We’ve searched for the most pressing marketing news so you don’t have to. Here’s what’s happening so far the week of March 23.

Marketers Think COVID-19 Will Be Worse For Advertising Than The 2008 Financial Crisis

A survey from the IAB suggests how marketers plan to calibrate their advertising decisions in light of the current crisis, including a figure that 74 percent of respondents said they think the coronavirus pandemic will have a larger impact on the advertising spend than the 2008 financial crisis.

Why it matters: The survey highlights just how marketers plan to adjust spend for the year.

Doing Their bit In A Crisis: Dyson, Yves Saint Laurent, Spotify, John Lewis And More

How brands are supporting initiatives around coronavirus, from fabricating ventilators to supporting the NHS.

Why it matters: Recent findings support brands taking a stand during the coronavirus pandemic.

Grocery Private Brands Stand To Gain In A Post-Coronavirus World
Modern Retail

“Private brands present a customer acquisition opportunity — especially as people’s shopping patterns dramatically change.”

Why it matters: Consumer behaviors and shopping patterns will certainly be affected by this crisis beyond the current inflection point, but to what extent remains a major question.

How Companies Can Set Employees Up For Success When Working From Home

“Companies should consider several factors to ensure employees feel supported and enabled during this time.”

Why it matters: Adapting to this new work from home paradigm means equipping your employees with the right tools and setting expectations.

Just 8% Of Consumers Think Brands Should Stop Advertising Due To The Coronavirus Outbreak
Marketing Week

“A survey of more than 35,000 consumers globally by Kantar found that just 8% thought brands should stop advertising.”

Why it matters: Listen to the consumers: they’re expecting brands to address what everyone is facing now.

A Regularly Updated List Tracking Marketers’ Response To Coronavirus

A roundup of how brands including QuickBooks, Jimmy John’s, JanSport, Crocs and Ford are responding to coronavirus and tweaking ad campaigns.

Why it matters: Businesses of all sizes are experiencing negative fallout from the pandemic and silence from brands isn’t an option in the eyes of consumers.

What Coronavirus Means For Sports Marketing
Marketing Dive

Brands, especially smaller ones, must come up with a new plan or redirect budgets to social and esports if they’re to continue marketing to sports.

Why it matters: As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA suspended its season and the Tokyo 2020 summer Olympics has been rescheduled to a date beyond 2020.

Nike: In Times Like These, Strong Brands Get Even Stronger
Marketing Week

On an analyst call, Nike CEO John Donahoe said his teams are exploring designs for personal protective equipment for doctors, nurses and others on the coronavirus frontline. Additionally, Nike has made the premium part of its app free for 90 days and launched a digital campaign across the US and Europe with the messaging, “Play inside, play for the world.”

Why it matters: After closing its China stores as the country fought to contain the virus (with now 80 percent of stores back open), Nike is applying what it learned abroad to the US market.

The Significance Of Brand Marketers’ Response During COVID-19 Crisis
Chief Marketer

Consumer packaged goods brands have the potential to use digital ads to support consumers and help alleviate their concerns via product-centric tutorials and educational content.

Why it matters: How marketers respond to the pandemic can impact brand perception in the long-term.

‘Your Communities Want To Hear From You More Than Ever’: How SAP CMO Alicia Tillman Is Leading Through The Coronavirus Crisis

After canceling three of its own customer events at SXSW, SAP’s CMO Alicia Tillman instructed her team to reshape what has been a physical approach with events via digital and short-term activations including a heavy dependence on social media.

Why it matters: Communication with consumers during the coronavirus crisis should be a top priority for brands.

Social Conscious Brands Are Winning Big With Influencer Marketing


Consumers are increasingly making purchases based on their beliefs and expect brands to show their beliefs.

Why it matters: Cause-marketing and sustainability create positive associations for brands and influencers.

Starting As CMO During The COVID-19 Pandemic


Think3 CMO Adam Singer found that Fortune 500 businesses aren’t equipped for remote workforce management.

Why it matters: Social distancing in the age of coronavirus will show which brands have effective teleworking policies in place around onboarding and creative management.

The Power Of Purpose: How The Advertising, Marketing And Media Industries Can Help Fight Coronavirus


Repurposing ad creative, donating media time, creating at-home experiences and sponsoring the early release of movies and content to create virtual premieres are all ways ad and marketing industries can lift spirits during the pandemic.

Why it matters: Brands that deploy tone-deaf campaigns or messaging right now run the risk of losing customers.

How Burger King’s Data-Driven Marketing Drives Strategic Growth: Q&A With Antonello Alexandre

MarTech Advisor

Alexandre says the key takeaways for Burger King campaigns include tapping into local insights, leveraging macro consumers trends fast, spending time in the field and integrating data from multiple sources.

Why it matters: Using local insights, Burger King ran a television spot around its mango habanero sandwich, which led to the brand doubling its sales in the premium layer of its menu.

