Should you be advertising and marketing your brand now with Coronavirus?

People are at home. And are living in fear. Hope. Sometimes confident. Sometimes desperate.

How should brands handle their brand image?

What should be the Strategy?

As a Branding Agency, the big question we hear is should we stop branding and marketing?

Should we cancel contracts with the Social Media Agency?

Should I slash my Digital Marketing Budgets? When times are tough, brands need to innovate.

Certainly, the mood of the people is not to buy. But branding is always strategic.

So, the campaigns and ads that you ran before Coronavirus cannot continue. Brands need to be in sync with the new mindset.

Yes, we should not be running marketing campaigns as we did before the crisis. But when the going gets tough, the tough ought to get going.

Strategy means knowing when to stay silent just as much as it means knowing what to post and when not to.

This is a time of great human tragedy. When the specter of unemployment, loss of business and loss of life loom large.

But there are ways you can still contribute and stay top of the mind.

Coronavirus will impact every sector and industry, including marketing, public relations, and social media.

If people are afraid, now is not the time to pretend they aren’t.

Additionally, it is also not the time to market to a state of fear or panic. These are times to reassure. Educate. And connect deeply.

This infographic will tell us the state of various industry sectors.


Conversion Growth or Decline Due to Covid-19

The biggest advantage that we see as a Digital Marketing company is that people are free.

Ad costs have come down dramatically.

Webinar attendances are booming.

The Attention Deficit Syndrome has virtually vanished. Videos are performing well.

This is the time to get your brand across to people at a far lower cost.

And form deeper emotional connections.

Time for Advertising and Marketing Agencies to get more creative. And brands to become genuinely helpful.



Here are 10 ways of staying on top of the mind by being genuinely helpful.


  1. Run Home Grown Video Campaigns using the Power of Public Service Announcements


  1. Can your product itself transform and take a different shape


  1. Take your ingredients home and deliver the secret recipe


  1. Give it away Free


  1. Own the Emotion. Dominate the category


  1. Go beyond the sacred: Alter the Logo to echo the sentiments


  1. Sponsor Entertainment for people


  1. Accept Reality. But tell them there is hope


  1. Educate People not to spread negativity


  1. Be creative. Be conscious. 



1.  Run Home Grown Video Campaigns using the Power of Public Service Announcements


Visa is the sponsor of the Olympics. They have been sponsors for the last 3 decades. And the Tokyo Olympics was just around the corner.

Huge event. Their creatives were fully ready. And they were ready to launch the massive blitzkrieg when coronavirus happened.

The Tokyo Olympics is canceled.

Agile. The Team started making 15-second videos featuring Top Olympians featuring Sky Brown - a British Skateboarder,

Also videos featuring a BMX freestyle biker from Costa Rica; and Greek pole vaulter Katerina Stefanidi.


The Theme:

Wash your hands like an Olympian - Visa

The athletes were asked to record the video themselves on their smartphones performing an athletic feat or using their sports equipment, and then washing their hands, cleaning their home or using the hand sanitizer,

All practices currently encouraged by the World Health Organization to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The videos are shot by the athletes using their own smartphones and shared with their followers in Social Media

Authentic. And connecting to the big brand idea.



2.  Can your Product itself transform and take a different shape


Local breweries and distilleries lost their main source of income when bars and many restaurants had to close.

So instead of beer and spirits, they’ve started turning their alcohol into hand sanitizer.

hand sanitizer

With the acute shortage, the world was facing for sanitizers The product itself transformed to give a new meaning.



3.  Take your ingredients home and deliver the secret recipe


Burger King, France had all its outlets closed because of the Coronavirus.

With the lockdown people, we stuck in their homes. The big idea was to deliver the recipe of their popular Burger - Whopper to people.

And get fans to create the burger at their own homes.

burger king france

The Quarantine Burger Tweet generated 258 Comments, 17,500 Likes and 3800 Retweets.

It is important to amplify if you are helping and demonstrating.

If you are taking action in a positive way, you have the right to talk about it.



4.  Give it away Free


Getabstract is a company that makes condensed versions of popular books. And deliver it to us on a subscription model.

But with people sitting at homes, learning to work remote, and grappling with reskilling, GetAbstract has decided to open its library free till May 2020.



Udemy an online academy has made 150 courses available free for people to reskill

Udemy Free Resource Center

Many of our own clients  like Ira Realty came out and donated Rs. 25 Lakhs to the Telangana Government. Pan America donated Rs. 25 lakhs to the Narendra Modi PM CARES relief fund. SLN Terminus helped the Police with food and essentials

Celebrity brands like Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan donated liberally.



5.  Own the Emotion. Dominate the category.


Ikea the furniture retail store is intrinsically connected to people and their homes.

Ikea Spain pays tribute to our homes. They want to demonstrate that home is the place rich with memories and feelings for us, and “it will be here, no matter what.”

IKEA: I Stay Home


Ikea Youtube Ad

The commercial avoids a direct sales message and leverages the emotion to deliver top-of-the-mind recall with more than 1 million users already watched it on social channels.



6.  Go beyond the sacred: Change the Logo to echo the sentiments


Brands have started Promoting Social Distancing With Altered Logos, to suit the state of the Mind like Coca Cola that added Kerning - spacing between the letters of its logo to promote social distancing. Seen here at the Times Square.

Coco Cola Logo

The Social Distancing Idea has been picked up by many brands with exciting visual metaphors.

Spread out. Save lives. Flag

The flags campaign focused on the global problem that the world is facing.

Spread out. Save lives. Flag 2

The message: stay 2 meters away.

US Flag Spread out. Save lives.

Bonding. At a distance

staying together

Stay Home. Stay Safe became an important messaging point.

Nissan Safety

Some took the form of education - to bond with their pets.

Keep distance with humans not pets

Public Service Announcements have started picking up.

oregon health authority

These are times for companies to create an emotional bonding.

hug you soon



7.  Sponsor Entertainment for people


With the lockdown with people cooped up at homes, internet usage went up. Zoom the Video Conferencing Tool saw an amazing spurt in Installs. OTT channels like Netflix, Prime Video and Disney Hotstar saw a spike in

viewership. There is great opportunity for those in the entertainment industry to give their performance free.

That's the opportunity that Spotify cashed on.

Covid-19 Music Relief



8. Accept Reality. But tell them there is hope

Facebook came with a haunting video with empty public spaces, desolate Eiffel Tower and blended desolation with hope and smaller bits of happiness. The message of hope is important to tell the world.

We're never lost if we can find each other.


We are never lost if we can find each other



9.  Educate People not to spread negativity

Ark Group - a client we handle came out with videos in Telugu telling people to Quarantine the WhatsApp messages. Do not spread negativity was a core message that was important to tell people.

Share Facts Not Panic



10.  Be creative. Be conscious.


In just a few weeks, the worldview has changed. But it is time for brands to be human.



And…. creative.

Keep your distance

What are the great creative campaigns that you have seen during the CoronaVirus crisis?

How are brands making a difference to lives?

And forming deeper human connections. Tell us in the comments below.

Speak your Mind