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Many US consumers believe brands must adapt ads to avoid being ‘insensitive’

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Daniel Garcia Senior Consultant 27/04/2020

US weekly consumer tracker: April 27th 2020

New weekly US consumer coronavirus tracker data shows brands have to adapt their advertising strategies to ensure they don’t miss the mark

Over 20% think that it is insensitive for brands (in most industries) to run non-COVID-19 related ads.

Despite news reports that the spread of coronavirus has slowed, the personal impact has grown, with four in ten (42%) US consumers reporting that they know of someone with COVID-19 (up 5% from last week).

Every inch of consumers’ daily lives has been affected by the crisis, from dramatic news updates, drastic changes to schedules and constant worry over the safety and security of loved ones. The world is calling for strong leadership, support and empathy at this crucial time, and brands are no exception.

Almost half (44%) of US consumers say that they believe current advertising should focus on what brands are doing about coronavirus. Over 20% think that it is insensitive for brands (in most industries) to run non-COVID-19 related ads.

With a staggering 14% of American workers reporting that they have lost their job, along with 44% expecting to have less disposable income as a result of coronavirus, it’s more important than ever for brands to be tactful in their advertising.

Chief Executive of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Marla Kaplowitz, recently said: “It’s not about selling right now. It’s about showing the actions that brands are taking. There’s an opportunity for them to connect with their purpose, or reconnect with it. They can focus on community and help people through these times.”

On the horizon: the reopening of America

Brands will be interested to know how their consumers are adapting during the crisis, and what their new habits will look like once the lockdown is lifted.

The domestic travel industry is likely to benefit from US consumers’ urge to get away without the risk of long-haul travel, with half (48%) planning on traveling by car within the US in 2020.

While over half of US consumers are planning to go shopping in stores and eat in restaurants within one month post lockdown, brands must be prepared for a period of adjustment, with 40% cautious to avoid large gatherings and 39% saying they will stay socially distanced.

Brands will also need to be considerate of the economic impact of coronavirus on US consumers within their advertising, with over a quarter reporting they will take new steps to spend less money.

If you are a brand or agency and want to make sure you’re getting your advertising right, get in touch to find out about our Digital Ad Performance product and how it can help you test your ideas and concepts at this particularly sensitive time.

Weekly US Consumer Coronavirus Data Tracker

Our weekly survey and tracker offers the opportunity to ask a range of questions directly. With 2,000 respondents each week, the tracker provides brands and businesses with the audience needed to inform even the most challenging questions that our current environment presents.

If you would like to know more, access additional data analysis or would like to ask your own questions, click here.

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