With Americans Less Scared of COVID-19, Ad Opportunities Abound


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Americans are adapting to a “new normal” as the coronavirus crisis continues, according to the latest wave of Horowitz Research‘s COVID-19 study.

In a survey fielded late last week, 45% of Americans reported feeling “scared” and 63% feel “overwhelmed by the current events,” dropping from 53% and 69%, respectively, in the same survey fielded in late March.

“There’s good news for marketers concerned whether advertising during the pandemic is perceived by consumers as ‘being insensitive’ in these challenging times, or who are wondering if it’s worth advertising at all given the impact of the crisis on consumer spending and consumer confidence overall,” said Adriana Waterston, SVP of Insights and Strategy at Horowitz Research.

With television and digital media consumption up — including live, linear TV — one in four (27%) consumers surveyed by Horowitz say they are watching more ads overall than before the pandemic.

One-third (33%) say they are paying attention to ads from local businesses, specifically, more than they did before the crisis.

The study suggests that the most powerful messaging brands can communicate right now is how the company is giving back. Just over half (53%) of Americans surveyed said that they would be more likely to purchase a product from/do business with a company that puts out ads explaining what the company is doing to help its employees and/or customers at this time.

Just 12% of Americans say this type of messaging would make them less likely to purchase the brand’s products, yielding a net positive impact (percent who are more likely to purchase minus percent who are less likely to purchase) on likelihood to purchase of 41%.

In contrast, not changing ads at all or choosing not to advertise at all has virtually no net positive impact on likelihood to buy.