Peggy Olson Approves: Purpose Drives Advertising in the Time of Corona

Creativity and empathy take the spotlight in Corona-driven ads.

I’m refreshing my media platform, The Original Feed, as a creative task while working at home during Corona. It’s fun revisiting past columns like Peggy Olson Approves, a weekly riff on storytelling in advertising, branding, and marketing. I also feel very comfortable naming the column after the famous character on the AMC drama Mad Men. I have fond memories interviewing Peggy Olson herself, actress Elisabeth Moss, in a back room at the Kimball Art Center during the Sundance Film Festival. I remember us talking about creative spirit and storytelling architecture, transforming a publicity interview into a thoughtful conversation. Cheers to Elisabeth Moss, her career-making turn as Peggy Olson, and all the creative people her work inspires.

If you believe in the power of civic advertising to impact our communities for good, then the Apple spot Creativity goes on is a best-in-class example of how to tell a purpose-driven message well.

Apple puts the power of creativity in the spotlight via celebrities like Oprah and everyday people using their Apple smart devices to share their art, music, and performances with friends and families outside of their shelter-at-home bubbles.

It’s inspiring to learn that the TBWA \ Media Arts Lab designed and delivered the ad in two weeks sourcing online footage from Apple users with the beautiful song Asleep at the Parade by The Young Ebenezers.

It’s important to remember that connectivity can take place virtually. Apple is a company that can deliver the message with honesty.

Car insurance companies from State Farm to Allstate are giving refunds due to the spread of COVID-19 and people staying at home. The ads are matter-of-fact.

Fast food companies like Domino’s and Subway and are promoting their accessibility and touchless delivery and drive-through services.

Many retailers remain quiet with their stores shuttered, but Walmart workers sing Lean on Me in an uplifting, national ad spot.

For a retailer built on value and discounts, watching their frontline workers sing Bill Withers’ 1973 classic song shows how purpose-driven advertising will continue to grow in the after-Corona economy.

What ads are inspiring you in the time of Corona?

Share your thoughts @originalfeed

The Original Feed is a digital platform from SR Media. Stories highlight inspiration and innovation in the worlds of art, design, and technology.

Follow the Original Feed on Twitter @originalfeed and Instagram @originalfeed

SR Media Founder Steve Ramos is a Content Marketer, Product Manager, and Story Builder. Link on my Calendly page and schedule a call to learn more about my services

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