Creativity and innovation during Covid19

by | May 12, 2020

There are some incredible examples of how individuals and companies are using ingenuity, creativity and innovation during Covid19.

Whether it’s through necessity to sustain a commercial business and/or the desire to help the global effort to improve the situation of people either suffering with or treating the virus, there are impressive examples of creativity happening in the world right now.

Perhaps you are looking for inspiration or wondering how to get your organisation going again through this mess. Take a look at some of the ways people are pivoting, adapting, combining and re-inventing what they do.

Draw instant inspiration from 100s of COVID-related innovations. There are many more examples at this site,  created by the teams behind TrendWatching and Business of Purpose.

Here are some that have caught our eye:

time Out Covid 19Time Out out has rebranded to Time In given the Stay At Home messaging during Covid19. Both the New York and London editions of the print magazine and website now sport the new branding in recognition of the far-reaching consequences of a policy of ‘social distancing’. This is a great example of playing with an existing asset, and showing your reader that you understand the social context and that you’re with them.

Lots of other brands have also adapted their logos to reflect the new reality including Burger King, McDonalds and Coca-Cola.


Zara asked models to photograph themselves at home.  The Spanish brand had models posing on their staircases, sofas and bedrooms in DIY photoshoots as a way to promote its latest designs at a time when their physical stores are closed. They managed to maintain their signature look in the new promotional images by working with professionals that have starred in past campaigns but looking much more ‘styled at

Zara Covid19home’ than you would normally expect from a fashion brand.

This is a great example of using the principle of a force-fit – when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. All the normal rules are eliminated – the photographer, make-up artist, stylist, hairdresser, location scout and retouching.

Punk Scottish Brewer, Brewdog started making hand sanitiser at their Aberdeen distillery in response to the national shortage and since then, production has been running round the clock. They’ve packed & donated over 50,000 units to the NHS and local charities. This is a great example of repurposing what you have and corporate responsibility on the fly. And it’s not just the big brands that are innovating right now.

The Denver art initiative Project Plywood turns boarded-up businesses into outdoor art shows. Artists are capturing the coronavirus crisis while turning boarded-up buildings into outdoor art shows.

“It makes me feel like there’s hope and that we’re going to get back to normal soon”

Denver project making art out of boarded up shops

Project Plywood is a project where artists spray paint inspirational murals on plywood covering businesses shut down due to the coronavirus crisis. The artist painting this pandemic is Weso Knarly, @wesoknarly on Instagram, who moved from Dallas to Denver to open an art gallery.  People are donating to have Knarly spray paint plywood covering their businesses.

“Creativity is the antidote for these hard times,” Knarly said.

There are some key takeaways from the marketing work that I’ve looked at during Covid19:

  • Focus on yourself and your brand. Being political or giving medical or legal recommendations is not the purview of most brands.
  • Be authentic. Do not hard sell or get into areas you where you don’t have permission to speak.
  • Give back.  Is there a way to give back to your customers who have supported you so far?” An act of goodwill can go a long way.
  • Show empathy. Demonstrate that you understand your customer’s new reality, hopes and fears.

Find more examples at – and learn more on one of our highly-rated online creativity courses.


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