With only 4% of Australians thinking that brands should pause all advertising during this pandemic, advertisers are then led to the question “What is the right strategy and messaging to use during these difficult times?”
We decided to find out using our emotional testing and targeting tool, UnrulyEQ, how well the strategies of Coles, BHP, and Tourism Australia have been received by consumers in Australia.
The results were then compared to Unruly’s database of thousands of ads to examine not only viewers’ emotional responses but also the impact they had on various brand and business metrics.
Here are our findings:
Coles – Thank You
In this ad, Coles sent out a huge ‘Thank you’ to their team members and suppliers for being on the frontlines during this difficult period and for ensuring their customers are provided for.
Looking at the ad’s EQ Score — a composite score based on the intensity of emotions viewers felt while watching, plus a campaign’s ability to drive brand metrics such as brand favorability and purchase intent – it performed well, scoring 7.1 out of 10, compared to the AU average of 5/10.
Viewers liked that the video showed how Coles showed their appreciation during these unusual circumstances, those who are working hard to make sure the shelves are well stocked. This contributed to an overall emotional response that was above the AU norm, with Happiness, Warmth and Pride driving strong emotional performance.
They also liked that the video provided a snippet of what goes on behind Coles’ supply line, driving knowledge to be above norm.
This is in line with our COVID-19 consumer survey findings that people look to brands to support their stakeholders in times of need and that Australians want ads to keep them informed during this time of uncertainty.
Brand recall was high at 87%, with Coles’ branding being repeatedly shown in multiple scenes, on the workers’ attires, signage, and vehicles.
The video was also effective at driving consumers to shop at Coles, with purchase intent (50%), brand favourability (48%), people’s willingness to find out more (38%) and the percentage of brand promoters (33%) all above the AU norm.
BHP – Increased workforce support
Similar to Coles’ ad, BHP demonstrated support for the Australian economy with this recruitment ad which had an EQ score of 5.5.
Viewers liked that the video showed how BHP are taking the initiative to help the national economy through their supply chain. This evoked a sense of pride amongst Australian viewers as BHP is an Australian company.
This is again in line with our COVID-19 consumer survey findings, that people look to brands to support their stakeholders in times of need.
Knowledge scored twice as much as the AU norm as a result of the viewers learning about BHP’s efforts. This resulted in strong performance across intent to find out more and brand favourability.
Brand recall for the ad was also high at 79%.
Tourism Australia – With love from Aus ❤
Tourism Australia’s ad reminds viewers that though they might be unable to travel right now, Australia’s natural beauty will be waiting. Giving viewers a ray of hope amidst all the uncertainty, it achieved an EQ score of 7.1.
This video had the highest emotional response amongst the 3 videos at 43%. Viewers felt strong Happiness, Warmth and Inspiration from the beautiful footage featured in the video, driving brand metrics to perform above the norm across all metrics.
From the findings of our consumer survey, we know that on top of wanting to know how the brand is protecting its staff and customers, viewers in Australia also want positive content to take their minds off things and to provide a sense of continuity and normality, which is exactly what this video did.
It is interesting to note that brand recall was low here as there was no evident product and branding was minimal. That being said, the ad aroused viewers’ interest to travel around Australia, and drove purchase intent (41%), brand favourability (46%), people’s willingness to find out more (49%), and the percentage of brand promoters (31%) surpassing the AU norm.
As you can see from the below chart, when we consider the combination of positive emotions evoked, along with the high levels of performance all key business metrics, with the Coles and Tourism Australia ad performing extremely well and BHP’s performing slightly above average.. This reinforces the fact that as a brand, you should be thinking very carefully about how you communicate with consumers during this time.
Landing the right message can be extremely effective and have a critical impact on your brand during this uncertain time.