“The misconception seems to be that people are no longer going shopping and so advertising won’t help brands convert sales.”
The advertising industry is taking a hard hit by the corona crisis. Publishing houses rely on print and online advertisements for as much as half of their revenue, while TV and radio stations depend almost entirely on their marketers. Advertising agencies are more equipped than most industries to accommodate their employees working from home. But the problem is that companies are slicing their advertising budgets and agencies are feeling the blow.
According to a survey by the German Association of Communication Agencies, more than 80 percent of all advertising agencies reported canceled or postponed projects. The misconception seems to be that people are no longer going shopping and so advertising won’t help brands convert sales. Is this really true? In recent weeks, people have been flooding the supermarkets and purchasing even more than strictly necessary. But even more important than this short-term effect: Advertising shouldn’t be understood as only ‘sales promotion’. It is about a brand building long-term trust and loyalty with consumers. Of course, this will naturally increase sales over time as consumers will choose brands they have come to know and love. There will be a time after the crisis…
Some companies are using this time to get creative and adjust their campaigns instead of canceling them. Ford in the U.S, for example, has released a new campaign to keep up with the current situation. They advertise a car payment relief program for everyone currently paying off a Ford, showing solidarity with their consumers as budgets tighten. This is a strong message for not only current Ford owners, but also for individuals planning on buying a car in the near future. Mercedes-Benz and many more have done something similar, rolling out new TV commercials with a clear message for viewers to #stayhome.
The key idea here is, don’t cancel your campaign – adapt it. Get to know your consumers all over again. Share a message that is relevant now. The consumer personas we knew at the beginning of the year are no longer the same, their lifestyles and habits have changed. Take the time to reimagine consumer engagement and use this opportunity to make an impact that will last longer than lockdown. The criteria for meaningful content has definitely changed. More value is being placed on humour, unity, ideas for creativity and ways to connect. For example, here are some famous logos reimagined in a time of #socialdistancing:
At Vision1, we’ve taken this opportunity to get creative with our own logo and we have envisioned new, relevant messages for our eyewear. What statement is your brand making?