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One of the areas in which brands have had to tread very carefully has been the economic impact on ordinary people, who have either lost their jobs because of lockdown, or been placed on short or forced leave.

Gumtree, the online sales portal, realising that many people would be pressed for cash, decided to do a quick, informal survey about the items that the average household has just “hanging around” and which no longer hold the appeal they once did. These are the sort of things which can be sold to raise a bit of cash in these tough times.’s survey determined that the average person had 17 unused items around their home that could be listed on Gumtree for R4,195. From that came the idea of “celebrating” these “pre-owned” items … in a new and funky way. Thus was born “pre-loved love songs”, which partnered comedian Donovan Goliath and his talented violinist partner Davina Gordon. The two have been producing musical content throughout the lockdown and much of it has gone viral – and beyond the borders of South Africa. One video, “How to make a Missy Elliot music video”, was actually picked up by the star herself in May. She not only liked it, but followed Donovan on social media, something which left him gobsmacked. Using the pair to do the “pre-loved love songs” for Gumtree was the idea of Retroviral agency and I think the piece works really well. The music is catchy, the lines clever and the premise – of saying goodbye to something (rather than someone) you once loved – marries emotion with common sense. It should also get you thinking, as you watch it, about what you might want to get rid of. So, it works as a call to action for Gumtree (which is offering prizes for people who show their unwanted goods) as well as a bit of light entertainment. It also shows what can be done with a good idea and not much in the way of big-bucks production…

Across the world, we have collectively been experiencing a huge crisis which has not discriminated. When so many business sectors have suffered as a result of Covid-19, marketing has understandably taken a battering. Budgets have been slashed as uncertainty has reigned. At the same time, for those who haven’t withdrawn altogether, brand messaging has felt like a tightrope for most, bringing a huge challenge of striking the right tone whilst putting out compelling content. Any brand message that could be seen to be exploiting the current situation has been met with negative consumer sentiment that could cause long term damage to brand equity. At the same time, many of the traditional ways of creating marketing content, such as tv production, have been severely restricted during lockdown.

Several notable brands have pivoted to practically help – from manufacturing hand sanitiser to donating free or discounted food to health-workers. These initiatives have rightly been applauded. But which brands have gone further in a way that is likely to make a long-term positive impact?

Celebrating best-in-class branded content

There are great examples of brands that have employed creativity, resourcefulness and thoughtfulness during this very challenging time. Content has always been the strongest and most effective way in which to engage people by providing genuine value, and right now this has never been more acute.

Whether it is to provide utility, as above, or to entertain, inform, educate or inspire, we want to highlight the very best branded content that has been produced during the lockdown period, across the globe. Stand-out campaigns are to be nominated from all active BCMA markets, and all BCMA members will have the opportunity to vote for their favourites. We will then publish the winners and promote them across local and global channels.

Why the BCMA is doing this

We are all united in experiencing this devastating pandemic, and it is so often out of adversity that creativity is borne. As the BCMA, we have a mission to promote best practice when it comes to branded content. And as a global organization, we have a unique opportunity to bring together the best examples from around the world to recognize talent and inspire other brands and content makers.

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Global Lockdown Content Showcase South Africa