Edison Media



With cases of COVID-19 constantly being reported and with images of barren supermarkets flooding our screens, it’s hard to keep the epidemic far from mind. The impact on the advertising industry is transparent as Adweek discusses how ‘a world ruled by tight deadlines, inflexible budgets […is] thrown into disarray’.

However, whilst this is a period of uncertainty and fear it is equally a time for growth and knowledge. As Jeff Beer at the Fast Company discusses brands such as ‘Coors Light, Hershey and KFC have all pulled ads that didn’t reflect our new, global pandemic-informed reality’. Which speaks to the way our industry is adjusting. But, with self-isolation being both recommended and imposed, what does this mean for businesses?

With more people opting to stay in, it’s important to take advantage of this opportunity to view your own product in a new way, ‘how can your product help?’ By asking this question you are opening up your business to new avenues that may have been deemed necessary Pre-COVID-19. This may well be the time to change your perspective and not limit your product but instead see how it can be of benefit to others in this new climate. For example, brands such as Google are offering free access to their advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities through July 1st, 2020 to all G Suite customers globally and Slack are offering resources to help people work remotely.

“…it’s also impossible to ignore the fact that people are joking about all of this.’ – Fast Company


This is also a good time to reflect on media channels you may otherwise have neglected. I think it’s important to remember that the average person spends 110 mins on social media each day of the week and not forgetting that Global’s radio and digital platforms have a weekly audience of 32 million, add outdoor and they reach 95% of the UK population.

Therefore, it’s clear to see that there are still ways to advertise your business. Equally, as Fast Company notes ‘it’s also impossible to ignore the fact that people are joking about all of this’ and how it’s ok for ‘brands […to] participate in the levity, as long as it’s not insulting’. So, we can see this as an opportunity to interact more with your client base and give people some light relief during an extremely anxious period.

Change is rarely implemented without some discomfort. This international emergency is already leaving its mark as it is forcing companies to look at small changes that can make a big difference. For example, NCVO have shared some practical support:

  • Focus on cash flow management
  • Delay committing to any expenditure that you can.
  • Implementing a recruitment freeze on all vacant posts.

In this viral age this could a good opportunity to evaluate our part in spreading accurate and helpful information with Twitter even recommending to ‘keep a close eye on the news and conversation and be sure to consider the context before replying or broadcasting. And note, sometimes it’s better not to say anything at all.’

There are also government schemes that are offering financial help for small businesses which can be found here that may help during this transitional period. As well as looking for resources that look at how to look after yourself during this stressful time. For example, the BBC have just published an article about looking after your mental health during the pandemic. Offering advice such as, ‘limit[ing] the amount of time you spend reading or watching things which aren’t making you feel better’ and ‘sticking to trusted sources of information such as government and NHS websites’.

And don’t forget as always in an emergency there is evidence of humanity and compassion. From #Viralkindness, an initiative started to aid neighbours in self-isolation to big brands such as Louis Vuitton delivering free hand sanitiser to French hospitals, we’re all in this together.

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