Take a look at this compilation of current American TV ads, with brands attempting to show solidarity in a COVID-19 environment. It vividly illustrates how they’re all pretty much the same – down to the exact phrases and even near-identical pensive piano music!

I think most are well-intentioned and would be fine on their own. They’re rightly seeking to show empathy rather than deliver a hard sell. But, viewed alongside each other – as of course they are in the real world – you can see how, in the space of just a few short weeks, these phrases and sentiments have become clichés and lost any sense of sincerity.

No-one needs to be told any more that phone companies, banks or car makers are ‘here for you’ and ‘standing together’ with us in these ‘unprecedented’ and ‘challenging times’. The brands come across as jumping on the bandwagon.

Companies clearly need to find more concrete ways to play a positive role right now – and find a new way to talk to their audiences.