Marketing in the COVID-19 crisis

This article is part of a special WARC Snapshot focused on enabling brand marketers to re-strategise amid the unprecedented disruption caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

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Why it matters

Effective marketing is about getting the right message to the right people at the right time. In order to achieve that at a time of crisis, it is especially critical to carefully select the right media.


  • TV viewing is up significantly, especially in broadcast video on-demand (BVOD), as people look for ways to fill their time.
  • The outdoor industry is unable to retain eyeballs as more people head inside, but the channel remains an important way to communicate critical information to the people who need it most.
  • Increased numbers of people working from home means radio consumption is most likely down, although a strong level of trust in the medium could mean engagement is up among those who are tuning in.
  • Digital consumption is up, but many marketers are pulling ad spend out of digital as a quick way to reduce costs. This presents an opportunity for brands to take advantage of their competitor’s uncertainty.
  • Speed is of the essence: brands can no longer rely on long-term, 12-month campaigns. Communicating in a crisis is about getting new messages out quickly, and learning to pivot fast.