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Advertising in times of crisis: How to adapt advertising strategies to difficult times ❓

Advertising in times of crisis: How to adapt advertising strategies to difficult times❓

Advertising in times of crisis: How to adapt advertising strategies to difficult times❓

Over the past few years, people around the world have been put to the test. The Covid-19 pandemic, followed by the outbreak of war in Ukraine, contributed to disrupting the harmony in the peaceful world and creating numerous crises. Faced with this, many companies did not know how to behave, what to do next. However, each of them should be prepared to act even in a crisis. In this article, we have included our advice on how to act in times of crisis and what actions are well perceived by consumers.

Should you advertise at all during crises?

As soon as a crisis erupts, many entrepreneurs decide to cut marketing budgets because it is considered the least necessary at the moment. However, such thinking is mistaken. An example is McDonald’s, which in the 1990s, during a major crisis, decided to completely stop marketing activities. At the same time, Pizza Hut decided to maintain communication with customers. The result? Shortly after the crisis, the pizza chain saw a sales increase of over 200%, while McDonald’s only reached 18%.

Marketing is essential at all times in a company’s existence. Also during crises. It is understandable to temporarily suspend advertising activities to figure out how to proceed, to plan communication. However, you should not completely disappear from the advertising industry but rather change the current strategy.

Changing marketing goals during a crisis

During the coronavirus pandemic, many companies aimed to stay afloat in the market. The goal was no longer just to increase sales, but simply to survive. During a crisis, customers do not disappear, just as their needs do not disappear. The only thing that changes is their purchasing motivations. Decisions about purchasing products are more thoughtful and more conservative. However, this does not mean that they do not buy at all. They still buy, but more cautiously.

Therefore, the primary goal for companies should be to maintain brand awareness, remind of their existence, and protect the brand’s potential. Here again, we’ll remind you of the example of communication between McDonald’s and Pizza Hut and who came out better.

During a crisis, many companies are afraid to take any advertising actions because they believe they will be poorly perceived by audiences. However, a decrease in interest in advertising is often seen during this time. The result is easier reaching of customers because your advertising becomes more visible. The less companies invest in advertising, the greater chances you have of reaching your target audience.

What to communicate during a crisis?

You already know that you should not give up advertising during a crisis and that your advertising is more visible, but do you know what to communicate?

Both during Covid-19 and the outbreak of war in Ukraine, many companies focused on relations with customers. Their communication – whether in social media or in classic TV or OOH advertising – was about what is currently happening in the world. These advertisements did not focus on promoting the product but on showing that the company is with its customers, supporting them, and believing in a quick return to normalcy.

A crisis is a time of great uncertainty among customers. Suddenly their peace is disrupted, and they themselves do not know what to do next. They sought answers to their questions, directions indicating the right path from companies they trusted.

You can learn more about post-Covid consumer behaviors from our report “Post-Covid Consumer Trends or What Consumers Expect from Companies”. You can download it for free by signing up for our newsletter, below contact. 

All messages conveyed in advertisements should uplift consumers’ spirits. It is also recommended to avoid controversy. We know that scandals sell, but in times of crisis, they can only contribute to creating an additional crisis – this time, the brand’s image crisis. Instead, fulfilling social expectations by companies is well received.

CSR – Why should companies be socially engaged?

Consumers felt helpless during the crisis. It was up to the companies to show them the way and, in a sense, provide spiritual assistance. But customers also expect companies to be socially engaged during a crisis.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, these were all actions supporting healthcare workers (free coffee at stations for medical rescuers, protective masks for hospitals), and in connection with the outbreak of war in Ukraine, providing food or clothing for refugees. During this time, companies’ marketing did not focus on promoting products but on promoting CSR, which stands for Corporate Social Responsibility. This phenomenon involves considering not only economic goals but also social interests and environmental aspects.

Such actions show that social responsibility, empathy, sincerity, solidarity, and showing one’s “human face” are important for companies. That in a crisis, we are all together and that by working together, we will be able to survive it with dignity.

According to marketing trends predicted for 2024 and the following years, companies’ social engagement will be the basis for choosing services and products of individual manufacturers. If companies act in accordance with the values of customers, their sales will increase because customers will feel a stronger bond with the brand.

Crisis communication and the end of the crisis

Everything has its end – crises too. The Covid-19 pandemic and the related restrictions have become history. And it was known from the very beginning that people will eventually leave their homes again and enjoy life in the city. The assumptions of OOH advertising experts that this industry will see growth after the pandemic have also been confirmed. And it happened. The OOH, DOOH, and City Transport advertising market is growing stronger. More and more companies are opting for outdoor advertising again because they see greater potential in it. Evidence of this is the increased interest in OOH and DOOH media. Our agency is working at full speed, and thanks to thousands of advertising media, we can boast quick project realization for our clients.

We offer full support in creating OOH, DOOH, and City Transport campaigns – including those with social engagement. Want to know more details? Just write to us.

BE Media

We provide comprehensive service and implementation of Out-of-home advertising . Thanks to years of experience we know where to find your potential customers and what means to use to draw the attention to your advertising. The confidence that brands have in us is not unfounded – we simply implement effective campaigns. Despite the multitude of media in various parts of the city, we are not obtrusive. Our adverts are not very invasive – both for the user and for the urban landscape. They do not irritate but intrigue the audience. In our opinion, this is the best way for the campaign to be saved in the memory of a potential client.