19 June 2020 Giulia Zucchiatti

Online advertising at the time of Coronavirus in Italy

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It is undeniable the increase in the online presence of people during the last 3 months, when the coronavirus emergency has impacted our lives, changing our habits. And if people’s online behavior has changed, what happened on the other side instead? How did companies investing in online advertising move during the Covid period? Let’s see it, starting from people’s online behavior.

The data say it: we spent much more time on the smartphone

A research by GWI declares that, between 16 and 20 March 2020, there was a 70% increase in the time spent by people on their smartphone.

The reading of news has grown by 67%, the exchange of messages by 45% and the viewing of series and films by 51%.

The desire to stay connected has changed behavior: there has been a 45% increase in time spent on social media.

How can we not underline the boom of Tik Tok? In Italy in the period 16-22 March the App was downloaded 237 thousand times, an increase of + 35% compared to the previous week.

Online advertising and Coronavirus: what has changed for companies?

As is well known, most companies have been hit financially by covid-19.

“The supply chain is in trouble and now advertising has also collapsed”, said Andrea Martella, Undersecretary to the Prime Minister with delegation of information. And that’s right: “out of the box” campaigns have gone off, budgets have been reduced (I don’t think there is a need to explain why) or, for some companies, everything has stopped.

Advertising expenditure has suffered a drastic decrease, from large to small companies.

However, this drop in investment has led to lower advertising costs: in April 2020, most industries saw a lower cost per click, compared to that recorded in December 2019

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How has the way of advertising online changed during the coronavirus period?

70% of people interviewed by Ipsos said they want to continue listening to brands, as long as they provide values. 64% stressed that it is important for brands to take note of the crisis period in their advertising communication. And so it happened. Each term suddenly found multiple meanings.

Think of the word “everywhere“, always seen in a positive way because it recalls the individual choice to do something regardless of where you are. It has been replaced by the term “from home“. You could not go out, you could not go “anywhere”. Whatever had to be done “comfortably from your sofa”.

The meaning of each small element of an image has changed. A creativity that brings back a girl who uses an App on her smartphone while sitting in an open space could no longer be used. That was not the normality of the moment.

A lot has been invested in the sensitivity of the brands. These have become more empathetic and have stopped speaking in the first person singular, pressing all communication with the word “we“.

How to differentiate yourself from competitors through creativity and the right advertising message

It is important not to be sucked into the “sea of ​​sameness”, or the sea of ​​monotony.

I feel like every advertisement is shoving the same message at its audience. I’d like to see ads proceed as normal, and maybe a small highlight of Covid acknowledgement, not the main focus.

Users want the brand to continue communicating itself with optimism and confidence. They expect the communicative principles to be:

  • Credibility
  • Authenticity
  • Relevance
  • Empathy

Penultimate point of the sermon: never leave creativity behind, times have changed but quality still matters!

And don’t forget, as TSW teaches, never stop listening, listening and listening.

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TAG: digital marketing