We've written quite consistently about the benefits of maintaining ad spend during a crisis which you can refer to here and here. While this is good for advertisers to bear in mind, it's also important to ask; what does the consumer want?
In a recent article from Media in Canada that pulls from a Corus survey issued to just over 1,000 Canadians, results indicate that only one-fifth of Canadians want brands to stop advertising entirely:
Only 18% of respondents say they want brands to stop advertising
56% of respondents want to see messages about how brands are helping during the crisis
50% of respondents want brands to tell them how they can still access the company's products
Additionally, as it relates to media and content consumed, 48% say they're looking for reflections of “normal life,” while an additional 29% say they'd like to see reflections of normal life.
In a recent webinar hosted by LiveRamp titled “Smarter Spending in a Challenging Economy”, Laura Desmond, Founder and CEO at Eagle Vista Partners brought home the message that consumers are quick to pick up on trends and changes and they “vote with their dollar.” Knowing your customers; why they buy, what motivates them and why your brand is meeting their needs, is powerful information. In this climate, keeping track of what Canadians want and the messaging that they're looking for right now will be a key measure of success.
Horizon Media has conducted a study designed to explore consumer feelings towards brands and advertising during the pandemic. This article notes that despite being worried and anxious, Canadians still want to hear from brands, especially the ones that will help get them through the crisis in the most convenient way possible. These advertisers are generally healthcare facilities, grocery stores, online shopping, OTC medication, health + wellness products. This isn't to say that media buying is discouraged if your brand doesn't fall in this category, it just means that you may need to pivot your messaging. A great way to do this is to add a human element or put a face to the brand in these times of crisis.
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