Vaccines & Video-dating: How Brands are Helping in 2021 During COVID-19

brands helping against covid 19

Back in March 2020, brands across the world were forced into making big changes. For some, it was major strategic pivots to keep them afloat – as was the case for many bricks-and-mortar fitness establishments, for example. For others with more stable business models, it was acts of kindness for tough times that solidified their relationship with consumers. There’s no doubt about it: corona was the only thing on anyone’s lips and every brand had to respond.

One year later – and with the crisis still rumbling – the knee-jerk altruism and dramatic pivots have definitely calmed down as brands have settled into the new normal. But the crisis is still alive and kicking, with some new aspects to it. Namely, the global rush to administer vaccines and create an exit strategy. So how are brands responding in this new climate where COVID seems to have become a slightly-less-than-temporary fact of life? Are brands still helping in the fight against COVID-19 – or has that moment passed?

Even now, there’s still a place for brands to react to COVID in an altruistic and helpful way, particularly with regards to the vaccination efforts. Whether it’s just a fun product innovation or something actually helping those who are struggling,  here are some of the most recent and relevant examples of brands helping against COVID-19 in 2021.

Stay safe and alert. And make sure you stay up-to-date on the health situation with the WHO here.

FREE NOW 

FREE NOW are supporting the fight against COVID-19 with subsidised rides for people going to vaccine appointments

The vaccination push is underway across the world now, but for some people it’s not so easy to reach their local vaccination center. That’s where European mobility platform FREE NOW have come in. In Ireland, the ride-hailing service has offered to cover up to €20 for rides to and from vaccination appointments. They aren’t the only organisation subsidising transport to and from vaccinations: in our home city of Berlin a tie-up between the German Red Cross (DRK) Berlin, the Senate Department for Health and the Berlin Taxi Guild is offering free taxi rides for those over 80 heading to get vaccinated. Both are examples of organisations and brands helping against COVID-19.

TAXFIX

Taxfix are offering free tax returns for those who are on short-term work in Germany

For many, the economic impact of the crisis wasn’t just an instant, short-term hit. In fact, the economic impact is still profound. In Germany, many have been put on Kurzarbeit – translating as short-term work and similar to furlough schemes across the globe. But what about when they have to do their taxes? Online tax filing platform Taxfix is already offering a user-friendly solution for those who find the bureaucracy of doing their taxes a turn-off – and now it’s become easier on the pocket, too. For those on short-term work, Taxfix are offering free tax returns. Helping to ease the financial burden for those earning less due to the crisis, this is an altruistic offering from a company that’s in a secure vertical – and is firmly on the way up.

EVENTBRITE

Eventbrite is helping health centers set up vaccine appointments on their platform

Notifying citizens about their vaccine appointments has been increasingly tricky in the decentralised US system. To assist with this, Eventbrite has been used by clinics to set up appointments for vaccinations – ensuring citizens are informed about their appointment and sent reminder notifications. This has been particularly notable in Florida, where the vaccine rollout was struggling with county health centres not able to implement an effective phone call system for appointment notifications. Responding to this surge, Eventbrite has created a page for those needing help setting up vaccine appointments, explaining the ins and outs of it all – plus information on how they are taking action against fake vaccine appointments that have been set up, too.

BUMBLE

Bumble has launched Night In to help make virtual date more entertaining

On to something slightly more frivolous, but helping to spice up those often boring and often lonely lockdown evenings. Recently flush from their IPO, dating app Bumble – which has been offering video dating since even before the pandemic – has come up with something for those who are bored of the standard video calling. They’ve implemented a new feature called Night In in the US and Canada, which allows potential lovers to play games alongside the requisite ‘getting to know each other’. With Zoom fatigue thriving and video dating threatening to become monotonous, Night In is a savvy antidote created by a dating app that has firmly adapted to these COVID times. 

AIRBNB

Airbnb is offering free stays to frontline workers making it a great example of a brand helping in the fight against COVID-19

Airbnb had a rollercoaster 2020. Whether it was the initial hit to their revenue when lockdown measures began, or the high of their IPO at the end of 2020, the Silicon Valley darling had a year of ups and downs. And despite the obvious hit to their revenue – Airbnb have reported their Q4 2020 revenues were 22% down on 2019’s  – they’ve still managed to use their site for the common good during these tough times.

First, there was their Open Homes and Frontline Stays program, which provided free stays for essential workers, for example when they wanted to sleep closer to work or quarantine away from their families while treating COVID-19 patients. This has now evolved into Airbnb.org, which launched in December and is officially a nonprofit entity offering free or discounted stays for these aforementioned workers, as well as refugees.

They’ve also partnered up with the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), and have pledged $1 million over the next two years to assist with housing IFRC volunteers “fighting the spread of COVID-19”. CORE will also receive $1 million, to help support workers at COVID-19 vaccination centres and testing sites.

Stay safe and alert. And make sure you stay up-to-date on the health situation with the WHO here.

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