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Successful COVID-19 Marketing Campaigns
Julia Gaj
Julia Gaj
July 30, 2020
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Successful COVID-19 Marketing Campaigns That Will Help Your Business Recover

Depending on where you are while reading this post, the public health regulations may be either getting harshened, stagnant, or lessened. It comes as no surprise that the global economy, political semi-stability, and overall mental well-being have been greatly upheaved due to the COVID-19. Small, medium, and large businesses have either greatly suffered or profited from the ongoing health crisis. 

What is certain is that many companies were forced to embark on the journey to digital transformation or change how they run business and interact with audiences. The current situation is by no means discounting and marketing heaven, however, brands can and still do apply a number of strategies to communicate with shoppers in meaningful ways. 

With this short post, I would like to show some love and appreciation for companies that came up with unique and bold promotional campaigns when the dust of the current emergency has not settled yet. Spoiler alert – one of them managed to release a socially responsible discount campaign with the help of Voucherify. 

Building a Community with Discounts – Lele Sadoughi

Lele Sadoughi is a high-margin US fashion accessories brand that rarely goes on sale. But, then the pandemic happened. During the COVID-19 crisis, many brands resigned from offering special deals and incentives to customers in fear of shrinking margins and impoverished profitability. Others jumped head-on into excessive discounting to sell at least a small fraction of lingering stocks. Lele Sadoughi is a great example of how a company can use promotional marketing responsibly and at the same time grow the audience via new channels, such as Instagram or Facebook. The accessories brand launched virtual happy hours on Instagram with one product discounted by 50% each day. 

By applying a time-limited incentive, Lele Sadoughi managed to increase the urgency of the offer encouraging hesitant buyers to purchase products for 50% off. Besides, by maintaining a consistent promotional activity, the brand managed to grow their following on Instagram and build a stable community around the company. This type of social media-based marketing campaign creates an outlet for customers to connect not only with the brand but also with each other. What is even more important is that by setting up recurring discount events, Lele Sadoughi builds multiple opportunities to engage customers, staying on top of customers’ minds throughout the month. 

Lele Sadoughi Covid-19 flash sales

And so, a company that rarely got itself involved in discounting and promotional marketing, relying heavily on the word-of-mouth and influencer endorsements, took a sharp turn and successfully incorporated discounts into their business operations, without harming brand image and reputation. And, more importantly, still earning money instead of losing it. 

Why does Lele Sadoughi deserve a round of applause?

  • Lele Sadoughi is a traditionally not-discounting luxurious brand. But, due to COVID-19 and competition breathing on its neck, the brand started off with discounting marketing. 
  • The campaign was a success due to the urgency effect and the right channel (Instagram).
  • The discounts were not excessive and so they did not spoil the brand image as less luxurious.

Getting everyone to work safely – Beryl 

Truth be told, I am pretty excited to write about this campaign as Beryl managed to launch a socially-responsible discount program with the help of none other, but Voucherify. Beryl is a UK bike-sharing business that encourages city dwellers to get on two wheels. During the COVID-19, access to public transport was, and in some places, continues to be hindered. That is why Beryl thought of a campaign aimed at essential workers. In the difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic, Beryl started to offer free rides for the National Health Service (NHS) and other essential workers across the UK to help them get to work safely. To select the eligible customers, the Beryl marketing team used Voucherify to set up customer segments based on the email domain and geolocation. 



By giving back to the community, Beryl leverages a very effective marketing strategy. In the competitive market environment, psychological marketing helps create a (sometimes unfair) competitive advantage. With as many as 91% of customers likely to switch brands to one that supports a good cause, given similar price and quality, a CSR-boosted marketing campaign is an excellent tool to generate buzz around the brand, build positive brand associations and brand loyalty. Beryl’s idea is not only a commendable act of solidarity but also an insidiously smart marketing strategy.

Why does the tip of the hat go to Beryl?

  • Brand engagement in social responsibility impacts customer experience which is a crucial factor in building loyalty.
  • By using dedicated promotional software, Beryl was able to release the campaign quickly and save not only money but also developers’ time. 
  • Support for causes close to customers’ problems and esteemed values increases the chances for the long-term association and strong relationships with a brand.

#SpreadJoyNotGerms – Firebox

Firebox is a popular website for finding extraordinary gifts for family and friends for any occasion imaginable. The company did not waste time and aligned its messaging to the COVID-19 reality in a few days. What is more, Firebox marketing strategy found its reflection in the products the company has on sale right now – personalized face masks, hand sanitizers with witty names which I am too prude to quote here, and a designated section for lockdown gifts. 

By aligning messaging with their offerings, Firebox created a unified brand identity and a safe space for customers looking for a bit of a laugh in not-too-funny circumstances. Add to that a successful referral program with monetary rewards and you get a marketing success story on your hands. 

Why do we love Firebox?

  • The brand was quick to recognize the new business circumstances and did not waste a second in aligning their messaging to the COVID-19 reality. 
  • By proper marketing messaging, the brand, associated with fun and light-heartedness, avoided being criticized as insensitive to the ongoing crisis. 
  • Firebox’s hashtag #SpreadJoyNotGerms was trending for a while on Twitter which brought extra eyes, and undoubtedly, extra wallets to the table.
  • What’s there not to love? Give me a sec, I need to buy a Donald Trump toy for my pooch.
Firebox covid-19 response BOGO offer

Stay at Home Refund – Admiral

Admiral is now the first UK motor insurance company that is offering partial refunds to customers due to the COVID-19 lockdown – more precisely, a £25 refund for each car and van it covers. This marketing move is motivated by immense savings brought to the insurers by reduced accident and breakdown claims. As reported by the Guardian, this year alone the COVID-19 traffic reduction could bring motor insurers up to £1bn in savings. 

Admiral has been widely praised for this business move, as customers will definitely remember how businesses reacted to the new reality of the world in lockdown and many customers falling under financial strain. 

Admiral Covid-19 response campaign

As noted by Cristina Nestares, CEO of UK Admiral:

“We want to give the money we would have used to pay claims back to our loyal customers in this difficult time. We have also already reflected this change in driving behavior in our pricing for customers and will continue to do so.”

Why did the Admiral make the right business move?

  • By claiming that Admiral is simply doing its part to give back to the community, the company will be definitely remembered as a socially responsible business.
  • It pays off to stay transparent with customers – if your business repeated huge profits from an ongoing crisis, think of ways of giving back to the community.

COVID-19 marketing strategies and discount campaigns come in all shapes and sizes. The ones covered in this post are just a small fracture of the current business landscape and shifting customer trends and preferences. If your business would like to experiment with discount marketing, give us a call. I am sure we can help. 


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