With upfronts and awards cancelled, many brands wanted to push Q2 campaigns to Q3, but now that social distancing could be part of our way of life for a few more weeks, or even months, brands are viewing this new reality as an opportunity. With people working from home and children e-learning, there is an increase in content consumption during the day—whether we are talking about traditional television, streaming services or mobile.
Prime Time is All Day
Prime Time continues to be the point of mass scale and reach; however, we are seeing huge shifts in daytime, early fringe and in other day parts—and this trend extends to digital as well. This means advertisers and U.S. networks are able to reach an audience that traditionally would not be home during the daytime. This increase in consumption means a captive audience hungry for information, ready to be entertained. Advertisers can capitalize on this moment and extend their reach by driving the right messages at the right time to the right audience.
Opportunity for Spanish-Language Efforts
Spanish-language networks are also reaping these rewards, especially because Latinx consumers are choosing their news in Spanish, particularly among bilinguals. Historically, we have seen Spanish-language media win in times of crisis—perhaps it’s the global view of news, the impact to the U.S. and Latin America, and a sense that there is less bias. Despite this huge uptick in consumption, Spanish-language COVID-19 creative grossly lags behind English-language creative. According to a report by Univision, in just the last 45 days, 117 brands have created 83 pieces of English-language creative, yet only 17 pieces of Spanish-language creative have been created from the same pool of advertisers. These brands may be missing a huge opportunity.
Spikes in Streaming & Mobile
Before this pandemic, we saw spikes in streaming and mobile mostly during the weekends, but now people are consuming news and entertainment on their mobile devices, jumping on Instagram exercise videos, catching up on Netflix or Hulu during breaks, and accessing educational programming for kids to keep them occupied during the work day. This is leading to compressed timeframes of releasing new content—even movies are being premiered digitally.
Different Ways to Measure Campaign Effectiveness
Today, it is difficult to measure the success of a brand campaign on KPIs, which have been primarily sales driven. Brand equity measures previously seen as secondary may take center stage—what companies are doing for their employees, what they’re doing to restock, and what they’re doing for the community. It will be interesting to see what new metrics are developed in the new post-COVID-19 reality.
So as we wonder about the future of the media landscape and our old ways of managing our business, this is a time to be optimistic. We are able to connect with our media consumers in new and unique ways. Companies can finally take a breath, reassess their strengths and weaknesses, and close any gaps. And maybe we will end up on the other side cutting out what is outdated and superfluous and instead usher in new tools of connection, more accurate measurement and innovative platforms. May the media and marketing industries see this pandemic as an opportunity for growth and meaningful change.
In addition to his GroupM role, Del Fa serves as Chairman of the Culture Marketing Council.