Video ad tech company Unruly today released a study that investigates how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting consumer interests and behaviors across Australia.
Unruly, part of Tremor International, surveyed more than 3,000 consumers globally, revealing that overall time spent online has dramatically increased in Australia — with one in two Aussies now spending more time on their mobile phones and connected TVs since the pandemic.
Consumers’ daily routines in Australia have drastically changed since the Government’s Stage 2 Lockdown, with 53 per cent practising social distancing and 42 per cent self-isolating. Only five per cent are continuing as normal. As a result, their views on how brands should advertise to them have also changed.
Almost half of Australians (48 per cent) want brands to be more informative, with consumers particularly looking for advertisers to share how they’re supporting staff and customers (25 per cent).
However, at the same time, a fifth of Australian consumers (20 per cent) want brands to create funny and positive content that distracts them from what’s going on. More than a third (34 per cent) are looking to advertisers to make them feel happy, while a quarter (24 per cent) want funny ads. A further 15 per cent of Aussies want brands to provide a sense of continuity and normality.
While a lot of ad campaigns are being put on hold or are being cancelled, only 4 per cent of Australians think brands should pause their advertising, with younger audiences (18-24s – 3 per cent) even less in favour of any freeze on ad budgets.
Away from their digital devices, more than half of Australian consumers (54 per cent) are spending more time cooking, while there’s also been a significant increase in the amount of time people are spending improving their homes (42 per cent) and reading books (33 per cent).
Other key findings include:
- 35 per cent of Australians have significantly increased the time they spend on their mobile phones, along with connected TVs (28 per cent) and laptops (26 per cent); 72 per cent of under-45s in Australia have increased their mobile usage significantly;
- Unlike other countries such as the UK, the US and Singapore, Australians are more likely to tune into the news (56 per cent ) than watch TV dramas (54 per cent) or comedies (54 per cent);
- 78 per cent of 18-24s have increased the amount of time they spend watching online videos, with almost half (45 per cent) preferring brands to communicate to them through online video;
- More than two-thirds of under-45s in Australia (68 per cent) have increased their social media usage, while 59 per cent of 18-24s are spending a lot more money on home entertainment.
“The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in rapid, unprecedented changes in consumer behaviours and their preferences across Australia,” said Heath Irving (pictured), Head of Programmatic and Partnerships, ANZ, at Unruly.
“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 minimize disruption to performance.”
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