Dos and Don’ts of advertising during a pandemic

With the current pandemic situation, we are facing an array of challenges because of a virus that has spread like a global wildfire.

You know what else could spread like a wildfire?

The way some content goes viral on the internet, especially, during such a tough time.

Source- AdobeStock

Instead of a face mask, an eye mask should suffice to block out certain content that only creates more panic and sometimes, is based on falsity. On the greener side, we’re glad to have access to the internet now more than ever to keep ourselves sane with shows, recipes, memes, movies and much more productive, fun and engaging content.

Never have we been this dependent and saturated with our illuminated screens, all together at the same time!

But with the whole global fiasco going on, the question that arises is- ‘Is it right to capitalize on the current situation, digitally?’

Ethically no, but even if so, we need to draw a healthy line on how we can advertise carefully during a global crisis. There’s a right and wrong way for the best digital agencies, digital marketing agencies and other organizations to reach out to consumers during this hour.

Key Insight- Just 8% of consumers think brands should stop advertising due to the coronavirus outbreak, states MarketingWeek in an article, based on a Kantar survey of more than 35,000 consumers globally.

“The vast majority of consumers do not think brands need to stop advertising during the Covid-19 outbreak, although they do expect companies to think about their tone and messaging, and communicate around values.”- Sarah Vizard, Marketing Week The Dos Think Global, Think Beyond-Be sensitive to the pandemic situation, not just at a local level- which requires you to includes supportive, positive and uplifting content directed towards the entire world and not area-specific.

Chimp Songs of Humanity-


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Music helps to get through any difficult situation. And in times like these @chimpandzinc recognizes the efforts of all the warriors who have safeguarded our lives and we bestow our gratitude by dedicating #SongsforHumanity by the celebrated singers and their evergreen words, as we are in this together. . . . . #Chimpandzinc #SongsForHumanity #iconic #thankfulness #covid19 #warriors #dedicating #gratitude #strength #healing #quarantine #support #music #socialmedia #songs #socialmediamarketing #contentcreators #creativity #contentmarketing #socialmediacampaigns #advertisingagency #digitalmarketing #creativeagency #agency #socialdistancing #stayhome #staysafe #inthistogether #agencies

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Brand Meets Healthcare Guidelines- Execution of mandatory guidelines through brand content for creating awareness and leading consumers to practice safety measures issued by the government, WHO and the healthcare departments.



World, Meet Your Healthcare Heroes– Include health specialists through various Live sessions and webinars on social media and other platforms that connect the healthcare warriors to everyone else for the latest updates, safety measures and conveying necessary messages, so that the audience receives accurate information and a first-hand experience.



With (Great) Pandemic Comes Great Responsibility- As a global content platform, brands have a social responsibility to play a role in healthily conveying a narrative to their target audience with sensible messages to flatten the curve.


LIVE it UP(at home)– Use the LIVE feature on all social platforms to keep the audience connected to home-based activities, discussions, art and entertainment forms to keep people engaged on a fun and lighter note.

For Example- NH7 adapted to the less ‘fun times’ and had a ‘Happy At Home’ online concert on IG Live which united so many music listeners together which was a great hit of an event.




Spread Positivity, Not Fear- As the engagement of people is the highest on social media due to the lockdown, people seek content from brands that combine creativity, entertainment and productivity as a coping mechanism to keep their heads above the pandemic depression and make the most amidst this chaotic period. Curate content that can benefit each life positively and productively.




The Don’ts

Make Aware, Don’t Scare – Any form of content that creates more panic should be prohibited. There’s a thin line between spreading awareness and spreading panic and although they might seem similar, they’re NOT the same. Brands need to carefully and smartly repackage and design their message in an efficient and respected manner.

Source- FreePik

Evaluate, But Don’t Be Late- With brands taking a step back or postponing their ad campaigns to adapt to the current global situation and to completely refrain from sensitive brand supportive advertising, it can lead to a long-term devaluation of the brand, and with very little value in return.

“Brand health becomes vulnerable when companies stop advertising. If they do this for     longer than six months it destroys both short- and long-term health.” – Jane Ostler, Kantar Insights, Global Head of Media.

Source- FreePik

Post, But Don’t Over-Post– More posts does not necessarily lead to more followers, as quality outweighs quantity. A consumer’s feed is flooded with a never-ending scroll of content and they’re all bombarded with various categories of content which also reduces their attention span. The key is to create few but powerful, effective, sharp and eye-catching content buckets. Ask for your audience’s opinion through various engaging social media features on what they’d like to see on your page.


Oh No, You Don’t!– Make false claims about COVID-19. Misinformation and distribution of false news is a serious threat to the mental well-being of our society and is condemned by The IT Act 2000.


Be Humane, Don’t Exploit- Avoid posting exploitative content and be empathetic and sensitive towards your consumer. Some advertisers and platforms are banning anything with the words “coronavirus” or “COVID-19” because it is strenuous to scan ads and posts for exploitative content. Some may even deviate from content with related words and phrases, like “quarantine” or “social distancing.” The reason for concern is that some of this content may be solely capitalizing or taking advantage of the situation, such as claiming that a product can prevent catching the virus or sell out for good.


There you go, Ad-ladies & lads. Stay safe and advertise healthy!