Last Updated on May 20, 2020
A video compilation of commercials being run by major corporations during the COVID-19 pandemic has gone viral after illustrating how every such commercial is invariably vapid, tone-deaf, and formulaic.
The YouTube video, titled “Every Covid-19 Commercial is Exactly the Same,” was posted by user Microsoft Sam on April 15.
The compilation shows how every commercial starts with soft piano, royalty-free music and B-roll footage often played in slow motion, as phrases like “in these uncertain times” and “we’ll get through this together” appear on screen.
“Corporate Covid-19 response videos are eerily similar. *Cue somber piano music* When a company or brand releases a Coronavirus Response ad, they might tell you that we’re living in “uncertain times”, but that “we’re here for you”. They may say their top priority is “people” and “families” by bringing their services to the “comfort and safety of your home”. And don’t forget: “we’re all in this together!” #together,” the video description reads.
Samsung, Apple, Facebook, Budweiser, Fedex, AT&T, and many other megacorporations are featured in the compilation, which shows the commercials monotnously reciting how they’ve always “been there” for “people” and “families.”
The full YouTube video can be seen below:
“What’s the deal?” the video description concludes. “In reality, many companies have found themselves short on cash, almost overnight. They needed to get a message out – and quick. They asked their teams to throw something together. Since they can’t film a new ad because of social distancing, they compiled old stock b-roll footage and found the most inoffensive royalty-free piano track they could find. This, combined with a decade of marketing trends dictated by focus groups and design-by-committee, released a tsunami of derivative, cliche ads all within a week of one another. It’s not a conspiracy – but perhaps a sign that it’s time for something new.”