PARIS– During the pandemic, the marketplace has shifted, and the context in which brands advertise is as important as ever. Domitille Doat, chief digital officer at Danone explained how the pandemic has altered the marketplace, both from a consumer’s perspective and from an advertising perspective. 

Selling products for infants, Danone knows that it’s extremely important that they are aware of what context they are advertising in, and that brand safety is paramount. 

“It’s even more important that the context in which we are talking online and on mobile is extremely controlled, extremely respectful of the parents who are online and are looking at this content.” Doat says. 

The pandemic hasn’t changed the importance around this, but in her position at Danone, Doat-Le Bigot has picked up on some ways that the doing business has changed. The first of the trends that she has noticed is that people are buying online in a more diverse way.

“They were not looking at one-stop-shop to buy everything online because they had more time to discover content, discover places of discussion, discover forums, discover a new form of influence.” Doat says. “Influence marketing in digital has been widely disrupted during this pandemic.”

Direct-to-consumer sales for many of their products has risen in an unprecedented way. People were traditionally not eager to buy food online, but that has changed.

“In a way, this pandemic has made us leapfrog by two or three years in the usage of consumers to buy online,” Doat says. “And that’s for me probably a shift which we could foresee the beginning of it, the seeds of it, but not the momentum that we have now.”

The pandemic’s effect on people’s ways of living has made it so that they simply will not be able to spend money in the same way.

“It has an impact on the affordability and accessibility of the products that we need to think very seriously so that we address as many consumers as possible in view and in the know of the new capabilities of people to actually spend money on food.” Doat says.

Given these changes, Danone’s approach to media investment, especially around news, has changed as well. The company has steered clear of advertising during live news, because there is not as much of a way to control the context. There’s some certain thematic, news-driven content that they have found some success with that deals with topics like food and water accessibility.

“We are never doing it if the level of control is not high into what type of content is provided,” Doat says. “You have new media platforms which are very able to give you the kind of thematic they are approaching and the ways they are investigating. If we believe this is very objective and not political and not polemical, there is no reason not to put advertising in this type of context.”

This video is part of a series titled Brand Suitability at the Forefront, presented by Integral Ad Science.  For more segments from the series, please visit this page.