However, a brand can always control its public image up to a certain extent

Photo by Jake Bradley on Unsplash

Along with affecting the patients’ respiratory system, the coronavirus has also caused blatant racism and outrageous memes to emerge on the internet.

And now, the deadly virus might start attacking the consumer market as well.

In recent news, many people believe that the coronavirus has something to do with Corona beer.

Corona beer manufacturer, Anheuser-Busch, is facing a stock market disaster since the end of last year — their shares dropped like crazy and the coronavirus confusion might make it worse.


Insane Google Searches

Let me remind you again: Neither Corona beer nor Anheuser-Busch has anything to do with the coronavirus at all.

But hey, rumors spread faster than the virus. People with access to the internet started searching for the Corona beer virus on Google.

Luckily, the trend is declining now. However, the damage is done. A screenshot from Google Trends shows a spike in “corona beer virus” searches around late January 2020 and early February.


Other nonsensical search terms included “beer virus” and “beer coronavirus.”

Data shows that Denmark and Cambodia were the top two regions for this unusual search.

Whether it’s an advanced Scandinavian country or a developing Asian nation, the panic struck people’s hearts everywhere from the east to the west.

How Did the “Corona” Virus and “Corona” Beer Get Their Names?

Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash

Simply put, the word corona means crown in Latin.

Since Corona beer is a Mexican lager, the name is influenced by the Latin language.

The marketing strategy behind the name might have been to make Corona beer consumers feel like a king or queen. Or maybe they wanted to position Corona beer as the king/queen of beers.

Now let’s move onto the virus. The coronavirus gets its name due to the spikes on its edges that make it look like a crown when viewed under a microscope.

Scientists have had a love affair with the Latin language for centuries. Several species of plants and animals have been named in Latin.

Heck, even us humans have a Latin name — homo sapiens — which, in Latin, means “wise man.” But are we all really wise?

Corona Beer Faced the Consequences, but What About Other Products?

There’s no doubt that Corona beer has had a rough patch, but some other industries seem to have hit the jackpot because of this whole situation.

Here in New Zealand, my friend bought two months of food supplies and a mask to protect himself from the virus. He stopped eating outside completely and limited his interactions with people.

This was my firsthand experience of the panic. That’s when I started doing more research on consumer behavior.

In China alone, 80 million masks were sold in just two days. And don’t even get me started on other countries. In New Zealand, when I went to a pharmacy, there was a massive whiteboard that read, “All Masks Are Sold. Please Don’t Ask.”

Imagine the stress the staff might have gone through when people came in and asked for a mask every five minutes. They finally had to put up a whiteboard because their jaws were tired of saying, “Sorry, we ran out of masks.”

It’s fair to assume that the sales of canned food and other food products with a long shelf life must have increased. I don’t have statistics to back it up — so it’s just an assumption.

Was There a Way to Prevent This Panic?

Yes. Education about the virus could have saved Corona beer from getting bad publicity.

And it should have been the responsibility of the decision-makers and marketing executives of the Corona beer brand — not the government.

A simple Facebook or Instagram ad might have been enough to bring the disrepute under control.

For example, I created the following ad using my copywriting skills.

Copywriting by Leo Saini

And the caption space could have been utilized to explain the nomenclature of Corona beer and the coronavirus. You know, the word corona means “crown” in Latin and all that jazz (as explained above).


When it comes to marketing, some factors are just out of any business’s control. The name “corona” turned out to be a disaster for the beer brand’s manufacturers and distributors.

However, a brand can always control its public image up to a certain extent. In events like these, spending money on advertising the fact that Corona beer has nothing to do with the virus might have seemed like an extra ad spend — but it was necessary!

Maybe it’s too late now, or maybe they can still reverse the mess and increase their sales. It’s hard to tell.

Did you ever think that the coronavirus is related to Corona beer? And how has the virus outbreak influenced your buying behavior? Frankly tell.

Next story — learn more about how the Coronavirus is affecting consumer behavior in other sectors and why Zuckerberg canceled a 5000-person conference due to the virus.