It should come as no surprise, that thanks to lockdown, things have changed a little bit. Besides the obvious – people having to stay at home, social distance and wear masks, one of the big difference is the impact that it has had on media consumption (for more information on this you can check out Magid: Media Consumption COVID-19 here). Consumers are spending more time on different media because of the novel coronavirus, and this is set to continue after the outbreak.
Online video content, including YouTube and TikTok, show the strongest staying power, with things like streaming music also becoming incredibly popular. This shift in consumer habits and behaviour offers brands an opportunity to create new customer relationships, particularly if they emphasise health and safety and online commerce. Luxury brands might suffer though, due to consumers limiting their spending post-outbreak. So, what else has changed though? Let’s find out…
TV is Central
You will probably have been able to guess, but TV is pretty much a part of people’s lives. It is an easy way for consumers to seek information, as well as be entertained during lockdown. The most popular form of TV though, is linear TV. This was popular before lockdown so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, this trend is most apparent in France where 72% of adults are consuming more media on screens before the pandemic, followed by the UK at 68% and Germany at 58%.
Second to linear TV, is catch-up TV. This is the second most popular choice and is something that a lot people can use with ease. However, this is something which the older generation will use, as the younger generation might prefer using alternative platforms. This can be through things like paid streaming services, catch-up TV, broadcast TV and online free videos. As you can see though, TV is still a central part to people’s lives. They just might use it a bit more than before lockdown started.
Mention Covid-19 but Only if You Mean it
If you are thinking of using the media resources available to you, then you need to decide if you are going to mention coronavirus or not. This is a dilemma that many brands will have faced as consumer opinion varies significantly across different markets. For example, UK consumers are most receptive to messaging that relates to the current situation, with nearly three quarters believing it is necessary for brands to address the pandemic in their advertising.
Whereas, if you compare them to Germany, their opinion is split in half (nearly), 49% believe it to be unnecessary for brands to reference current content. This is why it is understandable that the decision might hard to make. However, what is clear is that most consumers believe that if they are going to see ad messaging tailored to the current situation, then brand should do so only if they are authentically committed to fighting the consequences.
Whilst many people want to stay informed about the current situation, you will find that they also need help in staying positive. It’s all good knowing how we can protect ourselves and where the world is currently at, but obviously all this negativity can create a load of stress for people. So having a positive mindset is important as it can help people cope better with their daily life. This is something which brands should be aiming to help with.
Many people will probably invest in new subscriptions to things like Netflix and Disney+ to help them feel more positive in their isolation. Interestingly, TV shows and films that are about pandemics have become increasingly popular since this all started. However, the point is though, that regardless of what content is being consumed, every generation is relying on their devices to help them stay informed during this pandemic, so you should use this to your advantage. If you are a business then things like video marketing could be a big help, since more people are spending their time online.