Matt Kimberley profile picture Matt Kimberley 3 months ago 6
Features

6 Good – And 1 Really Bad – Ways Car Makers Addressed Covid-19

With the need for social distancing and staying at home proven in all the science we have available, car makers have done their bit… except for one, which tweeted an absolute howler

Remind me later
6 Good – And 1 Really Bad – Ways Car Makers Addressed Covid-19 - Features

At the moment in most parts of Europe we’ve all got to keep our distance from other people and stay at home unless it’s essential that we leave. A number of car makers have taken the chance to inspire us all to do just that, and very fair play to them. Most got the message right… but not everybody.

We looked through manufacturers’ output relating to social distancing and staying at home, bringing the best here for your enjoyment. Let’s be honest, it’s not like we don’t have a little extra time to watch decent car content these days, and staying home is hardly a chore.

Volvo in the UK kept it simple and clever with a short sentence referencing the outstanding safety record it holds, especially with the XC90, in which no one has ever died due to a collision. Classy, humble, clear and memorable, it’s our pick of the bunch.

Our next-favourite comes from US brand Jeep, whose customer base is bigly into off-roading and general exploration. That’s got to be off the cards for them right now, so Jeep’s stylish little video neatly suggests an alternative – and stays bang on-brand, too.

Jaguar’s effort takes existing footage and rewinds it, returning gleaming cars to garages and drivers, passengers and families to homes. The message is clear, simple but also nicely reassuring: it’s a reminder that these restrictions won’t be forever.

Mercedes-Benz took a typically German approach, with a slightly rubbish (but appreciated) play on words and then a thank-you message to all those people for whom work goes on. Admirably, this includes the likes of supermarket staff as well as health workers and the police.

The German brands seemed the keenest to deliver clever messages, and Audi’s was among the best in terms of clarity and simplicity. The four rings of its badge, so intrinsically linked since the wildly successful Auto Union was formed in the 1930s, move to separate and keep a little distance. Elegantly done.

The social media department at Volkswagen had a similar idea to Audi, which probably isn’t surprising since they’re likely to either take the same conference calls, sit at the same desk or even be the same people. The monologue here is longer than it needs to be, but eventually the V and W on the recently-updated badge move apart and send their message.

BMW

6 Good – And 1 Really Bad – Ways Car Makers Addressed Covid-19 - Features

As BMW should already know by the public reaction to its grille design direction, sometimes boldness backfires. The company’s ‘i’ Twitter account tried to strike a dramatic chord by using the current placement of anti-Covid-19 roadblocks around Europe as a hook to help advertise a special edition i8.

BMW did apologise a little while afterwards, after deleting the original tweet. We’re not sure how it got past the company’s box-tickers but it was seen as insensitive, badly-worded and in poor taste from top to bottom. We can’t disagree, even though we recognise BMW’s heart was probably in the right place.

It’s also worth noting that the main BMW account tweeted some much better stuff. Check out this neat one featuring a beautiful-looking corner in a very pretty part of the world. We can all happily dream of the day we next get to tackle a road like that.