DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions
Author: Marija Ilić, Account Director, DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions
In a time of uncertainty in many aspects, some things remain certain: the DM team, while working at home, has been monitoring closely the impact of all developments on the business operations of our partners. Let’s start from the second certainty. The fact is that the Coronavirus outbreak and its further expansion will impact, to a certain extent, the level of media investments. We do not doubt, however, that it will also bring a new and improved perspective on advertising and brand communication. Due to changed consumer habits, the currently unstable global and local economy, the opportunities (or lack thereof) for export or import, the availability of internal raw material and product stocks and the like, the forecast for the remainder of 2020 remains unclear. Regardless of that, our team is able to produce a breakdown of the current advertising situation and recommendations for further brand communication.
What happens with the campaigns?
For the time being, the majority of advertisers are still weighing their resources and adapting to the new situation; one can observe a very low level of campaign cancellation and postponement, which are primarily the outcome of changes in product stocks, as well as cancellations of sports and cultural events. What is certain is that in certain categories, such as the catering industry and tourism in general, airline travel, sports betting and similar industries, campaigns will be postponed and delayed for the second part of the year. The expectations are that the restrictions of movement and organization of large gatherings will impact the most OOH and radio advertising, indoor advertising and advertising in movie theatres.
New consumer behaviors
Since the consumers are spending more time at home, the ratings of TV and website traffic are on the rise. Time spent watching TV per total population on Sunday exceeded 7 hours. The ratings of news programs, as well as educational and children content, films and TV series are up, while sports programs have plummeted due to the mass cancellation of sports events. For the time being, no dramatic changes to programme schedules have been announced. Relative to early March, online content consumption has been on the rise as expected and hence website traffic is up by about 60%, the number of user visits by around 20% and the rise of the number of pages opened by around 30%.
What is noticeable is that marketing teams and agencies have been adapting to the “new normality”. Some brands have redirected their communication to their online services and products – from banks to the whole retail sector (fashion, FMCG, technical devices…), while providing commercial incentives for onboarding on new platforms.
Furthermore, brands are striving to contribute to society and make the most of their market position to be useful to the consumers, which means that they remain visible, while sending a message of support in a time of crisis; they are working on educating the consumers about hygiene and measures for preventing the Coronavirus outbreak; tech companies and media owners have unlocked certain services free of charge enabling people to spend quality time at home. FMCG brands adapt their communication to new product consumption habits and encourage the audience to stay at home.
Now is the time for brands to act as good corporate citizens, which means be responsible, provide support and help. It’s time for good deeds.