Consumption is changing for audiences who are now stuck at home, says Xandr’s head of video market development for EMEA Austin Scott. Device usage and the amount of content that people have an appetite for has surged. That has opened an opportunity for streaming companies: We’ve seen the launch of Quibi during quarantine. Netflix is adding 16 million new subscribers per month. Roku is launching a free, ad-supported channel in the UK.

That means brands and publishers have to change their messaging. “Context is even more important now,” says Scott. Context has always been a “proxy for audience”, she adds. If you contextually understand behavior, intent, interest and demographic, you understand your audience. Xandr, the advertising and analytics arm of AT&T, is analyzing what strategies are emerging and what’s resonating. As Scott points out, brands are most embracing the “empathy and humanity angle,” with messages like “stay at home, save lives.”

“Making your creative and your messaging really engaging and getting to the heart of people – brands can lean into that,” Scott says. It’s certainly not the time for the hard sell or aggressive performance metrics. Unless you’re a brand primed for performance right now, like one selling hand sanitizer, that is.

It’s also time to embrace technology and new ad formats that brands might have otherwise been leaving to the wayside. “This is a world on demand,” Scott says. “So being able to adapt to that kind of consumption is needed.”

That could mean testing out artificial intelligence or live shoppable content, something that NBCUniversal’s new universal checkout platform could help facilitate. Right now, people may be open to buying in unexpected places, and brands should test that.

“Creative is evolving to meet the temperament of the new viewer,” Scott says.

This video is part of a Beet.TV series  titled “Audience, in Context,” presented by Xandr.  For more videos please visit this page.   

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