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

The COVID-19 pandemic offers brands an opportunity to live up to brand purpose and be seen by consumers as empathetic and engaged. But 75% of people surveyed said that brands should not exploit the pandemic to promote themselves blatantly. In the scramble to be purposeful, marketers need to make sure that they don’t end up being opportunistic and risk the wrath of people under strain and stress.


  • In tough times, brands must show that they belong and be the guidance which people seek.
  • Any brand communications must reflect the expectations as well as behaviour of consumers, in the context of a larger social good.
  • People are most in favour of brands responding to the outbreak by providing flexible payment terms, offering free services, closing non-essential stores and helping to produce essential supplies.