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Marketing during China’s Battle with Coronavirus

Broaching the delicate topic of marketing in China during a time of national crisis is a major issue for both domestic and international brands. Optics are everything, and the wrong marketing campaigns put brands at risk of appearing insensitive or exploitative. On the flip side, there is also a chance for brands to align with building national cohesiveness as China pulls together to take on the collective challenge of battling the coronavirus.

Currently, in China, everything seems to be stopped except for the battle with coronavirus. Is it a good time to do marketing? After all, it is a painful moment for all of China and for the other countries affected. If brands are seen as exploiting the coronavirus to advertise their products, it will inevitably result in major backlash and damage to the brand's image. However, this doesn’t mean that brands should do nothing during the epidemic. Let’s look at some brands that have launched tactful marketing campaigns during the outbreak. The best marketing make use of brands’ own advantages to satisfy consumers’ special needs, especially emotional needs, offering them warmth, comfort, and value in this trying time. 

Austin Li, who is the top KOL/live streamer in the cosmetic sector in China, used his position to call on fans to donate to the Wuhan epidemic through a public welfare project initiated by Alibaba. As of 1:30 am on the first day of the Chinese New Year, a total of 71.4 million yuan has been raised. On Feb 5th, after a temporary halt to his live streaming, Austin restarted his live stream to chat with his fans. Some consumers said his voice was a comfort to them. 

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