What do we do when faced with something so threatening?
We dedicate ourselves to anxious searches on Google, which later illustrate our collective concerns: “Coronavirus” and “masks”. But also "corona beer virus", "football", and hipster doubts about "does the beard interfere with the mask's effectiveness?"
Searches for “Netflix Actions” increase, as the possible quarantine also implies a greater consumption of entertainment. Searches for "Zoom Actions" are triggered, which are already increasing, with the use of this videoconferencing technology increasing exponentially given the need for remote work.
Consumer habits change. The "Purell Panic" runs out of disposable masks and disinfectant gel, despite the already inflated price. The “contagion effect” depletes the toilet paper.
The elderly are finally dedicated to ecommerce, antibacterial soaps and food products "that help defenses". The World Health Organization creates a channel on Tik Tok to combat misinformation and reach younger people.
Online sales of masks and gloves grew by over 900%. To prevent exploitation, Facebook announced a ban on ads referring to "limited quantities", or promising claims to prevent or cure. Amazon has already removed more than 1 million products from its platform with false claims or inflated prices.
The first truly global outbreak?
“Canceled” or “canceled”: Easter will no longer be a holiday in the snow, on the beach, or religious tourism. Be it precautionary or risky, behavior change affects tourism and all other industries.
Football, tennis, basket, surfing and F1 grand prizes are suspended. It is considered to postpone Euro 2020 and who knows, the Olympic Games. Borders are conditioned and musical hits are recorded to remind the importance of washing hands.
Overall, absolutely instrumental events to mark the success and launches of its brands, have been canceled or postponed.
Conscious and necessary decisions, but which involve a lot of losses (in sales, relationship with sponsors, exposure to consumers, advertising and the press), and the certainty that, in their eventual return, these events will have to be reformulated, as they will lose their impact.
What to do without the Baselworld Watch Fair, at a critical time when the Apple Watch has already surpassed the total sales of the entire Swiss watch industry?
Brands continue to need to showcase themselves and guarantee revenue, so they will reinvent their promotion, use digital media and democratize resources. And if they learn to survive without all the financial investment, logistics and preparation that a fair requires, will they want to return to this format?
Existing technology is enabling the most massive exercise of remote work in the history of the corporate world. But it is also reinventing the concept of “presence” or “participation”, through live streams and teleconferences, with analysis and monitoring of data in real time.
As a prevention, the “social distance”. As a redemption, the “virtual connection”?
The world is more connected than ever, and we are advised to avoid proximity and contact as a means of prevention. But we still feel the innate desire to be part of something.
Tinder users around the world change their location to “Wuhan, China” to talk to locals, and thus bypass the Chinese government's information blocks.
It triggers the popularity of games that simulate world pandemics, in which it is necessary to save, or even destroy humanity, strategically driving the virus: Plague Inc. has reached the top downloads in the USA and China.
With the closure of schools, teachers and students will be able to access the digital platforms of the Virtual School and Digital Classroom of Porto Editora and Leya free of charge.
And in China, the virtual movement “quarantine cooking” emerges. Millions of isolated people join virtually in a new way of preparing food with their own conditions: an abundance of time and a shortage of ingredients.
It is also in the hands of brands to reinvent conviviality and “virtual sharing” as a relief mechanism for anxiety, and a manifestation of the desire for connection since isolation.
* Patrícia Soares da Costa traveled to more countries (51) than years of age. He is CEO of MARQUINISTA – the brand locomotive and trilingual consultant in branding, communication and tourism for governments, companies, startups and creative agencies. She is a speaker and mentor in several international entrepreneurship programs, collecting passport stamps and accepting air miles as fees.
The Observer joins the community Portuguese Women in Tech to give a voice to the women who make up the Portuguese technological ecosystem. The article represents the author's personal opinion framed in the community's values.
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