'Brand campaign performance on BBC News during pandemic was 6-9% higher than before'

In the e4m-BBC Global News webinar, Rahul Sood, MD, India, BBC Global News and Sally Wu, Research Director, Audience & Business Insights (Asia Pacific), explored the topic ‘Recovery in a Recession’

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jul 16, 2020 1:38 PM
bbc

The BBC Global News webinar hosted by the Exchange4media Group, held on July 14, shined the spotlight on why advertising on news platforms leads to more effective outcomes for brands. The webinar, ‘Recovery in a Recession’, featured Rahul Sood, Managing Director, India, BBC Global News and Sally Wu, Research Director, Audience & Business Insights (Asia Pacific), who discussed the impact of news on brands, especially during an economic downturn. They aimed to answer key questions which are important to marketers, agencies and publishers in the current economic environment. The session was moderated by Ruhail Amin, senior editor, exchange4media. 

It laid out facts, figures and research to show that hard news is actually a very conducive environment to be advertising in. Sood said, “Although brands fear being associated with hard news content, research has proven that audiences are more engaged and more receptive to advertising when in hard news environments since it creates a stronger emotional impact and long term memory encoding for advertising campaigns leading to more effective outcomes.”  

The research also spoke about utilizing neuroscience technology and implicit association test. The research looks at the role of news in helping brands remain top of mind among consumers during a pandemic.

News viewership not only in India but also around the whole world has been peaking month over month. For news publishers, the repercussions when then pandemic started in March were felt almost immediately. As recession looms, brands have been cutting marketing budgets to support cost-savings measures. 

“Due to COVID, 52% of brands have postponed advertising spending by half a year, there has been a 256% Growth Rate over their competitors that cut spend and brands that have maintained or grown their marketing during a recession have seen a double growth in market share over those that have cut spend,” Sood added.  

However, consumers are still spending and this creates an opportunity to create a market share. From the past recessions, the study has observed that brands who stay active in the market will win business from their competitors and sill then build habit, preference and loyalty allowing them to recover quicker as consumer spending increases in subsequent years.  

Brands which invest in building share of voice during a recession report much greater profit growth in subsequent years. As other brands exit the market and media rates go down, it can be easier and cheaper to achieve an excess share of voice.  

Selecting media partners that support brand objectives rather than just reach, frequency or conversion will contribute more to sales. Emphasizing on this, Sood added, "Brands focus much on media that provides scalable reach in such times. Brand contributes to 5X more sales than media alone. If they use quarantine trusted news brands to build their own brands, there will be a sizeable rub-off effect.

Today, fake news and misinformation is the reality we live in and brand trust then becomes so credible. Especially in the US and India, we are mirror images of each other in terms of the environment both the countries are operating in. If people trust you, they will pay more attention to your brands.” 

Sood believes that customer trust and the emotional connect that comes with it is the main thing that any brand of marketer will be targeting.  

Speaking about the advantage that the pandemic has provided to news channels as well as brands, Wu, said, “59% of the people are now consuming international news because of the COVID situation. This shift in national markets like India and Australia are higher than what we have seen globally and across APAC. Frequent travellers rely on news for tips on travelling safety and read news articles about travel destinations they want to visit, once the pandemic is over.” 

According to the BBC global minds research, more than 2 in 3 audience members believe that one should support news by advertising. 68% of investor audiences are thinking about making changes to their stocks and investments at this time, whereas, 37% are looking forward to vacation as soon as the government lifts the lockdown. 

The 11 campaigns that were active on the BBC news platforms came from various sectors like Banking, Finance, Telco, Tourism, B2B, Luxury goods, Airlines and Technology. “On average, the campaign performance was 6-9% higher than the benchmark we had referred to, before the pandemic. The brand recommendation also went up higher than the benchmark in the pre-COVID scenario”, Wu said, while speaking about the brands that advertised on the BBC platforms in the current scenario.  

“It's a misconception that the brand is not safe when advertising during this time. Our only reason for this research at this time was to find out whether or not people are turned off by the news content. We hope that we would have the budget to do more of these studies in happy and well as sad times,” Wu added. 

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