4 June 2020

We take a look at some of the best lockdown marketing campaigns:

  1. The NHS and UK Government’s “Stay at home”


This advert was created by the international marketing agency, Mullen Lowe, who has worked with many other major companies such as Google, Burger King and Unilever. The advert shows deserted streets and train stations, hospitals, the weekly NHS clap and also highlights the Government’s slogan, “Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives”. The research done by Unruly found that this advertisement caused 39.9% of its viewers to have an intense emotional reaction after watching the ad. This advert has been shown across many platforms including on TV and YouTube. Much maligned in the Dominic Cummings affair, however, in hindsight did the job of communicating clearly to the masses. 


  1. ITV’s “Apart. But never alone”

According to research by ad tech company Unruly, ITV’s “Apart. But never alone” advertisement, created by Uncommon Creative Studio, has been the most liked coronavirus campaign to hit the UK. The research shows that the advertisement left 39% of its viewers with a higher opinion of the brand, which is 35% higher than the effect ads usually have in the UK. The advert features celebrities as well as members of the public thanking the NHS and other essential workers, and encouraging the public to stay at home and maintain contact with friends and family. The research also shows that 40.5% of the advert’s viewers had an intense emotional reaction after watching the it. The advert also includes ITV’s #BritainGetTalking partnership with mental wellbeing charities, Young Minds and Minds, an initiative to encourage families to get closer during this lockdown.

  1. The UK Government’s sponsored articles

Over the past few weeks, the UK Government has sponsored some pro-government articles in the Daily Mail and other National newspaper such as the Guardian, about how well the government is handling this pandemic, describing how they are helping people that have been affected by Covid-19. Multiple articles like this have been published with the same “Sponsored by The UK Government” at the top of each article. Each of these pieces can cost as much as £65,000. These sponsored articles are trying to improve the opinion of the public about how the government is handling this situation. Despite them being described as “Sponsored by The UK Government”, it is not hugely clear that these articles have been paid for by the subject of the stories.

  1. Supermarket Chains with “safe shopping” adverts

(Photo, from



Many supermarkets including Sainsbury’s and Tesco have been using their adverts to promote the control measures they are using to increase their customers' and their employees’ safety within their stores. These adverts try to promote each store, by showing the measures they are taking to improve everyone’s safety. The same research by Unruly mentioned earlier showed that Tesco’s “safer shopping” advert lead 25.5% of its viewers to have an intense emotional reaction, which is 26.9% higher than the normal figure for the UK (20.1%). These adverts make the public feel they would be safer when shopping, and so encourage more customers to go to the supermarket.

  1. The UK Government’s social media advertisements


The government has shared many adverts as well as the one mentioned earlier on social media platforms including via Instagram stories and sponsored posts, sponsored Facebook posts, YouTube adverts and using TikTok. Some of these adverts encourage more frequent hand washing and explain the best technique and some re-iterate the government’s guidelines surrounding social distancing. These adverts are primarily aimed at a younger demographic who use these social media platforms the most. The adverts encourage young people to adhere to the government’s social distancing guidelines and promote regular hand washing, for 20 seconds each time. However, on Titter, Michael Denoual pointed out that some of their social media averts had been out of date and so were providing false information. He noticed that the government was still running an advert of Facebook and Instagram saying “so we’re extending the rules by at least 3 weeks”, 3 weeks after it had first been shared. This happened in early May and the advert has since been taken down. Many politicians, including Boris Johnson, have been sharing these posts to the large social media following that some of them have as well.


  1. Earl of East and Uncommon’s “Scents of Normality”



Earl of East and Uncommon have launched a range of candles which smell of the places that people miss most such as cinemas and music festivals. The pun used in the name definitely helps sell the items which are quite pricey at £45 each, but they’re potentially a great idea as novel gifts during this lockdown period.


  1. Emily Crisps