DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions
Author: Igor Černiševski, Head of Digital, DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions
We have been talking on daily basis on the increased consumption of digital media, the skyrocketing volume of visitors of domestic web portals and the booming social networks. We have to find a way to use such consumption levels to our advantage We must reexamine each segment of our business and try to provide an answer to the question where and how we are helping our users at a time when everyone is isolated and scared. We must be ready to change our products or services, so as to be at the service our users in these difficult times. And we should also talk about it. You are wondering why?
What needs to be an indicator for us as to what to do is a research done by the AAAA (American Advertising Agency Association), which shows that as many as 56% of consumers want to hear how brands are helping the community in this moment. At the same time, up to 43% of consumers react positively to the communication of brands that they know and trust. Meanwhile, merely 15% of consumers are disinterested in brand communication in this situation. Furthermore, according to Ace Metrix, 42% of users do not have any problem whatsoever with using the Coronavirus in advertisements, while 44% say that this depends on the brand or message communicated by the advertisement. A good example of using the current situation in advertising is the Guiness video for St.Patricks Day
Or Ford’s campaign
One needs not be a rocket scientist to understand who will profit in such a situation. All companies that are able to offer their customers products and services that do not require going to the store will have a decisive edge. Maybe this is the moment for E-commerce in Serbia to reach its full potential, for people to get accustomed to ordering and buying online and for the banking market to enable new ways of remote payment. We are witnessing how international giants are adapting to the new situation. Amazon has announced it will hire an additional 100.000 personnel in warehousing and delivery, in order to prepare for an increase if its online business. Netflix will double its planned growth this year. We have the opportunity to see fantastic campaigns by brands such as McDonalds, Coca Cola and Burger King, which have used the pandemic to put forward some creative solutions.
A particular challenge for us as an agency has been to adapt to working from home. In the meantime, we realized all together in the last ten days that there are quite a few great tools enabling us to be equally effective from our living room, as if we were sitting in our office: from standard tools such as MS Teams, Skype or Zoom, to the domestic favorite Active Collab, which has allowed everybody to use its services free of charge for 90 days. I am genuinely surprised by how quickly and smoothly our agency has adapted to working from home and I believe that a considerable chunk of the work is even easier to do in that way.
At the same time, while we made sure our team is safe, we didn’t stop caring about our clients and their needs. Especially in terms of brand safety requirements. We had to adapt the existing procedures and tools to the new situation, in which we also have to take into consideration the needs of clients that require the placement of their advertisements in content that is unrelated to the Coronavirus. This has proven to be quite a challenge, since the bulk of the content is directly or indirectly about the virus – on virtually every website and in all categories. We have managed to satisfy this requirement by disabling the FB Audience Network, creating and implementing lists of negative key words and topics on Google Ads and by specifically filtering the pages on domestic publishers. In a nutshell, not only have we completely isolated our team, but we are able to offer our clients a complete isolation of their advertisement from the Coronavirus, in accordance with government recommendations.
Nonetheless, I have to emphasize here that I believe that the appearance of brands in the scope of Coronavirus related content is essentially not problematic, for several reasons. Firstly, the bulk of content that is consumed today is precisely from that category and for that reason, I believe that consumers do not necessarily see it as problematic, as shown by the statistics referred to in the second paragraph. Secondly, such content is consumed with the greatest attention and it is precisely these pages that occupy the most of the consumer’s time, which, in turn, guarantees a greater visibility of the ad and therefore better campaign performance. Thirdly, by placing an advertisement in such content, we help the publishers to create relevant content and provide the right information about the virus, which is invaluable. You may read more about this topic in a text by David Cohen, the President of IAB USA.
Finally, this situation will unavoidably change the market for good. Starting from the fact that brands will have to understand the benefit of omnipresence in the media, through improving and transforming products and services, to companies realizing that remote work is a real possibility.
This is not the first crisis we face and therefore I believe we will get out of it stronger.