According to the website SCMP, in Google Trends, the first “corona beer virus” searches started on January 9th, 2020, the day the World Health Organization (WHO) said there were several cases of people contaminated with a virus of unknown origin, similar to the pneumonia that previously affected Wuhan, China.
Unfortunately, the massive search of the word “Corona” started to link this word to the beer brand, which was named “Corona” to honor the crown that adorns the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Certainly, the COVID-19 or Coronavirus is leaving an unfortunate series of negative consequences all over the world. The ignorance about this disease not only affects the speed of spread of the virus, but curiously it is also affecting certain brands.
While this can be kind of tragicomic, a recently published study said that 38% of beer drinkers in the United States “would not buy Corona beer under any circumstance now”. This confusion has caused an economic blow to Constellation Brands (Corona’s mother company). According to Dallas News, “Constellation Brands Inc. has been experimenting an important decline in the company’s stocks of up to 8% as of February 27.”
Many marketing managers would be tempted to seize this opportunity. However, Jessie Chew, who is in charge of marketing the company in the food and drinks sector, thinks he would not recommend the company to take advantage of the outbreak. “Encouraging misunderstanding of a serious problem is wrong. Besides, honestly, linking a beer to a virus is not a good marketing move.” (Source: SMCP).
The fact is, from the marketing perspective, it is necessary to have in mind that markets react unsuspiciously. And how we react to situations depends on our ethics. So far, it may be wise to do nothing and wait for all this to pass soon. Let us stay home.