It should go without saying, but please for the love of all that is good, do not use the Coronavirus to make your marketing cute or topical. You may think it’s a good idea, but it’s not even close.
Making a witty or quirky Coronavirus post, ad, video, or email has very little upside, and very high downside. Every single year, you see roundups of tasteless tweets from brands around 9/11 or Pearl Harbor – and you don’t want to be on top of the inevitable listicle of crass content.
While we have not yet reached Contagion-level threats, you do not want to be seen as making light of a serious health concern. Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida mockingly wore a gas mask on the House floor, and then within days a constituent died and the Representative himself was put under quarantine. It’s a bad look.
If you sell goods that people are stocking up on, don’t raise your prices to the stratosphere – that’s price gouging, and in addition to being illegal, it’s a very quick and effective way to destroy any brand trust.
Don’t advertise your cheap flights, hotel rooms, or concert tickets. Don’t hold new meetups or networking events. Don’t advertise “fun” quarantine activities.
Marketers should sit this one out. Stay the course with your big projects and plans, but stay away from trying to make a quick buck here.