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Brands are finding ways to motivate consumers by celebrating the Good Samaritans who extended help for oxygen supply, hospital beds, food supply and medicines. Slice, the mango drink owned by PepsiCo India, for instance, has launched an Instagram augmented reality (AR) filter that changes its logo, albeit only digitally, to reveal an inspiring story of a covid warrior.

Users can log into their Instagram account and, using this filter, can scan any Slice logo present either on a product (the Slice bottle), billboard or brand’s official social media handles. The logo will instantly transform into a small blurb of text with the name of a covid hero and the noble deed.

This initiative is a part of the brand’s ‘Aam Nahi Khaas Ho Tum’ campaign that celebrates ordinary citizens who have helped others by providing free meals, free rides to hospitals, or helped procure beds, medicines, or oxygen.

“We saw an army of citizens, young, old, men, and women, all coming together to support each other. Through this campaign, we aim to recognize these covid heroes and, in our own way, salute their indomitable spirit by putting up some of their stories in place of the brand logo across platforms, thereby reflecting their moments of courage and selflessness," said Anuj Goyal, associate director, Tropicana and Slice, PepsiCo India.

Recently, germ protection brand Dettol also replaced its iconic logo with stories and images of “covid protectors" who stepped up to help during India’s severe covid-19 wave. Dettol has curated 100 such stories of frontline workers and other citizens who helped meet demand for medical oxygen and provide ration kits and medicines to those in need.

Four million special Dettol packs, which come with pictures of these heroes with a brief introduction of their noble work, are being sold across 500,000 stores across the country. These packs will carry a message of hope across the country, said Dilen Gandhi, regional marketing director, South Asia, health and nutrition, Reckitt.

“We believe these stories when shared give a sense of much needed optimism among those seeing them. Therefore, as a brand, we have for the first time in Dettol’s history, given up our logo to share their actions," he said.

Ghadi detergent, owned by RSPL Ltd, also covered the logo on its packs by printing a mask over it to encourage people to wear masks. This came with a message “Bachaav Mein Hi Samajhdaari Hain" (It is sensible to take precautions) on every pack.

“In these troubled times, using our pack and then extending the campaign to other mediums seemed the best way to bring about a change in behaviour and build upon our connect with our massive consumer base," said Rahul Gyanchandani, joint managing director, RSPL.

In a pre-covid world, brands did experiment with logos and product packaging. Coca-Cola, for instance, replaced the brand name on one side of its bottle labels with words like ‘Bhai’, ‘Didi’, and ‘Papa’ as part of its global campaign ‘Share a Coke’, to establish a personal connect with the consumers.

In 2009, Nestle launched a campaign titled ‘Me and Meri Maggi Stories’ to commemorate the completion of the brand’s 25 years in India by putting the photos of consumers on product packs.

Traditionally, brand assets such as logos, mascots, and labels have been sacrosanct, experts said. However, in unprecedented times such as these the messaging assumes greater importance for a brand to stay connected with consumers.

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