Advertisers shouldn’t have an all or nothing approach during the Coronavirus outbreak, instead they need to refine the precision of brand safety and communicate more with publishers to use more contextual solutions, according to new research.

How is online advertising changing during the Covid-19 pandemic?

The findings come from Integral Ad Science’s (IAS) COVID-19 ad insights, which explores the balance advertisers and publishers must now strike between consumer behaviour and consumer perception.

Key findings:

• Advertisers shouldn’t have an all or nothing approach. Many publishers are providing high-quality content in a premium environment to a highly engaged audience. And consumers understand this - the supporting data shows the nuanced approach for brands within different vertical sectors.
• Advertisers need to refine the precision of brand safety and suitability strategies to adapt to the dynamic nature of the unfolding situation and understand specific content that either supports or goes against their specific brand’s values. Keyword blocking lists shouldn’t be a blunt tool.
• The need for transparency and communication between publishers and advertisers is essential. Utilising contextual solutions means publishers can offer greater insight into their available inventory.

IAS ran a rapid response online survey to determine consumer perceptions concerning coronavirus content. This insight provides context for marketers looking to understand if and how consumers are changing their online content consumption habits, and what brands need to know.

The data showed that the Coronavirus situation is shifting content consumption patterns, with 73% changing the types of content they consume online. There was, however, a mixed response in relation to ads adjacent to Coronavirus content.

Key consumer behaviour stats for advertisers to know
• 82% of UK consumers are actively seeking out Coronavirus news and content online
• 87% are consuming more news generally because of the evolving Coronavirus situation
• 32% of consumers think it is unsuitable for a brand to appear near to Coronovirus content while, 31% say that the suitability of a brand appearing near Coronavirus content “depends on the brand”

Key consumer perception stats for publishers to know
• 73% of UK consumers say that the Coronavirus situation is changing the types of content they consume online
• Only a mere 16% says they are NOT likely to engage with an ad adjacent to Coronavirus content
• Food/Beverage and Travel brands top the list of verticals that consumers don’t want to see adjacent to Coronavirus content:
o Travel (41%), Food / Beverage (36%), Real Estate (28%), Retail (24%), Auto (24%)
• Consumers do want to see Health/Pharma and Government organisations adjacent to Coronavirus content:
o Health/Pharma (46%), Government (39%), Not for profit (24%), Education (18%)

Source: Integral Ad Science

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