There’s no rulebook when it comes to advertising during a global pandemic, but that doesn’t mean anything goes. It’s a crucial time to be listening to your customers wants and needs, while adjusting your strategy and finding new ways to serve them. Brands also have to find the balance between staying too quiet or risk appearing that they are solely focused on commercial benefit.
That said, how do people feel about receiving advertisements during COVID-19? Is now an okay time to launch a campaign? In a recent study by Global Web Index, researchers found that 7 in 10 approve of advertising linked to the crisis. However, only half of consumers want brands to continue to advertise as normal. Here are some of the key findings from the report that can help guide brands when determining how to make their next move.
52% approve of running campaigns as usual
When it comes to brands running “normal” advertising campaigns that are not related to coronavirus, 52% of those surveyed approve, with 17% strongly approving and 20% expressing disapproval. However, only 37% of consumers took action to express that they want brands to continue to advertise as normal.
89% approve of brands providing helpful information
The highest approval ratings of all come for brands providing practical information / tips which help people to deal with the situation – close to 90% support this. Similarly, there are also high approval ratings for brands running campaigns which show how they are responding to coronavirus or helping customers, as well as for contacting customers to let them know how they are responding to the pandemic.
75% approve of brands running promotions
People are most in favor of brands responding to the outbreak by running promotions, giving offers or loyalty perks for customers, with 44% who strongly approve and 32% who somewhat approve. Only 5% of people surveyed expressed any disapproval.
77% approve of funny/light-hearted content
People are looking for ways to find positivity during these times, so it’s no surprise that a majority of people are happy to see lighthearted and funny content from brands. Creating a personal connection has far more power than any type of sales-speak. It’s about understanding the consumer mind-set.
“Feel-good content that alleviates anxiety and promotes positive messaging will go a long way to enhancing the brand. However, companies need to show that their contributions are material and not solely for commercial benefit,” explained Harvard Business Review in a recent article.
In these moments, no business has all the answers. But we can do our best to create a positive impact by reaching our customers with empathy and understanding. Based on these approval rates, it’s safe to say that brands have an opportunity to show customers that they care – whether that’s by sharing helpful tips, offering discounts or creating uplifting content.