Corona Beer Goes Viral (Not In The Good Way)

While the potential pandemic spread of the Coronavirus is impacting brands, none appear to have had their underlying brand equity affected as much as Grupo Modelo's and Anheuser-Busch InBev's Corona beer brand.

According to a survey of American beer-drinkers conducted earlier this week by public relations firm 5WPR, 38% said they would not buy Corona beer under any circumstances because of the spread of the Coronavirus.

Among those who said they usually drink Corona, only 4% said they would stop drinking it, but 14% said they would stop ordering it in public.

Remarkably, 16% of those responding to the survey said they were confused about whether Corona beer was related in any way to the Coronavirus.

But 5WPR notes that online searches for keyword/terms "Corona beer virus" and "beer Coronavirus" have spiked in recent weeks.



“There is no question that Corona beer is suffering because of the Coronavirus," 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian asserted, adding, "Could one imagine walking into a bar and saying 'Hey, can I have a Corona?' or 'Pass me A Corona'."

“While the brand has claimed that consumers understand there's no linkage between the virus and the beer company, this is a disaster for the Corona brand," he continued, noting: "After all, what brand wants to be linked to a virus which is killing people worldwide?”

While the spread of Coronavirus appears to have been a net negative for many consumer brands, it also seems to have benefitted a few explicitly, including germ-fighting brands Clorox and Lysol. Though even those brands face potential liabilities, disinformation has also spread online that drinking Clorox is an effective way to fight the Coronavirus. Drinking bleach is poisonous.

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