There is a positive side to COVID-19 when you ask, What's the best that can happen? 

Our brand philosophy at Full Punch is an antidote to complacent marketing. We are calling on brands to embrace positivity and seek better outcomes, have a purpose and chase their dreams, follow through with brave strategy and bold creativity. What's the best that can happen?

Today, its meaning couldn't hold more truth. We all need to come together and chase positive outcomes. Not just in advertising and marketing, but in our everyday lives. Many of us remember 9/11 in 2001, the SARS outbreak in 2003, the global financial collapse of 2008 and the H1N1 Pandemic in 2009. Those times were hard. The COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020 will be much harder in many respects.

During this time, it's easy to trap yourself in the constant news cycle of doom and gloom. It's much harder to ask, what's the best that can happen? While it's important not to trivialize our current situation, it's necessary to be aware of all of the positive outcomes we see developing as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Most of us will get through this, just like we have before, and we will have the opportunity to shape our new reality. All of us can take part in defining our new future. 

So, here's our take on some positives we see developing and hope that this is just the beginning. 

People care.
During this time, we've seen an outpouring of generosity and support for one another. People are helping their neighbours and the elderly by picking up food for each other while one person is out. We've become increasingly supportive of our essential service providers. While it's more frequent, we praise our police, firefighters and healthcare workers in times of crisis; we've come to recognize the abundance of ancillary groups it takes to make our daily lives happen. These people are the ones who ensure that we have the food and resources we need to get through our everyday lives: bus drivers, store clerks, warehouse workers, bank tellers, food service people. We often forget these people are on the front lines as well, making sure we get to the places we need to be and have the food we need to nourish our bodies. Inspired by Italians signing from their balconies in solidarity, in Vancouver, we've taken to our patios at 7:00 pm every evening to thank these heroes by cheering and making a whole lot of noise, and we encourage everyone else to do the same. It’s the right thing to do.

Work-life balance.
As we all grapple with the reality of working from home, with our spouse and children, it's a fantastic learning opportunity for everyone. Beyond the artificial one day a year where we bring our child to work, we now have a chance to show our children and our significant others, not only what we do but how we do it. It's a fascinating learning experience for everyone. Without a costly commute, without the stress of drop-off and pick-up, a million chores, and running all over the city for events, it's incredible to realize how simple and efficient our lives just became. And aside from getting outside more often, we're all discovering what work-life balance is. And we've demonstrated to ourselves and our employers that just maybe working from home a couple of days a week is just fine. This new reality is bringing families together and allowing us to reconnect with one another in a way we have not seen before. 

The environment.
We've all seen the NASA images of CO2 emissions over China, Italy, New York and others. The decrease in CO2 is alarming. In the right way. As our cars sit idle in our garages, not only has our commute disappeared, so has the emission. Maybe working from home a day or two a week should be the norm to help the environment out. Yes, small things, when the global community does them, can have a significant impact. Adele Peters recently wrote a great article in Fast Company on what a fast, coordinated, collective response could look like if we all chose to make a difference about global warming. During the past few weeks, we've proven anything is possible when the world bands together to work towards a common goal. 

Embracing useful technology.
It might be a little ironic that recent trends (pre-COVID-19), had much of the population focused on reducing our screen time to connect more personally. Now, we have our devices out as we use FaceTime and Zoom with our family and friends to have virtual dinner parties and game nights. We’re embracing technology to help bring us together. 

And our devices and technology have made working from home a possibility. During the SARS outbreak, we didn't have YouTube, FaceTime, and video conferencing was rudimentary and confined to only a few boardrooms. Today, with our mobile broadband phones and networks, many of us can work from home, to keep working and help keep our economy going. And let's face it, many of us are just getting to know this technology, barely scratching the surface. Add in tech like Teams and Zoom, and all of a sudden, you have access to video, collaborative whiteboards, live recordings, and hosting live events. Like many of you, at Full Punch, we're going all-in on embracing this technology and have repositioned our presentations to be more like productions where video conferencing is our channel. 

As many of us wrap up our second week of working from home (and many of us Spring Break), it's time to hunker down. We're going to be here for a while. Let's make the most of it, stay connected, and be kind and patient to those in our community. We're all learning a lot right now, and much of it can make the world and our lives a little bit better. So take notes, and bring what we're learning today into our futures when we do return to "normal." Because when we do come out of this, we'll have an opportunity to push life forward and embrace positivity and everything we've learned. Let's remember to ask ourselves, What's the best that can happen?™

Published by Mike Leslie
A creative problem solver with a penchant for strategy and analytics, Mike is the President, Partner at Full Punch. Always calling Vancouver home, he has spent the majority of his career working throughout the Pacific Northwest, California and all across Canada managing small and large agencies, local and national brands. His experience brings unique insights to the entire marketing process.

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