Empathetic “back to school” ads are popular with consumers: Study

New Ideas in MarketingEssential news for marketers, summarised by YouGov
August 13, 2020, 5:27 PM UTC

Walmart, JCPenney, Target and Kohl’s are among the big brands running ads that address pandemic-related anxiety.

Retailers are creating strategic “back-to-school” campaigns that are assuaging concerns around COVID-19 by highlighting facilities like contactless pickup and delivery, while also maintaining an energetic messaging tone. According to a new Ace Metrix study, parents said that they appreciated brands addressing the uncertainties around the current academic year.

Colourful and attention-grabbing visuals helped Kohl push purchase intent among 77% of viewers. Similarly, Walmart’s “Back to School – Free 2 Day delivery” ad addressed the ambiguities around home learning and physical schooling, without overwhelming the consumers.

The study found that ads with a positive tone resonated well with parents and are considered likeable and relevant. In contrast, the situation continues to be challenging for offline stores as consumers remain reluctant to return to in-person shopping.

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