Lockdown TV

The coronavirus crisis has taken TV advertising through the looking glass: audiences are soaring, while revenues are falling. It’s not surprising that viewing numbers increased and viewing patterns changed dramatically. Desirable, hard to reach audiences are suddenly watching daytime TV. This has coincided with advertisers pulling airtime due to restrictions imposed by the lockdown - there is little point advertising sports betting if there is no sport. Even since the ease of lockdown at the end of June, broadcast TV viewing is 11% higher than this time last year.

Our infographics display the dramatic change in UK viewing patterns. The charts visualise BARB weekday, daytime (9-5), 16-34 and ABC1 Adult Impacts across March and early April. Monday, 2nd March to Friday 6th March represents the baseline. The percentage change is relative to the equivalent day from the baseline period.

As the infographics illustrate, lockdown changed TV and like many things that changed since COVID-19, may never be the same again. The real question now lies with advertisers and their capabilities to use this unprecedented situation to their advantage.

Often, TV has the stigma of being complex, difficult to get into and expensive. That, and the added complications due to lockdown advertising restrictions could deter advertisers. So, in a recent Mediatel article, we explored some simple ideas that will make TV advertising more appealing to agile markets. Read the article here.