Let’s be honest here, the only thing more depressing than seeing Back to School ads is seeing Back to Virtual School ads. (BTW—great deals on string cheese, yoga pants, and Wi-Fi access points at Target this week, you guys.)

So, how do we rise above this “new normal” 🤮? How do we navigate this Age of COVID and get audiences to see how our brand/product/service can make their lives a little safer, healthier, happier, and/or less stressful (though honestly, we’d settle for slightly-less-apocalyptic)?

DON’T TELL US WHAT MAKES YOU GREAT: SHOW US THAT MAGIC.

Which is exactly what Apple did in a simple, relatable brand story that forms an emotional connection so strong, audiences are more than just willing to watch a 7-minute ad—they’re delighted to.

DON’T THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. MAYBE JUST REPLACE IT?

Who says you have to play it safe and play by the rules—especially right now? Who says you can only compete in a certain category and go after a certain audience? Who says QSRs can’t go after pizza chains? Not Popeyes. There may not be a better time to take a calculated risk and innovate (note how we didn’t say “pivot” 🤮).

DON’T STOP INVESTING IN BRAND ADVERTISING. 

We get it, every ad agency is preaching this right now. 🙄 Which is why it’s way more credible coming from the former Apple chief executive and Pepsi president John Sculley (Thanks, John 🙏), who advises not to pull advertising for several reasons. Besides cheap ad inventory and less competition for share of voice, Sculley suggests a “silent brand could be perceived as a struggling brand by consumers.” Like those pre-pandemic parties you were unwillingly dragged to but would now jump at the chance to attend: you gotta make an appearance.

DON’T FEED THE WORLD A GIANT SNICKERS.

Although super hilarious and our Super Bowl Ad MVP, it CLEARLY DIDN’T WORK, YOU GUYS. But maybe you can do something about it. What do you say we all try and help fix the world for real this time? After all, we’re “all in this together,” remember?🤮

Have a safe, partially-precedented but still “un-blah” weekend, everybody.

-Your friends at Brokaw

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