The Covid-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves through the business world, with many companies completely halting their advertising campaigns.

Yet how are the World’s biggest brands handling the crisis and which marketing tactics are they using?

We took a look at their social media adverts to find out…


Amazon coronavirus ad

The pandemic has meant that much of the global population are at home browsing the internet. Amazon is taking advantage of this captive audience to market their shopping app.

Pushing their app is a savvy move – once a user has downloaded the app, they will start to be shown personalized content and receive regular notifications

Ultimately, the hope is that brand loyalty will be enhanced, more products will be purchased, and Amazon’s profits will increase.


Facebook coronavirus ad

Community support is the main message of Facebook’s recent ad campaigns. 

Realising that users are feeling vulnerable at this time, they are heavily marketing their groups feature so that people can access a virtual support system.

While this approach is commendable, it is also a two way value exchange. Users are more likely to stay on the Facebook platform and can therefore continue to be shown adverts – the main way that Facebook generates revenue.  


Disney coronavirus ad

While lockdown has been a nightmare for certain businesses, it’s a great opportunity for streaming services to increase their number of subscribers.

This fact has not been lost on Disney, whose main focus at the moment is to advertise the Disney+ platform. By targeting a relevant audience and adding the incentive of a free trial, signing up seems almost a no brainer. 

ZoomSphere Insight: We believe it’s highly likely that most streaming services will report huge growth when statistics are released over the coming weeks and months. Netflix has already seen a 50% growth in subscribers.


Nike coronavirus ad

Using the same marketing tactic as Amazon, encouraging app downloads has become Nike’s main advertising aim during Covid-19.

To support this strategy, Nike uses yoga to cleverly address a coronavirus consumer pain point – improving physical and mental health.

Again, the main goal of app installs is to enhance the brand-consumer relationship and make long-term improvements to revenue.


Apple coronavirus ad

Apple have responded to the crisis by continuing their slick, video based social media advertisements. However, there is a crucial difference – the affordability of the iPhone SE is specifically highlighted.

There is little doubt this is a response to the changing consumer environment, as customers are reducing their consumption and reassessing their purchase priorities.

The tactic also demonstrates that Apple understand and empathise with audiences new challenges.


Google coronavirus ad

The ads we have seen from Google are concentrating on their training platforms, and intend to help people who may have recently lost their jobs or want to develop new skills.

Google Digital Garage is an entirely free service offering the chance to improve knowledge and skills in the digital marketing world.

These campaigns assist Google in building its brand image, and of course help people whose employment has been affected by the coronavirus crisis. 


Budweiser coronavirus ad

How does a brand that relies on socialising for revenue handle the pandemic?

Simple – demonstrate that you can still socialise and communicate when you are apart! 

Reuniting the characters from their successful ‘whassup’ advertising campaign, Budweiser’s take-home message is that you can enjoy a beer alone and chat with friends by phone.


Microsoft coronavirus ad

Similar to Google, Microsoft is using the crisis to enhance their brand credentials – in this case being environmentally conscious.

Importantly, these marketing campaigns are also demonstrating awareness of key themes at the moment. Climate change is a huge issue and several studies have shown that people are yearning for nature whilst under lockdown.

Microsoft’s adverts tap into this human need and position the company as a responsible, caring brand.

Domino’s Pizza

Domino's Pizza coronavirus ad

In order to rescue their revenue, Domino’s Pizza have quickly adapted to the ‘new normal’ and are only marketing their delivery services at this time.

They have also put safety at the heart of their marketing message – through contactless deliveries and directing customers to a dedicated page describing the new delivery process.

Although this switch in services has been forced upon Domino’s, they have embraced it and are using the situation to positively market their brand.


Samsung coronavirus ad

Samsung is joining the rush to push home entertainment!

By advertising their Samsung Smart TV, and announcing partnerships with fitness and wellness brands, they are providing a service that many people are searching for – home fitness workouts.

For those people that may already have been considering the Smart TV, this could be the final incentive needed to make the purchase.


Follow the marketing techniques of the World’s biggest companies, and you can take the opportunity to build your brand during the coronavirus crisis.

Here are the key ways you can achieve this:

  • Highlight the affordability of your products
  • Push aspects of your service that help physical or mental well-being
  • Show how your products can assist communication
  • Focus on generating app installs or email signups
  • Provide community support features
  • Build brand image by demonstrating empathy with consumers current needs

While some of these tactics may not immediately provide a revenue boost, they will certainly position your business for longer term success.

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