By Mitin Chakraborty, Head of Marketing at Babyshop

Undeniably this pandemic is showing us that the role of content is stronger, than we had all imagined. 

Mitin Chakraborty – Babyshop

Given the nature of the event, media channels and consumption patterns may have shifted, but the core essence of communicating a message, in the most interesting and relevant manner, has remained unchanged. Be it coming from brands, organisations or governments. 

What the last few weeks have exposed us to, is unprecedented. We have been bombarded with a plethora of messaging, from mixed sources with mixed emotions, driven through mixed channels. From branded content – videos, social posts and blogs that provided health & wellbeing articles, press releases from leading CEOs, weekly roundups, newsletters, to delivery FAQs from e-commerce brands, whitepapers from research agencies, fun animated content, quizzes for the family etc.

This resulted in increased quantum of content on a topic, which I am sure, overtaxed our minds — the grey cells had to go through these complexities of filtering, from every second of exposure. And this is over and above managing the anxiety and the uncertainty, the pandemic was bringing in.

Undoubtedly, in this process, a lot of messages have lost their intent and goal, while some have stood out. From Nike’s ‘Play for the World’, DoubleTree’s revelation of their iconic cookie recipe, to Coca Cola and BK’s act of kindness, Sam’s Club’s ‘Thank you Heroes’, the Marriott’s CEO’s address to his team, so on and so forth. And there are some good cases on social media activations too. For me, if I had to draw a straight line across the successful ones, the recipe lied in ‘supporting and playing a meaningful role’ in the lives of the audience.

This is also validated by the trend in content pillars that most of the brands have found to be most apt for the event – from empathizing with the users, to supporting them with positive and reassuring messages, and at times bringing a dash of smile and laughter, through entertaining content. 

Beyond the ‘feel good’ piece, there has also been the need to bring in the subtle role of the brand, through product, services and solutions. The balance has always been key and there are so many who have got it right, even amongst the list I mentioned.

When we, at Babyshop, wanted to latch on to the moment, and create a piece of branded content, we had nothing to refer to, but hand-washing Tik Tok challenges and few interesting messages from the global auto giants, on the importance of staying home. Clearly the conundrum posed to us was not just the lack of effective references, but also a brand direction. Let’s face it, none of us had ever planned for a pandemic prior to this!

This was an interesting challenge for the brand teams and our creative partners – Fp7 McCann. We had no brief. I remember receiving a call from the Regional Head of Strategy around dinner time, with a Eureka moment in hand. I heard the concept but didn’t find it suitable on few fronts which the team agreed on. The search for our holy grail went on for few days and till we got in right, we were in no rush. As a practice, we were brainstorming every other day and getting closer to the story we wanted to tell. Having begun on a purpose-led-journey and with a strong credential of creative communication, this team knows and are aligned to the mandate of staying unique and not create ‘yet another Covid-19 content’. 

Around the same time our business was faced with newer challenges. With an almost total shutdown in operations we hardly had any scope to work on a lavish project. The brief by now was extremely limiting — from production and budgets available. These constricting updates never goes down well with any team, but with Fp7, we are fortunate to find a partner, who are not just flexible, but someone who truly understands us. 

In no time the challenges transformed into strengths and by the end of the second week, we had something very special. I read the first cut of the lyrics coupled with few visuals and straight away knew this-is-it. In less than a day’s time we aligned the CEO and decided to progress with it. 

It took the team two days to interview the kids, four days to finalise the film, including its sound and edit, but it took us 10 additional days to perfect it. We ran tests across Mum’s panels, internal teams and other communities. In the process we made many Moms tear up and received some great feedback which helped us in fine tuning the craft.

A World We deserve taps into the virtues of remembrance and resolve that are intrinsic to Ramadan. We asked little kids to share what they’ll remember from this period dominated by this pandemic, and their surprising and evocative answers tell an unexpected story. If we all could learn from what our children will remember from COVID-19, we can help to build a world that we deserve. 

For us the story is a follow-up to A World Without Walls and there’s nothing more special, to us, than being able to tell a story through the eyes and words of children – because in the heart of our brand purpose sits the promise of giving each and every child the best start in life.

Ever since we have launched this campaign (from the first day of Ramadan), there’s been such heartwarming responses from our communities. We have also developed ton of content supporting this piece and I am yet again delighted to see the power of partnerships in building a brand story. 

Post-Covid, it remains to be seen if human behavior truly makes a revolutionary change. As a race, there’s certainly a lot we need to do, to rebuild this world and to make this worthy of our children. And, to this effect, the role of brands and its content will be bigger than ever. We will transform faster than we imagined. Many chapters will end many others will begin, but purposeful content will continue to be the King.