What Brands Can Learn About Ys From Pedestrian’s Love In The Time Of COVID Survey

Dating app or site in mobile phone screen. Man swiping and liking profiles on relationship site or application. Single guy using smartphone to find love, partner and girlfriend. Mockup website.

Youth publisher Pedestrian Group has released the findings of its love in lockdown survey – a network-wide reader survey created to get the low-down on how COVID-19 has impacted the love, sex and dating lives of Millenials.

The survey collected data from just under 7,000 respondents across all six Pedestrian Group
sites (Pedestrian.TV, Business Insider, POPSUGAR, Gizmodo, Kotaku and Lifehacker) with nearly three quarters falling in the 18-34-year-old demographic.

There were plenty of interesting findings and key takeaways, such as the fact singles have actually been more hard done by from COVID than couples.

A significant 66 per cent of all single respondents say they’re feeling more lonely than usual as a result of COVID-19, while 54 per cent of coupled-up respondents say they’re more in love with their partner now than they were pre-pandemic.

And, 50 per cent of all single respondents said they’ve stopped dating during COVID-19, and the
reasons why have far more to do with their mental health than any physical restrictions (51 per cent of singles say they’re not in the right emotional and mental headspace to date right now).

Interestingly, 40 per cent of couples are arguing about being too busy for ‘quality time’, even though they are
spending more time together than ever before. Not to mention the majority are also having sex less frequently than they did before COVID-19.

On what was the most surprising or interesting takeaways from the survey, Pedestrian publisher Vanessa Lawrence said it was the real difference in impact COVID had on single young Aussies versus those who were in a relationship.

She told B&T: “For us and probably for the market is this perception that couples have fared worse throughout COVID and lockdown. What we found however is the opposite is true. Couples are feeling more loved than ever before – they’re thriving. It’s actually singles that are on the down and out.

“One of the key findings for us was that 66 per cent of singles are saying and more lonely now than they were before COVID started. That contrasts pretty significantly to the couple’s data we got where couples are saying that they’re more loved up, they have more respect for their partner, and they’re communicating better than before, so that’s a pretty rosy outlook. And, 93 per cent said they’re grateful to have had a partner to navigate COVID with.”

How can brands tap into this sentiment? Pedestrian commercial director Rachel Tikey said there are a few ways.

“From a singles point of view, brands can be helping them with their mental health, getting back out there and getting into a better place, so that they feel confident to date. And then from a couples point of view, it’s about tapping into how to create quality time.”

Lawrence added: “Although we found that couples have had a pretty rosy outlook amid COVID, obviously no relationship is immune to issues, so we looked at the most common cause of arguments between couples.

“There were the usual suspects like money and not doing enough around the house, but the second most common reason for fighting between couples was actually over a lack of quality time, which is really interesting because needless to say we’re all spending more time together than ever.

“What we found, however, is quantity doesn’t equal quality, so this provides a pretty unique opportunity for marketers and brands to leverage that and give couples the quality time they’re craving.”

Another interesting finding from the survey was how singles are dating during COVID, with most using an app to meet new partners and not just a casual fling.

There was once a stigma around using apps for finding a partner, but Pedestrian’s research found Millenials are now using apps to find serious partnerships.

Tikey said: “The research debunked that myth, with three in five respondents actually having met their partner on Tinder. We also found 43 per cent are using apps in the first place to find a partner, which we found really interesting.”

The three key takeaways for brands

  • Quality over quantity: Coupled-up Aussies are spending more time together than ever before, but that’s not translating into time well spent. The opportunity here is to help bring couples who are feeling the distance closer together with experiences/products/ideas that will help keep the love alive.
  • Money for hunny: Regardless of gender, sexual orientation or relationship status, young Aussies are willing to drop a considerable amount of money on date night and gifts for their significant other. Brands need to be presenting this demo with the experience/products worthy of time/money and let their wallets take care of the rest
  • Self-care, sweetie: The pandemic has kicked the crap out of single young Aussies’ desire to date, weighing heavily on their mental health and ability to think of anything beyond surviving 2020. Here, brands have an opportunity to help get them out of their self-imposed dating and sex rut, encouraging them to regain their confidence through self-care and getting back out there.



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