Each week, Padilla’s Insights + Strategy team stands at the intersection of people, culture and brands to bring you five stories that you can read in five minutes.

1. Tito’s warns not to use its spirits in DIY hand sanitizer

In the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, Tito’s Handmade Vodka is warning consumers to refrain from using its spirits in DIY hand sanitizer to protect against the virus. Why should you care? Tito’s messaging is in response to consumers trying to find ways to combat shortage and price hikes of basic necessities. The brand is reminding customers that its vodka is only 40% alcohol which does not meet the CDC guidelines of using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. [USA Today]

2. Artists create a voice chat service to combat loneliness

After anxiety around the coronavirus spread, artists Max Hawkins and Danielle Baskin created QuarantineChat to help people who may be experiencing anxiety or loneliness during coronavirus quarantine. Why should you care? As isolation and social distancing becomes a prevalent reality, be on the lookout for creative ways in which individuals and brands will continue to build community in spite of coronavirus. [Business Insider]

3. Food delivery services are offering no-contact drop-off

Amid coronavirus concerns, Grubhub, Postmates and Instacart, among others, are letting customers dictate where their orders can be dropped off to avoid having physical contact. Why should you care? As confirmed cases of coronavirus rise, employees are being asked to work from home or self-quarantine, and we expect the use of food delivery services to spike. Though this measure might seem a bit extreme to some, it shows how brands are adapting to general coronavirus safety concerns. [Today]

4. Lush cosmetics offer free stops to hand wash

Bath and beauty retailer Lush is now allowing people to use soaps and sinks within their stores with no obligation to buy its products. Why should you care? It’s a simple concept, but one meant to remind shoppers to wash their hands regularly; an effective way of guarding against infection, while encouraging basic hygiene best practices. [The Guardian]

5. Twitter’s crisis communications advice  

Twitter posted a blog outlining the potential dangers for brands trying to communicate online while the world faces a COVID-19 pandemic. Why should you care? Global head of Twitter Next, Alex Josephson said, “This is not a ‘marketing opportunity’ to capitalize on, and we do not recommend brands opportunistically linking themselves to a health scare. This is global, this is open-ended, and this could affect every brand, every business, and every individual. In times of crisis, people look to leaders and institutions for guidance, reassurance and information. Increasingly, they also look to brands.” In uncertain times like these, we’re watching which brands step up with responsible (and calm) voices amid the panic buying. Kudos to Twitter for setting the right tone. [AdAge]

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