Lockdown TV: For brands trust and transparency are key

To help understand the changes to TV viewing, Thinkbox commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct a new real-time study following 12 households across the UK as their routines, needs and viewing habits change week by week.

As the nation stays home and TV viewing soars (up 24% since lockdown began to an average of 3 hours, 40 minutes a day per viewer, some 5 hours extra a week) a new study of the first weeks of lockdown has revealed how the pandemic is changing how and why we watch TV.

‘Lockdown TV’, commissioned by Thinkbox from Ipsos MORI, is based on video diaries being kept by 12 households across the UK. They are each keeping track of their TV viewing habits as the nation adjusts to spending much more time at home. Excerpts from the video diaries are available to watch online.

Our latest update, Wave 4, reveals that:

  • Consumers are excited about life beyond lockdown, but brands have a duty of care - trust and transparency are key.
  • There’s a real opportunity for brands to connect with consumers over the things that matter most.

Consumers are excited about life beyond lockdown, but brands have a duty of care - trust and transparency are key

As excitement around life beyond lockdown emerges, it’s evident that our participants have a new appreciation of the smaller things in life – time spent with friends and family, summer BBQs, days out.  Given there is still much apprehension about what life after lockdown will look like, future plans tend to be small-scale, for now.

There is still a lot of apprehension about ‘getting back to normal’ and when it comes to brands.  People need reassurance that advertisers have considered their safety and put the necessary precautions in place.  B&Q and McDonalds were mentioned as examples of brands who have set the right tone in their TV ads.

Viewers expect a duty of care from advertisers, and given the level of trust that viewers inherently have in TV - and the integral role it has played during this crisis - TV advertising is the natural platform through which to highlight this.

There’s an emerging opportunity for brands to connect with consumers over the things that matter most

The first hug with Mum, the first BBQ with friends, the first Sunday lunch with our families... Lockdown has given us perspective on what’s important to us, and for our families, this was overwhelmingly human relationships and social contact. Digital connections have bridged a gap but there’s nothing like physical contact, and inevitably, this is what many people are craving the most.

By following the trajectory we’ve seen so far, once advertisers have conveyed their duty of care to their customers, it’s likely that viewers will want something more from brands.  Creatively, the appetite for brands to connect with consumers through heart-felt, uplifting, human stories has never been more voracious.

 

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