The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. Never before has there been a disruption—if not total shutdown—of everyday life for this many people across the world at once.
The ripple effects of the coronavirus pandemic are more like tidal waves. One of those has hit the business world, causing many large and small businesses to duck underneath and shutter completely for the time being.
Eventually—hopefully sooner rather than later, but most importantly with as many lives saved as possible—the wave will pass. There will be an after. It's plausible that the COVID-19 pandemic is the defining event of our time, that it will permanently alter some major aspects of our lives as we know it. We've seen a needed explosion in remote working and video conferencing, movie studios rush theatrical titles out for purchase at home; musicians stream live performances directly into the palms of fans. Some behaviors that change during the pandemic may wane, others may have staying power. The pandemic may speed up some seismic shifts that have been gestating for a while.
It's a confounding time for brands. Consumers are concerned with macro issues, but also still need fundamental necessities in their life. How do you find the right tone for this moment? How do you make sure you don't come off as exploitative? How do you deal with the shift to online across, potentially, the entire business, while balancing the concerns of all your stakeholders?
Written by Ogilvy