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New Report Shows How Advertisers are Facing the COVID-19 Crisis

TDA
  • Date Published
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  • Reading Time 4-Minute Read

Report: 9 out of 10 US advertisers have had their advertising plans disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak, but most advertisers don’t plan to cancel advertising, just postpone it.

A recent survey of US advertisers found that nearly 9 out of 10 of them had plans disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The report from Advertiser Perceptions also showed that nearly half of marketers stopped a campaign that was already going before the outbreak.


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But this disruption has not meant the end of all advertising. A full 66% of marketers report not canceling their advertising altogether. These marketers are waiting out the pandemic.

Marketers take a “wait and see” approach

Further research conducted by Advertiser Perceptions reveals that 69% of advertisers say they are using the economy to determine if and when they will run a campaign. At the same time, marketers are beginning to plan their media buying over 90-days instead of 180 days.

Marketers seem to still have too many unanswered questions to commit their ad budgets over the long haul. Though there are signs that marketers are bringing back their efforts, the effects of the pandemic on marketing are still linger. With everything from back-to-school to holiday season advertising still in doubt, marketers are taking a more short term approach to planning.


More than a quarter of all respondents felt that the “hunker-down-at-home” verticals of consumer packaged goods, online retail, and alcohol are well-positioned to handle the coronavirus outbreak.


Marketing budget winners and losers

Survey respondents also gave their thoughts on verticals that would thrive in the current marketing landscape and those that would be hurt. More than a quarter of all respondents felt that the “hunker-down-at-home” verticals of consumer packaged goods, online retail, and alcohol are well-positioned to handle the coronavirus outbreak.

On the flip side, over 40% said the “out-and-about” verticals of travel, restaurants, and brick-and-mortar retail are most hurt by the pandemic.

These responses should come as no surprise to anyone who has been sheltering at home throughout this crisis. But the more telling insights come from the marketers’ descriptions of why they are adjusting their ad budgets up or down.

Reasons marketers are changing their budgets

The survey also included an open-ended question about changes to ad budgets. The reasons behind increases and decreases in advertising budgets often had to do with a secondary effect of the shutdowns. One marketer cited the lack of sporting events as a key reason for cutting spending, stating that “no sports means no budget for sports sites/networks.” Another cited the fact that so many people are working from home, saying that “media that is consumed during commuting to work will decline.”


“People are looking for recipe content and things to feed their families, and we can service that need.”


On the flip side, marketers who have held their budgets steady or increased budgets cited opportunities that have arisen because of the pandemic. One such marketer mentioned the content marketing opportunity the pandemic presented, noting “I work on a shelf-stable food brand – People are looking for recipe content and things to feed their families, and we can service that need.” Another marketer mentioned basic supply and demand changes, stating that “CPMs have lowered,” adding that “our product has continued to sell well.”

Google and Facebook reap the benefits

The survey shows that Google and Facebook stand to gain as a result of the upheaval in the advertising world. “Among the 61% of advertisers who have maintained or reallocated budget to various media and ad formats, a quarter maintained or shifted budgets to paid search.”

The Advertiser Perceptions report goes on to state that “when advertisers were asked to choose up to five media brands they would be increasing spending with as a result of the coronavirus effects, Facebook, Google, Instagram and YouTube overwhelmingly topped the list.”