Research reveals ‘most effective’ Covid-19 ads
Brands that avoid generic messages about staying at home, togetherness or looking to the future with optimism are more likely to resonate with consumers during the pandemic, according to Kantar.
The data, which was shared exclusively with Marketing Week, shows that coronavirus-related ads from Heinz, Tesco and Aldi have been the most effective so far, while ads from Nike and Skyscanner have resonated the least.
Consumers are starting to get fed up with ads that look and feel the same and that don’t have anything specific to say about themselves. They are also fed up of being reminded about the situation.
Kantar says there are trends to be drawn and lessons to be learned from what often happens in product categories.
“An unwritten set of category codes gets established because these key moments are considered essential to conveying what the product is and what it does,” Kantar explains.
“If you’re a deodorant brand for example you need to show wetness, armpits and the product being applied. This is often accentuated further when the brand doesn’t have anything different to say about itself versus other alternatives.”
So brands that want to build affinity, love and warmth towards their brand should ensure any coronavirus-related advertising is creative, distinct, and definitely doesn’t remind people about coronavirus.
Maltesers tries to bring the ‘light side’ to lockdown
As Kantar’s research shows, consumers are getting bored of samey lockdown ads. Here, then, comes Maltesers with something a little bit different.
Yes it features people on a Zoom call talking about lockdown. But Maltesers’ videos forego the user-generated content, the sappy piano music and the promise to ‘be there’ for us.
Instead, we have four women chatting normally about some of the ridiculous situations they’ve found themselves in. The mum whose child has baked a rocket biscuit that looks a lot like something else, the woman getting ready for a first date via video.
All perfectly keep to Maltesers’ tone of voice without making little of the seriousness of lockdown. All hark back to the brand and the positioning it has built over 80 years.
Maltesers says it doesn’t expect to be able to see a sales boost from this campaign. Maybe not in the short-term but over the long-term we can be almost sure this is helping to build the brand and ultimately its sales.
Brands devise strategies to retain customers post-lockdown
While some businesses have been forced to shut their doors during the Covid-19 lockdown, others have experienced a substantial influx of new customers. Some brands have even been forced to stagger orders or set up waiting lists in order to manage demand.
Take online card and gift company Moonpig which, amid a “significant increase” in customer demand and tripling of app downloads, accelerated its launch of eCards and rolled out a range of ‘stay at home’ cards, which currently represents 10% of sales.
Elsewhere, speciality coffee company Union Coffee streamlined its product portfolio to support its supply chain, while recipe box provider Gousto stopped new sign ups as soon as the lockdown was announced, instead offering these potential customers access to its weekly newsletter.
Marketing and ecommerce director at Union Coffee, Kerttu Inkeroinen, has developed a three-point plan for retaining the company’s almost tenfold increase in new customers gained since the onset of Covid-19.
Firstly, she says it is crucial that the first purchase experience is seamless. Next she plans to gain a greater insight into the characteristics of this new customer cohort. Lastly, Union Coffee is considering opportunities to update its product portfolio to reflect the changing needs of consumers post-crisis.
All these brands believe that continuing to invest in customer service and CRM will be essential if they are to retain the customers acquired during the lockdown. Moonpig is continuing to recruit into its customer care team, while Inkeroinen advises any brand faced with the decision to spend on media or customer care, to opt for the latter every time.
Those brands that can become indispensable to consumers during the pandemic stand themselves in very good stead to remain part of customers’ lives once the crisis is over.
Dixons Carphone looks to innovate amid lockdown
While there’s no doubt the coronavirus pandemic is causing challenges, some brands are able to use it as an opportunity to innovate.
One of those is Dixons Carphone, which is shaking up its customer experience to meet the needs of consumers who have switched to online. It is trying to take some of what makes its stores unique – the expertise of its staff – and adapt that to ecommerce.
With that in mind it has launched ShopLive, a personal shopping service that connects customers with Currys PC World staff via video link. Customers browsing the website are invited to chat to staff about products including laptops, fridges, washing machines and TVs.
“It’s a nice example of how we have pivoted and been able to embrace changing consumer buying habits and offer something that is uniquely us,” says customer communications and brand director Dan Rubel.
Morrisons says Covid-19 is accelerating its long-term strategy
Morrisons reported its first quarter results this week, showing like-for-like sales were up 5.7% in the first 14 weeks of the year and 10.8% in the final two weeks of Q1 trading.
Its online offer is “expanding significantly and at pace”, which has accelerated in response to Covid-19.
Morrisons believes its partnerships with Amazon and Deliveroo put it in a “very good place” in the grocery sector, with the supermarket’s grocery home delivery expected to grow 25.5% this year.
“The expansion of online groceries through Prime Now, all of these other services, are the renaissance of food through the supermarkets and puts the industry in a reasonable place, said chief executive David Potts. “And for this company, a very good place.”
Morrisons is undoubtedly in a strong position but other supermarkets are ramping up their grocery delivery capabilities too.
Aldi launched its first online grocery delivery service last month and Sainsbury’s has today rolled out its one-hour bike delivery service to 20 more cities, which it believes will increase its delivery capacity by a further 400%.
The UK grocery sector is transforming out of necessity and there are likely many other innovations in the pipeline. The question is which of these will be able to endure the pandemic and be sustainable in the long-term.