3 Ways Major Brands Are Repurposing Creative during COVID-19

Posted by Ilyssa Bernstein on May 13, 2020 10:17:18 AM
Ilyssa Bernstein

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Due to complications of COVID-19, everything from commercial shoots to film productions have shut down. While brands’ budgets are being slashed and marketing plans are being turned on their heads, brands should not wait patiently for ‘business as usual’ to begin again. Social media usage is up 83% and, according to Nielsen, when people are forced to stay inside, they watch about 60% more content than normal. Now is a crucial time to maintain your brand’s presence, and going dark is likely not in your brand’s best interest.


So, with your new budget parameters and no ability to shoot new content, how can your brand stay relevant with tactful yet thumb-stopping content? You pivot. Many of the ads we’re seeing today were actually developed through existing assets. By both repurposing heavily-produced footage and sourcing organic, user-generated content (UGC), brands have been able to flip their campaigns, making media that feels new, fresh, and inspiring.


Smirnoff | Never-Before-Seen Content



The Diago-owned liquor brand was prepared to be the life of the party this summer with the return of its Red, White & Berry Seltzer, as well as the debut of its new sugarless SKU. The brand went all in, investing big dollars in a star-studded, patriotic, party-themed summer campaign which was filmed in February 2020. But with large social gatherings on hold until further notice, the campaign no longer seemed appropriate. Instead of scrapping the new footage, Smirnoff decided to repurpose the content in a way that felt more relatable to the current climate. The footage was humorously edited to encourage viewers to stay six-feet apart, order take out, and find new ways to hang out. “We will party together again,”  Smirnoff promises. “But for now, hang out from home for America.”

Activate This Strategy: Restructure the narrative of your existing, high-quality content to tell a new story. Consider reordering scenes, swapping voiceovers, or adding new on-screen text to alter the narrative. 


Jeep | Fan-Favorite Content 



Topping both Adweek’s list of the 10 Best Super Bowl Ads of 2020 and USA Today’s annual Ad Meter, Jeep’s Groundhog Day spot with Bill Murray was one of the most popular commercials aired during Super Bowl LIV (February 2020). As a result of social distancing, many have begun to really feel the weight of mundane repetition in their own lives---eerily similar to the plot of the popular film. Playing off this relatable feeling, Jeep brought back content from their Super Bowl spot to encourage consumers to stay at home, reminding them that, when all this is over, trails will still be waiting to be explored. Murray was so keen on this repurpose strategy that he let the brand reuse the footage free of charge and even actively participated in the development of the repurposed creative.

Activate This Strategy: Put a new spin on fan-favorite content! Reorder scenes, swap voiceovers, or add new on-screen text to refresh existing assets and drive relevancy.  


ADT | Customer’s Personal Content


Security company ADT leveraged UGC sourced from social media to bring its newest campaign to life. In a spot titled, “Safe at Home,” the brand draws a parallel between its home-security offerings and new stay-at-home regulations by highlighting how every day people are adjusting to life at home. This technique allowed the brand to create an emotional message within a week that appropriately fit the tone of the moment. Happy with the success of this campaign, ADT plans to use this same strategy to develop content for a new product launch in May. 

Activate This Strategy: Leverage UGC to create an emotional story arc that resonates with viewers. Source content from your employees and fans on social media. Overlay audio tracks, on-screen messaging, and graphics/animation to bring the content to life.


When forced to pivot, each of these brands fully embraced a repurposing strategy unique to the content currently available in their own marketing arsenal. There is no one way to repurpose. As seen above, as long as you keep the customer at the core of the content, the opportunity for creativity is endless. So, don’t allow your marketing to go dark due to COVID-19. Instead, take a look at all the content in your marketing vault. It’s time to recycle.

If you need any help with this process, please reach out to connect@vidmob.com. Quickly and cost-effectively repurposing content is our sweet spot, and we’d be happy to help you stand out.


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Topics: creative, content creation, advertising, ads, agility, covid19, innovation