McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Audi, Volkswagen, and many other major brands are promoting social distancing through logo redesigns amid the coronavirus outbreak. But not all the efforts have been well received.
“Our current global situation is no joke. It’s a serious matter,” Douglas Sellers, executive creative director for firm Siegel+Gale told CNN Business. “And brands designing social distancing logos have the potential to diminish the severity of what we are going through. The creativity, passion, and thought that goes into wanting to help, educate, and be part of the physical distancing movement is a worthy note.”
Brian Braiker, the editor-in-chief of Ad Age, said the time has come for brands to help out the people they promote their products to.
“Understanding the situation, shutting up and doing something helpful is really the only way to go here. When you see brands like McDonald’s or Coca-Cola spacing out their logos in ‘solidarity,’ it strikes a sour note,” he told CNN Business.
Some brands have already stepped up. Luxury perfume makers Dior and Givenchy have begun making free hand sanitizer for French authorities. Nike is developing face masks for medical professionals and Gap is making face masks and gowns. The sports apparel brand hasn’t changed its logo, but it is promoting playing inside.
As for the logos, some interesting designs have been created to promote social distancing. McDonald’s Brazil has split up the golden arches on its Facebook page—now deleted after backlash. Coca-Cola has separated the letter in its name in an ad running in Times Square. Audi and Volkswagen have also split their logos apart.
The coronavirus outbreak has lead to more than 570,000 cases and 26,000 deaths across the globe. In New York, which has the most cases in the U.S., the number of cases and deaths keep rising. Additionally, more than 300 police officers in the city have been infected with the virus.
Social distancing guidelines continue to get more restrictive as more people are infected. Due to the quarantine restrictions and business closures, more than 3 million people have filed for unemployment benefits, most of which are low wage workers.