Ever since the COVID19 crisis took over our lives and became everybody’s one and only concern, the media have bombarded us with advertising campaigns that address the issue from an almost identical approach.
Brands, corporations, foundations and public institutions have changed their communication strategies overnight in order to incorporate the current situation (marked by an extraordinary event and its extraordinary consequences) in their advertising messages, regardless if they are selling cocoa powder, renewable energy, the management of a government or the craving for beer in a bar.
Advertising has always fed off reality, and brands must carry on communicating and existing, even now, a time that keeps us on tenterhooks and that is marking and will mark the future of the entire society.
The urgent and improvised nature of many of these messages has resulted in many of them resorting to the same concepts: heroism, demand of responsibility, and mostly, gratitude.
It is logic. The global nature of this crisis makes it very difficult to establish differences between societies (moreover, doing so would be counter-productive and unwise). Borders become irrelevant when it comes to a global problem that affects everybody.
Facing this common denominator in the storyline of most of these campaigns, we believe that there is a chance, even an obligation, to send a message that, with all honesty, not only aims to touch the heart of the society, but also tries to admit some obvious mistakes and encourages reflection.
It has taken an extreme epidemic and its tragic consequences for millions of people to recognise the essential importance and the value of the daily work of those fighting on the front line against the virus.
Men and women who are doing today the same as they have always done, something that has suddenly become extraordinarily meaningful and valuable.
We believe that before saying thank you, thank you very much, we must do something more important and difficult: apologise.
Only with an apology can we express our sincere gratitude. There is no truer way of saying thank you than admitting where we have gone wrong for decades. So that it does not happen again, and so that the gratitude that we express today with our gestures becomes an essential part of a society that should come out of this crisis stronger, which is also a crisis of values. Because, if we learn from our mistakes, we will probably improve.
All of us, or most of us, have understood that we have been taking for granted the work and the effort of many people, who today have become the essential guardians of a present without which there would be no future.
This is an advertising message signed by nobody, because we would like to believe it is signed by everybody.