What Does Corona Virus Mean for Advertising?

We have lived through Swine Flu, Ebola, SARS, and now Corona Virus. What makes Corona Virus unique is the fact that it is officially a pandemic. The point of this article is not to spread fear (there is enough of that) or tell you what you already know. The point of this article is to talk about what this means for the advertising and marketing community.

We see that the stock market is down. This is a reflection of the significantly reduced economic activity. People are stocking up on essentials and trying to stay home as much as possible. Restaurants are offering take-out and delivery only, if not closing doors completely. Major metropolitan cities are implementing city-wide lock downs, closing bars and other places where large groups of people are gathering. Many large companies are having their employees work from home until further notice. Students are transitioning to online classes.

The question that marketers are constantly asking is, “Where is my audience?” This question is relevant now more than ever. Audiences are shifting and the way the general population is operating has changed almost overnight. So, what does an increase in remote workers mean for advertisers? It just means that our audience is in a different place!

Nielsen Scarborough USA+ reports 90% of Americans working from home listen to AM/FM radio. People are clinging to any sense of normalcy they can find nowadays. Listening to radio can provide this sense of comfort, that things aren’t completely upside down.

“AM/FM radio is the soundtrack of the American worker regardless of where they sit,” Chief Insights Officer at Cumulus Media & Westwood One, Pierre Bouvard, states. Share of listening studies see at work listening at 68%. This number jumps up to 75% at home. This study was conducted on people 18 and up in age during 2019.

An interesting insight seen in this table is the drop in engagement on other platforms at home. This can be attributed to people having other services on in the background.

A recent MARU/Matchbox report shows “…only half of at-home Pandora and Spotify listeners can actually hear the ads.” On the other hand, AM/FM radio ads are heard 83% of the time from at home listeners.

Data from smart speakers shows the prominence of radio listening. AM/FM radio is the number one activity in terms of share of time spent, holding 24% of the share. This is 60% larger than Amazon Music’s 15% share.

NuVoodoo came out with a very recent study showing the consumption trend for radio as Americans tune in for more updates on the pandemic. The study shows 27% of those surveyed claim they are listening to radio more during the pandemic and 37% say they are using it for local market updates.

So, what’s the take away? The take away is that your audience is still there! Engaged now more than ever!

Communicate how your product/services will be augmented in accordance with the pandemic where your audience is actually listening. The key here will be to frame how your brand can help. 

Call us for great deals on remnant so we can help you realign your brand get back in touch with the world during these turbulent times. 562-439-3900