There’s been a lot of talk about adjusting to a “new normal” in the era of COVID-19. Amidst the pandemic that has altered our media usage, daily routines, and consumption habits, what will the future of advertising look like? A Nielsen panel addressed that question and offered strategies to help advertisers ensure success in a webinar titled “Adapting Advertising to a New Normal: Insights, Trends & the Path Forward During COVID-19.”
Panelist David Hohman, EVP and Managing Director of Agency and Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen noted that COVID-19 is “driving consumers to try new activities and adapt to technology at a faster rate than before.” While behaviors are shifting and emerging, however, Hohman said we don’t know yet “which behaviors are here to stay.”
According to the webinar, consumers are altering the ways in which they purchase goods and services (22% percent of Nielsen survey respondents said they purchased groceries online for the first time and 35% ordered takeout for the first time). Consumers are also more open to trying new brands. Twelve percent of consumers said they are taking the opportunity to discover new brands; 19% say they’re less brand loyal; and 21% say they’re purchasing a mix of usual and new brands.
So how can brands best position themselves during a time when consumers are willing to branch out? One strategy for messaging effectively in the “new normal” is to simply continue with messaging that worked in the past.
According to Inside Radio, a study by ad testing and tracking firm System1 retested 100 ads and compared results to their previous “pre-virus” scores. The study found “no reduction in advertising’s ability to connect with people.”
“Brands can most likely continue with their pre-COVID advertising,” concluded Orlando Wood, Chief Innovation Officer at System1.
Instead of calling attention to a “new normal,” messaging that foregoes mention of our current reality and offers an actual semblance of normalcy will appeal to the strongest desire underlying most consumers’ wants and needs: the desire for a true normal.