by Cristine Torek

March 23, 2020

With the ever-changing status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many of us are still navigating our temporary new “normal”. While several companies and organizations are taking a conservative approach by scaling back on certain operations, others continue aggressively push their advertising—and rightly so.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to advertising strategy in this new COVID-19 era, there is strategy, and for those that are taking advantage, they are benefitting. Here are the top three trends we are seeing today:

  1. More people are on the internet. Sources say publishers have seen a nearly 60% surge in traffic across mobile and web. There is an obvious spike in traffic to news sites and platforms using terms related to COVID-19.
  2. Television viewership is up. Four top broadcast networks totaled 18.1 million Nielsen-measure viewers versus 16.9 million viewers the week prior. This is particularly interesting, as many viewers are “cutting the cord” and moving to internet-based television as opposed to traditional cable.
  3. People are spending a lot of time on social media. This is where many brands can make the biggest impact during this time. There are larger audiences, with the same or fewer brands targeting them.

What’s causing this trend? Simply put, more people are spending time at home, which translates to more screen time and more eyeballs on advertising content. Right now, it is much easier to grab the attention of an audience who is more than likely glued to the screen of a phone, computer or television.

As advertising experts, it has been an interesting few weeks trying to help clients navigate their communication and advertising strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic. While there is no timetable as to how long this will impact the country, we have seen some clients and companies shift messaging, while others double down on their advertising strategies to take advantage of their newly captive audience.

But, is it inappropriate to push your advertising during a time like this? As my colleague Nicolle Huffman points out, all of this depends. One thing we know for certain though, is that more people are paying attention.

So, what can you do now? We say now is the time to assess your strategy. You should also consider:

  • As a company, is now the time to switch up your approach?
  • Is now a good time to advertise something unrelated to COVID-19?
  • How do you decide what is appropriate to push out?

So, what does this mean for you and your organization? What kind of advertising is useful right now? It’s a delicate balance—let’s talk through it. Drop us a line and we can walk through how to use these numbers to your advantage.