Consumer behaviour: How it has changed during COVID-19

According to research conducted by programmatic video company, Unruly, only four per cent of Australians believe brands should pause all advertising during the pandemic.

With 3,000 consumers surveyed globally, 48% said they want ads to make them feel informed, 34% want brands to make them feel happy, 24% want funny ads and 15% want brands to provide a sense of continuity and normality. Additionally, a quarter wish to know how advertisers are supporting their customers and staff through COVID-19.

Unsurprisingly, content consumption has grown significantly due to Australia’s lockdown-like conditions. More than half of respondents are also spending more time cooking, 42% are dedicating more time to home improvements and 33% have been reading more.

Unruly head of programmatic and partnerships ANZ, Heath Irving, told Mumbrella that these results prove consumers still want to see ads, however, the way they are consuming them has changed.

“The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in rapid, unprecedented changes in consumer behaviours and their preferences across Australia,” Irving said.  “The vast majority of consumers still want to see ads, but the key to success is in the content and the way a message is conveyed. The magnitude of these changes requires brands to be nimble in adapting their advertising strategies to maintain and grow connections with consumers, provide support and minimise disruption to performance.”

An increased number of people are also spending more time using mobile devices (35% of respondents, and 72% of people under 45), along with connected TVs (28%), and laptops (26%). 56% said they are more likely to tune into the news – and metro audiences for news programs have also jumped accordingly – compared to 54% of those watching more TV dramas and 54% watching more comedy.