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

Coronavirus has upended the usual rules of media management. Brands must be agile to consumer sentiment about advertising, balance short-term demands with long-term requirements, and plan for life after lockdown.


  • It is vital brands consider how they continue to build longer-term preference, so they are prepared as the situation recovers. Brands that hold their nerve while competitors reduce spend are likely to benefit strongly.
  • Analysis of the last recession shows that ‘going dark’ for less than six months usually means only minor deterioration to brand health measures. However, larger brands are more affected than smaller ones – TV ad awareness, purchase intent and image suffer more.
  • As e-commerce gains ground, online brand placement is now more critical than ever before. Advertisers should also think outside traditional paid advertising channels, to other touchpoints such as owned media channels, like e-commerce websites, apps and packaging.