Comscore hosted its webinar, "Facing Forward: An Upfront Conversation on How Brands, Networks, and Agencies are Planning for the Recovery Rebound,” featuring a group of representatives from various conglomerates, such as NBCU, Unilever, The Weather Group, The Hershey Company, and Group M. The panelists discussed the dramatic changes they experienced in consumer purchasing behavior and their brand overall amid the Covid-19 outbreak, and how each respective company coped with the business impact of the pandemic.
The measurement company has tracked various metrics to help measure the impact of the virus and have found that usually hard to reach audiences such as households with adults 18 to 34 and upper-income households are watching even higher rates during the pandemic. Both local and programmed tv and consumption hit their peak at 30% and SVOD transactions experienced a 53% year-over-year increase. Some of the consistent consumer trends the speakers have noted include New tracking data suggests that US ad spending has hit its bottom point and is beginning to see a rebound effect in this month. Ott consumption has increased by 24% on connected TVs, and 16% on streaming devices.
Considering the average in-home data usage is up 33% during the first few weeks of the pandemic, between March and April, all of the speakers agreed that the pandemic provided the opportunity to analyze the consumer’s needs. According to Managing Partner and Director of Implementation Research at GroupM, Ed Gaffney, media behavior was consistently increasing in the U.S. but is now gradually shifting back to normal. He discussed the importance for advertisers and media buyers to consider being cognizant of the times and putting the appropriate message out. “Let's support people who need help, instead of marketing a product,” Gaffney said.
Barbara Bekkedahl, President of Ad sales at The Weather Group explained that the network also had to focus on changing the brand’s messaging, along with re-doing its second-quarter deals with marketers, as well as the SVP of Insights and Measurement, Vertical Sale Solutions at NBCU, Lauren Zweifler, who says that the company was quickly able to adjust its programming to the current circumstances by executing productions at home and changing its marketing strategies and messaging amid event delays and cancellations.
Zweifler also highlighted the importance of data, and TV and video measurement for advertisers to approach future lineups and programming. In regards to TV, measurement challenges have arisen in regards to OTC, basic media metrics, and fraud metrics. “TV is changing and how people are consuming content is changing and TV is again an important piece of the mix, but there's a lot of work to be done in the industry to drive greater accountability and all of the other areas of video,” Gardner said.
Brad Feinberg, North American Vice President at Molson Coors said the company was forced to quickly change its brand messaging so it would “resonate with consumers and reflect what was going on in the culture.” It also planned a financial support system for its bartenders. “We quickly pivoted our media plans to reflect the consumer behavior and reinforced where our brands show up,” Feinberg said.
According to Jennifer Gardner, Senior Director of Media at Unilever the company’s product is in high demand, and its customer development and supply chain have grown. “We need to be making sure that we can keep up with all the demand that's out there, adjust our marketing messages to have the right tonality and specific claims and benefits so that we can continue to be of service to consumers and express that to them,” Gardner said.
We need to be making sure that we can keep up with all the demand that's out there, adjust our marketing messages to have the right tonality and specific claims and benefits so that we can continue to be of service to consumers and express that to them.” Jennifer Gardner Senior Director of Medi, North America, Unileaver