Padilla’s Insights + Strategy and Digital/Social teams scanned the news media and social media conversations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic to bring you the week’s noteworthy developments:

Twitch, Pre-pandemic, AI Is Confused

This week saw people on Twitter sharing their last “normal” photo from their phones before the pandemic, an uptick in viewership on Twitch as people are filling the absence of sports with videogaming and AI getting confused by our weird behavior and new norms.

Brand Responses

Brands are moving into more engagement – and while still tactical and mission/purpose driven – they also are finding more creative/original ways to connect with people’s new normal. Some highlights included the following:

  • Russell Stover is uniting fans on TikTok to create the “world’s biggest virtual hug.”
  • Hilton and American Express are joining together to offer one million free hotel rooms to coronavirus first responders. 
  • Furniture company IKEA has designed six playhouses that can be built with its products to entertain children during lockdown.

Topic Mapping

Overall, news is beginning to show a cadence of declining over the weekend. To that, Barack Obama’s commencement speech to the class of 2020 drove conversation over the weekend.

In general, both federal and state government responses to the pandemic remained under scrutiny. Negative sentiment was mostly driven from the collective questioning and confusion of most states beginning to reopen – combined with coverage of the spike in cases as these restrictions are lifted. 

Social Buzz

“State” became prominent in the word cloud of social media analysis, as individuals expressed frustration about how their states were handling the coronavirus.

In social, the top piece of media was a tweet from “60 Minutes” regarding an interview with Peter Dadzak, a Ph.D. who studies viruses in bats and has had his funding eliminated.

Trending searches on coronavirus this week include: Graduate Together 2020 website, Twitter jobs, virtual internship (at an all-time high) and South Korea coronavirus second wave.

Trading Places

The Kansas City Zoo brought the outdoors inside and took three of their Humboldt penguins – Bubbles (5), Maggie (7) and Berkley (8) – to the nearby Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. And in case you’re curious, they were more interested in Caravaggio than they were in Monet.

For more insights on this week’s coronavirus communications analysis:

For questions, guidance or support with your brand’s communication efforts, Padilla’s COVID-19 Response Team is here to help.