People are loving the yesteryear throwback experience that drive-ins are offering, but what does it mean for brands? And with old becoming new, with a technological twist, how can/should brands rethink their marketing strategies? Recognizing that drive-in theaters and other trends re-emerging are indicators of a larger societal shift is a good first place to start. We’ll share insight around the second.

In this trend analysis, we’ll share consumer and market intelligence around:

  • Brands pivoting their marketing strategies to reach consumers with appropriate messaging
  • Opportunities for marketers and brands to capitalize on re-emerging trends
  • How the retail industry is preparing for their new normal

We uncovered key insight to inform your brand’s journey in the coming months, including:

  • 49% of consumers are expecting brands to put out feel good ads
  • Safety is a top messaging trend that people want to see from brands
  • Consumers are both excited and anxious about changes to typical activities

Let’s dive in!

Advertising in the New Normal

Sporting events, conferences and concerts have been cancelled indefinitely. Employees are working from home, meaning there is no commuting. And while these are significant lifestyle changes for so many, it brings an even bigger challenge to marketers who have to rethink their advertising strategies pretty completely.

A study done by ClickZ revealed that while only 2% of consumers think all advertising should be paused, 49% are expecting brands to put out feel good ads. And they have specific expectations around the tone and feeling these brands should elicit:

feeling advertisers should evoke with messaging

Incorporating this insight, brands must focus on helping consumers feel safe. Maintaining brand awareness is important, of course, but empathy around the consumer experience must be informing strategic decisions to encourage future sales when consumers are ready.

And it’s crucial to use social media listening to understand these conversations not only in a given industry, but across the board, as you don’t want to put out tone deaf messaging. The global conversation is important to have in mind too.

And it’s something all brands are struggling with.

Looking at a timeline trend of articles published over the last few months, there’s a significant spike around “pandemic advertising” starting mid-March, reflecting the confusion most brands are facing around what to do:

timeline around pandemic advertising

Predictions around where the ad industry is heading depends on who you ask. Some people believe we are moving into a more mobile-focused time, while others are certain that direct response ads are going to take off quickly.

The key takeaway here is that new strategies are required. And with a world of possibilities out there, capturing insight around your unique pivot is a must.

Pivoting to Create Something New

Some brands are rethinking their marketing plans by creating new products that meet consumers where they are – at home, like beach-scented candles to recreate that “at the beach” feel.

But what about experiences that are similar to what we once knew – like drive-ins? Consumers are very excited about this unexpected addition to their lives. It’s something they didn’t realize they missed – but they sure do!

sentiment around reemerging trends

And brands listening closely to this conversation about drive-ins, as well as the larger “nostalgia” conversation, can uncover actionable insight:

nostalgia and opportunties for brands

Chick-fil-a could potentially step in and create “Drive-In Movie” meals. Or, take it one step further, and even host their own drive-in theaters, like this Massachusetts restaurant plans to do. What other nostalgic opportunities are out there waiting to be discovered? Next generation AI-powered digital consumer intelligence can reveal them!

And this area of entertainment has so much room for potential. The conversation around this re-emerging trend is continuing to spike, as social distancing continues and is expected to for a good bit of time. Brands will find many opportunities for recovery if they approach their strategy using consumer-informed insight:

timeline and sentiment around drive in

But that’s not all. There is room for opportunity beyond the movie industry. For instance, the travel industry has been hit hard, that’s not a secret to anyone. Many brands are pivoting to market staycations and even virtual vacation experiences. It will be interesting to see how these marketing plans come to life in the coming weeks, with the busiest travel season upon us.

Other categories are taking tentative steps as well.

Other Categories Taking Tentative Steps

There are so many changes that everyone has to adapt to when it comes to retail shopping.

Limited shoppers. Social distancing markers. No dressing rooms. And the shifting supply and demand is affecting all CPG brands.

And for the last three months restaurants have either been completely closed or open for takeout with limited menus, meaning more people were cooking at home more frequently. And getting used to doing so. Again, we see Chick-fil-a capturing this opportunity by creating “meal kits” to accommodate shifting needs:

people used to trend of home cooking

The demand for dining out is there – though it will look very different as we move forward. And it will take more than a simple re-opening to get a significant number of regular diners back. In fact, although 37% of consumers will be looking for some sort of deal to entice them, a full 60% will seek assurances that they’ll have a safe experience. And, as seen above, there will be ample opportunity to accommodate shifting needs for those brands paying attention and ready to react.

Back to safety – that safe experience is an expectation across the board. And every vertical will need to offer clear communication around how that safety will look. What specific messaging with resonate to put your consumers’ minds at ease? It will vary depending on where you are, what you’re offering and how your target audience has changed during this time at home!

Reach out for a demo and we can help you uncover what competitors are doing and run you through some possibilities – and consumer and market insights that will help you stand out and capture this market that eagerly awaits your next steps!

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