Infographic: Consumers Are Burned Out by Advertising With Covid-19 Messaging

Especially those that feel disingenuous

graphic of a couple watching tv with a head and dog floating nearby
As brands try to address the pandemic, consumers are becoming increasingly frustrated by messaging that doesn't feel authentic. Carlos Monteiro
Headshot of Nicole Ortiz

Every time you open up your laptop, scroll through social media or flip through the TV channels, you’re bound to come across something about Covid-19. But when it comes to advertising, recent data shows, consumers are fed up and want a reprieve.

Real Talk Insights conducted a study looking at how people are responding to ads that include Covid-19-related messaging. More than 60% felt it was still great to see this type of response from brands, while more than half (55%) felt brands were pandering and 44% felt that all the ads blurred together and looked the same. And while many are largely indifferent about these types of ads, almost three-quarters (70%) couldn’t recall any brand’s specific response to Covid-19.

“Marketing around Covid-19 is a double-edged sword. Done right, it can improve brand loyalty and purchase intent. However, if it’s seen as perfunctory or disingenuous (and over half of it is), it can actually harm the brand,” said Brian Dunbar, head of U.S. at Real Talk Insights.

Ultimately, as with most areas of marketing, if it isn’t an authentic effort, consumers will know from the get-go and will be turned off by it.

This story first appeared in the Oct. 5, 2020, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

@neco_ornot Nicole Ortiz is a senior editor at Adweek, overseeing magazine departments such as Trending, Talent Pool, Data Points, Voice and Perspective.