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Advertising Time Capsule: 2020

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Advertising Time Capsule: 2020

An advertising time capsule for COVID-19.

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, there has been unprecedented messaging in advertising. Many companies have shifted to a message of support and safety, while also focusing on new ways to go to market. Below is a collection of ads and soundbites that signify the unique nature of advertising during this time.

“Don’t call Sam.”

It’s hard to call yourself a Michigander if you don’t know the tagline “Call Sam.” The long-standing law firm released an ad that catches you right in the throat.


“We stop in the name of love.”

Detroit ad agency Doner put together this powerful tribute to the roots and grit of Detroit.


“10, 20 years from now, this will be a historical event.”

Grand Rapids video production company Ingalls Pictures compiled a series of phone calls and messages that have taken place throughout the COVID-19 crisis, laid over video of a quiet Grand Rapids.


“Thank you for supporting our locally-owned business.”

Brann’s Steakhouse and Grille, like so many restaurants in Michigan, has converted to all takeout and delivery. Additionally, they’ve implemented an offer to help employees in need.


 “How to help.”

According to Google Trends, searches for “how to help” are at an all-time high. Below are two commercials from Google around these searches to help each other, and our health care workers.



“Thank for you for not riding.”

Uber highlights life in quarantine with poignant clips of people adjusting, loving, and grieving. They end it with a message of gratitude for NOT using their service during this time.


“Consumer shopping behavior has shifted.”  

You guessed it, the desire for toilet paper is up. But so is the desire to bake, get creative, and to quit smoking. This cool chart from Stackline helps visualize which categories are up (and unfortunately, those that are down) during the COVID-19 crisis.


“Some good news.”

The Office alum John Krasinksi started a “good news” show from his house. While not an advertisement per se, it’s hard not to feel happier after watching it, especially in this episode where the cast of Hamilton surprised a 9-year old girl on Zoom. (Starts at the 8:25 mark, although the whole thing is worth a watch.)


“When the world feels like it’s lost its spark, you press onward, light in the dark.”

Finally, a tribute to those on the front lines from Spectrum Health.