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Nielsen News: New Rules in Advertising

Interested in news from global Nielsen? Read on.

COVID-19 Changed the Advertising Playbook. Now What?

It’s clear that the pandemic will have a lasting impact on consumer behaviour and brand-to-consumer engagement. The key is to embrace uncertainty. 2020 offered us a wealth of evidence of what did and didn’t work, but the question is which consumer behaviours will stick and which will revert? The digital space became ubiquitous: out of necessity, businesses quickly moved not just their workforces but their services and more of their advertising online to keep a line of communication with consumers. While reducing ad spend was a necessity for some, it was risky considering that it can take three to five years to recover both brand equity and revenue.

Small and large brands that chose to continue advertising took different approaches, shifting media spend, messaging and tactics. For example, Nielsen Ad Intel found that in the U.K., some advertisers actively increased their spending in the first half of 2020, compared with the previous year. These smart, flexible, yet bold, choices helped these brands remain top of mind for consumers, helped shrink the overall impact to sales and provided a positive launching pad into 2021.

Another issue advertisers have to deal with is the “COVID fatigue”. At the start of the pandemic, many brands immediately reacted with health-safety messaging, which helped to build trust with consumers. Now, many consumers are looking forward to emerging from a pandemic world. Advertisers will need to remain cognizant of which communities and consumers were more affected by the pandemic and will need more help rebuilding their former lives.

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Why advertisers can’t afford to stop advertising

Due to the pandemic, marketing budgets have been cut back significantly. Marketers are more keen than ever to optimize budgets and closely analyse the business outcomes of every penny spent. In parallel, consumers are mirroring the same caution, and consequently, consumption patterns are changing.

Considering the large amounts invested in creating and deploying TV commercials, a top ask of advertisers and their media planners is a precise and measurable number of gross rating points (GRPs) at which a commercial can be considered most effective or yield the best returns. This article offers a handful of interesting graphs with Nielsen’s marketing mix model data, showing how campaigns across categories differ in effectiveness.

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Home is where the connectivity is

With much of the world spending more time at home, technology has become the lifeline to everything from commerce to social gatherings to the latest entertainment. Given that connectivity affords millions of Americans the ability to work from home and provides countless children across the country access to virtual schooling, it’s fair to say that virtual is the new “IRL”. This situation has inspired many Americans to think about where they want to live. Especially if a physical office location is no longer a consideration, the idea of relocation becomes a real option, particularly for those seeking to escape the density of heavily populated urban areas.

The prospect of moving could have long-lasting implications for the distribution of the U.S. population. This trend is important for brands and advertisers looking to stay in touch with consumers as their habits—and their habitats—shift. In addition to spending increasingly more time using the internet, consumers in many less-populated areas are following the national trend of leaning into the growing realm of streaming and video on demand.

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