Advertising Best Practice During the COVID-19 Outbreak

It’s OK to advertise

Firstly, we would like all of our clients and partners to know that On Device Research is working from home and our systems and services are working as normal.

At this incredibly difficult time, the most important thing is everyone’s health and wellbeing. It may sometimes feel futile to be writing about advertising effectiveness, however, it is our job to help our clients and partners navigate this new environment.

In order to try and understand how advertisers should operate during this crisis, we asked 1000 consumers about their attitudes towards advertising this past weekend. The results help guide and provide tips as to the best way for brands to communicate:

1. It’s OK to advertise

Consumers don’t mind being advertised to, as long as it is done appropriately. We asked if people were happy to be advertised to if it was done sensitively. 69% agreed and only 6% disagreed. In short, it’s ok to advertise, as long as you have the current circumstances in mind.



2. Get the message right

This means getting the appropriate message across. 68% of consumers believe that ad messaging needs to be tailored to the current situation.



When asked what brands should do, consumers believed that they should improve access to their goods and services, introduce flexible payment services, and give practical advice.



People and brands make their reputations when times are tough. How is your brand going to help consumers get through this crisis? If you get it right, you will potentially be loved forever.

We also asked some free text questions about good examples of what brands are doing well during the crisis. It’s a treasure trove of information. Please get in touch if you would like to see it.

3. Some industries should go dark for the time being

It is also some time for introspection and for brands to recognise their place in the current consumer mindset. There are some organisations with a more natural license to advertise - consumers are expecting ads from the government, food and drinks companies, pharmaceutical companies and online retailers for example. But, conversely, this doesn’t feel like the right time for airlines and car manufacturers to advertise, at least in the traditional way. These industries must pause for now, or look to different ways to talk, help and engage with consumers.



4. There is a lot of online advertising inventory available

There is a huge increase in mobile internet usage with people now spending more time on their phones than ever. Our research shows that people are now on average spending an hour longer on their mobiles per day, with a third (34%) spending more than 6 hours a day on their phones in the last week.



These are incredibly difficult times and those in the media and advertising industry are suffering, but there is scope for brands to come through this and build brand equity if they get it right. Good luck.

To find out if you are getting it right, you might want to consider measuring effectiveness. Please get in touch.

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