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Brands Leverage Marketing Budgets to Share COVID-19 Messages

Published 04-03-20

Submitted by Porter Novelli/Cone


Brands Leverage Marketing Budgets to Share COVID-19 Messages

As the coronavirus global pandemic continues to grow across the world – with half of humanity currently under “stay at home” orders –  it is critical that each and every person play their part to slow and stop the spread. And as many brands shift operations, make major donations and activate employees to help, there is one other major resource brands have to offer: marketing spend. Here we’ve seen a number of brands step up to spread public awareness messages in the time of COVID-19:

  • In an effort to educate on the importance of physical distancing while also promoting a sense of unity during a time of self-isolation, ViacomCBS Entertainment and Youth brands have launched the #AloneTogether campaign, in partnership with the Ad Council. The effort is intentionally media agnostic so different partners can tailor the message to various audiences and platforms. Look out for social-led efforts from ViacomCBS, audio versions from iHeartMedia and custom #AloneTogether filters on Snapchat. 

  • As consumers continue to stock up on staple items including toilet paper, many areas are continuing to be impacted by shortages. A new ad campaign from Kimberly-Clark toilet paper brand Cottonelle seeks to stomp out fear and instead spread kindness. The campaign, entitled #ShareASquare, discourages consumers from hoarding products with a call to action stating “instead of stockpiling toilet paper, let’s stock up on generosity.” To make a more substantive impact, Cottonelle is donating $1 million, along with 1 million rolls of toilet paper, to the United Way Worldwide COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund and for each post with the hashtag #ShareASquare, Cottonelle will make an additional dollar donation to the fund.

  • To create a rallying cry around the importance of staying indoors, Nike led with a simple yet impactful message, “If you have ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance. Play inside, play indoors.” To amplify these important words, Nike recruited athletes including Sue Bird, Tiger Woods, Elena Delle Donne, Serena Williams and Saquon Barkley who have all shared this message over their social channels. And to make staying indoors a bit easier, Nike is giving consumers access to the premium features of the Nike Training Club app.

Marketers have long known the power of a message to influence – not only purchase intent but also action. Now more than ever, Purpose-driven marketers are harnessing the power of their channels to spread critical messages to change behavior and spur action at a time when each and every individuals’ actions are paramount to the health and safety of families, communities and the world at large.

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Porter Novelli/Cone

Porter Novelli/Cone


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