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A variety of brands have stepped up efforts from May to help people recover from covid and improve mental health through content-led digital campaigns as the second wave of the pandemic wreaks havoc in the country. This is in sharp contrast to 2020, when social media was flooded with cooking challenges and dance videos.

Reebok, for instance, has chalked out a covid recovery plan in partnership with nutritionists and fitness experts that is being shared through IGTV videos on Instagram. The week-long initiative with content built across the areas of breathing, mental wellness, nutrition, and fitness, is being promoted on IGTV videos. The videos have been followed up with a summary post for ease of access and a question and answer series.

“This collaboration is targeted at guiding people through the phases of restfulness and recovery needed in these trying times," Reebok India said.

Consumers are actually going through difficult times, so brands cannot use a celebratory tone while talking to them, said Harish Bijoor, brand strategy expert and founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc. Therefore, brands are helping them rise out of their misery.

“People have either lost a dear one or contracted the disease. This sentiment needs to be met either with an attitude of the brands where they sympathise with consumers or help them with resources in their recovery journey," he said.

Kama Ayurveda is also leveraging Instagram to create informational videos. The homegrown beauty and wellness brand is partnering with yoga experts and ayurvedic practitioners to share post covid care tips in nutrition and breathing exercises.

Consumer electronics firm Philips India has created two microsites in partnership with women’s lifestyle platforms, iDiva and PopXO to unveil an initiative called ‘Khayaal Rakhna’, which seeks to offer help, resources, and support to address mental health challenges in these troubling times. These platforms are sensitizing people about key pandemic-induced mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, and grief with multiple articles, videos, social media posts, live sessions, and webinars. They have also partnered with healthcare providers to sponsor complimentary one-on-one consultations with a team of wellness experts.

The importance of educating individuals about mental health and the need to reach out for help assumes critical importance given that people are now isolated and disconnected from social circles, said Vidyut Kaul, head, personal health, Philips Indian subcontinent.

“Philips India has initiated conversations around the idea of self-care and self-love, through our campaign #KhayaalRakhna. Our campaign is based on the need to look good and feel good by taking care of one’s self and also looking out for others, thereby creating a community of resources for people who are battling alone," he said.

“Post covid recovery initiatives tend to work well across search platforms such as Google in the form of blogs and microsites or platforms such as YouTube where people are actively searching for such tips and might discover a brand’s initiatives. Such campaigns help a brand to become informational and relevant," said Shradha Agarwal, strategy head and chief operating officer, Grapes Digital, a digital-first agency.

However, this is a clutter economy where multiple brands are attempting similar campaigns, Bijoor said. “Only the first movers will gain the attention of the consumers," he said.

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