The creative restrictions of COVID-19 | KHWS

The creative restrictions of COVID-19


Dr Seuss once said “If you’re someone who writes or paints, don’t be afraid to try constraints!”


Think Mondrian restricting himself to right angles and primary colours or Jack White intentionally playing an out of tune guitar. Sometimes restrictions can be a catalyst for creativity, they allow us to “explore less familiar paths, to diverge in previously unknown directions.”

A great example of restriction fuelling creativity is happening now. Advertising creatives around the world have been hit by the not insignificant restrictions of a global pandemic and that has fuelled some brilliant work. Below are some of the best examples created during lockdown – don’t worry there’s not a Zoom meeting TV ad in the bunch.



The work

Two metres, one metre plus or a pig, whatever the current government approved social distancing rules are, these first three inventive ideas make the most of it.


The Magnum XXL towel is a giant ‘Magnum’ sized beach towel designed to help you maintain a safe social distance at the beach. Featuring bold designs by contemporary artists, it’s a simple idea with a premium feel that’s bang on brand.


At the quirkier end of the spectrum is the Burger King Sombrero. A clever twist on their famous paper crown, designed to let you enjoy your Steakhouse Angus safely.


And to help aid risk-free “backyard” drinking, Heineken US have stretched the beer cooler.


Hide and seek is the ultimate game of self-isolation and the inspiration for the launch campaign of setapp. Superbly cast, written and directed, staying safe hasn’t hampered the production of these brilliant ads.



These campaigns and executions show us restrictions actually focus a brief, and that can produce creative work with a real focused edge. At KHWS we champion this, we use our proprietary Sales Trigger™ Insights tool to identify the buying behaviours driving your consumers’ purchase behaviour. These insights ensure our creative briefs are laser-focused and deliver marketing campaigns that match the way people buy your brand. And we can take into account new normal buying behaviours, which helps create COVID proof marketing.


Get in touch to find out more.