7 brands that have increased social media spend during the coronavirus pandemic
For most brands, the coronavirus pandemic has presented a difficult time to run any ads, no matter the platform. Finding the right messaging can be tricky, and marketers have pulled or postponed campaigns that could appear insensitive during this time. Under social distancing or stay-at-home orders, some brands simply have had no choice but to cut their ad spending. In the first two weeks of March, travel brands cut their ad spending by about 50 percent compared to this time last year, according to analytics firm MediaRadar.
But not all brands are suffering. Those in categories like cleaning, TV streaming, food delivery services and virtual video conferencing have seen upticks in sales and their stock rise. That demand is translating into boosted ad spend. Marketing technology firm 4C Insights found a 25 percent year-over-year increase overall in ad spending on digital platforms for the first half of March.
Analytics firm BrandTotal used artificial intelligence to measure the volume of ad impressions across social platforms to see which brands have been increasing their ad spend during that same time period. It found that brands like Dial, Amazon Prime and Instacart have been spending for exposure on social media during the pandemic.
Cleaning brands have been selling out in stores across the United States, and Dial Soap is making sure it’s on the mind of consumers as they make their journeys to grocery stores to stock up on essential products to ride out the pandemic. In ads on Facebook and Instagram, Dial Soap has been promoting the CDC’s recommendation for hand-washing. On Facebook, Dial is seeing up to 25 percent day-over-day increases in ad impressions, up to 25 percent on YouTube and up to 30 percent on Instagram.
Amazon Prime Video
As people stay at home, they are of course streaming more content. Amazon Prime Video has ramped up its advertising in the past week on Instagram, Twitter and especially YouTube. It's promoting its new show “Upload,” a sci-fi comedy where people who are near death can be uploaded into virtual environments … a timely show for those wishing they weren’t stuck at home all day. Amazon Prime Video has seen up to 35 percent day-over-day increases in ad impressions on YouTube, up to 15 percent on Twitter and up to 10 percent on Instagram.
HBO Now has also stepped up its social ad game, and BrandTotal detected ad volume increases from March 11 to March 19. The streaming service is promoting its new content, such as the launch of the third season of “Westworld” and fan favorites like “Game of Thrones.” HBO Now has seen up to 40 percent day-over-day increases in ad impressions on YouTube, up to 20 percent on Twitter, up to 10 percent on Facebook and up to 5 percent on Instagram.
Quibi is still set to launch on April 6, but has aggressively increased its social ad spending in the past week to advertise its upcoming service. Beginning on March 6, BrandTotal detected an increase in ad impression volume, up to a 25 percent day-over-day ad impression increase on Twitter and 10 percent increases on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
One place people are turning to for delivery is Instacart. The grocery delivery service has seen a 124 percent increase in average daily app downloads so far in March, compared to last month, according to data from Apptopia. Instacart is promoting both its delivery service and current hiring spree. On Monday, the company said it plans to hire 300,000 more shoppers to meet the demand its seeing due to the pandemic. Instacart has seen up to 20 percent day-over-day increases of ad impressions on YouTube, up to 10 percent on Instagram, and 5 percent on Facebook and Twitter.
Like Instacart, Uber Eats is hiring more employees to increase its delivery operations to meet demand, and is promoting its hiring efforts across platforms. The delivery service also ran a “buy one, get one free” offer from March 9 to 14. It has seen up to 40 percent day-over-day increases of ad impressions on YouTube, up to 30 percent on Instagram, 20 percent on Twitter and 15 percent on Facebook.
Although the majority of travel brands have cut down or paused their social ads, Southwest Airlines has taken the opposite approach. On March 17, Southwest Airlines began promoting a sale, including no change fees. The airline has seen up to 40 percent day-over-day increases of ad impressions on YouTube, up to 40 percent on Facebook, 30 percent on Twitter and 15 percent on Instagram.