CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” program on Friday spent much of its time, along with many other news programs, on the coronavirus outbreak and the thousands of isolated people on the Grand Princess cruise ship near California. During the advertising break, one point stood out: an optimistic ad from competitor Norwegian Cruise Line. This was one of many bizarre advertisements in which companies sought to reach nervous customers while protecting their brands from the collateral damage of the growing coronavirus epidemic. Norwegian, which declined to comment, paid nearly $ 10 million for digital advertising on Facebook, Wayfair, Expedia, and other sites this year, compared with $ 2.4 million in the same period last year. According to Pathmatics’ ad analytics platform, visitors like Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Viking Cruises have also increased their advertising spend.