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The Latest: Coronavirus’ Effects on Advertising Creative

Bridget Johnston March 31, 2020

It’s been well-documented that coronavirus is affecting creative advertising trends

These shifts in creative range from big corporations boldly changing strategy, to smaller D2C brands observing and incorporating quickly-changing cultural shifts

No matter where your brand lives on the social ad spectrum, you’ll benefit from this week’s AI-driven dive into COVID-19’s effects on digital ads. Read below to learn more and unlock personalized insights to your ad creative.

Graduations are Cancelled. So is Depicting Education in Ads.

We all have events that have been canceled, due to COVID-19. Some of the most tragic cancellations are school events and graduation ceremonies. 

From the beginning of February to the end of March, AI found that ads displaying “education-themed” imagery declined 76%. It also discovered that ads displaying traditional school classrooms have dropped in popularity 96%. Ads depicting graduation have fallen 98% as well.

Social Distancing is Showing Up in Imagery.

Advertisers are being sensitive to socially distanced crowd sizes. Throughout March, the use of ad imagery displaying crowds dropped a whopping 54%. Depictions of cities dropped 19% as well.

Medical-Related Creative Trends Change as Quickly as Our News Cycle.

In mid-February, the COVID-19 caseload spiked in China and the virus began to spread in Europe and Northern Africa. As the medical world has changed since, so has the world of medicine in advertising.

Since mid-February, imagery depicting doctors has decreased 90%. Following suit, ad copy containing the word “doctor” fell 60%. 

For the same time period, imagery depicting nurses dropped 77%. Copy containing the word “nurse” also dropped in popularity, by 84%.

Interestingly, despite advertisers choosing not to display doctors or nurses in ads, doing so is proving to be cost-effective. Throughout March, ads containing imagery of doctors have decreased in cost per click by 60%. 

On March 11, the day The World Health Organization categorized the virus a global pandemic, CPC for “doctor” in ad copy dropped 40%.

Self-Care is More Important Than Ever.

We noted last week that words like “rest” and “sleep are trending upward in Facebook ad copy. This trend is continuing, rising 33% in popularity over the month of March. While growing in popularity though, “sleep” is trending upward in cost. Since the beginning of March, its CPC has risen 50%. 

Stay Home… And Talk About It.

Throughout March, copywriting containing the word “home” declined 37%. Despite its decrease in popularity, its costs have also decreased. CPC fell 78% throughout the month. 

This means that, even though it’s not trendy to talk about home in ad copy, doing so might decrease your ad costs.

Family Saw the Biggest Boost.

People want to be with their families, and advertisers have been talking about that. Ads containing the word “family” have dramatically increased in popularity throughout March. In fact, using “family” in copy skyrocketed 266% over the month.

CPC for ads containing “family” in their copy has remained consistent across both February and March.

AI Will Discover Your Data’s Hidden Secrets.

There’s much more to be discovered, beyond the trends outlined above. AI is helping marketers take deeper dives into their advertiser data every day, and they’re learning how to better connect with their customers. 

If you’d like to see how AI can help your ads in this uncertain time, you can get a free AI ad audit. It’ll help you discover custom creative insights your marketing needs.