The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for every industry around the globe but brands are in a tricky position. They know they can’t stop advertising if they want to reach their audiences but must also adapt to the changing environment.
Brand promotion might not seem like the best idea during this environment, it’s only natural that advertisers are concerned about brand safety but now more than ever, the industry needs to shift its ad targeting best practices. Spending time at home means there are more opportunities for people to see advertising/p>
So for brands that do decide to advertise, what’s the right way to do it?
A brand’s relationship with its customers is always important, but it has never been more critical than it is today. In circumstances like these – which are frightening, uncertain and rapidly changing – clarity and reassurance is demanded.
There are two ways brands can go in the crisis. The first is in practical help. Acts not ads. So we have seen this with Bacardi which is using distilleries to make hand sanitizer, Guinness which has pledged funds to bartenders, Essity which is in the process of switching some manufacturing to facemasks for health care workers. A focus on joy is another way to communicate. Brands have always had a hugely significant role to play in driving culture and this is ever more relevant in times of crisis. McDonald’s distancing the arches was genius, referring to the fast-food chain tweaking its logo in Brazil. OOH has always excelled at campaign creativity whether within formats, environments or creative concepts. You can read about this recommendation on our previous blog
Consider contextual circumstances
Over the course of the last five weeks, COVID-19 became the most widely read about topic across the globe. As you think about how context factors into targeting, it’s critical to consider brand suitability. The virus is impacting many aspects of our daily lives and journalists are writing about it across multiple dimensions from entertainment to food, sports, finance and more. Consumers reading this kind of content are actively engaged in making purchase decisions that will have a positive impact on their day-to-day lives.
Find opportunities in threats
Advanced contextual targeting involves semantic analysis capabilities that allow us to consider the key topics on each page with a high degree of granularity. Across industry verticals, brands can turn a threat into an opportunity and are providing new opportunities for brands to deliver efficient messaging to engaged consumers. Advertisers have the opportunity to do both by continuing to put ad dollars where they matter most—in credible news sources. We should not be so quick to eliminate uncomfortable or controversial topics, and instead consider if there is a use case for the right context. Right now, consumers are reading more news than ever. Audiences are out there, and they are paying attention, brands just need to find the right messaging to reach them.
It's not about you.
Today, social media is the best way of marketing your business, because you can directly connect with, learn from, help, and inspire your customers. People often use social media to post about themselves and their accomplishments--things they've done. Sure, you're proud, you want to share. But people want to know what you're doing for them. Focus squarely on your customers and what you're doing for them instead. That's what they care about. Otherwise, you're just contributing to the noise.
Assess the media channels
Stay-at-home behavior is influencing the way media is consumed across the world. Coupled with this change in consumer behavior, we have seen CPMs decrease as much as 5-10% when comparing February to March. Additionally, we’ve noticed an increase in the number of ad-buying opportunities. Most media planners and buyers would agree that Out-of-Home (OOH) is the oldest medium, yet many are unaware that it is also one of the most accurately measured and how this helps to the performance of an advertising campaign.
As the world changes, we will continue the conversation to provide you with the most timely recommendations. If you’re a brand marketer or retailer, evaluate your current out-of-home advertising spend, especially if you’re looking to create competitive advantage and take market share. Give us a call at 210-610-5012, contact us or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org we would love to talk about opportunities amid this crisis.
SOURCE: ADWEEK, CNBC, INC.COM