Collaboration has changed us during Covid-19. Keith Weed, president of the Advertisers Association, thinks there is real value for marketers in continuing this trend.

In a recent interview, Advertising Association president and former Unilever CMO, Keith Weed, said that:


“I don’t think you can have a healthy business in an unhealthy society.”


He was talking specifically about the role brands and marketers can play in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic – brands collaborating with society and having a role to play in embedding positive behaviours that can help keep us all healthy. Which, in turn, would lead to healthier brands and businesses.

Over the past weeks and months, brands have been demonstrating this willingness to do ‘good’ – to play their part in helping not just their customers, but everyone to stay safe. For example, big brands such as Boots, Carex and O2 have partnered with the government to spread the ‘Enjoy Summer Safely’ campaign.

But Weed goes on to argue that this collaborative attitude should continue beyond the pandemic to become the new normal for brand and marketing behaviour.


“I hope one of the things that will continue and build, is this idea of engaging in a multi-stakeholder approach. If we don’t embed this behaviour we’ll be going backwards rather than forwards and now is the time to go forwards.”


The whole nation has seen this ‘multi-stakeholder approach’ in all strands of life, not just in the bubble of brands, but in every day action. Communities coming together to support one another. People getting involved and doing their bit to make a difference. And they’ve noticed a positive change. So much so, that only 9% of the UK want to return to ‘normal’ after the pandemic. They’ve seen and experienced the positives of collaboration to make things better.

There is a fundamental desire for us to emerge from this pandemic better than when we entered it. And this includes brands.

Co-creation is one way in which collaboration can not just continue, but thrive in a world that is now geared towards being a multi-stakeholder society.

With co-creation, your brand can invite your customers to play an active part in showing you how you should communicate, behave and evolve. Your customers will find the good in what your brand is and help you free it to build better relationships, engagement and successes.

Co-creation was already outperforming traditional marketing pre-pandemic – 4x increase in ROI, 33% faster growth. Imagine what these results will be in a society that wants to be more collaborative, that’s gone through hell but emerged stronger because of the positive effect of people from all walks of life working together.

And what’s more, it can be done virtually, maintaining social distance guidelines.

Now is the time for collaboration to free the good.



Picture of Alex Allston, Senior Copywriter at The Sharp Agency

Alex Allston

Senior Copywriter