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Brand Marketing Through the Coronavirus Crisis

At the beginning of the pandemic, we discussed the different ways in which top brands were responding to the initial effects of COVID-19. Now, nearly four months since the onset, brands are still struggling to find a balance between letting consumers adjust to the new normal, and the need to continue business as usual. Since most brands had to delay their marketing efforts, determining the best timing and strategy to resume business can be challenging. 

Brands who have succeeded are those who presented new campaigns with empathy and transparency, used media in agile ways, attributed their brand with positivity, tracked trends and adapted to the new normal. No company wants to come off as insensitive or tone deaf, which is easy to do during times of crisis. In this blog, we share top brands who have done a great job at handling their brand‘s marketing during the pandemic.


The brand quickly converted an existing email campaign into a video ad to explain how people can safely take advantage of online care services and free prescription delivery during the pandemic. Additionally, Walgreens’ Ask a Pharmacist feature was updated and marketed to include a series of short, informative videos that answer customers’ common questions related to COVID-19. This is an example of supporting the fight against the coronavirus and becoming a go-to resource, simultaneously.  


With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponed, Visa – a longtime sponsor of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) – thought of a great way to market their brand while showing support for the athletes and spreading awareness of public health measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Their “Stay Healthy Like an Olympian/Paralympian” campaign featured athletes from across the world showcasing their world-class talent and skill. It then switched to the same athletes demonstrating how comparatively easy it is to do activities like hand washing and staying at home.

American Airlines

Airlines are some of the businesses hit hardest during this time. As they continue to provide responses for why their planes are still flying despite global lockdown, American Airlines developed a new campaign for the first time since 2016. Their film, “You are why we fly,” looks to explain why planes are still taking off, which range from helping people get home to their loved ones, transporting life-saving equipment, and helping first-responders get to the lives that need saving.  

Recipes to Make at Home

The pandemic caused many establishments to halt operation, such as theme parks, hotels, and retail stores. These visitor-dependent establishments had to find a way to remain relevant and continue making money, despite their physical locations being closed. Some companies began sharing the secret recipes to their most popular items, which had a great response on social media. Here are a few examples of companies who made famous recipes public: Disney’s churros, Doubletree’s chocolate chip cookies, and Ikea’s Swedish meatballs

Beyond these examples, the world is changing at a quick pace, and relevant news today can be overshadowed by the next big story tomorrow. Marketing leaders need to stay up-to-date with their industries and audience to continue serving and growing their customer base, mitigate risk and bad press, and, most importantly, take care of the people around them. 

Do you need help with brand marketing during this time? Feel free to contact us to get started!

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