Our Nominations for Most Innovative Brand Campaign During the Pandemic

Our Nominations for Most Innovative Brand Campaign During the Pandemic

Let’s all take a moment and remember back to March, when every brand you ever gave your email to sent you an email with “our response to COVID-19.” 

Though we were thankful the brands we trust were taking actions to keep their staff and customers safe, everything started to sound a little bit the same (see this great compilation by YouTuber Microsoft Sam).

In these unprecedented times…..

Now more than ever…..

During these challenging times…..

We were all waiting for those brands who responded creatively and humanly to this crisis.

And to those who did, we applaud you. 

Though award season may have been canceled, we’d like to have our own…so here are our nominations for most innovative brand campaigns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Compassion International

A global brand fighting to release children from poverty, Compassion International announced it’s We Rise as One campaign with a powerful and hope-filled video showcasing “An Open Letter to COVID-19.”

This video launched Compassion into a global disaster relief fundraising campaign, and the hopeful, inspiring, and united message was evident in their marketing material on social media for the weeks to come.

What we can learn

Empathy drives our buying decisions. This campaign unified a donor based on common experience and humanized an issue that not only impacted donors locally but constitutes around the world.


When the world shut down and traveling was no longer an option, travel booking website Hotels.com had a product that not many people were in the market for – hotels. Hotels.com rose to the challenge by launching a Stay Home campaign with their spokesperson Captain Obvious through a series of quippy videos.

As travel started to pick up again later in the summer, Hotels.com returned to remind that places do still exist, and you can book with confidence thanks to free cancelations. 

What we can learn

Read the room. If your product isn’t relevant or timely right now, you can still keep your product at top of mind. When the buyer (and the world) is ready, they’ll come back.


With millions of people staying home for longer periods than they may have been used to, the home furnishing company IKEA continued to provide value to its customers, despite the majority of their stores worldwide being closed.

IKEA offered blanket fort ideas (using their classic instruction manual designs), activity booklet ideas for “A Vacation in a Box”, and ideas, inspiration and pro tips from IKEA Interior Designers on social media.


What we can learn

You can provide value with more than just your product. By providing content and ideas to families while spending more time at home, IKEA positioned itself as a thoughtful expert.


Sustainable shoe company Rothy’s owns it’s own factory, and in efforts to support essential workers during the height of the pandemic, issued a challenge to its audience: what’s something Rothy’s could create?

After thousands of submissions, it became clear that the greatest need was medical supplies like gowns, masks, scrub caps, gloves, shoe covers and more. But Rothy’s didn’t just ask for ideas- they delivered! In just a few weeks, Rothy’s launched a line of washable face masks and a partnership with other brands (through an Open Innovator Collaboration) to share materials, open-source ideas and get supplies to those on the front lines as quickly as possible.


What we can learn

Buyers care about more than just your product; they want to support brands that align with their values and needs, and actually do something to make a difference. Rothy’s proves that buyers want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and your brand can be a vehicle for them to promote change in the world around them.


We were all a little desperate to find toilet paper at one time or another during the pandemic, and toilet paper company Cottonelle was aware. Rather than react insensitively to the need, and ignore the elephant in the room (i.e toilet paper hoarders), Cottonelle encouraged it’s audience to be considerate of others and launched a campaign in collaboration with the United Way called #ShareASquare.

Through this campaign, Cottenelle donated $1 million and 1 million rolls of toilet paper to United Way Worldwide’s COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund and encouraged social media followers to use the hashtag #ShareASquare to let others know they had a roll (or two) to share with those in need.

What we can learn

It’s cool to be kind. Despite having higher demand than ever thought possible, Cottenelle positioned itself as more than a money-hungry business by utilizing a humanistic approach filled with kindness and compassion toward others.

Have a brand you’d like to shout out for a campaign during the pandemic? Let us know in the comments below!