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Komodo – Powering Through a Pandemic

As Zoom trivia boomed and the Google search for banana bread recipes increased by 800% (FACT) 2020 was a year that forced society to reset, reconnect and reevaluate. 

It’s no secret 2020 was a difficult year for everyone. It was the year of growing, finding the silver-lining and lowering expectations. At Komodo, we usually spend our time exploring the world, something which has not been possible due to COVID travel restrictions. Nevertheless, and like the rest of the world, Komodo has gained strength in areas unknown to us pre-COVID. It has allowed us to become stronger as a company as we continue to think outside of the box for our clients and upcoming campaigns. 2020 wasn’t easy, we know, but we are here to share positivity and not tarnish 2020 as just the “right-off” year. 

Working from home 

One of the most popular things to come out of 2020 was the luxury of working from home as offices were forced to shut. For some, it was difficult to find the motivation. For others, they thrived with the new-found flexibility. 

We took to Instagram and asked our followers to vote in a poll as to whether they preferred working from home or working in an office. The final results indicated that 58% of people prefer working from home, whilst 42% of people prefer working in an office. Users that voted in our poll claimed the social aspect of working in an office most appealing; those living alone quickly become very isolated. Others benefitted from the flexibility of working from the comfort of their home; explaining they were more productive as they could strategically space tasks out over the day, rather than conforming to the 9-5 work frame. By enabling workers to have more flexibility and not constantly feel like they are being watched, a study has shown work levels have improved and productivity is maximised. Society has been able to adapt to working from home and develop a better work life balance. 

@rodIts called being a team player #work #workfromhome #corporate #fyp♬ original sound – Rod

Health and fitness

With a busy work and social life, fitness plans are often pushed to the curb. A plethora of excuses often arise when the ‘f’ (fitness) word is mentioned. However, the lockdowns globally have forced our arm to remain at home with little contact with the outside world. This threw the ‘I have no time’ excuse straight out the window. A walk around your neighbourhood, an online home workout or a socially distanced workout in the park; people became innovative with how to maintain their fitness during the pandemic. 

The world of online fitness skyrocketed in 2020 as online platforms evolved and businesses took to online classes. With the accessibility of your bedroom floor or kitchen floor, mat or towel, weights or canned beans, working out from home is the new norm. The Body Coach, Joe Wicks, took to the online forum with the launch of ‘PE with Joe’ in response to the pandemic and the UK’s lockdown. This forum was aimed at kids and family, to encourage kids to remain active during the pandemic, with 900,000 families tuning in on the first day. The international SWEAT app, created by the women’s fitness guru Kayla Itsines, curated numerous 6-week challenges for their users. Furthermore, SWEAT developed new workouts designed for ‘at-home’ workouts, and the trainers all created brand new ‘zero equipment’ programs. 

With 72% of gym members estimated to not return back to the gym, platforms like these have given society a new-found motivation to smash new fitness goals. 

 

The online world

Imagine a pandemic 100 years ago, in 1920. No iPhones. No computers. No Netflix. No way to connect. Just you, at home with a pen and paper. 

Now, most civilians are lucky to have the accessibility of technology at the tip of our fingers. The online world boomed in 2020, with online zoom calls increasing from 10 million a day in December 2019, to 300million+ in April 2020, 850million TikTok downloads, nearly 50million+ new Netflix subscribers and a growth in online shopping by 67.1% from March to October 2020. Without the accessibility of social media, 2020 would’ve looked a whole lot different. It even taught us how to utilise social media effectively. Being at home has enabled society to realise the benefits of interacting with others and to not take the little things for granted. Users developed innovative ways to interact with others through virtual drinks, trivias and dates. Going into 2021, virtual events, gatherings and socialising are projected to grow.

