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Brands Should Continue Advertising During Coronavirus Crisis Says Kantar Report

The Kantar report advises brands to avoid pulling advertising and "going dark" to save money which will hurt brand awareness in the long term.

Kantar has released its “Covid-19 Barometer” that offers insight into consumer sentiment globally regarding the Coronavirus pandemic. For the report, Kantar surveyed more than 25,000 consumers across 30 markets to gauge how marketers should engage with their audiences.

The survey found that 77 percent of consumers want brands to inform the public about their efforts to combat the Coronavirus crisis, adding that they are now choosing brands that make their employees a top priority – with 62 percent calling on companies to make flexible working arrangements for their staff and 78 percent urging they take care of employees health.

Only 8 percent of respondents said that brands should stop advertising.

Forty percent of respondents said that brands should “avoid humorous tones” in their marketing, with 70 percent saying they want a “reassuring” tone.

Working off this insight, the Kantar report advises brands to avoid pulling advertising and “going dark” to save money which will hurt brand awareness in the long term. The report estimates that companies taking a six-month absence from TV, for example, will see a 39% reduction in total brand communication awareness, “potentially delaying recovery in a post-pandemic world.”

Source: Kantar

Choosing the right type of advertising content is crucial

In terms of how brands should put forth content thematically, forty percent of respondents said that brands should “avoid humorous tones” in their marketing, with 70 percent saying they look to brands to be “reassuring” with the tone of their advertising.

As Kantar noted in a report deck, “Consider your messaging and advertising strategy carefully. There’s a fine balance between being seen as helpful and profiteering, so ensure you are taking the right tone to build your brand.”

They additionally added that “There is still a place for advertising. Consumers still find this useful, and continuing to communicate will help your brand recover faster.”

Source: Kantar

How media is being consumed

During the pandemic, consumers have increased their browsing by 70 percent, while TV viewing has risen 63 percent. On social media, engagement has jumped 61 percent over normal usage rates with Whatsapp seeing the largest gains, with a 40 percent increase in usage over the last few weeks.

According to Kantar’s findings, countries who were part of the early phases of the pandemic, saw Whatsapp usage rise 27 percent, while those in mid-phase rose 41 percent and those countries in late-phase, 51 percent.

MORE: Advertising in the Time of Coronavirus – Hands, Hugs & Working Remotely Deemed Touchy Subjects

Facebook usage increased 37 percent, and in China homegrown social media apps Wechat and Weibo experienced a 58 percent increase in usage.

The biggest spike in usage across messaging platforms comes from users in the 18-to-34 demographic. Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram all saw 40 percent increases in usage from 35-year-olds.

Source: Kantar

The report also found 52 percent of respondents put most of their faith in traditional nationwide news channels, such as broadcast TV and newspapers, for the latest pandemic information and news, while 48 percent look to government websites. Social media platforms ranked low in the eyes of consumers surveyed with only 11 percent of respondents viewing as trustworthy.

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