The Impact of Covid-19 on Branding and Advertising

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  • Date Published
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It has been almost 3 years since the Covid-19 outbreak. The pandemic has drastically changed our lifestyles and our priorities.

This, in turn, has a severe impact on consumer spending behavior. As a result, most businesses are at risk of closure. Major issues that businesses have to face are adapting to the drastic change in customer demands while promoting sales to survive. In this article, we will be showing our findings on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on branding and advertising.

1. Priorities during the Pandemic

Firstly, as mentioned before, purchasing priorities have shifted towards healthcare and essential items. Consumers are prioritizing their needs more than their wants during the pandemic. Hence, companies have to consider this behavioral change when launching their advertising campaigns. An ad placement that appears insensitive to the sufferings of the pandemic, would backfire greatly and destroy the brand image. Businesses need to build their brands by showing that they stand together with the public during this crisis.

2. Decline in Demand

The second issue is an extension of the first point. Since the economy is stagnant, businesses are not growing and many companies had to resort to laying off their employees. Most people have to worry about their job security and are spending lesser. As a consequence, advertisers have to compete more intensely than ever before. The decline in demands across all industries means that advertisers need to make use of their resources more strategically to capture the scarce demand. Covid-19 has made customers look for other cost-efficient products and services that meet their requirements. Thus, maintaining the customers’ brand loyalty has become a tremendous challenge.

3. Rise of Digital Marketing

When the coronavirus outbreak happened, most outdoor marketing campaigns became obsolete due to quarantine and “stay-at-home” procedures. Digital marketing is already an integral part of business operations even before the outbreak started. However, Digital marketing and social media presence became an essential part of the marketing activities of even the biggest conglomerates. Businesses had to either adopt digital branding strategies or risk losing out among the intense competition. While the other marketing channels have declined in effectiveness, social media advertising campaigns have seen a significant increase in engagements during the crisis.

4. Online Frauds and Scams

Due to the “Stay at Home” procedure, many people have become more active on social media and online transactions have increased considerably. It goes without saying that fraudulent activities became rampant as well. These scammers can abuse a business’s brand image to deceive potential victims. If the brand owners do not distinguish themselves from these scammers, it can be very disastrous for the business. Frauds and scams also make advertising less effective in reaching potential customers and gaining their trust. Businesses are recommended to research these scams and eliminate any aspect of their advertising campaign that may seem suspicious to the potential customer.

5. Capitalizing on the Public Health Consciousness

The pandemic has made everyone more health and hygiene conscious. People need health and hygiene goods and businesses can capitalize on the need to launch effective marketing campaigns. For example, branding activities can be centered around health products such as gifting on-brand hand sanitizers to customers with every purchase. This strategy can even go beyond gifting on-brand health products, e.g. Gucci launching its luxury face mask. Advertising can also be centered around health and hygiene topics such as announcing that products/services, factories, and distribution centers are compliant with Covid19 Prevention Procedures.

6. Alternative Ways to Stay Connected with Customers

For most brick-and-motor businesses, the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted business operations so much that most businesses now sit empty and/or shut down their retail outlets. However, this does not mean that interactions with customers should stop. Social media presence is a great tool in this case as businesses can still create engaging stories about their brands, products, services, and even their activities. Studies have shown that social media engagements can increase the likelihood of brand loyalty by at least 40%. Also, in addition to online advertising, businesses have also adopted the old-school approach of ‘on-the-go’ products and services, like an ice-cream truck or door-to-door make-up services.

7. Socially Responsible Advertising

Last but not least, the pandemic has severely impacted the financial stability of people across the world. The impact may be less visible in developed countries like the United States but in developing countries where many people are already living below the poverty line, it is a devastating blow to their livelihood. Hence, developed countries had to provide aid to the less developed countries. Businesses can adopt this approach in their branding and marketing campaigns as well. Providing aid to the much-needed areas either directly or indirectly improves the brand image in public opinion. It also creates engaging campaigns with positive feedback from the customers. For example, a business can announce that 50% of the proceeds would go to Covid-19 aid-related donations. This type of advertising not only creates positivity but also helps increase sales in an otherwise stagnant period.


The covid-19 pandemic has impacted every one of us. It has disrupted most of the business operations and caused a recession period in the global economy. However, it has also created a few opportunities for businesses to gain customers’ trust and loyalty. Inflexible businesses will fail but dynamic companies who adapt to the changes while striving to survive will be the ones to come out strong when the pandemic is finally over.