The old adage in the American lexicon is “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” While that is certainly true, I venture to add a third: change. In a year marked by uncertainty, everything has changed. The way we communicate with one another, the way we interact with our neighbors, hell even the way we grocery shop. Another defining characteristic of America is its resiliency. The ability to adapt to a difficult situation as a team leads to a quick resolution of problems facing anyone.
Known for being a titan of the trucking industry, Ford, among other auto manufacturers, was faced with the dilemma of having to market their fleet in the midst of a pandemic. Traditional ads just were not going to cut it. Most of the tier one marketing plan had to be scrapped. Along came an opportunity to show American resiliency. Teaming with 3M, Ford began making PPE in their Michigan plants to send all across America. Helping out hospitals across the country was a unique way to show American resiliency in the midst of a pandemic. Combining the image of their truck along with their initiative to provide PPE all across the country not only helps their image with the lay individual but gives them a creative way to market their products.
In the wake of the shutdown, most, if not all sports were canceled. The contact nature of sports would (and still does) give rise to more COVID cases. Nike understood this and decided to make one of the best commercials of the year. You Can’t Stop Us got its notoriety because of the smooth transitions and top tier editing, but the messaging aligns with Nike’s vision. We are better as a team, and if we can all work together to achieve a common goal, we can do anything. Nike released the ad at the end of July, coinciding with the return of NBA basketball. Since then, the video had garnered more than 59 million views on YouTube and Nike’s stock has soared from its 6 month low of $96 reach nearly $140 per share.
It goes without saying that this year has been hard on everyone. This virus has stolen time from individuals that they may never get back. Amazon looked to alleviate the pain of missing landmark events in one’s life with their The Show Must Go On spot. Following an African American girl practicing ballet for a big recital, she practices and practices and practices. Eventually she gets a letter in the mail saying her recital won’t go on because of the pandemic. Using Amazon’s abundant resources and quick delivery service, the girl’s sister puts on a show for the entire apartment complex without having to leave the comfort of home. They made the best out of a poor situation and adapted to make everyone feel better.
It is safe to say that no one had 20/20 vision when it came to the events that have transpired this year. But like I stated at the top, Americans adapt. If our children should not be at school, then we teach them through remote learning. If our places of work become breeding grounds for the virus, then we set up Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting. Like death and taxes, change is inevitable. Using our teamwork; using our resiliency and ability to adapt can make anything turn from a negative to a positive.