How brands can be seen and heard during the current crisis

Published on: 26th March 2020

Exclusive: Tristan Brooks, managing partner and head of client services at Azure Media shares his thoughts on advertising in the current climate.

As we progress through these uncertain times, advertising in the coming months is coming under increased scrutiny as companies grapple with the current climate and whether investment in advertising will provide the desired returns. Each company has its own unique situation and perspective. We are likely to see some trends emerge as families spend more time at home together whilst needing to maintain contact with the outside world.

Audiences will grow

Although obvious, more time in the home means children will spend more time with media. This means audiences will grow across commercial media too. This should have a positive affect on commercial TV viewing, and audience reach should increase. Parents will be looking for new content to keep the kids entertained, which should help the launch of Disney+ this month. YouTube, Netflix and other video platforms are also likely to see increasing traffic and reach across the coming months.

Kids will stay connected and create  

As children leave their schools and friends for an indeterminate amount of time, the need to stay in touch will see more children using social messaging apps. Apps like WhatsApp and Skype should see traffic and reach grow as kids keep the lines of communication open. They won’t just be connecting, they’ll also be creating content to be shared with family, friends and the outside world. YouTube, Snap, TikTok and other social video platforms will benefit, as more kids spend more time being creators. As a result, we may well see a new generation of kid creators in the coming months…

Be seen and be heard  

The current market uncertainty means some advertisers will look to postpone campaigns, certainly in the first half of the year. This may cause gaps in broadcaster ad schedules which will need to be filled, so we may see more flexible pricing in the coming months as a reaction to entice advertisers back. Broadcasters may also fill their ad breaks with more direct response advertisers (think banks and insurance brands) targeting parents on kid’s channels. Those toy companies that do run campaigns are more likely to standout as they should benefit from decreasing competition and greater ad reach; more likely to be seen and heard.

Be more reactive

As demand for advertising is likely to drop in the first half of the year, companies should be able to commit advertising investment nearer to the start of their campaigns, without having to commit investment months ahead as in normal market conditions. This should allow greater flexibility for advertisers to make decisions later and be more reactive. However, this route is not guaranteed, as demand may change, so advertisers will need to work closely with their agency partners to make sure they are being kept up to speed with the ad market.

Parents are looking for help!

Brands can grow their relationship with parents by aiding them as they look for advice, resources and support to keep their children not only entertained but also educated across the coming months. Brands who are rightfully able to support and engage parents at this time, whilst getting their core brand values out there, should see the longer-term benefits, like customer retention. Although not relevant to all companies, certain brands could resonate at this time.


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