Director Tamara Strange updates the industry to help companies make the right decisions with marketing investments.
This week has felt like a year. It’s been a week that the country won’t forget. The majority of the nation’s workforce is now working from home, and a large percentage of these workers are also taking on previously unchartered territory and operating as part-time teachers. A few weeks ago, none of us would have thought we would be operating under such stringent and surreal conditions as the Easter holiday approaches.
Certain brands have risen to these unprecedented challenges with offerings to keep kids busy at home. Joe Wicks’ PE classes are being taken up by millions of kids every day, while Tumble Tots is offering Tumble Tots at Home daily sessions for toddlers. As covered by Toy World, Playmobil has stepped in to explain coronavirus to children, while MGA has taken a more hands-on approach with Project Pacman – an initiative to source millions of items of medical equipment such as masks for healthcare workers.
In the home itself, the way we’re consuming content is changing across every platform. On television, Downing Street briefings are becoming appointments to view, attracting over 27m individuals, audiences comparable to those of the 1966 World Cup Final and Princess Diana’s funeral, while it’s no surprise that with kids at home, viewing figures for commercial channels have seen significant week on week increases across the UK and Europe. On the first full day of school closures, average viewing for children aged 4-9 was up by 57% versus the previous four weeks, outperforming the equivalent days in Italy (+28%), Germany (+30%) and Spain (+50%). The viewing increase is most pronounced across the lunchtime hours, when home school has in all likelihood finished for the day and parents are providing some downtime, as well as giving themselves an opportunity to keep on top of their own homework.
As for other platforms, cinemas are of course closed, but the launch of Disney+ this week will have offered up a significant new range of content to audiences; it seems this has come not a moment too soon – there were reports of Netflix going down in the US this week as a result of the surge in demand.
In the new work environment, online app use has skyrocketed (with apps like TikTok up by 7.8% over the past 30 days), with these technologies becoming key in our daily lives as we sit in our remote offices, whether daily video conferencing or ongoing team text chat. And the power of the social media landscape in general has become more apparent than ever before, obviously as a means of people keeping in touch with one another but also as support outlets, as evidenced by Snapchat bringing forward the introduction of mental health support services for users.
It’s very clear that communication across all channels has become increasingly important for brands, too, whose support for their customers is vital at this time. Research suggests that it’s important for businesses to spend through periods like this, keeping up and even raise brand awareness to demonstrate they are present, even when their distribution channels may be shrinking. At Generation Media it has been virtual coffees and business as usual in our new virtual world. High on the agenda has been keeping in touch, advising content owners and broadcasters on making decisions that will ensure their businesses maximise the opportunities this unprecedented situation presents us with, and good communication – as that’s what we know best.
Who knows what next week will bring? It’s clear that our industries are doing an impressive job of adapting to circumstances that are changing on a daily basis, demonstrating a timeless truth: people will always triumph over adversity. We’ll get through this – keep in touch, stay home and stay safe.