Top Lockdown Digital Innovations

As we move further into the period of lockdown in the UK and without a definitive end to social distancing in sight, there is an ever increasing demand on the digital world.

This shift is gracefully captured by Wunderman Thompson as ‘the physical world may be shrinking for many individuals, but technology is stepping in to help fill the void’. A growing focus on fulfilling (the majority of) our needs and wants through online means is leading to more businesses moving further into the digital landscape, stepping up their creativity to find the most appropriate ways to reach their customers and navigate through these challenging times. 

In a previous post, we touched upon the accelerated rate at which technology has been even more so integrated into our everyday lives since the COVID-19 crisis began. Now we’d like to share with you some of our favourite examples of how brands have embraced this continued immersion into the digital world. From travel and e-commerce, through to the way companies have further digitised human interaction. 

Human Interaction 

A duo of artists, Danielle Baskin and Max Hawkins, are combating feelings of loneliness and isolation through their app ‘Quarantine Chat’. The service requires users to register with their time zone and language to get started. Once set up, users will receive one call per day through the app where they are randomly assigned a partner from among other active callers. They could be in the same town or from a different country, helping to foster a sense of international community.

E-Commerce

A new website may not be the most innovative launch of the pandemic, but PepsiCo’s unveiling of snacks.com may be one of the most perfectly timed projects of the year so far. With the drastic shift to online shopping also apparent in the grocery category, PepsiCo have made sure they’re not missing out on the e-commerce rise, setting up the website in just 30 days to allow US customers to directly purchase their range of snacking products online, (despite owning the dormant domain name for over 20 years).

Travel 

Although we cannot physically travel during the pandemic, Airbnb is one of the many hospitality brands keeping the travel bug alive through digital exploration. The company is taking ‘virtual tourists’ to hosts’ properties around the world through Zoom to enjoy a range of experiences, from meditation sessions with Buddhist monks in Japan, to authentic cooking classes with families in Morocco. Finding an innovative way to create business for many hosts that would otherwise be heavily restricted during this time.

Health & Wellbeing

Despite competition from the majority of other health and fitness brands who have moved to online services since lockdown began, Nike’sPlay Inside’ campaign still demands standout through it’s variety of touchpoints. Nike have given us a glimpse into the homes and lockdown fitness regimes of sports superstars such as LeBron James and Sara Hughes, along with providing reams of expertly created content tailored to a selection of specific sports. Even catering to multiple age groups, such as ‘Made to Play’, an initiative to encourage children around the world to compete in activities at home that are measured against the personal bests of athletes such as Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Gaming 

The launch of the highly anticipated ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ seemed to coincide with a time where consumers potentially had more available time for gaming, and moved to the top of the UK gaming charts after just three days of release back in March. Since then, the game has become a media channel providing other brands a new avenue to interact with customers. From clothing brands releasing their own virtual lines for players to wear, to Getty releasing an art generator for virtual decor to be added to players’ homes. Bridging the worlds of gaming, fashion and lifestyle whilst offering new ways for brands to reach customers digitally using new platforms and partners.

As the digital world around us continues to evolve at pace, we’re excited to see more creative ways in which brands are innovating and adapting their services to align with our ever changing normal moving forward.

All factual information correct at time of writing.

Cover image by Rodion Kutsaev