#Relatable: Relatability & Marketing in 2020



Relatability & Marketing in 2020

Mask slid down your face as you were talking?


Rocked pajama pants to your last Zoom meeting?


Traveled to 18 different grocery stores to find ONE roll of toilet paper?



New norms have reformed our definition of relatability. This has caused content creators to get more creative than usual.

There’s a reason why Influence Network is calling “relatability” the new buzzword for marketing. With the whole world on lock down, many people are scrounging for any type of connection. 

However, budgets shrink in recession. That is only natural, but marketing… that is one that should be left untouched.

“Reducing media investment exacerbates losses” by “66%” according to LinkedIn. Plus, daily digital traffic is at an all-time high… this should give more than enough reason to hop on the digital advertising bandwagon.

Brands need to surf on the edges of relevant and relatable, while staying clear of the rip tide of sensitive topics. Relatability is, objectively, the most important tool in marketing in 2020, so understanding it is the key to riding the 2020 wave.


Relatable Marketing

The entire world is experiencing this new lifestyle together. A lifestyle inundated with new restrictions and boundaries. More than ever, people are escaping to the screens for some spark of connection. 

The New York Times outlined the spike in social media usage since the beginning of quarantine. Social media usage is soaring, especially video content. Now the reason why?…That’s interesting.

Snapchat reports that 77% percent Millennials and Gen Zs “say short-form premium mobile video makes them feel like they are a part of a community of people like them”. There is a sense of bonding when people feel connected to a larger group.

Video brings people together. There’s a difference in how engaged you are on a video call as opposed to a voice call. Video calls give you more stimulus to focus your attention. But most of all, it breathes humanity into the interaction. Some of that humanity face-to-face transfers over into video content. 

Now, with the world on its side, video content is shifting in nature. TikTok For Business recently launched around the focus of creating short TikToks instead of studio-staged, fully produced video ads. The low-quality ad creatives movement offers a splash of authenticity, creativity, and humor to traditional brand video content. This “low-quality” content is what makes it truly relatable, something that anyone can pick up their cell phone and make. It’s not a “sales and marketing” tactic, it’s relatable to the point that everyone does it. 

People are craving human interaction more than they ever have. Marketing has the capacity to play on this need. Think about this. The entire world can relate on one situation. This rarely happens. Therefore, this should be thoroughly considered in all marketing. A wider audience of people can be reached with short, relatable stories than ever before.


2020. What a Year.

Looking back, I can’t imagine this is how you thought your year would go. However, we must pick ourselves up, dust off, and push forward. Marketers always perch themselves on the edge of each trend, but this is different. Marketing is reworking itself with safety in mind. Here are some brands that have done well with the restrictions over their head:

  1. Heineken’s Back to the Bars campaign has been zoning in on optimism and caution during post-quarantine bar reopening. Their spotlight is on having good times, safely, while supporting local bars.
  2. Dove’s Courage is Beautiful ad features the heroes of the pandemic and how Dove is serving them as best as possible.
  3. Buffalo Wild Wings’ Sports Live On touches our inner trickster athletes, showing the unique creativity of athletes at home. 
  4. Uber’ Thank You For Not Riding actually thanks their customers for not using their product during the pandemic. You can’t get any more genuine than that.
  5. Apple hit home with their Creativity goes on ad. Filmed and photographed amidst quarantine, the video is incredibly relatable, giving hope to millions of creatives.

Each of these ads showcases humans adapting and overcoming overwhelming lifestyle changes. Their success is pinned to the fact that they are relatable. Relatability is not a “trend” like a viral dance or Flappy Bird. Relatability is reality. It is the shared connection between people. It bonds or divides unlikely friends and foes. Wielding it precisely is a superpower, as it gives a brand life. Build your brand’s life right in this time of unyielding uncertainty.

Still curious as to why you should advertise during COVID? Check out some mind blowing stats here.

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