- Behr Paint and West Elm have created digital backgrounds for Zoom users who want to spruce up the appearance of their surroundings as the coronavirus pandemic drives a surge in videoconferencing, Adweek reported.
- Behr created a "Behr Your Background" library of virtual room designs that people can download for free from a link posted to its Twitter account, and use in Zoom's virtual background tab. The designs include a spacious kitchen and other living areas with stylish decorations.
- Similarly, West Elm, the furniture and home décor chain, posted a variety of digital backgrounds to its Instagram and website for people to download and use with Zoom. The interior designs includes log cabins, sunny kitchens with modern furnishings and stylish living rooms.
Behr Paint and West Elm's digital backgrounds for Zoom users are a novel way to showcase their respective brands as people are forced to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic and rely on videoconferencing to meet with colleagues and clients. However, those video calls can provide an unflattering view of people's cluttered home offices or other living spaces that now serve as impromptu studios. By providing digital settings for video calls, Behr and West Elm may inspire consumers to buy their products to redecorate their homes or for more extensive renovations.
The campaigns tap into the sudden pandemic-related growth in Zoom, a videoconferencing platform that launched in 2011 and went public last year. Similarly, Chipotle Mexican Grill is hosting a series of daily "Chipotle Together" sessions on Zoom with celebrity guests and as many as 3,000 fans. Marketers that are savvy and tasteful about how they tie in with Zoom could engage consumers who are now using the platform more frequently.
Behr and West Elm's efforts are another sign of how marketers are finding opportunities to promote their brands amid the massive disruptions of the pandemic. While advertisers are forecast to cut their media budgets this year, they also are looking for ways to revamp their branding to connect with consumers in anticipation that their buying activity will eventually recover. Among the more recent examples, brands including Ford, Nike, Hyundai and Toyota have made rapid adjustments to their campaigns to better align with the current public mood.
The reconfigured campaigns come as consumers seek more reassuring messages from brands they trust. Fifty-six percent of consumers are pleased to hear how brands are helping out communities in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey of 1,000 consumers conducted on March 18 by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) and real-time market research platform Suzy.