It’s fair to say that the lockdown period will be remembered for the dawn of Zoom-style ads. Shot on video chat platforms like Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and Zoom, these lo-fi ads recorded in the participant’s home were a clear attempt from brands to show solidarity with lockdown Britain.
The adverts reflected the mood of the nation in the early days of the Covid-19 crisis, when there was no way high gloss ads could be produced remotely. But four months on, has the pandemic changed consumer expectations of advertising? Do big, slick productions chime with the mood of 2020?
Purposeful storytelling will clearly be of importance and, as ever, the festive season will be an emotional time bound up with feelings of comfort, security and hope. The challenge for brands will be how to get those messages across.
David Patton is global president of creative experience and advertising at Technicolor and heads up the MPC Advertising, The Mill and Mikros creative production studios.
He waves away any notion that we’re seeing the end of the big glossy ad campaigns and believes if anything we’re going to have more of them, as the industry shakes itself out of lockdown and looks to flex its creative muscles.
“I think the appetite can only get stronger. Clients moving forward are going to want more creativity and everyone would agree that the style of advertising over the past couple of months has been pretty repetitive,” says Patton.
He agrees that brands and agencies need to be sensitive and that we’ll see a change in the message, but is confident that there’s still an audience eager for the big Christmas ads.
“It might be that consumers want to engage with brands more than ever this year. They’ll want that positivity and reassurance,” Patton says. “And brands want to reconnect with their consumers, to remind them that they’re still around, still alive.”