- The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) created a new working group with the mission to help the marketing industry deal with the coronavirus crisis, the organization shared with Marketing Dive via press release.
- The group includes members of the Global CMO Growth Council, a CMO network run by ANA and Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Participants include marketing executives from Kimberly-Clark, PepsiCo, Bank of America, General Motors, McDonald's, Target, Anheuser-Busch and more.
- The council will focus on providing actionable guidance for marketers during this time, with key topics including brand experience and innovation, two areas that have been challenged by the pandemic. The ANA's CEO Bob Liodice, EVP Nick Primola and VP Meg Wubbenhorst will lead the effort.
This initiative from the ANA intends to bring together marketing leadership from brands across categories in order to strategically respond to the COVID-19 global pandemic that's affecting every sector in unique ways. The group joins some competitors who will unite in their work to develop guidance for the marketing community at large and help CMOs make better decisions amid the crisis.
Liodice outlined the first three issues of the committee, which are to pinpoint pressing issues that must be addressed immediately, to aggregate collective experiences into a practical framework and to identify the most trusted, reliable and relevant sources of information for executives during this time. After its first virtual meeting last week, the group plans to hold regular virtual meetings throughout the crisis to address industry-specific and regional needs.
Brands from across industries have been responding to the outbreak through shifting their advertising messages toward directly addressing to the crisis or moving their strategy toward brand-building. Research shows consumers don't mind brands mentioning the pandemic in their advertising, per a recent Ace Metrix report, with 42% of people saying "yes, any mention is OK" and another 44% saying it "depends on the message and/or brand."
The Ace Metrix report found that Ford and Guinness scored well in likability in their ads that addressed how they were separately dealing with the crisis. On the other hand, some brands have had to pull spots altogether to avoid coming across as inappropriate or ill-timed. KFC UK, for instance, pulled its "Finger Lickin" campaign that encouraged customers to lick their hands amid public health officials stressing hand-washing and not touching your face.