Unruly’s survey reveals consumer behavior in the COVID-19 age - ClickZ

30-second summary:

  • A consumer survey from ad platform Unruly finds adds some data-points to what consumers are doing during their social distancing.
  • In general, the survey finds that “usage across all devices and services is way up.”
  • For advertisers, this represents an unprecedented opportunity to reach a literally captive audience. Consumers says they particularly value ads that show what brands are doing to help their staff and consumers, or that provide COVID-19 info.

Video ad platform Unruly is out with a new study – its first on this topic — that supplies data-points about how consumer behavior has changed in this age of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The “COVID-19 Consumer Survey” is based on responses from 2638 consumers worldwide in late March, from what the company described as “accredited panel providers around the globe.”

Usage up on all devices during COVID-19

“The vast majority of consumers still want to see ads,” VP of Insight Terence Scroope said in a statement, “but the key to success is in the content and the way a message is conveyed.”

The biggest takeaway, he told ClickZ via email, is that “usage across all devices and services is way up.” Sixty percent of respondents are spending more time with on demand TV, social media, online video, live TV and messaging. From the point of view of advertisers, Scroope noted, this is now “one of the most engaged and literally captive audiences of our lifetime.”

Fifty percent are spending more time on smartphones, 42 percent more on connected TVs and 35 percent more on laptops.

COVID-19 user data

Sixty-two percent report they are spending more time on social media than previously, 47 percent (Read more...) increased spending on home entertainment, and slightly over a third are more interested in hearing about online retail than before, excluding food. Eighty-one percent of 25-34s are spending more time on social media.

Not surprisingly, consumers are also spending 64 percent more time on cooking and 43 percent more on reading.

Only 10 percent report that their daily lives are continuing as normal, while 42 percent are practicing self-isolating while another 48 percent are social distancing.

‘The elephant in the room’

One of the biggest surprises for brands, Scroope said, is that “they shouldn’t be shying away from directly addressing the elephant in the room.”

Twenty-two percent say they want brands to convey how they are supporting their staff and their customers during this crisis, and 21 percent are looking for ads that include info about COVID-19. But 17 percent also want ads that depict continuity and normalcy, and another 17 percent want to be distracted with humorous or positive ads.


Fifty-three percent of all consumers currently prefer TV ads as the venue for brand communication, while 42 percent of 18 to 24 year olds want to hear from brands via online video.

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