By Charu Nathan, Creative Head of a leading Digital Marketing agency

COVID-19 is a worldwide pandemic where new cases are being reported throughout the globe every day. Who are we kidding here? If we are callous enough to think that it cannot happen to us, we are really fooling ourselves! We are living in the day and age where caution is the cure! If you ask yourself, the entire human race is both the cause and the effect of what we are going through. Imagine a disease so mysterious that the best of science, world over, has not been able to find a cure. It will take months before we can actually see a potential vaccine or drug against it.

So, the big question is what can we really do?

And, the answer lies in being home – keeping away from any public contact and working towards flattening the curve. Unfortunately, the numbers in India are on a steady climb despite the lockdown. A mathematician friend did a ‘pattern read’ and shared that India will probably see a number of 7,000 (around 9th-14th April which will be our peak) by applying the trend factor and the multiplicity. This will eventually clock 11000-12000 cases. We will get to see a downward trend only if the lockdown continues. The actual control will be around May.  

Whether it stops there or even gets there in the first place – no
one really knows. 

We are all listening, watching and reading on tips, advise etc about frequent hand washing, being home, using sanitizers, avoiding public gathering, what to eat, what not to eat and so much more. Every brand today is trying to express their take on fighting the epidemic. Infact, so much so, their creative agency in question is actually going lengths to deliver the message creatively with utmost stickiness. Teams at CREATIVE INC are also actively engaged in such endeavours not just because we ‘might’ be paid for it but because we ‘believe’ and live by a four letter, very strong word called HOPE!

Are we all doing this to win at Cannes?

No, we are doing this as responsible organizations. If social media marketing agencies think (read ‘know’) in their hearts that they have the power to bring about a mind-set change, then the time to act is now. Let us all drum down the key message collaboratively, with conviction and complete clarity. 

As our country’s Prime Minister announced a ‘curfew’ to prevent the spread of COVID-19, social media groups and comments sections became ground zero for intense arguments over whether such measures are warranted. “Classic overreaction,” wrote one Facebook user! Others in the thread of hundreds of comments supported the move, congratulating administrators for their rapid response. Still others brought up practical concerns on work and the economy. “This great and all, but I still need to earn my living,” wrote one.

Such conversations are just one way that social media is both offering a window into our collective response to the coronavirus outbreak, as well as shaping our reaction in the first place. Then whoever you are acting on behalf of as a branding agency, a digital marketing company or a social media marketing agency – don’t you think that such crisis puts additional responsibility on our shoulders? 

The responsibility of taking the message far and wide – and not just doing things because we are getting paid for it!