Are You Leading Through The Crisis … Or Managing The Response?

Harvard Business Review

During crises, many leaders either take a narrow view, get seduced by managing, over-centralize the response or forget the human factors.

Why it matters: The authors note that crises are most often over-managed and under-led. Leaders need to tread lightly and wisely during coronavirus as their actions will determine their fate.

Five Key Moves To Make Now To Adapt To The Coronavirus Economy


Brands should make immediate investments in ecommerce experiences, enlist chatbots and voice assistants, leverage voice search, focus on first-party data and embrace personalization.

Why it matters: As consumers self-quarantine, they will turn to digital channels for every part of the purchase funnel.

Brands Promote Social Distancing With Altered Logos, Slogans

Brands are creatively employing the concept of social distancing in marketing around the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: Messaging demands a delicate touch right now as brands navigate the right approach to something everyone is dealing with.

4As: 56% Of Consumers Interested In Brands’ COVID-19 Initiatives
Marketing Dive

Over half of consumers surveyed were happy with brands’ cause-marketing initiatives in response to the coronavirus crisis, according to a new survey from the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) and market research platform Suzy.

Why it matters: “Only 15 percent of consumers said they did not want to hear from brands at this time.” How is your brand responding to COVID-19?

Olympics Postponement Brings Confusion To An Already Nervous Ad Industry
Marketing Dive

The Tokyo Summer Games have been postponed until summer 2021 throwing more of the industry into a tailspin.

Why it matters: After fraught cancelations from SXSW and a late postponement from Cannes Lions, sponsors and advertisers have been bracing for the next domino to fall. It’s time to survey the landscape.

Coca-Cola GB Suspends All Marketing Activity
PR Week

Coca-Cola (which includes Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta, Sprite and Powerade) is suspending all of its marketing activities in Great Britain due to the coronavirus crisis.

Why it matters: A Coca-Cola spokesperson noted the direction the brand will be taking in lieu of marketing activities: “As we all adjust to these very different circumstances, we will focus our efforts on how we can make a difference to our consumers, customers and communities in the weeks and months ahead.

Marketing In The Age Of Coronavirus: The Dos And (Many) Don’ts

Pause, read this article and reflect before considering your coronavirus “angle.”

Why it matters: “When people and companies start capitalizing on an opportunity like this, for the at-home shopper, it reeks of opportunism and strikes the wrong tone.”

Are Brands Living Up To Their Purpose During The Coronavirus Crisis? 


Pret a Manger CEO Pano Christou said in his blog that the brand would close its seating areas and operate on a to-go basis only, offering National Health Service workers free hot drinks and providing a 50 percent discount on all other products. Conversely, Tesla was accused of violating orders to conduct minimal operations at its California factory.

Why it matters: Brands have the chance to show their true colors in how they respond to coronavirus.

Cause Marketing In The Time Of COVID-19

Chief Marketer

Chief Marketer’s roundup of brands helping the community amid coronavirus includes Burger King, the NBA, Walgreens, Under Armour, Tito’s Vodka, Hootsuite, Jameson, T-Mobile, KFC, Kraft Heinz, Apple, Shopify and Facebook.

Why it matters: Brands need to prove to consumers that they’re listening to communities.

DTC Brands Are Tightening Up How Much They Spend On Digital Advertising 

Modern Retail

CEO of Within Joe Yakuel estimates that his clients’ ad spend dropped over 20 percent in the second week of March, likely as a result of shoppers tightening up their wallets because of coronavirus.

Why it matters: Brands will have to figure out how to market their products and services as an essential or a good deal.

How Marketers And Agencies Are Trying To Strike The Right Tone In The Age Of Coronavirus


KFC, Coors Light and Hershey’s recently pulled television spots to avoid coronavirus insensitivities.

Why it matters: As consumers navigate the effects of the coronavirus on their daily lives and finances, brands must tailor messaging accordingly. 

Why Google’s Decision To Withhold Programmatic Data Is Pushing Some Advertisers To Pull Ad Spend


Digiday reports that Google rejected one US based retailer’s request for granular log-level data about the programmatic bids they won and lost over the key festive period in 2019.

Why it matters: Google’s decision to withhold data has led to a handful of sophisticated programmatic advertisers to pull from Google’s marketplace. As an alternative, some advertisers are resorting to supply-path optimization techniques to broker better programmatic deals. 

Creative Works: What Brands Are Doing For The Coronavirus Pandemic

The Drum

A roundup of creative ads and spots showing how brands are communicating with consumers during coronavirus, including an ad from Mucinex with the messaging, “Spread facts, not fear. Fingers off your face. It’s an easy way to get sick.”

Why it matters: Brands need to acknowledge what consumers are going through as a result of coronavirus.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly reading list is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, March 27. Have a tip? We’re looking for must-read articles related to trends and insights in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.