This is certainly not a topic we expected to cover for a blog post, yet here we are, faced with a very unfamiliar set of circumstances to which we are all adjusting, and at lightning speed.

As a result of COVID-19, advertising campaigns across the world have been upended. Whether it be campaigns linked to sporting competitions (not least the 2020 Olympics), or travel promotions for the upcoming European summer, the global health emergency has turned everything on its head.

Iconic brands have already been forced to quickly modify their scheduled content. Hershey was forced to suspend its “Heartwarming the World” ads which depict behaviour inconsistent with social distancing; KFC in the UK suspended its latest “finger lickin’ good” campaign amid public outcry over unsanitary hand hygiene. These companies, although staying true to their brand identity, had missed the mark in an evolved consumer climate.

On social media the repercussions are no different. On Facebook, it took over two weeks to stop seeing paid posts for grounded airlines, or LinkedIn campaigns promoting attendance at conferences that have now been postponed indefinitely. Some advertisers have been slow to react to the changing set of circumstances.

This is why it is imperative that we, as marketers, pay close attention to our scheduled content. Although we may have made significant investments towards our 2020 campaigns, now more than ever we need to be vigilant with scheduled posts, email content and engagement initiatives that we plan to roll out across all platforms.

Pulling content now may seem wasteful in the short term, but it can potentially be used at a later time. And doing so, we have the potential to limit the damage which would done by a campaign that doesn’t fit the current market environment.

In the same way that McDonalds and Apple never foresaw having to close their stores in 2020, we need to anticipate the unexpected consequences of this seismic shift in our industry.