1st Edition

Crisis Response Advertising Insights and Implications from COVID-19

By Frauke Hachtmann Copyright 2024
    222 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    222 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the effects of COVID-19 on the advertising industry to better understand crisis response advertising.

    The book tells the story of three distinct phases in which the pandemic unfolded, the way a wide range of brands and agencies responded, and how the consumer landscape changed during the first 15 months of the crisis. Advertising professionals from a broad range of award-winning advertising agencies across the United States who experienced the crisis first-hand reflect on how COVID-19 disrupted the industry and what they learned along the way. Each case contains themes that emerged through data analysis, along with examples of advertising practice at various stages of the pandemic. Importantly, the new theoretical model and best practices covered in the book extend beyond application to the global pandemic, giving readers solid theoretical and practical tools to use in future crises.

    Suited for upper-level undergraduate and post-graduate courses in advertising and marketing, this book will be useful as a reference for researchers and is practical enough for practitioner use as well.

    1. Why Study the Impact of COVID-19 on Advertising Practice 

    Advertising in the Context of Crisis Communication

    Why Study CRA in the Context of COVID-19? 

    Theorizing CCRA

    Structure of the Book 

    2. The State of the Advertising Industry in the Context of Crises 

    The Impact of Crises on Advertising and Brand Communication: A Historical Perspective 

    The State of the Advertising Industry before the COVID-19 Pandemic 

    A Brief History of the COVID-19 Health Crisis 

    How the COVID-19 Pandemic Shifted Consumer Trends 

    The State of the Advertising Industry after the COVID-19 Pandemic 

    3. Grounded Theory Design 

    Characteristics of Qualitative Research 

    Philosophical Assumptions 

    Grounded Theory Research Design 

    Data Analysis and Coding Procedures 

    4. Lockdown: Advertising in Isolation 

    Defining "Crisis" 

    Crisis Management and Crisis Communication 

    Initial Categories 

    The Phenomenon 

    5. Triple Threat: COVID-19, Protests, and an Election 

    CSR—An Update 

    Intervening and Contextual Conditions 

    6. Crisis Response Advertising Strategies for Coping with Reality 

    Consumer-Facing Work 

    Agency Operations 

    Serving Clients 

    7. The Silver Lining 

    A Changed World 

    Acceleration of Trends 

    Brand Transformation vs. Demise 

    The Empowered Consumer 

    Future of (Agency) Work 

    Better Crisis Preparedness 

    8. The COVID-19 Story: Theory and Practice 

    Refining the Phenomenon 

    The Central Explanatory Category 

    The COVID-19 Story 

    The Paradigm Model 

    Theoretical Propositions 

    Practical Applications of Theoretical Propositions 

    Advice from the Participants 


    Frauke Hachtmann is Professor and William H. Kearns Chair in Journalism at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, USA.

    "The COVID-19 crisis confronted brands with many unfamiliar and far-reaching challenges. This book synthesizes the resulting nuanced layers of information and experiences into practical strategies and a unique Complex Crisis Response Advertising (CCRA) model that will benefit students, researchers, and professionals across the disciples of advertising, marketing, corporate communications, and journalism."

    Scott Hamula, Ithaca College, USA.


    "Frauke’s book is an excellent, well-researched articulation of how brands can strategically respond to complex crises with a human-centric approach. Brands, agencies, and consultants alike can learn much from her in-depth studies in the space."

    Madison Cameron, David&Goliath, USA.


    "If you’re a seasoned professional, or just starting out and you advertise, you’ll eventually face upheavals in your community and our world. Here are proven strategies from those that had to adapt in the greatest crisis of a generation. A must read for those preparing for the future."

    Hal Vincent, Elon University, USA.