Four marketing principles for a new world 

To help us navigate this uncharted territory, Founder and Creative Director Chris Butterworth shares four guiding lights for effective marketing and advertising in this new world.


Chris Butterworth


Chris is a firm believer in the power of creativity and simplicity to solve clients’ challenges. Today he steers a team of over 30 creatives across three continents to share those beliefs and embrace thinking differently.

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We are living in an unprecedented time. And it’s quite eye-opening to see how much advertising and messaging around us suddenly seems flippant and irrelevant.  

As an agency, we’re helping our clients communicate their response to C-19 and supporting them to offer their products and services to their own customers. I believe there are some ground rules around the type of thinking this work should follow. Here are four principles that are important when we’re working on client briefs in the current situation: 


Be a leader 

This is clearly a public health crisis. But its rapidly spiralling into an economic one too. Business leaders and organisations need to promote the value of continuing to trade normally to keep money flowing through the economy. Cutting spending and investment now will spread the economic downturn like the coronavirus itself. 

Client comms and messaging should be reassuring and confident with a clear view on the future. 

Be altruistic 

This is not a time to be capitalising on the fear and uncertainty businesses are feeling. Or to be ambulance-chasing. Right now, it’s time for companies to share what they can freely, from both a financial and thought leadership, insight and resource perspective. Companies should be opening up their proprietary products, services and insights to create communities and networks.  

Getting one over on the competition can be put on the back burner for now.  

Client marketing and messaging should be built around helping businesses in greatest need, not about competitive advantage. 

Be positive 

This too shall pass. It’s hard to be sure when, but it will. Harvard Business Review notes an uptick in business activity just six weeks after the initial C-19 outbreak in China. Thats no more (and frequently shorter) than the standard campaign planning cycle. So preparing now to hit the ground running is paramount — even if this lasts 12 weeks or more. 

Client comms and messaging should be about getting through this then being ready for the upswing. 

Be direct 

We have to get to the point quickly. We need to state what we’re selling, how it will help and what to do. This is not the time to be lateral or enigmatic. Be honest and truthful. 

Client comms and messaging should be clear, not clever. 


While times seem dark right now, as marketers we have the ability to prepare ourselves and our clients for when the clouds lift. The companies who respond responsibly and charitably now will be the ones best thought of in the future. 

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