finger pressing off button on TV remote Source: Shutterstock

For many of us, more time at home has meant more time in front of the TV, and the privilege of witnessing the first wave of pandemic-era commercials. These past two months, they have fallen into one of two categories – before COVID-19, when it was normal to crowd a ton of people into a room to shoot a beer commercial, and after, when producers had to begin leveraging stock footage and voiceovers to create spots that acknowledge the current crisis in some way. The people behind major brands no doubt felt pressure to rethink their campaigns fast, because it didn’t take long for the pre-COVID commercials, which may show the no-longer-acceptable handshake greeting, for example, to become irrelevant or even offensive in viewers’ eyes.

The first pandemic-era commercials to hit cable channels in my region were from car manufacturers and fast food chains. The message to consumers was simple: We’re making it easy for you to keep doing business with us without coming into contact with people and therefore putting yourself at risk of catching the virus. Although a more realistic thought behind them might be: This is going to be the worst year of sales in our company’s history, and we’re freaking out. So please, please spend some money to help save us, even though you’re probably unemployed.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has been immersed in the credit union industry for over a decade. She first joined CU Times in 2011 as a freelance writer, and following a two-year hiatus from 2013-2015, during which time she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union), she re-joined the CU Times team full-time as managing editor. She was promoted to executive editor in 2019. In the earlier days of her career, Chilingerian focused on news and lifestyle journalism, serving as a writer and editor for numerous regional publications in Oregon, Louisiana, South Carolina and the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, she holds experience in marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space. At CU Times, she covers People and Community news, cybersecurity, fintech partnerships, marketing, workplace culture, leadership, DEI, branch strategies, digital banking and more. She currently works remotely and splits her time between Southern California and Portland, Ore.

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