Apr 21, 2020 - Economy

Coronavirus drives an advocacy advertising avalanche for brands

A chart showing the change in TV ads airing.

Data: Advertising Analytics; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios, NOTE: Data reflects ad airings in top 25 media markets

Advocacy and corporate reputation television ads are spiking, while other industries continue to pull back spend, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

Why it matters: Brands are expected by consumers to address the coronavirus issue in a direct and empathetic tone.

  • This means that any messaging that a company would typically do around sales that would place their ads in a different category, like retail or entertainment, have likely been cut or replaced by messaging around corporate responsibility or advocacy linked to the virus.

The big picture: Advocacy, or any type of cause and appeal advertising, usually recedes during election years, because corporations and interest groups like to hold off messaging to lawmakers until elections are over and they know which party will control Congress and the White House.

  • But some companies, candidates and non-profits are looking to take a stand on issues related to the virus.

Between the lines: More brands are flocking to television than this time last year, owing to more people watching TV, according to data from iSpot TV.

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