The Dutch are slowly becoming less concerned about the corona crisis, but continue to support the cabinet measures en masse. Still, people crave a relaxation of the rules and a return to normal life. Especially social contact with others is increasingly missed. That's why we see that people are sending cards more often, but also spending more time on social media platforms. We also give more attention to traditional media. Because of this, advertising seems to have more impact than before the crisis. This week, these are the most important insights from the Consumer Behavior Monitor of Validators and VU.

Support for measures despite protest
Although the concerns of the Dutch about the consequences of the corona crisis are slowly waning, we are certainly not yet carefree. Especially about the physical health of our loved ones and a possible economic crisis, concerns persist. This may also explain why there continues to be a lot of support for the Cabinet's measures: 67% of the Dutch people think the measures are exactly right. Although more and more people think the measures are exaggerated (15%), there are just a little more people who think the government should take more measures (18%). There is therefore no broad opposition to the measures, although the media sometimes give that impression.

The Dutch crave social contact
As of 1 June, the measures will be eased a lot. Just in time, because the Dutch crave this relaxation. Especially with the limitations in social contact we are still struggling (67%), followed by the limited sports and recreation facilities (57%). We therefore crave social activities. The first thing we are going to do if the measures allow it is to visit friends and family (77%) and visit the terrace, café or restaurant (46%). Our buying behaviour also shows that we miss family and friends. We now spend more money on sending tickets (38%) and online alerts (36%) to each other. Meanwhile, we spend considerably more time on social media platforms.

Rob Revet, brand strategist at FNDMNTL and member of the expert panel: 'The monitor shows that all social media platforms are profiting in this corona crisis, especially TikTok it seems. This platform is increasingly being found by older target groups. Whereas before the crisis this seemed to be exclusively the domain of children and adolescents'.

Socio-emotional messages increase brand relevance Brand
relevance continues to decline as the lockdown continues. For the sixth week in a row we see a drop in the BRiC score: from 2.61 in week 13 to 2.44 in week 18. Still, we see plenty of opportunities for brands to change this in their own category.

Gijs de Beus, strategist at Friends & Foes and member of the expert panel: 'Research in Germany by DECODE shows that the functional benefits of brands do not change in the eyes of consumers. The gain lies mainly in addressing socio-emotional 'gaps', such as the lack of social contact. So it's not surprising that emotional, narrative advertising is doing better now than it did before the crisis, as we pointed out last week. Brands can really make a difference by fighting those gaps.'

In the Netherlands, the new campaign by bakmerk Koopmans a good example of this. In the campaign, Koopmans shows how, through a clever combination of online and offline contact, you can still celebrate a real, successful birthday together with grandma and grandpa.

Corona drives ROI campaigns
We see in various impact studies and post tests that advertising campaigns are now very effective, with KPIs above the benchmarks. Not just through an emotional message that responds to the current situation and the emotions consumers are now experiencing. But also because increased media consumption increases the reach of campaigns and leads to better attention for campaign messages. After all, it is not only social media that are now being used more. We also pay more attention to traditional media: about 4 out of 10 consumers now watch more television (linear and deferred) and 3 out of 10 listen to radio more often/longer.

Mandy Merks, Insights Consultant at Validators and member expert panel: 'In effect studies for customers we see significantly higher advertising and proposition awareness, brand consideration and brand preference also get a boost in specific situations. Consumers are now really more sensitive to advertising and the reach is higher'.

The above news item also appeared on Marketing Tribune!

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