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Only 1% Of Filipinos Think Brands Should Pause Ad Campaigns During COVID-19 Pandemic

Study By Video Ad Tech Company Unruly Reveals COVID-19 is Reshaping Consumer Content Consumption, Spending Habits and Advertising Preferences; Two-Thirds Of Filipinos Want Advertisers To Be More Informative

MANILA— May 21, 2020 — Keep on advertising – that’s the resounding message from consumers in the Philippines to brands trying to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic, with only 1% saying brands should pause their advertising. But what sort of advertising do consumers want to see?

With a lot of ad campaigns being put on hold or cancelled following the COVID-19 outbreak, a new study by video ad tech company Unruly has revealed almost two-thirds of Filipinos (61%) want brands to be more informative in their ad campaigns, with consumers particularly looking for advertisers to provide messages around COVID-19 (38%) and to share how they’re supporting staff and customers (15%).

Unruly, part of Tremor International, surveyed more than 4,800 consumers around the world to see how the pandemic is impacting consumers’ interests and behaviors.

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a seismic shift in Filipino consumers’ lifestyles and spending habits. Consumers’ daily routines across the Philippines have drastically changed, with only 11% continuing as normal, while 73% are practicing social distancing and 17% are self-isolating. As a result, their views on how brands should advertise to them have also changed.

As well as informed, the survey revealed 21% of Filipino consumers want brands to create funny, positive ads to distract them from what’s going on, while 11% want ads to provide a sense of continuity and normalcy. A further 38% would prefer advertising to make them feel inspired and warm (35%).

The study also revealed that revealed that time spent online has dramatically increased across the Philippines — with 82% of consumers saying they are spending more time than before on their mobile phones. The usage of connected TVs (62%) and laptops (57%) have also seen significant increases since the start of the pandemic.

But what are they doing online? More than three-quarters of consumers in the Philippines say they are spending more time on social media (77%) and watching online videos (76%) than before the pandemic. Meanwhile, two-thirds (66%) are spending more time watching TV on demand.

Other key findings include:

  • Away from their digital devices, more than two-thirds (68%) of Filipinos are spending more time cooking, while half are spending more time on home improvements (50%) and exercising (50%);
  • More than half of Filipinos (56%) are spending more money on home entertainment since the pandemic begun.

“The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in rapid, unprecedented changes in consumer behaviours and their preferences across the Philippines,” said Sam Ho, Insight & Solutions Manager, ASEA, at Unruly.

“The vast majority of consumers still want to see ads, but the key to success is in the content and the way a message is conveyed. The magnitude of these changes require brands to be nimble in adapting their advertising strategies to maintain and grow connections with consumers, provide support and minimize disruption to performance.”

View the full study


About Unruly

Unruly wins minds and steals hearts through the power of our data-driven, omnichannel marketplace. Part of the Tremor International group (AIM: TRMR), we use emotional data to deliver brand-safe, awesome advertising to more than 1.2bn people around the world.

With more than 2,700 direct publisher relationships globally, and exclusive video access to more than 50 News Corp titles, Unruly delivers premium supply across all screens and ad formats at scale.

Founded in 2006, Unruly was the first vendor to bring emotional intelligence to video advertising. Unruly is committed to raising standards in digital marketing and is a founding member of the WFA’s Global Alliance for Responsible Media. We’re connected to the world’s biggest DSPs and work with 95% of Ad Age top 100 brands.

Unruly was acquired by Tremor International, a global leader in advertising technologies, in January 2020.