by Catherine Boera – SVP Director of Communications Planning

As we noted in our first installment, among the many challenges stemming from COVID-19 now facing people and brands alike is a redefinition of “the consumer journey.” Large percentages of the population are experiencing a new restricted lifestyle marked by “self-isolation” and “social distancing”, leading to a rapid refocusing of their priorities. Brands should seize the moment: those that best adapt and respond to these new priorities have a real opportunity to thrive amidst all the uncertainty of our “new normal”.

We have covered what CARE means to Consumers: Connection, Assurance, Resourcefulness and Empathy. What about the perspective of Brands? It’s the same acronym, but in this case defines what Brands must provide.

Brands need CARE:

Convenience – this means an acceleration of the many market trends that have been evolving in recent years – from e-commerce/home delivery/drive-through and curbside pick-up to on-demand entertainment (VOD, streaming, e-gaming and Twitch).

  • Ipsos reports a 30% increase in online grocery shopping while Inmar reports 159% increase in online grocery shopper interactions. 1
  • Universal Pictures announced the release of Trolls World Tour on April 10 will simultaneously be in theaters and online.

Accessibility – be there for your customer whenever, wherever and however they want your brand

  • Companies that can leverage technologies will have the opportunity to earn consumer loyalty well after consumers’ concerns subside. Meet changing consumer demands online, enable seamless interactions through DTC offerings and enhance consumer experience with augmented and virtual realities. 2

Resilience – project stability and reassure customers that we will get through this together.

  • Amazon sales grew by 28% in 2009 during the “great recession.” The tech company continued to innovate with new products during the slumping economy, most notably with new Kindle products which helped to grow market share. 3

Engagement – the current environment offers the opportunity for heightened attention for the right message at the right time in the right place.

  • All TV viewing is up week over week (on average +18%), across all dayparts and all audience segments.4 More dramatically, year-over-year, daytime viewing is up 62% and news viewership is up three-fold.5 Marketers brave enough to hold steady will be rewarded with huge bonus delivery.
  • And the heightened engagement extends beyond TV. 83% of consumers say they are listening to as much or more radio (despite listening less in a car). Listening to favorite radio hosts helps people feel more informed, keep connected to their community and feel less alone.6

To summarize, brands need CARE: Convenience, Accessibility, Resilience and Engagement. By providing those elements, they can deliver on CARE consumers crave: Connection, Assurance, Resourcefulness and Empathy.

We see daily examples of brand marketers that are getting CARE right. In our next CARE installment, we will highlight the best of what we have seen to date. In the meantime, we repeat, to borrow the old British wartime slogan: Keep Calm and Carry On. Keep advertising and communicating with your customers, current and prospective. Adjust your messaging to show you are providing the CARE they crave. And know that we at Active CARE and are ready to help you do whatever you need to do with our support.



1 Ipsos COVID 19 webinar 3/26/20
2 Nielsen Media Consumption Update COVID 19
3 Forbes “When a recession comes, don’t stop advertising” 9/5/19
4 Nielsen Weekly TV Usage Update, week ending 3/22/20
5 Samba TV, week ending 3/22/20
6 Nielsen Custom Study, 3/20-3/22/20