Author: Rakshit Gupta, I year of B.B.A.,LL.B. from Symbiosis Law School, Pune.
After an outbreak of pneumonia without an apparent cause, a new strain of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, a city in the Hubei province of China with a population of 11 million. The virus has already spread to over 200 countries and territories worldwide, and on 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) described it as a pandemic. India, which has the world's second-largest population, is seriously affected by the COVID-19 disease. By 18 May, India had investigated~1 lakh (0.1 million) COVID-19 infected cases, and by 11 July the cases were equivalent to 8 lakhs. In India, social distancing and lockdown laws were used, but they had an additional effect on the economy, human life, and the environment. There are new issues that organizations have to contend with as the global epidemic of Covid-19 intensifies. Widespread travel restrictions around the world have been declared. Multiple nations are under complete lockdown. There is still no announcement on the fate of mega sporting events and ad-tech gatherings. In addition, ad agencies that rely heavily on the interpersonal interaction and physical appearance of employees are rethinking the way they work. Where a negative effect on the economy and human life was observed, the climate was positive. Over the past few months, the coronavirus pandemic has transformed the face of marketing and advertising. With changing customer preferences and innovative tactics that keep brands relevant, advertisers are trying to adapt to a new environment.
Back in March, several companies halted their promotional strategies as confusion kicked off. This has contributed to reduced competition on sites focused on auctions. This sudden shift has helped many sectors, making the most of the decreased rivalry and cost-effective ad performance. Although the travel industry was still struggling with considerable uncertainty, the e-commerce industry faced supply problems. Therefore, they were also seeing lower competition and CPM (cost per mile) as they were trying to adjust to a new reality. Among those seeing a sudden increase in their CPM are gaming, online education and entertainment advertisers.
During the pandemic, as more individuals increase their social media use, they also seem to be more likely to engage with social advertising. The behavioural shift can be due to the increasing need during difficult times to communicate with others. According to the Smartly.io survey, users are more open to social media ads, especially in countries that have undergone more strict lockdowns. It's no wonder that 59 percent of customers have started spending more time communicating with family and friends on social media. For brands, this is a chance to follow a human approach focused on recognizing the interests and desires of your customers in the current situation. Finding a balance between customer desires and advertising best practices is the best way to produce successful advertisements. When looking for a good promotional campaign, exploring various formats can be very helpful.
Though OOH's problems are aggressively addressed by the industry during these tough times, advertisers have now recognized that the only saviour is digital advancement. For advertisers to meet their end customers, digital is the strongest medium. We can already see a shift in the selling of Flipkart's Big Billion Day, Myntra's end of reason sale, etc., which has always existed in a particular way, but because of the crises, we have a chance to adjust.
Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) had recently approached the Relief Center, as both large and small businesses were affected by the covid-19-led lockdown. The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) and the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), media organizations representing print and television interests, respectively, have allowed AAAI members to pay their customers for the money they have received and have not insisted on what was due to them. The agencies said that despite this without government funding, they would not be able to continue operations for long. The other idea was to consider the expense of ads as an expenditure and to amortize this cost for the next three years. This will promote greater advertisement outlays, which will help revive the economy more quickly, AAAI said. It also proposed that during computing taxes, the weighted deduction could be granted to advertisement expenses.
Advertisers have stopped their advertising expenditures in an instant and almost universal change. Although most campaigns have been delayed, others have been halted. Agencies have seen their billing shrink very sharply, leading to steps to cut costs. With the deconfinement and the summer season, which will rhyme with holidays on the spot for the countries of northern Europe, expectations were rekindled. Brands therefore should reinvest. However, the behavioural changes triggered by the crisis could lead brands to check their copies of advertising messages. The priorities of customers are changing: the need for reinsurance, refocusing on critical components such as the family and the home. In the end, to restore meaning to ads and display a consistent dialogue in terms of principles, in-depth work would have to be undertaken.