Adobe study suggests consumers have grown tired of 'we're with you' ads
While more than a third of marketers have opted to pause their ad spend amid the pandemic, a survey released today suggests consumers still want advertising—but only if it’s executed the right way.
Adobe Advertising Cloud commissioned the survey, which found that only 12 percent of consumers want brands to stop advertising, while more than half (51 percent) still want ads that are tailored to their specific needs. The report surveyed more than 1,000 people about the types of advertising experiences they are willing to have (and not have), their purchasing patterns and how they’re perceiving brands that advertise alongside content about the pandemic.
The findings could be useful to marketers, as many are rejiggering their messaging as states begin to partially open this month.
“Before COVID-19, targeting, personalization and a robust infrastructure to allow for real-time customer profile updating was seen as important, but sometimes put on the back burner by brands looking for easy solutions,” Ryan Fleisch, head of product marketing at Adobe Advertising Cloud, told Ad Age. “A one-size-fits-all is no longer an option.”
Although the survey had several obvious findings (consumers have been negatively impacted financially by the pandemic; people are spending more time online), it also found several others that go against the grain of traditional thinking.
The study suggests that consumers have already grown tired of “we’re with you” ads. Brand marketers believe consumers want ads that showcase how they’re engaging with communities and helping people, but brand marketers are almost 20 percent more likely to believe this than everyday consumers, according to Adobe. The report adds that brands would be better served by focusing instead on “everyday essentials and things that take consumers minds away from the crisis.”
There’s also been increased spending among millennial men and those who are employed full-time, Adobe says, as more than half of millennial men are shopping and spending more money online than they did prior to the pandemic. And almost half (48 percent ) of those still in full-time employment are doing the same.
Meanwhile, luxury brands should turn their attention toward GenZ, as this demographic expressed the most desire for high-end products. “Over 40 percent of GenZ want luxury or nonessential brand advertising directed toward them, despite the generation being most affected negatively by economic challenge due to COVID-19,” the survey said. About 67 percent of marketers have pulled back their ad spend on luxury or nonessential products, Adobe says.
The study also suggests that brands can find significant value in advertising alongside coronavirus stories, despite the widespread blacklisting of such content. Roughly two-thirds more American consumers are turning to trusted content than they were prior to COVID-19, according to the study, which points out that ad prices for those publishers have also dropped significantly.
“Brands targeting older or more traditional viewers will do well to advertise on news sites that may feature negative, COVID-related information as these populations will be least likely to associate a brand with the negative messaging,” Adobe says.