Advertising in a time of crisis

The world is in the grip of a pandemic – after ravaging Asia; COVID-19’s spread across the planet has affected thousands.

With the ongoing human tragedy, one can only speculate over the economic consequences of the virus – despite the undeniably negative impact; it’s important to recognise the market shift to utility, e-commerce and online streaming.

Internet usage

As video conferences replace office meetings and school lessons; Netflix becomes the elixir to quell boredom for those in self-isolation. Screens become windows to society, thus forcing businesses to operate primarily in cyberspace.

Creating great content is going to be fundamental; seeing as social media encompasses such an array of creative mediums, utilising all will be intrinsic in maximising reach. In China, between January 20th and February 2nd, 574 accounts on popular video platforms Douyin and Kuaishou each gained between 100k-500k new followers. These figures demonstrate the importance of moving image content in capturing the attention of those mentally fatigued by isolative conditions.

How to communicate

With this surge in online activity – it’s more important than ever to have a strong digital marketing strategy and produce material that remains sensitive. Twitter recently posted a blog, detailing how to appropriately market your brand on the platform whilst in the midst of this crisis. The social network noted the pitfalls and cautioned brands against opportunistically linking themselves to the natural disaster – but did not prohibit companies from discussing the virus.

Understanding your brand is intrinsic

Companies need to gage their unique role in people’s lives and how their product can benefit individuals during this international catastrophe. For example, if you’re promoting hand sanitiser – releasing your message to the masses is absolutely critical. A good example of this is Dettol; the popular cleaning company has taken to YouTube, producing a series of informative videos detailing the virus’ symptoms and the importance of meticulous sanitisation.

Tone of voice

Keeping up to date with the latest developments, listening to what your consumers and people in general are posting will enable your brand to employ an appropriate tone. While the aforementioned Dettol has opted for a somewhat more authoritative voice – the injection of carefully considered humour can benefit your brand and help elevate the mood in this dark time.

It’s impossible to ignore the international impact of the virus within your marketing material; retaining a “business as usual” approach could have disastrous consequences for your company. This has been illustrated by KFC, who was forced to prematurely pull their latest “finger-licking good” campaign due to hygiene concerns. Confectionery manufacturer, Hersheys Co, also had to promptly replace their commercials that encouraged “hugs and handshakes” with new simplistic advertisements, featuring generic close ups of their products, accompanied by voice over.

Lead the way

There’s no denying the unprecedented scale of the global crisis – the pandemic is open-ended and is affecting almost every brand, every business and every individual on the planet. In this dire situation, by nature – human beings look toward leaders, institutions and businesses for direction, comfort and advice. It’s integral that companies understand their importance as mediators in times of desperation; whether it’s supplying fundamental information, or alleviating panic with a light-hearted joke – a strong digital marketing presence is absolutely essential.

With expertise in social media communicationcopywritingdesign and videography – Cordis can help connect with your consumer; enhancing brand awareness whilst providing escapism, information and ultimately solace in this uncertain time.