It’s hard not to see the endless domino effect the Coronavirus (Covid-19) is creating. Some brands are choosing to address the virus in their marketing strategies, while others are pausing entire marketing campaigns completely.
With the country of Italy currently on lockdown, you can imagine the level of cabin fever Italians must be experiencing. So, after binge-watching their favorite TV shows, what is there to do? Pornhub has offered up another form of entertainment. Pornhub announced that they are giving away premium subscriptions to those quarantined in Italy to help them pass the time. For the entire month of March, all Italian Pornhub users can access premium content without entering their credit card information. On top of that, they are also donating a portion of their March revenue from Modelhub to local hospitals.
While some businesses are experiencing serious losses, some companies are seeing an increase in revenue. A study published by Nielsen found an uptick in people purchasing non-perishable food items. Can you guess what category was leading the surge? It’s not canned beans, pasta, or potato chips; it’s oat milk. In the week ending February 22nd, oat milk sales spiked at more than 300%, which is more than hand sanitizers (54%) and disinfecting spray (19%). Oatly, the leading oat milk producer, responded to customers stockpiling their product with this cheeky photo.
On January 24th, Clorox responded to the outbreak by publishing a new landing page covering what the Coronavirus is, the symptoms, how it’s spread, and how to prevent the disease. The page now has over 71,000 views. On the bottom of the page, they also list and link three of their products that have “demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to COVID-19 on hard, nonporous surfaces.”
Plague Inc., a game where you attempt to infect the world with a virus, has been very vocal about addressing Covid-19. Created by Ndemic Creations, the game has seen a dramatic uptick in sales since the beginning of the Coronavirus. In an official statement from the company, Ndemic said they typically see an increase in sales during a disease outbreak due to people wanting to better understand how disease spreads.
Currently, Ndemic addresses the Coronavirus outbreak on the bottom of its website, and they are continually having the conversation that not many other brands are willing to have on social media. They are doing an excellent job of clarifying the intended use of the product while also leading their followers in the direction of correct information. Despite their efforts, it is interesting to note that the game was recently removed from the China App Store and Steam.
A few notable brands who have been impacted by the virus negatively include KFC, Coors Light and Hershey’s.
In a time when people are overly cautious about germs, “Finger Lickin’ Good” isn’t the best slogan to live by, and KFC recently had to pause an ad campaign across the U.K.
Hershey’s recently pulled an ad as well that demonstrated people simply shaking hands and hugging. Hey Hershey’s…sure, some people could use a hug right now, but give us a raincheck and just hand over the chocolate instead.
With many companies enforcing remote workdays, Coors Light also paused their recent campaign which highlighted their beer as the “Official Beer of Working Remotely,” as to not make light of the precautions.
Overall, there is still a lot of unknown surrounding Covid-19. As time progresses, it will be interesting to see if more brands respond to the outbreak and which approaches work best. And just one more thing, wash your hands!