The Messages Your At-Home Audiences Want to Hear During the Pandemic

Written by Kristen Wilson on Tuesday, June 02, 2020

As we’re stuck at home, the biggest screen in the house — the TV — is getting more of our attention. Since social distancing began, eMarketer says people have increased their time with both linear and digital TV mediums. To get eyes on your brand as we’re staying at home more often, you need your ads to hit these marketing channels, and with our TraDigital™ marketing plan, we know how to hit both.

According to a poll of 16- to 64-year-olds worldwide, eMarketer states 51% increased their time watching content on a streaming service, 43% consumed more news coverage and 36% watched more broadcast channels in April. 


The consumption of media at this time is changing rapidly and data shows communities are turning more to local news for information on how COVID-19 is affecting their immediate area.

With data from approximately 30 million households, Comscore looked at media consumption as states were beginning to issue lockdown orders from March 9-March 16. During this time period, local news saw an increase of 13% growth week-to-week, 27% month-to-month and 33% growth year-to-year. Those increases started at 6 a.m. and expanded as the day progressed.

It’s not just baby boomers who are turning to local sources. Younger audiences are tuning in during the pandemic, too. Comscore shows 31% of households with 18- to 34-year-olds were watching more news month-to-month during the pandemic.

Our media director, Patrick Pipkin, has seen a slight decrease in linear TV costs due to advertisers pulling back on media spends in response to the uncertainty of the pandemic. With prices down and viewership up, businesses that are able to advertise are seeing a decreased cost per point (CPP) and cost per thousand (CPM) than they would normally see, making advertising dollars even more impactful. In addition, local news maintains captive “DVR-resistant” viewing, making the big home screen the prime spot for your messages.

But, what advertisements are people connecting with most?

According to eMarketer, 38% of U.S. adults polled in an April survey appreciated that companies created pandemic-specific advertisements because it showed they care. But that was closely followed by 36% who thought it was appropriate only if they have taken action to address COVID-19 and another 26% felt these ads were forced.

Pipkin advises brands should address the pandemic in a way that’s appropriate for their business. For corporations like Facebook, it’s appropriate to address the pandemic in a global and holistic manner. But, if you’re going to put your business in the ring to brand COVID-19 and global citizenship, be prepared to do your part to help financially as well. For a local business, he says it’s best to recognize that the pandemic exists as it is on consumers’ minds, but do so appropriately. Local businesses don’t necessarily need to lead with a broad “we’re in this together” message. It’s more meaningful to show how you are accommodating customers by what you’re doing in-store, whether it’s additional cleanings, home delivery or online shopping.

With our TraDigital™ marketing plan, we’ll be sure your marketing campaigns reach the right audiences on linear TV and Connected TV with messages that resonate with them during the pandemic. We conduct market research on the demographics and psychographics you are trying to target. We are intentional about how we spend your marketing dollars so that they have the most impact — a mastered skill that is more important today than it ever has been.

Contact us to learn more about how we can maximize your marketing budget so you can continue to reach your consumers during this time.