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  • Nina Franck

How to adapt your media plan during the crisis

Updated: Apr 10, 2020


Since social media is centre to news, entertainment and socialising, especially now during the crisis, it can seem like the biggest relevant platform. However, it can be a very cluttered space and getting attention and cutting through can be hard, especially during the crisis due to an increase in usage.

Other channels that sit mainly on digital platforms can offer a great opportunity to

enhance your media plan.


What has changed?


Not only can we see a difference in consumption behaviour overall, we also see a difference in media consumption adoption among generations. Only one-third of Baby Boomers have changed their home media activity, while a whopping 79% of Millennials have adopted their home media activity significantly.


Top media activity done more often while at home (target audience 16-64 years of age), with 38%, is reading online news – which is expected during the crisis – and is followed by 36% watching TV. Social media usage comes only third with 27%. Next is listening to music (26%) followed by watching online TV (VOD) with 24%.

Only around 15% of the UK population have increased their social media consumption which might come from Social already taking up a lot of time of people's daily hours spent, and an increase can only be relatively small as compared to media you mainly use while being at home.

Traditional channels are at the forefront in terms of time spent due to being in lock-downs.


I appreciate that digital platforms seem to be more accessible and affordable with smaller budgets than traditional channels such as TV. However, it is worth investigating other digital platforms, or traditional platforms that went digital such as music streaming or Video on Demand (VOD) which allow for more detailed targeting and offers more ad space (copy length) to bring your message across.

The core of your message needs to be consistent; the format and length will change based on the platform.

Who is your target audience and what do you want to say?


Before you revisit your media plan and start shifting around £'s, start with analysing your audience. Who are they? Where do they live (national or local)? Which channels do they consume the most? What attitudes do they have around their lifestyle and behaviours, in relation to your industry?


It is important to be relevant to your audience, to differentiate and be meaningful to allow coming out of the crisis strong so as to build your brand back up, following all the hard work you have done before the crisis kicked in.

While only 2% of the UK population say they want advertising to stop, according to a Kantar study in March 2020, the majority want to see how a brand or company is supporting the community and being reassuring. Now is not the time to hard sell; it can be quickly seen as exploitative and can have a negative effect on your business and brand.

Adapt your messaging and be supportive. Show that you are there. Support communities and encourage to staying healthy and connected.

If you show that you are there in a meaningful way it will keep your brand relevant and helps you get out of the crisis stronger.

Find the right context for your message


Having several touch points leads to an increase in reach for your message. Different surroundings and contexts that transports your message differently brings higher impact to your campaign. But not every platform is the right one for your message and audience.

For example, Social Media is mainly used passively by consumers by scrolling through. An ad view on there might only get a chance of a window of 1-3 seconds for it to be seen. Whereas if you think about YouTube pre-rolls (even though you can buy skippable ads), the lengths to transport the message is much longer and you share your space with a maximum of one other advertiser before the actual content gets watched by your audience. Having said that, working with engaging formats such as lenses or with influencers that encourage their followers to participate in challenges can drive higher attention and engagement on social media. It all depends on what it is you are saying and to whom.


News websites have seen the strongest increase in usage. Depending on your message it might be worth considering them if your message is about showing support during the crisis and working with formats that have high visibility such as a Homepage Takeovers or leaderboard banners.

It might be also worth exploring podcast and music streaming services. Those platforms have seen a similar rise in usage like Social Media (about +15%) but don’t have the clutter. You usually stand alone with your audio message which brings a higher cut through and can be a very good complement to visual channels.


A combination of platforms enhances the message you want to get across to our audience as you capture them in different states of mind. Amending your media plan to adapt to the crisis doesn't need a massive shift. It can be a small tweak that is required to stay relevant and get through the crisis.


If you want to talk about how to adapt your media plan at the moment, or revisit it in general and be all set for when the crisis is over, please do get in touch.

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Sources: WARC, Kantar

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