• Language
    • ENGLISH
    • GERMAN
    • SPANISH
    • FRENCH
    • ITALIAN
    • JAPANESE
    • PORTUGUESE
    • CHINESE
    • RUSSIAN

Get your own Little Black Book.

Build your own personal news stream. Discover the latest work created that interests you, share your favourite stories and follow your favourite people and companies

Already have an account?

Awards and Events

AD STARS 2020: Google’s Jihye Lee on Building Brand Love in Times of Covid

When Google was forced to cancel several campaigns after Covid hit, its Brand Studio APAC team was quick to pivot

AD STARS 2020: Google’s Jihye Lee on Building Brand Love in Times of Covid

When Covid hit last year, Google’s in-house creative team, Brand Studio APAC, quickly cancelled several campaigns targeted to run during Golden Week in Japan in May. Ten huge billboards secured in Tokyo’s Shibuya lost their direction overnight.

“The Covid outbreak changed everything. We were preparing for multiple campaigns when the pandemic hit, but we decided to turn this crisis situation into an opportunity to increase the reliability of the Google brand,” said Lee, who spoke at AD STARS 2020, a virtual festival that premiered in October. Lee is an art director and senior designer working at Brand Studio APAC – an in-house team, which is responsible for branding Google across the Asia Pacific.

She shared four different campaigns launched by Google in response to Coronavirus.


First up, the Brand Studio APAC team created a simple animated video to encourage people in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam to wear masks, keep their distance and stay home. Next, they created a ‘Love Letter to Japan’, using typography to emphasise the word ‘love’ and encourage people to stay safe and stay home for Japan.

“At the time when I made this, I was about to burst into tears because we were all experiencing the same challenges,” said Lee.

From here, the Brand Studio APAC team turned their attention to small business owners with a campaign called, ‘Small makes a city’.

“The Coronavirus has changed everything for nearly every small business, but what happens when we lose the people who make our community our community? We had the idea to support local businesses, because that’s how a neighbourhood thrives – when we support each other,” says Lee.

The campaign encourages small businesses to rebuild with the support of Google behind them, reminding business owners that they are not alone – and together, we can make it.

Visually, the work Lee showcased is simple, endearing, pared back and sincere. It uses line animations, typography and simple graphics to get people’s attention, sometimes communicating across borders and in spite language barriers. And the strategy worked: “We found ways to establish love for the Google brand in many different ways, even in difficult times,” commented Lee.


- Jihye Lee spoke at AD STARS 2020, an online festival that premiered on 22nd - 23rd October. All talks are now available to watch free online. Watch Lee’s talk here.


Featured Companies: Barbara Messer

Sign up to our newsletters and stay up to date with the best work and breaking ad news from around the world.

Category: Media and Entertainment , Online Media