Since the world went into lockdown in April 2020 due to COVID-19, advertisers have scrambled to re-design their ads. Many are unsure about the best way to approach the 'new normal' and what content & tone is appropriate for the time.
Should we be earnest? Should we say that we care? Do we lead with just brand messages or can we also talk about our products? Is it OK to use humour?
To provide insights and direction to our clients, Luma conducted a large qualitative and quantitative study to understand how people are feeling and what they expect from advertising now.
One of the key insights is that people all over the world are tired of the bad news, fear and feeling sad. They crave a sense of normality and want advertising to make them feel good.
Our COVID-19 study found that 88% of people agreed that they would like to see ads that make them laugh. We also saw a strong correlation between people who saw a funny ad and people who wanted to continue seeing funny ads. People who laugh, wanted to laugh again - they were feeling good.
We also retested some ads from the 2020 Super Bowl Study (pre-COVID control) to see how attitudes had changed. The insights we found from attention (cut-through), bonding (feelings), open-end (top-of-mind) and COVID specific questions, provided clear answers - people want to be amused and to feel good again.
Here are two key case studies that demonstrate the impact humour can have during this pandemic.
Jeep Groundhog Day
We found Jeep's borrowed humour continued to work well. If anything, the humour made the ad standout significantly more than it did pre-COVID.
Feb 2020: Attention 6.8 Humour 8.1
April 2020: Attention 7.2 Humour 8.1
This example was interesting because it demonstrated an important fact for advertising humour during a pandemic - the message still needs to be relevant.
Feb 20: Humour 7.9 Casting 8.2 Relevance 7.2 Persuasion 7.1
April 20: Humour 7.4 Casting 8.2 Relevance 6.5 Persuasion 6.6
People still found the ad funny and relate well to Anthony and his Mama. However, the message '5G works everywhere' is not relevant when people are staying home. This made the message less persuasive.
So, check your message is still relevant, but have some fun with your communications and be sure to leave your audience feeling good. In the long run we know that this will also make them feel good about your brand.
For more information, please get in touch with our team.