Consumers’ emotional connections with ads during COVID-19

Being quarantined at home and adjusting to a new life full of restrictions and rules has undoubtedly resulted in a high emotional response from Americans. This period of time has brought great sadness, stress and even new, unexpected joys. Most brands quickly shifted messaging to appeal to an audience in a heightened emotional state, showing their support and their missions for their customers during these trying times. The following articles explore brands and their consumers’ responses to messaging, including what Americans have come to expect from brands during crisis responses.

Key trends found:

  • Consumers expect brands to change their messaging in response to crisis.
  • People expect that brands will do their part, in various different ways, as key players within local communities and in the larger economy.
  • Customers want to see collaboration between brands, with governments, and with their consumers during trying times.
  • Brands should harness their resources for solutions versus continuing business as usual or continuing to simply sell products.
  • People react positively to emotional, informative, compassionate and factual messaging during crisis.
  • Brands that get it wrong will be scrutinized.
  • Customers believe big brands should protect their employees at any cost.
  • Trust is key – 55% of American survey respondents say they are turning to trusted brands during the pandemic.
  • Crisis response will shape consumer preferences in the future – 69% of U.S. respondents said they will absolutely not buy brands that put profits over people during this time.

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