The human effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been felt in every corner of the globe. Now, as the infection rate curbs, many countries have begun to return to normal life. Our ongoing COVID-19 research in the US, UK and Australia shows that people are starting to feel more hopeful about the future as the restrictions are lifted.
So how does this affect advertising and how brands respond?
In the depths of the pandemic, consumers were feeling anxious and wanted brands to connect with their struggles, and provide their support. They wanted reassurance that help was available if they needed it and they were looking for ways to connect with their community.
However, this has started to change. As the paranoia eases, consumers show a more positive mindset and now are looking for brands to provide inspiring messages about the road out.
To better understand this, we evaluated the response to two new COVID-19 related ads. Nike 'Never too far down' is a motivational ad that celebrates the end of the pandemic, while home insurance provider LV's 'Love LV Insurance' ad empathises with the daily life of people in isolation.
The scores listed below are some of our key effectiveness and diagnostic metrics and are all benchmarked against World Class Effective Ads. Attention refers to the cut-through capacity of the ad, while Bonding is how the ad leaves people feeling about the brand. The Effectiveness Benchmark is 6.
Nike 'Never Too Far Down'
While it’s ostensibly about sport, the metaphor of a 'come back' is positive and inspiring. Nike is the master of motivation. The ad is highly emotive and uses celebrity sports stars to emphasise the point. This ad is about looking forward and the message resonates strongly at this time.
LV 'Love LV Home Insurance'
Using quite a different approach, this ad features all the appropriate considerations of COVID-19 and takes a positive and reassuring tone. It is about the present, but it is perceived as the 'same old thing' and is less engaging.
These two ads illustrate the pattern we are seeing with our communications research. Ads that are more forward looking score significantly higher in both cut-through (attention), as well as a strong increase in feelings (bonding).
The Nike message is also far more relevant to the current mood. People are feeling more optimistic, and this also helps drive empathy. Additionally, the ad is seen as refreshing and original - a key consideration for advertisers now with people starting to tire of COVID-19 ads.
Before developing your next campaign, consider your message. Is it forward looking & optimistic? Viewers are looking to brands for inspiration and support. Today is all about taking the next step on the road out.
Stay tuned for more insights. See more blogs and insights on our website.