Brands, Place, Space: Lockdown learnings from Generation Media

Here we are again, in the middle of another national lockdown. Non-essential shops are closed across the country and the stay home messaging is once again at the top of the agenda. This time around. however, it’s the same but different. We’ve already been here, and we’ve learned a lot from the spring of 2020. Generation Media’s Tamara Strange rounds up those important Lockdown Lessons to keep with us throughout Part II

Just under eight months ago we entered an extraordinary, unknown world, in which the simple act of a handshake became antisocial and toilet roll became a scarcity overnight. ‘The new normal’ has become a cliché since the spring, but as we enter the second lockdown period it’s worth looking back at what the advertising industry has learned, and how toy brands might use that intelligence to steer their marketing through Autumn 2020:

Lesson 1: Toys and games are essential items. Ensure your brands are front of mind

The March lockdown saw an increased demand for toys and games. The importance of the category to children and parents when movement is limited is hard to overstate, with subcategories such as arts and crafts and games seeing even more significant demand spikes.

The importance and value of play has been in the spotlight this year as parents have been closer to their children’s development and education more than ever before. Photos of queues outside bricks and mortar toy stores since lockdown was announced further emphasises the importance of this category particularly now in the run up to Christmas. From a marketing perspective it is therefore key for brands to keep their product lines front of mind with the consumer during lockdown.

Lesson 2: #KeepinTouch via your social platforms

In a world in which face to face social activity is prohibited, social media takes on a life of its own and becomes central in our day to day lives. The exponential growth in social platforms bears this out, with Facebook alone registering increases of over 50 per cent early in the pandemic.

As a result, a robust social strategy is of paramount importance for brands, and those who effectively dovetail organic, paid and influencer activity with an audience aligned strategy will be the businesses who have the competitive edge this Autumn.

Digital media and online retail accelerated beyond recognition during the previous lockdown period with Amazon at the helm of a substantial shift to online shopping.”

Lesson 3: Lockdown leads to a surge in screen time

The previous lockdown saw screen time increase exponentially with time spent watching live YouTube swell. Audiences also spent increased time streaming content on VOD and on Live TV. This amplified opportunity to get products in front of the consumer this Autumn is a plus for advertisers in the over demanded run up to Christmas.

Lesson 4: Look after the Bottom Funnel in Marketing Plans 

Digital media and online retail accelerated beyond recognition during the previous lockdown period with Amazon at the helm of a substantial shift to online shopping. Being on the front foot with a robust digital strategy with particular attention to the bottom funnel checkout is essential for brands this season to effectively drive audiences to checkout.

Lesson 5: Content is King for brands now, not just broadcasters

With such a huge volume of content available on an ever-increasing range of devices and screens, consumers are becoming more and more discerning about the quality and relevance of what they expect to be served, particularly on YouTube, where channel strategy is imperative.

Creating content that genuinely resonates with your audience will give your brand the standout that it needs and innovating in this area is essential. If you don’t provide what they want to devour, another destination is just a click, tap, or swipe away. 

At Generation Media we are committed to helping clients navigate a rapidly evolving media marketplace and get the most for their brands. Please get in touch for a virtual coffee to discuss how we can propel your brand forward this AW20 and beyond.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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