How COVID-19 is impacting culture and consumer behavior: March 16 – 20.
By C-K’s Brand Planning and PR/Social teams
As the COVID-19 pandemic upends the lives of millions, C-K is closely monitoring the shifts and evolution in people’s behaviors. From how we are collectively dealing with the serious challenges of staying healthy and working remotely, to how we are using our extra time at home and what people want from brands, C-K is examining the latest news and trends emerging during this crisis in order to provide up-to-the minute insights for our brand partners.
Week of March 16 – 21
(Read last week’s post for the week of March 9 – 13.)
We Now Exist Alone Together
People are looking for ways to balance the need to be responsible and social distance without sacrificing their innate need for human connection.
- With mandates to stay at home and away from groups, consumers are finding unique ways to stay interconnected, like virtual happy hours, play dates and watch parties.
- Virtual wellness has taken over as a new way to stay physically, mentally and emotionally fit. Brands like Peloton and CorePower are offering free classes or trials, and many therapists are now offering e-visit options.
- Even some brands are getting in on the social connection game, like Chipotle’s daily virtual hangouts that invite consumers to “Chipotle together.”
In It Together While Staying Apart
While the initial panic is still setting in and causing many to fend for themselves, we’re starting to see a more altruistic side of the COVID-19 pandemic as communities step up to take care of one another.
- Checking on and running errands for elderly or immunocompromised neighbors.
- Grocery stores opening earlier hours for the elderly and immunocompromised to shop without fear.
- Chef Jose Andres uses his closed restaurants as community kitchens.
- Alcohol sales are up, but makers are embarking on a nationwide relief effort for Service Industry Workers affected by COVID-19.
A Tale of Two Responses
While some cities are imposing strict rules to limit the spread of COVID-19, responses are varied across the country, leading to confusion and frustration.
- From social distancing pleas to shelter-in-place mandates, some major U.S. cities and states are starting to look more like ghost towns.
- But rules vary by city and state, and some consumers, including many spring breakers, don’t seem to be seriously heeding warnings.
- Seven states are doing surprisingly little to combat the spread of COVID-19.
School’s Out. Now What?
With schools across the country temporarily closing or moving online, home becomes the classroom, parents become the teachers and calamity ensues.
- Parents struggle with their new role as teacher; some being inundated with resources and others, in low-income areas, starved for them.
- Brands like Zoom and Scholastic are stepping up to help students and adults alike continue to learn while away from traditional classrooms.
- Ultimately, parents are discovering a new respect for educators.
Constraint Breeds Creativity
Stuck at home and filled with anxiety, consumers, brands and artists create moments of respite and levity.
- Artists keep spirits up through live-streamed performances and co-creation sessions.
- Museums and other cultural groups offer opportunities to explore the world from your couch.
- Gaming is up significantly as people escape and connect through other worlds.
Delivery Hopes DoorDashed
Delivery services are being inundated, creating delays. “Shelter-in-place” requirements could exacerbate demand, grinding delivery to a crawl.
- Amazon Fresh and Prime are delayed due to high demand.
- Services like DoorDash and Grubhub aim to help independent restaurants stay afloat among closures.
- Shelter-in-place currently allows delivery service to continue, making it one of the few ways to get necessities.