How brands are reacting to the coronavirus crisis

It’s useful to look at how brands are reacting to the coronavirus crisis.

Which are stepping up and which are clearly missing the mark? 

We’re currently in lockdown and people are noticing how brands are reacting to the current crisis. We’ve read that 1 in 10 people have boycotted a brand because they don’t like how they’ve reacted to the coronavirus crisis!

It’s a test for all of us but especially marketers who are trying to maintain brand awareness and keep their business front of mind while staying true to their values.

Here are some examples of brands that are doing brilliant, creative and inspiring things during the pandemic.

How Are Brands Marketing During COVID-19

1. Canva

Canva, our favourite design tool, unlocked their entire content library for all Canva Pro users! You can also get another 30-day trial if you’re on a free account.

They are using social media in a very creative way, giving people ideas and tips for designs and things to do at home.

2. Pret a Manger

Pret not only communicate how they’re handling the current situation on social media really well, but they also share recipes for their most famous dishes.

Supporting NHS 
Great communication and inspiring content
Sharing recipes

Pret also reopened 10 shops near hospitals and created a great video to communicate that message and how they care for the team and customers.

They also use Instagram Stories to share useful tips, e.g. people can ask the chef a question and one of them replies within 24 hours – using question stickers on Stories.brands coronavirus

3. Morrisons

Morrisons have expanded home deliveries to those in need and committed to pay small suppliers faster to relieve the pressure on SMEs. Nice messaging to share on social!

They are also using IGTV to post cooking classes, so you can order food to be delivered and then cook together with them while watching Instagram TV.

brands coronavirus 2

4. Innocent drinks

Always creating brilliant content on Twitter!

They tweet regularly, even if it’s just an update to people about which day it is today – we all know it’s so easy to lose track of time when you’re working from home and barely going out!

They also created the #WorkingFromHomeChallenge that encourages people to include a fun greeting in their emails…. not seen any of these ourselves yet!

They also share creative ideas for different things you can do at home. These posts get a lot of engagement and this confirms that what they’re sharing is what people want. We love Innocent for staying true to their values and continuing to make us smile 🙂

brands coronavirus 35.  McDonald’s

In Brazil they changed the logo design for the time of lockdown, to support the idea of social distancing by separating its Golden Arches into two separate arches. They keep promoting their services but also remember to stress how important it is to keep good hygiene.

McDonals self isolation

McDonald’s is reposting tweets on their Instagram account – making it conversational and creating more meme-like content. These always seem to engage their audience!

brands covid196. Adobe Creative

Adobe is secretly giving out 2 months Creative Cloud for free as part of a kind of  “Corona Discount”. They are also making temporary at-home access to Creative Cloud available until May 31, 2020 for schools and colleges who currently have only lab access for students, at no additional cost.

They are currently sharing a lot of webinars and live classes on their social media platforms as well to support the creatives and enable people to learn for free from home.

Adobe Creative


Stay home campaignIkea Spain wants to pay tribute to our homes — the place that will be there to welcome us when we wake up in the morning and say good night in the evening.

They aim their content to inspire people who are currently working from home. Ikea is not only sharing great ideas for how to create your working space but also some mindfulness tips.

IKEA coronavirus content

8. McCann / Coca-cola

Mercado McCann worked with Coca-Cola to place a billboard in Times Square telling people to stay apart – “Staying apart is the best way to stay united” 

Coca-cola decided to use their Instagram Highlights to share meaningful messages from other organisations during the coronavirus crisis.

coca cola coronavrisu

9. Nike

Nike has released a campaign to stress the need for social distancing during the coronavirus.

“If you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance. Play inside, play for the world.”

Within an hour of its release, a batch of Nike athletes had posted the ad on their social media channels, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Tiger Woods and Carli Lloyd.10.

10. Skillshare

Skillshare, an online learning community for creators, has rolled out new initiatives to ease the burden on students and teachers during COVID-19:

  1. A free, two-month Premium membership for high school and college students age 16+ with an ‘.edu’ and ‘.k12’ email address
  2. A Skillshare premium membership giving unlimited access to thousands of classes taught by best-in-class creatives and thought leaders in topics like personal development, photography, writing, graphic design, and a lot more.

On social media, Skillshare is being generous with their community sharing video tips and linking to their free classes.


I hope you find some of these examples of how brands are reacting to the coronavirus crisis inspiring. Perhaps you can take advantage of some of the offers from Skillshare or Canva or even find ideas for your own business during lockdown from seeing what big brands are doing. If you focus on community and giving value to your audience, you can’t go wrong.

If you’re not sure what your audience wants, why not revisit your customer personas to see what’s challenging them at the moment and build your content around this.

Get in touch with us to get expert help with your social media strategy during COVID-19.