The global advertising industry has seen its ups and downs over the years. However, none as widespread beyond national borders and undoubtedly none as uncertain as during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Some facets of the industry have already been or will be affected. However, TV ad executives feel that with increasing numbers of people staying home, TV audiences and ad spend will grow exponentially.
What we don’t know is what long-term effects this pandemic will have on the industry as a whole. And how or if it may transform the industry, from remote work to an increase in virtual conferences and using local resources rather than traveling.
Adweek spoke with industry leaders to get their input and outlook on four facets of the industry: ad spend, experiential marketing, agencies and production companies. Following is a synopsis of those findings.
While ad spend could take a temporary hit, many feel that TV could see an increase in spend levels, both on linear and streaming platforms. However because of the fragmentation in TV viewing, spikes in viewership will be difficult to measure solely by Nielsen ratings.
With the cancellation of all major conferences, experiential marketing will definitely be affected. Many events today include interactive work which calls for close contact with a large number of people. A shift from this type of consumer behavior will have to be addressed and other ways to interact with a brand investigated.
Key words here for agencies are “pivot and adapt.” Most agencies and holding companies have put all nonessential travel on hold. This will affect production work in the long term. While some agencies contacted did not wish to discuss their current policies regarding the pandemic, many felt that now was the time to encourage taking advantage of remote working tools and videoconferencing.
Large production companies haven’t experienced a slowdown yet, but they are looking at ways to take advantage of today’s technology without having to travel. Marketers, agencies and producers should work together to come up with a solution that is safe for everyone.
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