If you have not heard of the World Health Organisation, they are a global agency who have the unenviable task of trying to prevent the entire world from dying. Their research has shown that since Coronavirus became a thing there has been an increase in searches along the lines of “corona beer virus” While this might just be from people searching for memes one thing is very clear between the 26th of January and the first of February there was a very real spike in searches for “beer virus” and “corona beer virus”.
SEMrush who monitor searches conducted its own keyboard analysis and discovered that there were three new terms in January 2020: coronavirus beer was used 22,200 times; corona beer virus was used in search 49,500 times; and beer coronavirus was used 390 times.
Interestingly the company also saw an increase in the number of legit searches for the Corona brand though. There were just 49,500 searches in December and this grew to a massive 201,000 searches in January. That’s more than a 400% increase.
The correlation between the two was described as “very strong” by a SEMrush representative. They suggested that the increase in interest could certainly be because of the virus with a similar name. To quote Billie Eilish, duh. She commented (the SEMrush rep, not Billie):
“There has never been such a huge spike in searches for Corona beer in the past four years as it happened in January 2020.”
SEMrush wasn’t the only company noticing the trend either. Brandwatch, a consumer intelligence company noted that “corona beer virus” has received 7,500 mentions since the start of January, whereas “beer coronavirus” has 100 mentions during the same period. Senior manager of communications at Brandwatch, Kellan Terry said:
“Interestingly enough, the massive spike on the 30th January of ‘corona beer virus’ was actually driven by the media, as news outlets reported on the increase in search results for the term. I think searches for terms like ‘corona beer virus’ are a mixture of people who truly have no idea what’s going on, and a good number of people looking to find and/or create a meme.”
The company reported that the amusing if a little insensitive, hashtag #CoronaBeerVirus has amassed more than one and a half million impressions since 2020 kicked off. A large part of that will be as Terry said, due to memes. Which in some ways is a positive for the Corona brand as it suggests that their beer is well recognised. It is also a sign that the younger, more internet-savvy generation tend to take scary things as a bit of a joke! The research showed that a lot of the posts containing this hashtag also contained the laughing Emoji!
Although Corona has yet to release any sort of comment on the connection, after all, why would they deliberately associate with a virus that is widely feared? However, the company did come under some criticism for a recent campaign which featured the tagline “coming ashore”. Some people are so sensitive! It is key to point out that there isn’t actually any relationship with the beer and the virus named novel coronavirus or Covid-19 for short. In fact, the name comes from the fact that the virus particles have crown-like spikes on them. The type of virus was discovered way back in 1960.
Interestingly the name Corona does actually mean crown in Spanish and maybe this name was chosen for the beer to promote a correlation between the beer and royalty? Which is surely a more welcome comparison than the one they currently find themselves lumbered with. This stands to reason as their packaging in many countries contains a crown on it.
The brand is tremendously popular but recent polls suggest that its popularity has recently and inexplicably dwindled. Is this because of the virus? Who knows?