Should we adjust our advertising in times of the Corona crisis?

DVJ Insights
on 07/04/2019

Based upon our own research we have found that consumers think that advertisers should advertise less and change their communication based upon Corona. Many advertisers responded and use the current COVID-19 situation to address a current need or show sympathy towards society. In order to get the full picture DVJ tested over 100 TV commercials and online video ads in three markets (the UK, the Netherlands and Germany) that addresses the Corona situation. The results show that ads that were used in the past still work well. Addressing the Corona situation is difficult and only a few advertisers were able to generate more impact. Most advertisers did not!

Why was the research conducted?

More than 2/3 of the consumers think advertisers should change their advertising. In the UK this is even higher than in the other markets. If we ask people what advertisers should do, consumers believe that advertisers should advertise less: “be modest and do not draw too much attention to yourselves”. This is exactly the recommendation of Mark Ritson in his latest webinar on how brands should deal with the COVID-19 situation. To get the full picture, we tested over 100 TV commercials and online video ads in three markets to understand the drivers for success behind advertising during crisis time.

How was the research conducted?

DVJ has tested over 100 different ads in 3 markets (the UK, the Netherlands and Germany) to better understand the dynamics behind advertising during crisis times. DVJ’s test model consists of a unique combination of behaviour registration with implicit and explicit question techniques which makes it possible to look at different ad dimensions. In this article, we have selected a few KPI’s that are important for understanding the impact of corona ads better, namely: willingness to watch, impact of the ad, and ad diagnostics.

What are the key findings of the research?

The results show that using the momentum could be a way to generate more attention and become more relevant. However, the impact on the brand is not necessarily better, because a lot of advertisers are not able to link the corona content well enough to the existing memory structures. We can conclude that the possibilities or opportunities are there, but most advertisers are not able to use them in the best possible way. If you use the corona situation, you should find a way to build on the memory structures that consumers already have. If you don’t, you will waste a lot of money and generate no impact at all.

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