Brands and science are generally not obvious partners unless you sell toothpaste. For years, brands such as telecoms companies or face creams have relied on the ‘feel-good’ factor.
Now, aided by our reliance on science to guide us through this pandemic, brands are using science to bolster their brands.
Brands that sell everything from baby food to face cream are turning to science, according to Wundeman Thompson.
Quoting the Pew Research Center, ‘89% of Americans put their trust in medical scientists, and those reporting a great deal of confidence in medical scientists has gone up from 35% before the outbreak to 43% in April, according to findings from Pew Research Center’.
One particular area where this is happening is in products from brands seeking to exploit (in a nice way) the effects of the pandemic. An example quoted by Wunderman Thompson is a skincare company seeking to bring together its historically holistic approach with a scientific one. So it makes a virtue of using ‘synthesized versions of molecules found naturally in the skin’.
The effect is a scientific foundation for its claim of beneficial effects to counter too much hand washing – and for its marketing efforts.
While skincare and baby food may seem far from our digital world, some digital brands are also using the science card – but perhaps not enough.
Many adverts for telecoms companies rely on pictures and videos of happy people doing happy things on their digital devices. In the UK, for example, there is an advert for EE, in which Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon is being cool and very connected, while another person, sitting on the next bench looks depressed because he obviously made the wrong choice of network.
Which is fine, except there is no science, just an ‘endorsement’ by a famous person that his network is cool and fast.
While we probably do not want to get into the American advertising trap where one brand says that it is faster, better or cheaper than its competitors, it is probably worth a rethink.
We don’t need tables of benchmarked speeds and latency figures but, as we enter a new age of connectivity with 5G, there must be a case for brands turning to a form of science or at least provable data.
For instance, a telecoms company could offer a package which promised simultaneous video, gaming and photo sharing in your location.
Perhaps they don’t yet, because they simply can’t make promises like that. In which case it is high time they could.
In any event, as we begin to see the new normal emerge, brands are changing tactics and digital companies should at least consider promoting themselves based on a little more science.