Opinion

Experiences We Love - Creative Responses to COVID-19

Every month, we like to share work from around the world that inspires us. However, with COVID-19 impacting people and brands worldwide, we’ve switched up the format a bit this month. We’re still reporting on great experiences but with a focus on brands adapting to the current situation.

AM
By Annabelle Mayor
Posted 25. 03. 2020
Yanjiyou bookstore
© Like many other bookstores, Yanjiyou connected with customers through digital means

Bookshops in China find new ways to reach readers

To stay afloat during the epidemic, bookshops in China have found creative ways to serve customers. Yanjiyou stores have been delivering books via a food delivery app as well as livestreaming book recommendations, panel discussions and readings. 1200 Bookshop offers a ‘book surprise’ service where customers send the store a WeChat message on how they feel and concerns and staff will then pick a book to send them based on their mood. The industry has also published a ‘self-preservation’ plan for Chinese bookstores on WeChat filled with tips from handling employee salaries to producing online content during quarantine.

3dprinted valve hero
© 3D-printed ventilator valves

Designers and brands help with medical supply shortages

With health services facing shortages of medical equipment, multiple industries are pitching in to help. In Italy, printing start-up Isinnova 3D-printed valves for ventilators to combat a shortage at a local hospital. In the UK, Vauxhall and Airbus plan to manufacture ventilator equipment. Luxury groups are donating surgical masks as well as preparing to make them in their own factories. It’s great to see so many brands and designers joining efforts to help in any way they can during this difficult time.

Screenshot 2020 03 20 at 16 23 27
© Art Basel

Art Basel’s Online Viewing Rooms

In light of the Hong Kong show’s cancellation, Art Basel launched online ‘Viewing Rooms’ to showcase work from exhibitors. Over 2,000 pieces were placed on display and could be viewed worldwide via the website or app. After clicking on a ‘room’, an explanation of the exhibit pops up before letting users browse the artworks, many framed in a gallery setting. Exhibiting galleries could be contacted directly for sales inquiries.

Brew Dog brewgel
© BrewDog

BrewDog’s Punk Sanitiser and Drive-thrus

Like LVMH, BrewDog has started manufacturing hand sanitiser in its facilities to help with shortages. The brand’s co-founder, James Watt, took to Twitter to announce its ‘Punk Sanitiser’, clarifying that it would not be sold but distributed where needed. The brand also began offering drive-thrus and click and collect services from their bars for those social distancing.

Woolworths twitter
© A customer leaves a kind note to staff in Woolworths

Supermarkets designate opening hours for vulnerable shoppers

Both big chain and independent supermarkets across the world introduced shopping hours exclusively for the elderly, disabled and healthcare workers to help ensure they get the items they need amidst the panic-buying. In Australia, Woolworths also put together care packages containing everyday essentials that vulnerable customers could pick up from the customer service desk.

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These are unprecedented times for everyone but it’s been great to see so many brands adapting to the situation. The brands we mentioned in this article are only a fraction of those doing what they can to help, whether it’s through offering helpful services, providing indoor entertainment, or manufacturing important medical supplies.

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