Dos and don’ts of advertising during COVID-19

New research has found advertising during the coronavirus crisis needs to be sensitive and genuine to resonate with consumers

Half of Australians (51 per cent) say it's okay for brands to continue advertising during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to research conducted by Dynata. And when asked which messages resonate most, almost half (47 per cent) said ads communicating how a brand is contributing to the needs of the crisis were among the most appealing. 

For those brands that do advertise, they should be mindful about acknowledging the pandemic, with 41 per cent of those surveyed saying they prefer ads that recognise the current crisis. Dynata Asia-Pacific MD, James Burge, told CMO while Australians don’t mind brands advertising during the pandemic, it’s important to consider how messaging will resonate with consumers. 

“The research showed brands need to acknowledge the current crisis, with those failing to do so proving unpopular locally, so it’s imperative to proceed with some caution,” said Burge.

In terms of content, the survey found over one-third of Australians surveyed (39 per cent) believe advertisements should acknowledge the pandemic. When asked which messages resonate most during the pandemic, almost half of Australians surveyed said ads communicating how a brand is contributing to the needs of the crisis were among the most appealing.

“Brands should also consider how their actions and messaging convey direct support for consumers and the communities where they live and work, which when done well could produce lasting positive effects on consumer loyalty,” Burge explained.

The Dynata findings echo a similar report undertaken by Qualtrics in May, which showed consumers looking for informative, practical messaging from brands.

Dynata's research was conducted in the US, UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Australia between 28 April and 8 May, with a total of 9699 surveys and approximately 1200 per country.

The report also found one-third of Australians believe brands with non-pandemic related products and services should not be advertising during this time. 

Ads that communicated how a brand’s products and services were still relevant during the pandemic also were rated as popular, with 44 per cent of Australians surveyed finding ads of this nature appealing. However, brands should err on the side of caution, as almost a quarter of Australians  said that ads that did not adjust their messaging were unappealing.

More than ever there’s a role for pre-testing creative and messaging if we want to ensure that Australians are receptive to our messages and advertising in the current climate and not interpreted negatively or seen as taking advantage of the pandemic,” he continued.

It’s not just advertising content that needs to be sensitive to the themes of the pandemic, according to the Dynata research. It also found images of people close together in ads, while many of are still social-distancing, can be a turn off, with almost one-third agreeing they don’t like seeing this.

Brand loyalty is another important component of pandemic advertising, the research indicates. Consumers surveyed say they will be more loyal to a brand once the pandemic is over if the brand continues to pay employees who are no longer able to work, with over half of Australians (54 per cent) responding they will be somewhat or much more loyal to brands that do so. And almost one-third of Australians say that their loyalty would be negatively impacted for brands that take no social action during the pandemic.

However, despite the positive sentiment around advertising during the crisis, there is also a significant risk from the perception of opportunism. The survey found almost half (44 per cent) agree that companies are taking advantage of the pandemic.

Burge said its data shows that 44 per cent of those surveyed agree companies are taking advantage of the pandemic. “Messaging should be considered carefully and focus on how brands are contributing,” he added. 

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

Nice blog!Blog is really informative , valuable.keep updating us with such amazing blogs.influencer agency in Melbourne

Rajat Kumar

Why flipping Status Quo Bias is the key to B2B marketing success

Read more

good this information are very helpful for millions of peoples customer loyalty Consultant is an important part of every business.

Tom Devid

Report: 4 ways to generate customer loyalty

Read more

Great post, thanks for sharing such a informative content.

CodeWare Limited

APAC software company brings on first VP of growth

Read more

This article highlights Gartner’s latest digital experience platforms report and how they are influencing content operations ecosystems. ...

vikram Roy

Gartner 2022 Digital Experience Platforms reveals leading vendor players

Read more

What about this one FormDesigner.pro? I think it's a great platform providing a lot of options, you can collect different data and work w...

Salvador Lopez

Gartner highlights four content marketing platform players as leaders

Read more

Blog Posts

​Why we need to look at the whole brand puzzle, not just play with the pieces

Creating meaningful brands should be a holistic and considered process. However, all too frequently it’s one that is disparate and reactive, where one objective is prioritized at the expense of all others. So, what are the key pieces to the ‘good’ brand puzzle?

Marketing overseas? 4 ways to make your message stick

Companies encounter a variety of challenges when it comes to marketing overseas. Marketing departments often don’t know much about the business and cultural context of the international audiences they are trying to reach. Sometimes they are also unsure about what kind of marketing they should be doing.

Cynthia Dearin

Author, business strategist, advisor

From unconscious to reflective: What level of data user are you?

Using data is a hot topic right now. Leaders are realising data can no longer just be the responsibility of dedicated analysts or staff with ‘data’ in their title or role description.

Dr Selena Fisk

Data expert, author

Sign in