April 6, 2020
A new survey from the Association of National Advertisers has found that 90 percent of respondents have adjusted their creative marketing messaging since mid-March when the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 coronavirus as a pandemic.
Forty-six percent of respondents said those adjustments have been substantial, 42 percent said they were moderate and 12 percent indicated they were minimal. Respondents identified in-house agencies as being most important for producing new creative assets, followed by other internal teams, external agencies and media partners.
“This important new report shows that even in a time of severe crisis, our members are figuring out ways to get the job done, and fast,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice, in a statement.
“Marketers should be proud of the teams they have created, who have displayed remarkable skill and flexibility in their ability to meet the incredible creative challenges posed by the current pandemic,” he said.
New York-based ANA is the leading trade organization in the United States for advertisers.
Message hits home
The online survey was conducted March 30–31 with 196 executives responding.
What emerged from the survey was the role of in-house agencies at the leading advertisers.
However, 26 percent of respondents said external agencies were very important in the development of new messaging, while 22 percent cited media partners as making very important contributions.
Verbatim comments from respondents who made substantial adjustments to their messaging were telling:
The ANA survey also showed that only 39 percent of respondents indicated that producing new creative assets posed a challenge. The reasons they cited were not surprising:
Per the survey, 89 percent of respondents said they plan to continue adjusting their messaging in light of the current environment.
The reasons cited for additional fine-tuning included plans to make messaging that is empathetic to the current situation, changing language for sensitivity purposes, and avoiding any lifestyle images depicting people in close proximity at events.