What is the right way to advertise in times of crisis? What changes compared to normal times? What must be said, and how? What kind of stories have to be told, so as to connect to a worried consumer? The presentation addresses these questions by a semiotic desk analysis of messages advertised in Western media from December 2008 to June 2009; that is, in a time of persistingrecession in all developed nations. The concluding remarks offer several pragmatic indications to optimize brand communication in an adverse economic climate.