What Kinds of Ads Do People Want During A Pandemic?

November 6, 2020

This article is included in these additional categories:

Advertising Trends | Brand Loyalty & Purchase Habits | Brand-Related | Creative & Formats

MorningConsult Preferred Ads During Pandemic Nov2020As the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, advertisers are trying to pinpoint consumers’ changing sentiments and habits. A recent report [pdf] from Morning Consult goes some way towards illustrating how consumers’ attitude to certain ad types has evolved in light of the global crisis.

As ad engagement grows, respondents shared which type of ads, in light of the pandemic, would make them more likely to purchase from a company. The type of ad with the largest net share of adults who would purchase more as a result (42%) was an ad on how a company’s products and services can help improve comfort, happiness and well-being. This was closely followed by ads on how a company’s products and services could be used to combat the spread of coronavirus (40%).

Following the tone of these top choices, also viewed positively were ads about a company’s prioritization of customers’ well-being (38%), ads about a company’s response to coronavirus (34%), optimistic ads (34%), comforting ads (32%) and entertaining ads (29%).

The report also takes a look at how certain types of ad have become more appealing to consumers since the global pandemic. The most notable gain in the net share of adults more likely to purchase from a company with a certain type of ad was for ads focusing on a company’s products or services, which grew from 15% in late March to 33% by the end of September.

Funny ads also grew more appealing in the same period (18% to 28%), with ads about company values likewise seeing a rise in appeal (19% to 27%), as did entertaining ads.

Interestingly, consumers’ changing response to ad types appears to go as far as specific images and symbols. Between late March and late September, ads showing people social distancing maintained the largest net share of US adults more likely to purchase from a company because of the ad, growing from 44% to 54% over the period.

Similarly, ads showing people wearing facemasks (43% to 53%) have grown in appeal over time, while ads showing people participating in video calls saw a dramatic change from 4% in March to 36% in September.

Certain images maintained a negative score across the period, indicating that respondents were put off by such ads, though these appear to have become less off-putting over time. Ads showing people hugging improved its net share of adults more likely to purchase but remained in the red (-36% to -26%), as did ads showing people shaking hands (-37% to -30%) and ads showing people kissing (-39% to -30%).

Read more in the full report here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 2,200 US adults.

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