3 Brands That Used Technology to Reach and Entertain Audiences During the Pandemic

Jennifer Vicki, Contributing Editor, BrandStorytelling.tv


Technology enables the start of new connections, empowers diverse brand storytelling, and creates new avenues for marketing innovation. While the global health crisis has brought with it more than its fair share of ill effects, it can’t be denied that it also opened new doors for certain brands – particularly in the field of digital marketing. In fact, prompted by the digital migration of industries, there has been a noted spike in the demand for digital and online marketing specialists. A survey by a national staffing firm reveals that experts armed with highly technical skills for marketing such as analytics, eCommerce, automation managers, and demand generation, can earn annual salaries of anywhere from $70,000 to $125,000.


This has made digital marketing one of the top career choices for students, and many top universities are now offering faster and more convenient online courses to meet this demand. Graduates of today’s online marketing degrees receive intensive and streamlined training in creating, managing, and analyzing digital marketing plans. The faster course turnaround will help fill the more than 20,000-personnel demand in digital marketing much quicker and ensure that new digital skills are brought to the industry. The below brands are an example of this new creative thinking coming from universities and advertising agencies, as they use emerging technologies to reach and entertain their audiences in the face of the global pandemic.


Chipotle used Zoom to maintain and develop outreach


One of the first brands that leveraged new tech to reach and entertain audiences amid the lockdowns was Chipotle Mexican Grill. Using Zoom, the popular video conferencing app, Chipotle connected celebrity guests with around 3,000 different fans. "We realized this is where our fans were headed," detailed Chipotle VP of digital and off-premise, Tressie Lieberman. "We started by bringing people together over lunch, when they may normally be hanging out at a Chipotle restaurant under different circumstances. We then started activating at all times of the day pending the idea and talent."


The guests included the likes of Whole30 Founder Melissa Urban, NFL star Rob Gronkowski, and Colton Underwood from "The Bachelor.” Generating 500 million media impressions and 100 media stories over just two weeks, the campaign allowed Chipotle to establish a sense of community, at a time when its consumers were increasingly hungry for genuine connections.



PepsiCo allowed MTN Dew and Doritos to develop mobile-interactive Super Bowl ads


One of the biggest advertising events of the year saw two of the most innovative uses of emerging technology. Teaming up with Sway: The Magic Dance app, Doritos ripped a page from TikTok and allowed users to digitally superimpose themselves onto rapper Lil Nas X and screen actor Sam Elliott as the two engaged in a dance battle. Meanwhile, MTN Dew used a Snapchat filter to let mobile users digitally superimpose their faces onto the twins from the cult thriller movie, The Shining. The result saw Doritos and MTN Dew dominate the mobile digital marketing conversation during and long after the Super Bowl ads ran on air.



Twitter pivoted into a pandemic social brand doctor


Virtually every brand struggled with outreach when the pandemic hit and the lockdowns began. To help brands stay afloat and employees stay in work, Twitter turned into a social media helpline during the pandemic. Leveraging its position as a social media giant, Twitter actively bridged both business-to-consumer and business-to-business communication gaps. This was particularly beneficial to brands like Clorox, Salesforce, Pinterest, and LinkedIn Learning, all of which offered products or services that were essential to both consumers and businesses amid the lockdowns.


In its quest to streamline the way people adapted to the pandemic, Twitter even came out with general steps for a brand pandemic response. In all communications, the social media giant advised businesses to focus on doing the following: inform, connect, entertain, and help. Around a year after the first lockdowns, this advice continues to be relevant for brands.


In short, the increasing use of advanced technologies for digital marketing is not just here to stay – it’s here to dominate. And if you want a piece of this action, it’s time for you and your brand to fully embrace the digital transformation.

About Jennifer Vicki

Jennifer Vicki is a freelance writer who is fascinated by technology. She loves to cover the latest trends and write about how technology is changing our lives. In her free time she loves to hike.

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