Villagers are relatively more worried about an impending recession and the health of their loved ones. Nevertheless, they find the coronary measures more often exaggerated. Furthermore, many Dutch people still postpone the decision about their holiday and young people in particular are longing for more relaxation. Brands can advertise as normal again, most consumers now think, and there is less need for information about the corona crisis. These are the main conclusions from this week's Consumer Behavior Monitor.

Differences in care and perception measures
Staying at home as much as possible has been the urgent advice for months. Although it is still quieter on the streets than it was before the corona crisis, due to the easing of the restrictions, the hustle and bustle outside the home and in recreational areas is increasing again. Are we still sticking to the measure of keeping our distance? And what do these changes do with our concerns?

The Dutch are still most concerned about an economic crisis, followed by the physical health of their loved ones. These worries do diminish on average, but not in rural areas. Villagers have become more worried about a recession (+ 8%) and the health of others (+ 13%) last month. Perhaps a role is played here by the fact that people in villages have considerably less the idea that others are adhering to the coronary measures. Less than half of the villagers think that others are still 1.5 meters away (46%) and stay at home as much as possible (46%).

At the same time, people in villages (19%) and also in smaller towns (20%) find the current measures more often exaggerated. They are therefore more concerned, but do not see the necessity of the measures for their own living environment. Inhabitants of large cities do see them. They more often feel that government measures do not yet go far enough (23%). Support for government policy remains high: 70% in villages and 64% in cities have confidence in government measures.

Decisions about holidays are still being postponed
Even when it comes to the summer holidays, there is a difference between the city and the countryside. City-dwellers stay at home more often this summer (44%) than holidaymakers in the villages (35%). Furthermore, it is striking that a large group of consumers has not yet made a final decision about the holidays: 20% have not yet decided whether to go on holiday and 24% are still considering what kind of holidays to book.

Mandy Merks, insights consultant at Validators and member expert panel: "Many people still doubt whether they will go on holiday. What can play a role is that the population of cities is on average younger. Young people miss friends, visits to restaurants and large events more than they miss holidays and travel. A relatively large number of young people say they will stay at home next summer".

Rob Revet, brand strategist at FNDMNTL and member of the expert panel: "Brands like KLM advertise again and emphasize that people can safely board again. That may be rational, but emotionally many people are not that far yet. Offering holidays to the still unsafe Turkey by Corendon does not help. It feeds the idea that travel providers consider recovery of turnover more important than the health of customers. Not a single travel brand benefits from this."

Youth is eager to get back to "normal" life
In recent weeks the youth - in our research youngsters and young adults between 18 and 34 years - are having an increasingly difficult time with the corona measures. Especially staying at home as much as possible, not being able to go to work and the limited sports and recreation facilities are breaking them down. With the summer holidays approaching, they are looking for ways to amuse themselves and bring a new structure to their day. This is especially the case among young people who live in villages. Therefore, the measures cannot be further relaxed quickly enough for them. Especially the advice to stay at home as much as possible and the cancellations of larger events they prefer to see change as soon as possible.

Advertising: back to normal
Brands are increasingly able to advertise "normally" again. In the past two months, many consumers thought that advertising had to be adapted to the situation, now more and more consumers believe that brands can put their advertising back in the way they always did. This is especially true for younger generations: 47% think that campaigns can be conducted as usual again, compared to 26% who think that communication should be adapted to the current situation.

Gijs de Beus, strategist at Friends & Foes and member expert panel: "Last week during the Lions Live 2020 Orlando Wood of System1 showed which advertisements work best now. They are mainly commercials in which brands show how people can get on with their lives and make it more 'fun' and enjoyable. So although consumers expect advertising as usual again, we can expect a bit more ambition from brands. System1 has shown before that emotional, storytelling campaigns do better with consumers. Now is the time to continue that line".

The fact that brands can reinstate their communication as before the corona crisis is also underlined by a decreasing need for information about the crisis. This need has been decreasing among young people since the beginning of June, but now it is also decreasing among older consumers. As a result, news channels are being used less and less, while we do watch more television, both linearly and deferred or on-demand.

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