Whilst 2020 wasn’t the year anyone expected, it had some perks. It forced society to stop, pause and reset. It forced individuals to reevaluate and grow. At Komodo, our business is about connecting and seeing the world, two things that have been limited in 2020. We utilised this time to think outside of the box. When social distancing was enforced, we shot the world’s first campaign on drones, hosted a virtual catwalk, and created unforgettable content for brands including ASOS, PrettyLittleThing and George at Asda

 

The real world

The pandemic has caused a lot of hardship for society and the economy, but one aspect of the world has benefited from this forced pause: The physical world. COVID reminded individuals to reflect not only on themselves but on the world they live in. 

Air pollution is a global threat to our world that should not be forgotten. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emission is responsible for climate change, fuelled by transportation sectors, industries and electricity, hence when the world paused, the air was able to breathe. Major cities observed lower air pollution levels, benefiting the clarity of the earth. London and Edinburgh experienced a staggering drop in NO2 levels by up to 60%, compared to March and April in the last period.  

As the skies cleared up, the water began to sparkle. The closing of factories and commercial establishments dipped the pollution levels across the globe, further benefiting the oceans and the aquatic animals. 

Whilst we miss travelling, the pandemic has encouraged society to understand how precious our world is and how much we need to preserve all it provides. Without a functioning world, what do we have? 

 

Komodo during the pandemic

At the core of Komodo, is the love and passion for travelling, adventure and socialising; three things that were and are evidently on hold due to the current status of the world. Amongst the negatives, there have been some positives. It has been one of the hardest years for Komodo as an agency, but all in all, it is these battles which allowed us as a team to grow and become stronger together. 

The pandemic has enabled people to understand the saying “it is what it is”. 2020 saw the year of endless zoom calls in the comfort of our homes, in our pajamas with disruptions all around. However, it was these little ‘imperfections’ that enabled Komodo and other businesses to establish a close relationship with their colleagues. The new medium of working online, created a new medium of balance. A balance that allowed workers to relax and adjust to their new work climates, whilst having a call with a colleague or client in their living room. 

It also taught Komodo to truly “never do normal”, as our creative ideas took a whole new level. With campaigns flowing all around us one day, to a drastic shift overnight, it was hard at first to consider just how we as an agency were going to deliver the fierce content we were known for. But, as we knuckled down and collaborated across three countries, we managed to pull off some of the most incredible campaigns we’ve ever done. Sure, there were some battles and some that were out of our control, but that’s not to say we didn’t give it our all in the lead up. At the end of the day, we learnt to say “it is what it is” and in true Komodo style “we’ll be back and better than before”.

In saying that, we wouldn’t of been able to achieve what we did in 2020 if it wasn’t for our on-going support from our clients. As the relationships within our agencies strengthened, so did our relationships with our clients as they placed great trust in us, amidst a year of uncertainty, to create some incredible campaigns for them. And they too, got to see us in our pyjamas, as we discussed elements of their businesses through zoom, in our living room!

For Komodo, and many other businesses, 2020 was a year of great learnings but most importantly team building. As an agency we have united to maintain the reputation of Komodo, and within that, have grown from 13 to 24 members of staff, with the goal to hire an additional 25 over the next 12 months. Whilst we focused on looking after ourselves and each other during 2020, we still managed to increase our revenue by 300%, not because we were money driven, but because we were driven by one another to push ourselves out of our comfort zone. 

2020 was a year that truly made Komodo stronger. Check out the 2020 wrap video here, with a snippet of all the incredible work we produced despite the global pandemic. 

 

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It’s important not to label years as ‘right offs’. At the end of the day, everything happens for a reason. Perhaps, whilst it wasn’t positive, there was a reason for the global pandemic, that evidently forced society to pause and reflect. 

Tom Foolery’s video, ‘Hindsight’s 2020’ captivates the whole of 2020 through an apprehensive lens. Perhaps COVID came at the right time. Perhaps it was a way of the world telling us to slow down. The last few years, society has grown immensely and continues to thrive at a rapid pace, almost too quick that the world can’t keep up with society’s global expansion. 2020 was ideal, however perhaps it was hindsight and beneath all its unpredictable chaos, there is a silver-lining. 

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