Marketing Communications: Stepping Up to the Plate in a Whole New Ballgame

Social distancing and the new stay-at-home lifestyle – with nary a sporting event to cheer (except in re-run form on a streaming service). And all of it as the NBA season zoomed to an exciting finish and the MBL stood poised to launch. Who could’ve imagined such ‘impossibilities’ only a month ago? But here they are, dramatically altering everyone’s habits and behavior. Yes, as things now stand, it’s a whole new ballgame – and for the time being, the only one in town.

Fortunately, it’s a game in which much help can be provided by those who connect with the public – brand marketers, PR specialists, and other large-scale communicators. As in other challenging times, those with a helpful message to deliver can do the world a world of good.

Several auto makers are among this group, marketing new programs designed to blunt the financial challenges expected in many households. One of these is General Motors. As reported by Automotive News, GM is offering a 0 interest loans for as long as 84 months, as well as deferred payments that can stretch to about four months if needed. Not bad. The programs, of course, are subject to approval.

Also diving in with easy-financing programs are Hyundai and Ford. The purpose of such measures is to re-energize demand, which presumably will be flattened by pockets of economic uncertainty. Such tempting stimuli, it is hoped, will convince consumers to look past the uncertainty and grab a great deal well within their comfort zones. Repeated across all industrial sectors, such demand-stimulating measures can be great facilitators of economic stability.

On the messaging front, the Ad Council is partnering with the Federal Government and several organizations to ensure important communications reach the general public. In conjunction with various media outlets and online channels, the Council will deliver relevant content via TV, social platforms, outdoor media, and other outlets.

Despite the helpful steps illustrated in the previous examples, however, the ultimate honor must go to the savvy marketers of paper products. Without the slightest dip into the budget, without a scrap of deployed content, they have convinced thousands of toilet paper users to clear the shelves. What’s the secret? Is it a new science of stealth marketing that goes well beyond the now-primitive subliminal methods of yesteryear? So far, nobody’s talking. Hopefully, somebody soon will get to the, ahem … bottom of this.
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