Why Advertise During a Pandemic

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    2020 is not turning out to be the year we all thought it was going to be.  As of April 16, Americans in at least 42 states have been urged to stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Schools, restaurants and a range of nonessential businesses have been closed. It may seem like this is the time to pause your business’ advertising, as well.  A blog post from a media buying agency about why to advertise during a pandemic may raise some eyebrows. However, we think it is more important than ever to maintain your company’s share of voice.

    You Can Reach More People Than Ever

    While people are not out leisurely shopping, they are listening to and watching more content than they were before. According to LMP, every available data set confirms that more households are watching TV.  And, the amount of TV people are watching is increasing, as well. Local TV viewing has grown substantially in the coveted 18 to 34 year old market. Video on Demand has also seen significant increases.  Digital content consumption is also up, with internet users reporting they are watching more shows and films on streaming services and spending more time on social media and messenger services.

    You Can Affordably Increase Share of Voice

    While TV viewing is up significantly, industry data indicates that ad spending overall is down. iSpot found that ad spending across all industries dropped by 9.5%. Some industries saw much larger drops, with travel advertising spending dropping by 80% and restaurant advertising spending dropping by 25%.

    This is good news for anyone who is continuing to put out new ads. It means that the brands who are not afraid to spend are getting more for their money than ever before. Not only are they likely to find agreeable ad rates; fewer of their competitors will be in front of the audience.

    What Content Works Now

    In these times, successful brands are acknowledging the reality of COVID-19 and stay at home orders. Consumers don’t think brands should stop advertising at this time, but they should re-examine their strategies and their messaging.

    Brands selling essential services can remind customers that their products are there for them. In industries that are experiencing a pause, remind your customers that you wish them well and will be happy to see them back when you are able.  The key here is to update your messaging to acknowledge what’s going on right now, be sensitive and use humor sparingly.

    However, the most important thing is that you work now to maintain the valuable relationships you have spent years building. By reaching out to the audience at home, you can help preserve a sense of normalcy, strengthen relationships and help secure the future of your brand.

    What’s Next

    TEC Direct Media staff are working from home during the current stay at home order, watching media consumption trends and working with our vendors to bring unique media opportunities to our music/entertainment and emerging brands clients that work well in the short term.  None of us knows exactly how this will continue to play out over the next few months so we’re taking it one day at a time.

    We’re sending out updates to our email list as we get them, so contact us or sign up for those media insights emails in the footer of this page if you’re not already receiving them.  We’ve also created a resource for our music clients to help them understand what media their specific target is consuming.

    If you’re trying to figure out what’s best for your business and want to throw around some ideas, we’re here to chat via phone, zoom, or email.  Contact us — we’d love the social interaction!


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    We plan and buy media for agencies, brands, and artists so they can generate awareness, acquire new customers and drive sales.  As a top media agency in Chicago, we use media, and the data derived from it, as the power vehicles delivering great messages to audiences that want to discover, advocate for and purchase your product or service.

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