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See How These Filipino Brands are Responding to Covid-19 on Social Media

Apr 13, 2020

It’s interesting to observe how brands have reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic. Coke Philippines, for instance, stopped all promotional activities and used their entire advertising budget to support frontliners and communities hard-hit by the virus.

While most local businesses have adapted their social media content to the current situation, some brands have stepped up and stood out in their efforts, whether for their creativity in execution or the sincerity of their efforts.

Here are some examples we found that deserve a bit of love and recognition.

Angkas Shows Us How it’s Done

If there’s one Filipino brand killing it on social media, it’s Angkas. People remember Angkas not just for their internet-winning posts and irreverent (and incredibly relatable) voice, but also for how vocal they are about protecting their riders.

Despite suspending their passenger services, Angkas headed straight for the front lines without missing a beat to provide their services for healthcare workers, citizens, restaurants that remained open, and even their own bikers.

The brand knows when to be serious, but stays true to its sassiness while still feeling reassuring, honest, and encouraging. The way they talk to their audience feels natural and sincere.

One thing we really love about Angkas is their honesty and willingness to talk about things most brands would rather sugarcoat or avoid addressing directly.

A brand that can maintain its voice in any situation, entertain even in a time of crisis, feel human, and still be memorable even when they aren’t trying to be funny? Leave it to Angkas to pull something like that off.

Ligo Sardines Gets Political

Ligo Sardines, like Coke Philippines, donated their entire 2020 advertising budget to NGOs, charities, and frontline efforts.

But instead of going completely dark on social media, the brand made a bold move most other brands would never even consider: using their social media platforms to make political statements. And being deliciously subtle about it.

We think Ligo’s overnight surge in popularity didn’t just come from their timeliness and humor. These posts were a reflection of people’s pointed sentiments of recent events, and it felt refreshing to see a big brand gracefully overstep the unspoken boundaries of political neutrality in marketing.

And between subtle jabs, they still found ways to promote their product every once in a while.

We love how the brand stepped up and adapted its social media efforts to the country’s current situation despite cutting off their advertising budget. But what really deserves everyone’s attention is how they used their social media presence to take a stance on a political issue (which is, in our opinion, an opportunity and responsibility that many big brands should be undertaking for their audience base).

Small Brands Using Their Social Media Influence to Help the Community

Many of the country’s biggest players in the food and beverage industry pledged to provide meals for frontline workers, tapping into their social media audiences for donations. But what surprised us even more were the smaller businesses spearheading their own independent efforts.

At the start of the quarantine, Yabu, Ippudo, and Elephant Grounds (all under the Standard Hospitality Group) dedicated their resources to cooking meals for healthcare frontliners. But a nation-wide quarantine also meant no income, which meant dwindling resources for purchasing food for healthcare professionals. They used their social media platforms to call on their followers to donate a meal:

Other local food businesses have committed to similar efforts of cooking meals for frontline workers, like The Moment Group, which owns numerous popular local restaurants like Manam and Din Tai Fung. Besides offering delivery services for people stuck at home, they too called on donations for their frontline efforts (named Project Nourish).

Even much smaller businesses, which have been more severely impacted by Covid-19, pledged whatever help they could. While there are too many examples to count, here are a few brands we came across that stood out for their visuals.

Here’s a sale by Anika, a women’s clothing brand. They were able to raise over Php200,000 after the sale.

Bondi Studios, an independent lifestyle brand, started a drive for the communities of their employees and pledged 100% of the funds they raised from a week-long sale to frontline initiatives.

PayMaya Stays Active and Timely

PayMaya is a service that allows Filipinos to make cashless payments easier. People can also transfer money from their bank accounts directly to their PayMaya accounts—an extremely useful service during a nationwide quarantine.

Like most brands, the focus of PayMaya’s social media content has shifted toward helping their audience, rather than promoting their own brand. Most of their content has been about educating and informing their audience, especially the ways PayMaya can help them during the quarantine.

PayMaya also made their platform an avenue for people to easily make donations, providing updates on how much money they were able to raise.

In a time of crisis like Covid-19, brands need to be careful about what they do on social media. The Covid-19 virus has devastated countless people and businesses all over the world, and it is the responsibility of every human-owned enterprise to either pitch in or adapt their marketing strategies. When it comes to communications on social media, brands need to prioritize helping and informing their audience above all else, while maintaining a level of tact and sensitivity should they choose to continue promoting themselves.

Dot Digital PH is a digital marketing agency based in the Philippines. We offer social media marketing, web design and development, content creation, pay-per-click ads management, and digital marketing strategy and consultancy.