thought bubble


How does your brand look with a mask on?

By Carter Kasdon

Thought Starters for Socially Distanced Marketing

So, how is everybody holding up?

This is a wild new world we are living in, and COVID-19 doesn’t appear to be leaving us anytime soon. So, it looks like we all have to accept that masks will be a key part of our wardrobes. And your brand is no different.

The other day, I was searching online for images of patients with their doctors, and I quickly realized I’d have to look for images of people wearing masks.

Fortunately, the stock photo world is suddenly filled with images like that. In a search for “COVID-19,” a whopping 560,265 results came up, including renderings of the virus’s cells, icons, masked shopkeepers, and even the obligatory “foot handshake.” So, yeah, stock photography has caught up with their content.

Of course, when it comes to creating new work for your brand, there are more (and less literal) ways this era of masks might affect how your brand looks and feels. And for that, I offer some solutions.

How to Socially Distance Your Brand

(and Still Make an Impact)

Reimagine Existing Assets

As mentioned in a post a couple of months ago, one of our clients wanted to create a new commercial to tell their customers, “We’re still here for you.” Unable to shoot something new at the time, we put together a montage of clips from existing spots, creating the Flooring America “What Friends Do” commercial.



There are many challenges to shooting live footage, which I will get into in a bit, but to create “new” spots for one of our clients, we looked more closely at how we are now behaving. Personally, my phone is filled with silly videos of my “COVID puppy.” Others are shooting videos of their personal lives and uploading them online. This idea inspired us to use this type of footage in our spots. To that end, we are in the process of licensing user-generated content, leveraging at-home, slice-of-life moments we can all recognize in this new normal. All shot on people’s phones, even in the vertical format, this type of content adds a sense of reality to the message.

Go Virtual

After an in-person conference held in the US, our client, RSA Conference, hosted a fully virtual version for Asia Pacific & Japan, usually hosted in Singapore. Surprisingly, attendance tripled in comparison to past conferences. This shows that people are still craving connection and content, albeit virtual.

Own Your New Reality

Another way you can create new content, or at least gain inspiration, is from the tech we are all using now to live, work and play. For example, Progressive Insurance created a fictional Zoom meeting series, shot using iPhones.

There are also a lot of amazing ideas coming from our kids posting on TikTok. In fact, for one of our campaigns right now, we are tapping into the trend of how people post videos of themselves scrolling through their photo library to tell a story.

Utilize Smaller Crews and Pared-Down Shoots

We are beginning to shoot new work again. This has to be done more carefully than ever before, which means smaller crews, fewer cast members (sometimes only one!) and a completely different review process. Instead of reviewing shots and direction from the next room, we are reviewing virtually, but the work is still getting done.

Yes, this is a new world. But in many ways, thriving in this new world means doing what we’ve always done: be creative and stay visible, relevant and genuine. Your brand may look different in the virtual world, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be effective.

If you would like to chat, we’d be happy to set up a call, Zoom meeting or even a socially distanced cup of coffee. Maybe we could even try out that “foot handshake.” OK, maybe not.