Consumers Want TV Ads About Companies Supporting Staffs

Consumers expect brands to continue to advertise during the Coronavirus, a new study found.

Unruly, part of ad technology company Tremor International, fielded a global survey of 2,638 asking them about how their viewing habits have changed and their preferences about advertising.

The survey found that in the U.S. consumers were spending much more time with their mobile phones and connected TVs.

In the U.S. only 2% said they thought that brands should pause all their advertising, but the respondents offered several suggestions for what kinds of messages they wanted to see from brands.

The top suggestion, offered by 22% of respondents was that brands should share how they are supporting staff and customers, which makes sense with unemployment surging and stories about cuts and pay and hours making consumers nervous.

Another large group--21%--wants brands to provide informative messages about COVID 19. Only 7% said they didn’t think brands should send out content related to the pandemic.

Consumers also want ads to help them through the day, with 17% saying they want advertisers to create funny or positive content to distract from what’s going on, and another 17% see the presence of ads providing a sense of continuity and normality.

A smaller group wants brands to share how they are supporting good causes.

Overall, consumers want ads to make them feel informed (49%), warm, happy (37%) inspired (33%) and amused (18%).

“The pandemic has resulted in rapid, unprecedented changes in consumer behaviors and their preferences,” said Terence Scroope, VP of Insight at Unruly. “The vast majority of consumers still want to see ads, but the key to success is in the content and the way a message is conveyed. The magnitude of these changes require brands to be nimble in adapting their advertising strategies to maintain and grow connections with consumers, provide support and minimize disruption to performance.”

The survey also found that 47% of consumers have increased their spending on home entertainment. Only 22% of consumers are watching sports, while 59% are watching comedy.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.