Five Brands That Are Bridging Human-to-Human Connection During Coronavirus

Five Brands That Are Bridging Human-to-Human Connecting During Coronavirus


It’s no secret that the United States, along the rest of the world, is in the midst of a crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has altered life as we know it, and in trying times like these, people’s values change. What once was considered important to consumers takes a backseat as the world around us changes daily.

We need the Human Element more than ever before, and the need for human connection is at an all-time high. Therefore, brands and retailers that don’t just want to survive, but thrive, during this time must adjust to their customers’ and prospects’ shifting values by developing new ways to understand and engage them in an authentic way. Brands and retailers that do so successfully will come out of this crisis stronger than ever.


So, what brands are successfully pivoting their marketing strategies to align with shifting consumer values? We rounded up five brands and retailers (in no particular order) that have caught our attention recently for their compelling and adaptive messaging, products and offers.

1) McDonald’s

One of their recent ads promotes the idea that while everything may feel different right now, they’re still open and you can still enjoy the food you love. This creative taps into the values of their customers right now, as they’re putting more emphasis on obeying laws and adhering to rules but, at the same time, they value a daily routine and schedule, which has changed drastically in the last month. By reminding people they can still enjoy their food while practicing social distancing and obeying stay-at-home orders, they’re speaking to both of these values: doing the right thing while keeping a sense of normalcy.

2) Carter’s

Baby brand Carter’s debuted a family-centric ad in line with their “Stay Home & Make Memories” Campaign, which was made in-house and stars their own employees and children. The ad shows kids who are excited to have more time to play together and make new memories. This aligns with the values of Carter’s customers, whose top values include caring for family and friends. They’re also driven by an optimistic outlook, which is reflected in this creative by emphasizing the importance of family time and seeing the bright side of stay-at-home orders.

This group is also 45% more likely than the average U.S. consumer to prefer companies that support the community and 20% more likely to prefer companies that donate to charity, so the fact that Carter’s is donating $1 million in product to families impacted by virus will go a long way with this segment.

Five Brands That Are Bridging Human-to-Human Connecting During Coronavirus

3) Airbnb

Airbnb is getting creative while consumers are at home. Since people aren’t traveling right now, they’re offering a catalog of online experiences where people can pay to enjoy virtual activities, from taking a wine class with an expert or learning the art of creative drawing with an illustrator in Mexico to going behind-the-scenes with a magician or attending a skincare workshop in Italy.

Five Brands That Are Bridging Human-to-Human Connecting During Coronavirus

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This capitalizes on the brand built by their popular Airbnb Experiences program and fits right in with the values of their customers who value learning about new ideas and being creative. Their top hobbies include art/photography and biking/walking tours, all of which are things you can do through their online experiences. An interesting thing to note as well is that this group is 15% more likely than the average U.S. consumer to enjoy the summer Olympics, and Airbnb is offering exclusive classes and interviews with Olympians.

Five Brands That Are Bridging Human-to-Human Connecting During Coronavirus

4) Chase Bank

In a recent Chase Bank ad, the new CEO of their wealth management division shows advisors working from home, emphasizing the fact that in these uncertain times they can still rely on their advisor to help them and their families navigate financial hardships they’re facing.

Right now, Chase account holders’ top values are safety in one’s community/nation, safety in oneself/family and caring for family/friends. The well-being of themselves and their families are clearly top of mind right now, so this ad will likely be received well by customers.

Five Brands That Are Bridging Human-to-Human Connecting During Coronavirus

This group is 43% more likely than the average U.S. consumer to value trustworthiness when it comes to financial services products. And, one of their top selection considerations when it comes to banking? Customer support. They’re even 38% more likely to switch banks for better customer service. Clearly, easy access to loyal and trustworthy advisors is important to this group when it comes to banking, making this ad even more resonant.


In an unprecedented time of having no live sports to watch in the months ahead, sports networks have had to think of alternative programming to entice viewers. ESPN announced ESPN 8: The Ocho, an 11-hour marathon of seldom-seen sports. While this has been shown on ESPN2 and ESPNU in the past, this is a first for the flagship channel. Everything from arm wrestling and lawn mower racing will be featured in this special airing on May 2. This will likely come as a welcome program, as this group is desperately missing live sports. Their top TV networks aside from ESPN are NBC Sports and Fox Sports, while their top streaming service is ESPN+ and their most-read magazines are Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine.

Five Brands That Are Bridging Human-to-Human Connecting During Coronavirus

For this segment, sports are more than just what they like to watch on TV, it’s a way of life. Their top hobby is sports gambling, which they’re 435% more likely to do than the average U.S. consumer. Even their daily routine revolves around valuing athletic accomplishments and being physically active. While this programming may not fill the live sports void in the months ahead, they’ll at least have a new competition to bet on.


What brands and retailers need most during this unprecedented time is to keep their finger on the pulse of changing consumer sentiment and values. Think about consumers even just one month ago; their values, motivations, preferences and shopping habits have changed and they’re going to continue to do so as this pandemic lingers. Leveraging that deeper, real-time understanding will help you make better business decisions and foster brand loyalty. With customers and prospects looking to see how companies are handling the COVID-19 crisis, it’s critical for brands to connect with consumers in an authentic way that aligns with how they’re feeling in real-time.

If you’re looking for a deeper, more dynamic understanding of how your customers are handling the current crisis, download our just released report: Understanding U.S. Consumer Sentiment During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

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