Yes, you can market in these trying times #OpenWeStand

TV spots and other advertising right now are mostly wasted.

Consumers view your normal ads for normal products against a backdrop that is not remotely normal. People are shut up in their houses; people are dying. This is not a time to get people to test drive SUVs or open a new credit card or try a new brand of laundry detergent.

Some ads make reference to the times we now live in — like car ads that mention solidarity with the country and the ability to order a car online and have it delivered to you. This is a start. But it’s not much of a start.

In this environment, I saw one ad that hugely impressed me. I was literally on the edge of my couch. One company acknowledged the pain that a group of consumers is feeling — small businesses with a physical presence — and actually promised to help them.

This is marketing in 2020. Watch this. Do you think it will be effective? I do.

I won’t mention the brand — and part of what makes this ad so effective is that that it starts with the emotion, not the hard sell.

What’s your view?

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  1. This post touched on what I’ve been feeling about most commercials. They feel like wishful thinking that things hadn’t changed. Thanks for sharing this good example. A friend of mine recently said that if businesses that have been open for 20, 30, or 40 years feel they need to shut down forever because of the pandemic, there is something wrong with their business model. I agree. Change is possible, not the enemy.

  2. Hi Josh,

    You are spot on. Well said. I also see so much stuff that is absolutely ‘tone deaf’.

    Company must be sensitive to this global crisis. Marketing & selling as if it’s any old normal day is at best a waste of time, at worst completely undermines your brand.

    Stay safe,

  3. That ad is amazing. You are spot on in your feelings about advertising in the current climate. Another great ad I recently saw was from and their ‘Captain Obvious’ self-isolating himself until travel is once again advised.

  4. I am a GoDaddy employee, and am SO proud of this ad. We truly want to be the technology champion for small businesses, microbusinesses, and anyone with an independent venture. We hope many companies and individuals will spend their money at local businesses during this crisis, as we and many other companies have pledged to do.

    I’m not an exec, a marketing, PR, or HR employee, or anything like that. I’m just a grunt programmer who is happy that my company is responding to this crisis by supporting the same customers we are already passionate about. Search for #openwestand if you want to know more about the pledge to “support local.”

    And yes, that is Donald Sutherland! Apparently he’s a GoDaddy fan – we were told at a town hall meeting that they asked him to do this voiceover and had it back the next day.

  5. Seeing the ad made me mistrust the sponsor. It’s manipulative and implies that we should be reopening – I instantly wondered if the sponsor supports the crazy demonstrations. If it’s intended to lead people who own businesses to figure out how to continue to do business WITHOUT returning to normal definitions of “open,” it hides that purpose very well! Shame in GoDaddy!

  6. I feel this commercial with the message says that their GD company is open can be miss-interrupted as a push for everyone to open. The constant repeating the word OPEN seems like brainwashing in some respect. Not a thing wrong in saying GD is open. I’d I would prefer they make it a bit clearer. Instead of the flashes of open again and again perhaps adding GD name next the open message would be helpful