We’re in this together’ has been repeated by many brands like a broken record in the past few months. Even if COVID-19 has impacted all of us, ‘we’ are not all experiencing it in the same way. Many brands have built up momentum by producing marketing material that mirrors the ‘we’ in all of this. Brands will do anything to ‘humanize’ their brand and communicate a statement that will create compassion, associating strong social bonds and mutual support as a ‘lean on me’ type-of-thing. A series of advertising and branding messages have come to light with the idea that everyone is affected by COVID-19 when in reality a slogan won’t do it this time.
Madonna, who stated that ‘coronavirus is the great equaliser’ convey a similar sentiment that this crisis is being universally experienced the same exact way. Who is the ‘we’ in ‘we’re all in this together’? I say confidently that everyone one way or another has been touched by the impact of COVID-19 for better or for worse. But I do want to state and affirm that there are social inequalities worldwide which means that not all lives are affected in the same way. Some people easily shifted from the office to working from home, others lost their jobs. Some people live alone and haven’t socialised physically with another person for months and others are trapped in an abusive home. Some have taken this situation as something positive where they are gladly spending more time at home with family and loved ones. Some people can continue their lives by being educated online or even start a business, some don’t even have access to the Internet. In many cities people are being stopped, surveilled and harassed while being outside and some are able to roam around freely with no restrictions. With this said, social inequalities have existed before the pandemic and have not disappeared since the virus took off.
Sharing this is not to mock brands that have taken the situation and capitalized on it. Some have been creative and reinforced the brand's response to difficult times. This message is to take into consideration and have more compassion and empathy when communicating to the world your service, product, and/or brand. ‘We’ are not in this together as we all are experiencing this very differently. When conveying a message as your brand, have this in mind - don’t invest in disguising your brand in human connection, care and community but actually know who you are talking to.