Social Distancing During the Pandemic: A Semiotic Approach to Organizational Response through Commercial Branding

Siham Mousa Alhaider


Social distancing is one of the most practical and most widely emphasized non-pharmaceutical interventions recommended globally in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though its efficacy remains debatable, social distancing continues to be advocated as a strategy to “flatten the curve” by reducing individual infections. This study aims to decode the semiotics of COVID-19 pandemic from one side and to show how commercial branding transformations took place from another. Global organizations have aligned themselves with social distancing precautions by adapting their commercial branding for visual messaging. This study takes a semiotic approach to the commercial branding of companies that could transform their branding during the pandemic and those that did. The two questions addressed by the study are: (1) How did commercial branding transform during the COVID-19 pandemic, and (2) what semiotic codes are evident in these transformations? The findings show that organizational branding was separated or reworded or took a two-pronged approach (combining rewording and transformed images).

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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