Qualitative Market Research
Original Item ID
This study aims to evaluate how brands communicate with consumers through the COVID-19 pandemic and how messaging has shifted over time. The authors identify a typology drawn from extant literature and use it to understand how brands shape consumers’ behavior.
Through a mix of interpretive and thematic analysis, the authors examine 858 US email advertisements and how these messages have evolved throughout the pandemic.
The authors findings demonstrate brand communication ranges from prosocial to brand messaging and brands employed different strategies at different phases of the pandemic. Specifically, while brands started out emphasizing socially desirable behavior before and directly after a national emergency was declared, COVID-19-related communications shifted to predominantly marketing-related messages later in the pandemic.
This study provides valuable insight into how brands adjust communication strategies through a prolonged cultural trauma and how these messages relate to authenticity, the triple bottom line and a social (versus branded) focus.
Cermin, Ashley Deutsch and Mouton, Ashton, "Prosocial Messaging During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Longitudinal Examination of Email Advertisements" (2022). Marketing Faculty Research and Publications. 304.
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