As the world settles into “social distancing”, consumers are spending more time at home and watching TV more than ever before. Although many eyes are glued to the news for updates, many are also escaping from the constant news cycle by diving into new streaming shows through connected TV. Nielsen is already finding massive increases in television viewing and the use of streaming devices across the US, and now we are seeing the same trends in search. Based on Google Trends, there has also been a significant uptick in search phrases like, “tv shows to binge watch” over the last 2 weeks. This is a turbulent time for the world and instability can make it tricky to know exactly how to talk to your consumers, but there is still an effective way to do so. Here are 4 keys to help marketers mindfully and successfully connect with an audience who is spending more and more time watching streaming services while at home.
  1. Re-evaluate media spend: Now is the time to decide if Connected TV advertising is appropriate for your brand. If you have the assets, budget, and something to sell, this is a great time to test into connected TV. Viewership is up, so you have the ability to reach your consumer very quickly and very effectively.
  1. Adjust Messaging Towards Humanity: The brands that are effective are over-indexing on being helpful and humane vs. selling product. In this time of unpredictability, advertising is best for longer-term brand loyalty and positive brand perception. It is essential to re-assess marketing messages to make sure they are relevant to the times. It could be as simple as changing your CTA to shop online vs. come to store, or something that speaks to a larger shared message towards humanity of how we can all come together in a time of crisis. 
  1. Align with Appropriate Content: Be selective about where ads are showing up, with brand safety measures implemented across all placements. Your brand must decide to either create distance from the news and only focus on streaming shows, or embrace the gaze of the eyes glued to the screens for updates.
  1. Build Community: Extending positivity in a time when there is a lot of negativity and unrest can build long-term equity with your audience.  Create a message and target strategy that exudes an “all in this together” vibe that extends, beyond a media message, into other channels that encourage virtual engagement and participation.

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