Creating real business solutions for brands in the COVID-19 era: Mohit Joshi

Guest Column: Mohit Joshi, MD - India, Havas Media Group, illustrates with examples of campaigns done for Swiggy & Tata Trucks, how agencies can offer real business solutions to brands in these times

e4m by Mohit Joshi
Updated: May 27, 2020 1:11 PM
Mohit Joshi Havas

The COVID-19 crisis has brought the whole world together. While physically we are distanced, we have emotionally come closer to each other during this crisis, and it’s because we are all sailing in the same boat in our own ways. This is also a time that has forced us to realise the difference between our NEEDS and WANTS. This might seem like an ordinary statement, but in my view, it will have a huge impact on how consumers interact with brands in future.  

At Havas, we have been the pioneers in introducing and emphasizing on the concept of Meaningful Brands and the context makes this philosophy even more relevant today.

Globally, consumers would not care if 75% of the brands disappeared tomorrow according to Havas’ Meaningful Brands study – the balance 25% brands are the ones that are making a meaningful difference in the consumers' lives. Besides functional benefits, these brands also provide social and collective benefits to their consumers. In the current COVID-19 environment, the social responsibilities of brands have become even more significant. This responsibility finally rests on the ‘communication’ that those brands are doing/planning to do with their consumers. Today, more than ever, we need meaningful brand communications that are channelized through Meaningful Media platforms.

Here are a few examples of meaningful communication from our clients:



• Phobia regarding ordering food online

• Curb fake news towards food delivery as one of the foremost carriers of the virus

Approach: • A non-branded approach - rather than talking about brand’s preventive measures – we educated the users on precautions to be taken while ordering food online

• Partnered with top online publishers, & published over 25 articles across languages (including vernacular).


• 3x return to the app (post-campaign)

• Orders increased by approximately 5%+

• Overall reach - 10 Mn+

Tata Trucks


• In the COVID-19 outbreak in India, the trucking industry has never been busier.

• Truckers are trying to navigate growing challenges on highways and at loading docks, as they seek to keep the supply chains running to meet surging coronavirus-driven demand for consumer staples and medical equipment.

• How does Tata Motors highlight this novel task?


• The Indian truckers are one of the many contributors that are keeping our economy alive.

• They are putting in long hours under stressful circumstances to ensure our life's essentials get restocked during this pandemic.

• Tata Motors decided to salute the spirit of unsung heroes – the unstoppable Indian truck drivers with the campaign #ThankYouIndianTruckers – video released in eight languages (including vernacular).


• Impressions - 58 Mn

• Reach - 20 Mn

• Views - 16 Mn

• Click - 7.78 Lakhs


In both the above cases, meaningful communication through meaningful media has helped deliver business results. The communication clearly focuses on the brand challenge and works towards making the brand more relevant in the consumers’ minds.  In my view, this pandemic will change consumer buying behaviour significantly and permanently. As I mentioned in the beginning, NEEDS will be prioritised over WANTS and it will be up to the brands to come close to the consumers’ NEEDS and that will only happen when the consumer finds the brand relevant and meaningful. It is important to note that the term NEED here does not imply basic necessities alone. It is anything that finds relevance and meaningfulness for the consumer. If the communication is meaningful, relevant and connects with the consumers, then even a luxury car could fall under the NEED domain.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of

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