#CoronavirusSA: Home is where the media is
by Martin MacGregor (@MartMacG) Imagine your whole target market is forced to stay at home and unable to keep their eyes off their screens. We don’t have to anymore — this sudden shift in media behaviour is going to require a sudden shift in brands’ media strategy.
How idiosyncratic does out of home and radio drive time sound now? I’ve had to stop myself a few times these past two weeks and realise how ridiculous some of this language suddenly sounds. It’s not necessarily a bad thing as many terms are outdated and the behaviour based on historic legacy. A lot of stations show equal audiences throughout the day, with little drive-time peak.
Trying to come to terms with sudden change isn’t easy and the best way is to try and identify what the most apparent consumer needs are.
Lockdown will mean three things:
- The need to be informed.
- The need to be connected.
- The need to be entertained.
Media implications will be both positive and negative.
The desperate need for information will increase audiences on local and global news sites, TV channels, Twitter and activity around covid-19 search terms. However, newspaper sales will now really drop off the cliff. Nobody wants to touch the news. [The news may not even be printed — ed-at-large.]
Isolation means digital connection is increasing in value. Facebook and Instagram are primed for this, as — of course — are any messenger platforms such as WhatsApp. Business connection platforms such as Microsoft Teams are soaring in usage. How long before advertising opportunities open up on these?
But lockdown also means no travel. Taxi ranks, airports and highways are emptying out and outdoor eyeballs are disappearing. Search activity for destinations are decreasing. Sampling? Most definitely off the table.
The search for entertainment at home to stem the boredom should drive a lot of media activity. This will be dependent on connectivity. From analogue aerials to Compact DStv dishes to 3G to fibre, the entertainment options may be different but audiences will most definitely be there.
It’s an opportunity, from the forlorn SABC to Netflix to YouTube, to grow audiences. For DStv as well, although the SuperSport drop off might counter much of that positivity. Daytime radio and magazines might also benefit. Cinemas, though, just have to take a deep breath and wait.
Whether being informed, connected or entertained, the activity is likely to involve some kind of screen at home.
For now, home is most definitely where the media is.
Martin MacGregor (@MartMacG) has been managing director of Connect, the M&C Saatchi media agency with offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town, since 2012. He has spent 22 years in the industry, having previously worked at Ogilvy and been MD of Nota Bene (now Wavemaker) in Cape Town. Martin contributes the monthly “Media Redefined” column, in which he challenges norms in the media space, to MarkLives.com.
This MarkLives #CoronavirusSA special section contains coverage of how the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and its resultant disease, covid-19, is affecting the advertising, marketing and related industries in South Africa and other parts of Africa, and how we are responding. Updates may be sent to us via our contact form or the email address published on our Contact Us page. Opinion pieces/guest columns must be exclusive.