8 April 2020

Covid-19 and social distancing – creative responses by household names

Social distancing is visible in many places, even in some unexpected places such as on logos, in books and on TV, and big brands are developing creative approaches to maintain their profile.

Logos

Brands such as Audi, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, IKEA, Guinness, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have changed their iconic logos to reflect the practice of social distancing. For example, McDonald’s golden arches were separated and Volkswagon’s “V” and “W” were detached. These altered logos were accompanied with messages of “#stayathome” and “Thanks for keeping your social distance”.

Author Julia Donaldson

Julia Donaldson (author of books such as The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and Zog), along with illustrator Axel Scheffler, created a series of illustrations using her well-loved characters, all keeping a safe distance away from each other. An example was an illustration of The Gruffalo and the Mouse with the words ‘“All right”, said the Gruffalo, bursting with laughter. “You go ahead and I’ll follow two metres after!”’.

Hey Duggee

Hey Duggee is a CBeebies cartoon (some of you will be fans of the highly catchy “Sticky, sticky, stick, stick” song!), where the main character Duggee (a dog) runs a club where activity badges can be earned. Recently the creators added a “Stay at Home” badge to the collection, and the accompanying cartoon gave examples of things to do at home, to pass the time, whilst staying safe.

Time Out magazine

With closures of restaurants and entertainment venues, events-listings magazine Time Out found its purpose for publication removed. It quickly diversified and rebranded itself as Time In, went online and its articles now focus on virtual events, takeaways and things to watch on the TV.

These creative and perceptive approaches, striking a balance between maintaining a high profile and avoiding exploiting such a challenging situation, may be remembered for the right reasons in the long-term.

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About the Author
Emma Kirkpatrick, CITMA Paralegal & Trainee Trade Mark Attorney

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