Nearly a third (30%) of Canadians have tried a new brand, product or service during the pandemic, and one-third say they are likely to try something new when life “returns to normal,” according to a new report commissioned by thinkTV Canada.
The TV in a Pandemic report is based on online interviews with 1,000 Canadians conducted by Ipsos in early May. Its stated purpose is to provide a “human angle” to TV viewership, with an emphasis on trust; brands; advertising and purchase behaviour.
The study says that Canadians are increasingly seeking out advertising that makes them feel hopeful and safe during the crisis, with 34% of respondents saying they want to see ads that make them feel good again and more than one-quarter (26%) saying they want to see ads that make them feel safe and secure (see chart at right).
Only 5% of respondents indicated a wish to see brands stop or cut back on ads.
Respondents identified several brands that are improving their feelings of “well-being and security” during the crisis, including Walmart, Telus, Tim Hortons and RBC, and 29% said they have been impressed with the advertising they have seen during the pandemic, with food and food service advertising most frequently mentioned.
Tim Hortons, A&W and McDonald’s were the most frequently cited companies, with the report noting that “Canadians appreciate seeing companies that are both thanking frontline workers and taking action to help.”
The report specifically mentioned Dove’s “Courage is Beautiful” spot by Ogilvy Canada (below) as one of the advertising highlights to come out of the crisis. “This compelling piece of creative is true to Dove’s brand vision, combining gratitude and its willingness to help those on the frontline,” the report noted.
Respondents have also been receptive to ads from the country’s financial services companies, with RBC’s “Client Relief Program” the most commonly mentioned ad. “It shows how much they are willing to help and care during these challenging times,” said one response.
Other brands that have received consumer plaudits for their advertising during the crisis include: Rogers, Kraft Canada, Uber, Van Houtte, Clorox, Destination British Columbia and Dell.
One-third of Canadians are watching five hours or more of television per day during the pandemic, primarily for entertainment (67%) or relaxation purposes (57%).
The study also notes increased attention being paid to news and information programming, including a 44% increase in time spent watching TV news and a 19% increase in trust.