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The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted every facet of societal and economic life. Moreover, the social crisis has affected all social groups and sectors of the population, causing swift modifications to the advertising industry. According to a report in Statista, a March 2020 survey of U.S. advertising agencies indicated that “89 percent of respondents had made changes to their promotional efforts in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Among the most drastic changes made was cancelling a campaign completely, according to 34 percent of responding industry professionals.” (Guttmann, 2020, para. 1). Several companies have, therefore, created new content and campaigns appropriate during this global pandemic. Such companies decided to address the virus and ‘adapt’ to the new reality it brought forth. Other businesses and brands did not change their strategies. This paper discusses how the outbreak has impacted the advertising industry and addresses how commercial advertisements were perceived after the virus. Participants were exposed to both ‘adapted’ advertisements and ‘unadapted’ advertisements. Next, they completed a survey measuring the appropriateness, likeability, and effectiveness of the ads. The commercials are briefly described in the paper, and the results are reported. For this study, “adapted” commercials are defined as commercials that revised their campaigns to focus on the global health pandemic. In contrast, "unadapted" advertisements are identified as campaigns that did not change strategy after the onset of COVID-19.


Language, Culture & Politics Association (LCPA) Conference


Kraków, Poland


College of Communication and Design


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Burnstine Grodzki Powers Advertising Perceptions EG.pptx (7011 kB)
Advertising Perceptions After the Onset of the COVID-19 Outbreak (PowerPoint)



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