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Brand Responses to COVID-19 - Madeleine Huff

Remember back in high school when you were sitting at your desk flipping through the pages of your history textbook? You were probably thinking to yourself If I was alive during this historical event I would’ve done this differently. Well, my friends, it is now that time. Unless you live under a rock or have no type of interaction with any other humans or a TV, you know that we’re living through a global pandemic called the COVID-19 AKA the Coronavirus.

What does this mean for advertising? Well, according to AdAge the rapidly spreading virus is causing major disruption for markers, causing job losses, cutting back pay, closing offices and stopping or tweaking certain advertising. For other companies, they are using this pivotal time to promote social distancing and hand-washing within their advertisements in hopes of showing a sense of community. For example, McDonald’s is donating 1 million masks in Illinois, Domino’s is giving away 10 million slices of pizzas to hospitals, medical centers, and grocery store workers. Panda Express is cutting down on its menu to prevent less staff from being in the kitchen and also began a contactless service area where you can pick up your food. Visa, an Olympic sponsor, has also repurposed its creative content to support hand-washing following the postponement of the event.

Coming together in such hard times like this is the only way to efficiently promote health safeties around the world. Instead of focusing on other ways to sell a product we probably don’t even need right now, why not dig deeper into the depths of advertising and figure out a way to creatively and actively promote healthy environments as well as keep that sense of community in order to remind people that we’re all in this together.

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SWOOP | Student-Managed Advertising and PR Agency

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