Lockdown route: Influencers keep the buzz alive for brands with digital placements

Keeping with the customer sentiments, industry players say most brands are focusing on spreading positivity and trying to increase recall value

e4m by Anjali Thakur
Updated: Mar 31, 2020 2:54 PM
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Actor Katrina Kaif took to photo-sharing app Instagram to promote safe distancing and working out from home in these times of the COVID-19 outbreak. The actor, who has 34.7 million followers on Instagram, was seen wearing Reebok sportswear in the video and even mentioned the brand’s name in her post. 

Brands have been leveraging influencers or bloggers to make subtle placements in order to keep the buzz alive in this period of a lull in the market. While events and on-ground promotions have been cancelled due to the 21-day lockdown, brands have subtly moved their communication to the digital world through the influencer marketing route.

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#WorkoutFromHome #Part2 Since we are all practicing #SocialDistancing @yasminkarachiwala and I worked out at our homes and put the workouts together for you to do at yours. Stay home stay safe ? ⁣ ⁣⁣ ♦️ #Warmup⁣⁣ 1.Squat with feet hip width apart - 2 sets x 25 reps⁣⁣ 2.Squat with feet wide parallel- 2 sets x 25 reps ⁣⁣ 3.Squat with feet wide turnout- 2 sets x 25 reps ⁣⁣ 4.Squat with feet together- 2 sets x 25 reps⁣ ⁣⁣ ♦️ #Workout:⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 1.Forward and Backward Lunge - 2 sets x 15 reps ⁣⁣ 2.In Hover, Hip Dips - 3 sets x 20 reps 3.Curtsy Lunge to Side Kick - 3 sets x 15 reps ⁣⁣ 4.Suicide Push- 3 sets x 15 reps ⁣⁣ 5.Landis or Single Leg Squat - 3 sets x 15 reps ⁣⁣ 6.Squat Jacks - 3 sets x 25 reps ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ @reebokindia #CommittedToFitness ⁣⁣ ? by @isakaif ?

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View this post on Instagram

#WorkoutFromHome #Part2 Since we are all practicing #SocialDistancing @yasminkarachiwala and I worked out at our homes and put the workouts together for you to do at yours. Stay home stay safe ? ⁣ ⁣⁣ ♦️ #Warmup⁣⁣ 1.Squat with feet hip width apart - 2 sets x 25 reps⁣⁣ 2.Squat with feet wide parallel- 2 sets x 25 reps ⁣⁣ 3.Squat with feet wide turnout- 2 sets x 25 reps ⁣⁣ 4.Squat with feet together- 2 sets x 25 reps⁣ ⁣⁣ ♦️ #Workout:⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 1.Forward and Backward Lunge - 2 sets x 15 reps ⁣⁣ 2.In Hover, Hip Dips - 3 sets x 20 reps 3.Curtsy Lunge to Side Kick - 3 sets x 15 reps ⁣⁣ 4.Suicide Push- 3 sets x 15 reps ⁣⁣ 5.Landis or Single Leg Squat - 3 sets x 15 reps ⁣⁣ 6.Squat Jacks - 3 sets x 25 reps ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ @reebokindia #CommittedToFitness ⁣⁣ ? by @isakaif ?

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Barun Prabhakar, Marketing Head, Liberty Shoes, says the outbreak has put the focus back on humans, human intelligence and human emotions. “Time in hand is allowing people to experiment what they had never done before. I believe “great ideas are born during a great crisis”. Team Liberty is utilising this period to study the scope of improvement in its delivery. In the current scenario, speaking business to customers is less human; we are focusing on spreading positivity among the audience and social media is playing a major role in this. We believe to be more sensitive towards our audience rather than looking at business opportunities.”

And it is not just Katrina, Puma’s new brand ambassador actor Kareena Kapoor Khan also posted a selfie on her Instagram handle wearing sports gear from the brand. TV actor Shruti Seth also shared a video of her vacuuming the house with Dyson India vacuum cleaner, while promoting self-quarantine and talking about keeping the surroundings clean.

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The workout pout... It's a thing... really! #WorkoutFromHome

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" title="Kareena Kapoor Puma">

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The workout pout... It's a thing... really! #WorkoutFromHome

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Brands are looking at varied solutions basis their genre. So, while consumer durables are looking at online launches, food-related brands are harping on live sessions by experts and industry leaders are taking the thought leadership route. Plus, since content creation and shoots are on a standstill, a number of brands are going for user-generated content as it is more relatable and resonates with their target audience.

Prashant Sinha, COO & Co-Founder, Momspresso, spoke about the time to communicate with entire families. “Given the current situation, families are all together and indoors. At this time, most brands are consciously looking at communicating with the entire family as a unit. From leveraging influencers - macro, micro and nano - to communicating with homebound families to creating messages around thought leadership, social media shout outs, live sessions and online researches, brands are doing it all.”

Recently, Kellogg’s collaborated with Momspresso to promote the brand’s cereal offering and hosted a Live session with celebrity chef Ranveer Brar. On the brand’s Hindi page it sought to engage with moms and children by bringing up recipes for kids since they are all at home and placed emphasis on a balanced breakfast. Brar showcased two recipes and went about preparing them along with his child using Kellogg’s cereal.

For Ashutosh Harbola, Founder of Buzzoka, brands need to recognise the sentiment of customer as the society in general is going through tough times.

“If the consumer understands today that you are trying to sell them something, he will go away from you. These are tough times and I think brands also understand the sentiment. But since they have to take care of the annual budgets, brands are experimenting with brand placements via their existing ambassadors. Brands are trying to map your schedule at your home. Since, everyone is Working From Home, why not tap the audience there? While you can’t possibly buy the product, brands are trying to increase recall value with pictures and videos.”

Resonating with Harbola’s sentiment, was Sanjay Kothari, Vice Chairman, KGK Group, “Influencer engagement is certainly a sales catalyst in the gems and jewellery sector. It not only assists in augmenting sales but also provides real insights apropos consumer preferences which are key for product differentiation. But at the moment even this engagement will not be reaping fruits, as every individual is witnessing a complete disconnection for the larger good.”

As for Sandeep Sreekumar, Managing Director, Media Moments if brands want to stay relevant in this lockdown scenario they need to be visible on the digital haunts.

“The lockdown has triggered an increase in digital content consumption as people have easier access to digital content than offline activities. By leveraging influencers and content creators, brands can churn out a significant volume of content laced with key brand messages. Not only is such content high on ROI for the brand, but it is also key in terms of targeting."

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