- A survey of 7,000 consumers across seven countries in April found that 41% are now ready to hear from brands about topics unrelated to the pandemic, according to press materials from Mitto that were shared with Marketing Dive.
- Additionally, 77% of consumers said brands care about their well-being based on the ads they've seen over the past several weeks while 30% said brands helped make them feel less anxious. More than half (53%) said that they heard from brands more often in the last few weeks, and 73% felt the increase in messages was appropriate. Fifty-eight percent of consumers were open to hearing about changes to business that could affect them during the pandemic.
- For the most part, consumers said they have preferred hearing from essential services including doctors or banks more than from delivery services such as DoorDash or Amazon. The majority of respondents said they were more open to messages from small businesses than large companies.
A key takeaway from the research is that consumers have appreciated COVID-19-related marketing messages but now appear ready to move on. The findings could put marketers in a difficult position in terms of pinpointing the right messaging as some parts of the world, including China, Western Europe and several states in the United States, begin to reopen even as multiple reports suggest that reopenings are happening too soon in some cases, creating the chance for a new surge in infections.
The study underscores the need for brands to proceed carefully with their messaging over the next couple of months as they try to balance consumer desire to move on from COVID-19-related messaging with the need to be responsible corporate citizens during an unprecedented health crisis. For example, brands might continue to showcase consumers practicing social distancing at a time when many may want to return to going out to dinner and other social activities.
Mitto's findings are supported by another recent report from Magid that broke down responses to pandemic-related marketing by generation, with Gen Z indicating that ads with the theme "things are different now" are common but not what they want to see. Instead, these consumers are more likely to feel bored during the pandemic and want to see fun and exciting ads.
One possible approach for marketers is focusing on the right context for ads, as a recent study from MediaScience, found that COVID-19-related ads performed better depending on their context. The research revealed that ads played during news programming were better received than such ads playing during comedy shows when people were looking to disconnect and not think about serious news.