Where in the world are advertisers advertising?
Here we answer the question, “How have financial services, telecom, insurance, and travel brands shifted online advertising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?”
Financial services brands sought to entertain
FSIs looked to where consumers could entertain themselves during quarantine, increasing spend on streaming and gaming websites and betting big on streaming, news, and hobby-related domains. Their broad-reach approach outside of the finance category indicated a brand equity-based strategy as they reach consumers not currently in a finance state of mind.
Insurance brands sought to be a lifeline
While insurance brands invested in streaming sites, they spent more on sites related to their industry, like auto and sports. Insurance brands leveraged direct buys for visibility on associated websites like Car Gurus and Zillow. The brands’ use of sites associated with their insurance products indicate a priority to push services during COVID-19 to help support consumers.
Travel brands sought to cut back
Travel brands had the most significant shift in advertising across the competitive set. As more people cancelled flights and more restrictions were enacted, travel dialed back on visibility. To capitalize on wanderlust and changing plans during COVID-19, travel brands spent more on National Geographic and budget-focused travel sites.
Telecom brands sought to inform
While other industries advertised on streaming sites to capitalize on consumer behavior, telecom brands increased spend on affiliated and news-related sites to boost their brands, while evading support for the streaming competition. Telecom brands invested more in consumer interests, like YouTube, news, and gaming-related sites, indicating more of a brand awareness approach.
What we think
While many industries have done an excellent job of adjusting ad buying strategies in a timely and effective manner, it is essential to continuously monitor consumer sentiments, interests and behaviors, especially when maintaining a brand awareness campaign. To ensure an effective campaign with maximum visibility surrounding COVID-19, marketers should consider:
- Tapping into niche blogs and websites that pertain to the zeitgeist (ie bread making blogs, Animal Crossing forums, nostalgia-driven websites).
- Focusing on popular retailers, like Costco, and aligning ad messaging to best benefit the consumer during their shopping experience.