Media Intelligence and the Pandemic

Media Intelligence and the Pandemic

by Nino da Silva, director-general of Media & Business Intelligence at Repense

MAR | 2020

by Nino da Silva, director-general of Media & Business Intelligence at Repense

Will it pass? Yes.

The situation in other countries shows us that it has a peak and, with the measures of confinement and medical care, the situation is reversed.

  • Now, a week before the end of March, China is already closing hospital beds because of the drop in cases of new infections by Covid-19;
  • In India, doctors are succeeding with combining some medicine against this virus;
  • A Chinese grandma of 103 was cured of Coronavirus after 6 days of treatment;
  • Apple is reopening its 42 stores in China.

There is a lot of good things happening already, but still in the shadow of the seriousness of the pandemic, of course. Until it passes completely, what we will see is chaos in the daily decisions about what to do in the communication of brands.

Every day we have a new scenario and updated estimates, usually pending for the negative picture. And that leads to adjustments, changes, attempts to correct the route and all kinds of choices guided by fear and the feeling of helplessness - feelings that are terrible advisers.

When talking about Media campaigns, it is important to validate a few points:

    • Brazil is rediscovering the relevance of television and getting deeper and deeper into the resources offered by the internet.


    • Due to the compulsory social withdrawal, families are closer and gathered at home, exposed 100% of the time to TV (open and cable) and to internet with residential broadband and 4G.

The forecast, according to the evolution recorded in the first three weeks of March, is for an overall growth of 18% in the audience of open TV, 42% in cable TV and a 60% increase in Brazilian digital time-spent. Supermarkets and essential services are working, people can still, in an orderly manner, go to a supermarket, drugstore, gas station, keeping their house in order and car fueled. The only point is that you stay at home, and do not leave.

Because of the situation, open TV takes care of the journalistic content (which speaks to the adults in the house) and part of the entertainment (which speaks to the children):

  • TV Globo does not have a large number of children's content as an open channel network,

however, it has information and entertainment for the family, talking more with young people and adults.

  • SBT has a schedule listing for children and still keeps the coverage of the situation for its adult audience.
  • Record has its schedule oriented towards the family and it reserves part of the weekend schedule for the young.
  • Band already reserves its schedule listings for the adult audience.
  • Cable TV is another world, providing families with more information and entertainment options for all ages.

The Internet is a more open field, giving space for the consumption of all types of content, from information to entertainment:

  • Websites covering and highlighting the pandemic and offering other types of content for different interests;
  • Vertical websites staying in their niches and meeting popular interest within the digital long-tail;
  • Social media take care of people's daily journey with news, updates, memes and conversations;
  • Messaging apps follow in the wake of social media, taking up even more space on people's use;
  • In most of the online channels the audience is the station itself, which is already typical of this medium. Therefore, putting communication in the hands of people to carry it forward can be very promising.

That's how we are today. With Brazilian people immersed in these two media - TV and internet. This will be people's daily journey for the next two months.

Popular consumption, which depends more on physical stores, is being affected, but with social isolation, people are spending more time consuming TV and internet, and the government is approving consumer support programs and initiatives to generate effects soon after the pandemic.

So: Do not leave the scene!!! The brands cannot leave the radar at the moment, because the pandemic will pass and people will go shopping, they will return to their normal lives, with more care, it is true, but with a reestablished routine, and consuming.

Companies are changing their discourse for this moment, advising the population, contextualizing the use of their products. And they are also taking the opportunity to stay on the radar, just adapting their current communication.

Regardless of your market segment, keep talking to your audience, as people, even if confined at home, continue with their lives preserved and making plans for when the moment passes.

Brands still need to talk, be remembered and considered for business.

Tips to guide some decisions:

  • Change your advertising material on the websites;
  • Segment your campaigns in verticals to fit the communication to the context of the people who access such content;
  • Create editorial lines of services and guidelines for social networks;
  • Set an example; be close to people right now.

This moment of chaos will leave advances and new perceptions about the media:

  • Brands can discover that campaigns can drastically change their path in less time;
  • Producers and printing companies can find ways to make production of audiovisual and printed content available in less time and less cost, as they are being forced to think like that during this period;
  • Advertising agencies are discovering that they are able to implement a structural organization to operate from home, following rules already established by the European corporate environment, for example.
  • Message and conference call apps tend to gain even more relevance for companies' daily lives.

The collective sense of responsibility has been crystallizing in work relations and this, cultivated for the next few months, tends to generate good results for the day by day life, which will follow after all of this.

Stay strong. We will work (from home) and help Brazil keep fighting.

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