February 20, 2020

Are people seriously confusing Corona beer with coronavirus?

Martin Dinkele, SVP
Between January 18th and January 26th alone, searches for “corona beer virus” spiked by 2,300% globally

According to Google Trends data there’s been a spike in online searches conflating the two.

Since the beginning of the terrible outbreak of coronavirus in China, one rather strange outcome has been the number of online searches from people who are seemingly confusing the virus with the Corona beer brand.

It was reported that between January 18th and January 26th alone, searches for “corona beer virus” spiked by 2,300% globally. Other popular search terms include “beer virus” and “beer coronavirus”.

We wondered whether this mistake was having a real-life effect on the Mexican beer brand or whether it was simply a case of confused people trying to put their minds at rest.

According to BrandVue Drinks data, negative buzz – which measures those who have heard something negative about a brand over the past month – has increased from approximately 1% in mid-January to over 5% this week.

This indicates that some people are indeed getting mixed up about what they have actually heard something negative about.

There is also a possibility that they have come across one of the many stories of bars exploiting the news by offering cut-price Corona beers as a tongue-in-cheek way to cash in on the global outbreak. One particular bar in New Zealand was condemned for offering cheap beer “for as long as the pandemic lasts”.

However, while negative buzz has increased, measures like “positive buzz”, brand consideration, and affinity for Corona have also risen over the same period.

This suggests that, bizarrely, news of the coronavirus might somehow be having a short-term positive impact on consumer perceptions of the brand.

BrandVue Drinks interviews around 8,000 UK consumers per month about their perceptions of 350 drinks brands. Get in touch to find out more.



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