the much loved brands who have now dissolved through these tough times and the smaller businesses who are struggling. Many big global brands have now taken a stand of unity by creating ‘social distancing’ versions of their iconic logos. McDonalds, VW and Audi are some of these, so subtle yet so powerful.
Mercado Libre (Latin America’s largest e-commerce platform) swapped out its longtime logo of a handshake for the newly universal ‘elbow bump’ greeting.
Chiquita bananas are missing Miss Chiquita - she is ‘staying home’, Italian brand Kappa have distanced their back-to-back icons along with many European league teams and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have spaced out the classic five rings.
Even Guinness has added the ‘stay home’ message.
Huge global brand Coca Cola have lit up the ghostly silence of Times Square in New York with their contribution.
Many brands have also done this via social media, not changing the logo as such, but the brand messaging. Nike for example, has led a new campaign with the phrase... ‘If you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance. Play inside, play for the world.’
However, these campaigns have not be accepted well and others weren’t “lovin’ it” either. Some critics find the move “insensitive” and state these companies are “award-desperate morons”. The scrutiny of these companies play a huge part in the treatment of staff, where many are furloughed or laid off. As ever, we are all entitled to an opinion, I like to think these “despicable acts of marketing” have been produced for the right reasons, to show support - the fact that we are all in this together and one day we will all be back together.
Seeing the united front between our communities, at home and around the world has provided some much needed comfort in a time where these days are challenging and the unpredictable feels positive. Companies recognising the phenomenal impact of this challenging period of our lives via their branding, to reflect change, is a reminder to everyone that the world is working together, to become safer.
Stay safe everyone.