June 3, 2020

Don’t Mention the Virus! And Other Marketing Tips

Some companies have barred any mention of the coronavirus or Covid-19 in influencer posts, even if the ads are about staying at home or taking care of family. Ms. Karwowski’s agency, Obviously, has recommended that influencers working at home should portray products in everyday clothing and that images should feel “bright and cheerful.” It advised against advertising from bed or in pajamas.

“Being in bed can work if you’re talking about self-care and taking care of yourself, but not ‘Haven’t left my bed in days — send help,’” Ms. Karwowski said. “One thing to ask yourself if you are a creator: How is this going to make my audience feel, what emotions will it bring out in them?”

The idea, she said, is to aim for positivity and calmness rather than stress or anxiety.

Ulta Beauty, the cosmetics chain with 1,200 stores that are currently closed, introduced a new ad campaign with Obviously this month called “See Beautiful Today.” It was based on the idea that “no matter how dark the world seems, people seek moments of beauty to help get through difficult times,” a representative said. A group of influencers will create quarantine content for Ulta this month, like how-to hair tutorials and do-it-yourself nail care as part of its broader focus on self-care and joy.

This type of messaging represents a “much softer sell” and acknowledges today’s reality, Ms. Karwowski said. “It’s more of a conversation.”

Influencers are also changing how they sell products based on their personal challenges. Jacqueline Granquist, a 31-year-old part-time influencer in San Diego who has worked with brands like Joie and Hobo bags, said that she had been posting more about her own struggles and encouragement for others even as she promotes fashion items. Ms. Granquist recently lost her waitressing job because the restaurant closed, and she said others are facing similar issues and may not want to shop.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/19/business/coronavirus-influencers.html

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