Adland gets ready for Lockdown Reloaded

What did you learn from the first lockdown and what will you do differently during the new one? Campaign finds out.

Lockdown 2.0: oh, the things we'll do... (Getty Images)
Lockdown 2.0: oh, the things we'll do... (Getty Images)

Well, here we go again – but hopefully better-prepared for the restrictions being put on us than we were back in mid-March, when many of us were sent home from work unceremoniously, with no idea what to do the next day.

There was precious much joy to be had then – stuck at home discovering more about the foibles of the people you live with than anyone should really have to know; trying to ration the daily output of gloomy news at the same time as working out how best to get some socially distanced exercise. The only mild pleasure was from watching a colleague failing to master video-conferencing technology.

In reality, not much has changed since those dark days. Sure, the shops that suffered lockdown reopened (many of which are now forced to close their doors again) and the streets got busier. But caution remains a watchword – not many people have returned to their offices or their old ways of working or living life.

With Lockdown 2.0 now here until December, further restrictions have been imposed. But they’re not as stringent as the first time round and hopefully we are all better-placed to navigate what are no longer “unprecedented times”. 

Campaign asked some of adland what they learned from the first lockdown, what they plan to do differently this time and, most importantly, what they’re looking forward to most when it all ends.

What useful lessons did you learn from the first lockdown that you will be applying for the new one?

David Bain, founding partner, BMB: “Lockdown 1.0, I purged all my social media accounts of all connections that are uninteresting, ungrateful or unworthy. Lockdown 2.0: now for the family.” 

Melissa Robertson, chief executive, Dark Horses: “Keep all video calls away from the bathroom. Put regular 'keep free' slots in your diary. Make meeting slots 25 or 50 minutes, and try to finish them early. Grouting is good exercise and unbelievably satisfying.”

Marissa Jennings, managing partner, Who Wot Why: “Using Mindful Chef deliveries again so I don’t have to think about what to make for every meal. Sometimes, at the end of the day, I just don’t want the added burden of meal planning.”

What are you planning on doing more and less of during Lockdown 2.0? 

Michael Frohlich, chief executive, Ogilvy UK: “For me, there aren’t any huge changes I’ll be making from the first stint – just getting back into the mindset of the lockdown routine. But at least this time we know what’s coming and can tackle it face on… and we have Christmas to look forward to!”

Annie Gallimore, managing director, Engine Creative: “I feel less terrified and daunted this time round, which may equate to more unwitting rule-breaking I won’t divulge here…”

Richard Exon, founder, Joint: “More soup, less sourdough. More Peloton, less Peroni. More Strictly, less Selling Sunset.”

What did you miss the most during the first lockdown?

Mel Arrow, head of strategy, BMB: “3D faces. Fashion from the waist down. Body language. All my friends around Southwark – coffee shop man, woman behind M&S salad bar (we’re WhatsApping but it’s not the same). Sitting on a table even though there’s a chair available because I’m so creative and we’re brainstorming, yeah? Wearing shoes. Eye contact.”

Robertson: “Humanity and hugging.”

Cat Davis, group marketing director, Mission: “Hugs: giving and receiving. It’s become a joke in my house. My 10-year-old suggested I should hug a tap during Lockdown 1.0. Cheeky sod. Payback, my son, will be sweet – bring on your 18th.”

What's the first thing you're going to do when Lockdown 2.0 finishes?

Arrow: “Pitch Hitchcock-inspired campaign to Fitbit. Win countless awards.”

Robertson: “Le Relais de Venise on Marylebone Lane for two; 2 x rare, plus a bottle of house red.”

Frohlich: “Go to Scott’s for dinner – it’s the best seafood restaurant in London and I hope I’ll be seeing them soon.”

Exon: “Won’t that be the perfect time for a Chrstmas party? Or two.”

Gallimore: “Visit my parents – I miss them in 3D.”

Jennings: “Probably get my roots done! Then see friends and family.”

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