March 24, 2020

MediaPost: Agencies Rally To Support Their Home Cities

Article originally published by MediaPost on March 24, 2020.

While agencies continue to grapple with COVID-19-related project postponements and spending a lot of time indoors, they are lending their talents to give back to their communities and residents hit hardest by the pandemic.

PB& didn’t have to look far to scout out potential benefactors as the shop’s Seattle was particularly ravaged by the virus.

Launched in conjunction with some local Seattle restauranteurs, the agency’s Til We Dine Again is designed to give locals a streamlined way to buy gift cards for their favorite restaurants. “With a near ‘stay-at-home’ order, many don’t feel comfortable getting take out or even delivery,” says the representative. “Gift cards, on the other hand, can help ensure the future success of the city’s thriving scene. And well, when we come through all of this, we all will be ready to go out for a great meal amongst our friends as well.”

People can visit a site to purchase gift cards. Restaurants are encouraged to reach out to have their businesses added. Other cities are also welcome to use it in their local communities. Social badges can be downloaded here to help share support for the effort.

“Our office is surrounded by great places to eat and drink and as we were wrapping up our ‘in-office’ activities before our official WFH, we’d all gone out to try and give them some business,” explains an agency representative. “The idea arose as we were all together and then moved to virtual creation.”

Meanwhile, Curiosity is supporting local businesses in Cincinnati with its #SaveCincySmall social media movement. Every day for the next five days, the agency will promote small businesses in town doing great work and struggling to stay alive.

The agency is announcing its first donation today, tagging it on Instagram stories as well as sharing it via Facebook and LinkedIn. Curiosity will then attempt to spark additional donations by challenging other local agencies and marketing organizations to participate or at least purchase products from the company.

“Our hope is that the challenge spreads and continues during this time, and other agencies and creative leaders in town will jump on board,” explains an agency spokesperson.

Similar to PB&, Curiosity also hopes this activation will become a model for other cities.  
Cast Iron is releasing a “love letter” to Los Angeles to showcase its hometown pride as well as help its team connect during this time of social distancing. “Too many people are saying ‘we’re all in this together,’ but not enough people are showing it,” explains co-founder J Barbush. “That was the brief we took on. How to show people we can unify around a city we love.”

The “love letter” video rolls through a batch of images of the city while a voiceover speaks poetically about community. The video photographer donated the pictures from earlier footage while the music was created by Barbush’s son. The entire project was finished within 24 hours.

“Part of our corporate mission is to go beyond marketing, and help with the greater good when we can,” he says. “Within our skillsets and capabilities, we thought we could just put together a thoughtful respite from the more dire news, and create a message of hope and perseverance with the help of our friends and family.”

The agency pushed the #WeAreLA out on its social channels as a non-branded piece of content on Sunday.

Feel that? That’s curiosity.

Let’s solve something together.