S3 Advertising agency’s Media Planner, Georgia Holmes, lays out the brand advertising media of the moment.
As our audiences lifestyles’ continue to alter in line with the pandemic, media planners like myself have had to work hard to make sure that we understand the new trends, predict anticipated growth and account for curveballs that come with changes in lockdown regulations.
Whenever the environment changes it becomes more & more dangerous to rely on old data – none of us know how this is going to play out, but what we do know it to not look at the average. If you want to adapt to change it’s no good using past data as a proxy to what is going to happen, as it is now completely irrelevant.
Over the past few months (and for the next few months) there will be lots of new habits & trends starting to form – while everyone will be watching these intently, there are a lot of behaviours which will take time to find themselves as the new ‘normal’ and it is certainly not going to be a linear process.
People’s daily routines look different now to how they did at the start of the year. Outdoor advertising is creeping back into relevance, but these new consumer habits mean you should think carefully about where you invest as some sites will have more eyes (or ears) on them than others. This is S3’s guide to…
The media you want & need, right this second:
It’s no surprise that TV has been the holy grail of media formats throughout lockdown, as it continues to provide audiences with news, entertainment & even reassurance.
TV programmes are amongst the most trusted channels for news and information (Dimension 2020, The Trust Gap) – and Covid-19 has only supported this. Audiences’ thirst for TV news rose significantly as part of their Covid-19 routine – when comparing against last year we have seen viewing figures increase across the board:
Having everybody locked at home hasn’t been the least bit ideal for advertisers (or let’s be honest anyone) but the inclusion of TVC’s on media plans has allowed us (& brands) to reach consumers when we’ve needed to most. It’s allowed brands to not just sell a product or remain relevant but also offer a sense of reassurance, just like we did for jewellery brand, Clogau, with a lockdown ad celebrating what means more.
How to plan TV campaigns right now
The new normal of tv consumption suggests that shows such as ‘This Morning’ have rising viewing figures as consumers now don’t have to commute to work and have more time to themselves in the morning (Kantar, 2020 – fig below). These type of slight changes in viewing habits suggest that ‘peak’ & ‘off peak’ tv spots are becoming less relevant. This is important to consider when planning TV campaigns as whereby before we may have fought for a schedule of ‘peak’ spots we can now utilise the cheaper ‘non peak’ to our advantage & carry out a more cost effective campaign (that reaches just as many people).
Radio has proved itself to be a highly resilient medium throughout the Coronavirus crisis. Despite radical change and disruption to lifestyles & routines, it has remained as relevant and essential as ever.
How to plan radio campaigns right now
- It’s time to take advantage of the fact car commuters are back on the road, by including traditional radio on your plans (be clever with your buy & aim for late morning spots – as this is now the peak listening period)
- Utilising morning radio spots means your brand can once again be a part of a consumer’s daily journey (this is especially important for brands who want their message heard during the evening planning moment etc. S4C)
- If your budget is limited, utilise it with a burst approach weekend campaign – this way your ad will be on air when listening figures are high (along with people’s spirits) – great for brands like MDCV
The media you should think cleverly about:
Since the moment the UK was placed into lockdown the question of when we would all be returning outdoors has been playing continuously on mine & our clients’ minds.
Though some parts of the country are experiencing local lockdowns, they are lighter touch than back in spring. The crucial differences of more work and retail and hospitality venues remaining open means that there is an outdoor audience – you just have to know how to find it.
Plus, the uncertain market means there are more outdoor deals to be had than ever, boosting return on your investment. Speaking to media buying experts like those on our team at S3 to help you navigate these.
How to plan outdoor campaigns right now
- Shopping Malls – Due to the re-opening of non-essential retail, as well as the hugely successful eat-out to help out scheme shopping mall advertising got back to achieving 94% of its usual expected impressions during August (JCD: Mobile Audience Tracker), meaning the inclusion of the digital 6 network on your media plan has power to get you & your brand eyeballs
- AdLifts – we know that Shopping mall audiences are back up, but that some Covid rules are still affecting a shopper’s experience. Many lifts within malls now have a 2-person max rule (annoying). But this is great news for AdLifts as people now have to queue (& dwell) for longer at the lift entrances.
- Billboards & Street Furniture – Consumers have not been quick to jump back on the train or local bus – instead they are choosing to drive or walk. Which makes Roadside a safe bet for your media plan. In September Billboards returned to 84% of their expected impressions & Street Furniture (i.e. phone boxes, bench sides) isn’t far behind at 78% (JCD: Mobile Audience Tracker)
- We can once again start pairing OOH with our TV/Radio/Digital campaigns, which will induce the multiplier effect. The multiplier effect is when you have a variety of media formats working together all at once. It makes each format stronger & makes your campaign go from strength to strength.
The media you should think about later:
’Normal’ looks a lot different now & audience’s day-to-day habits have changed. The most significant change being how they get to work (or if) – as thousands opt for the WFH life.
Due to this, Rail advertising (both interior, platform & station) has been massively affected. Rail impressions have only recovered to 51% of their expected figure in September (& are only expected to increase to 58% in October) meaning rail advertising isn’t going to get you the reach it once did.
Not only are rail audience figures massively down, but it is no longer a comfortable environment where a consumer can aimlessly dwell on your brands message of choice.
It is too early to say what use of transport will be like in future now most of the nation have had a crash course in Zoom. We’ll be watching closely.
Of course, media that can be consumed in the home or in our modest outdoor journeys has to be a focus for anyone planning or buying a media advertising campaign at the moment.
But look at little closer and there are techniques within your TV, radio and outdoor buys that will enable you to make your campaign go even further.
A good media planning and buying agency like us at S3 Advertising can help you plan wisely and achieve more, so take the expert view and keep your eyes peeled as trends no doubt continue to fluctuate in 2020.
To find out more about which media will suit your business and goals get in touch with Georgia at email@example.com.