Partners + Insights Series with VAB: COVID-19 viewing trends

May 26th, 2020

Written by Ampersand Marketing

On our latest Partners + Insights Series, the VAB’s EVP, Danielle DeLauro, joined our SVP, Agency Partnerships, Marion Hargett, to discuss the latest COVID-19 viewing trends and solutions for current challenges that marketers are facing.  


The VAB works towards bridging the gap between marketers’, buyers’ and sellers’ concerns. When Marion asked Danielle how they’re moving TV forward, she replied: Through education and advocacy. Danielle would like to see the industry become seamless for marketers to plan, buy and measure video advertising.  

The VAB’s most recent report, Video Viewing in the timof COVID-19 igreat examplohow thehelp move the industry forward through educationThese insights were shared during our session to provide guidance on adapting buys to the evolving “new normal.” Danielle closed out the presentation with equally valuable guidance on how to think strategically about advertising during a pandemic and economic downturn.  



During stay at home orders, 77% of consumers chose to watch TV and movies to deal with stress. Families are watching together, allowing consumers to sample new content and technology: 

  • With people staying up later, late night viewership has seen the largest spike  
  • 63% of those watching news networks are A35-64 
  • 75% of sports fans are watching others forms of content in lieu of live sports 


With more time to learn about new platforms and devices, consumers are adopting new ways of viewing video. 

  • Increased adoption of MVPD VOD and streaming services offers advertisers more ways to reach and engage viewers 


Over a hundred years of analysis proves advertising’s ability to drive business outcomes for brands during and after economic downturn. 

  • Brands should keep a watchful eye on competitors to determine the appropriate investment to maintain or grow market share. Maintaining SOV now does not mean brands have to increase spend and will cost them less in the long run 
  • ‘Going dark’ may mean a more costly recovery. If competitors are suspending ad spend, advertisers can seize the opportunity for increased brand awareness 
  • During the current pandemic, rather than an overall decline across all economic sectors, some categories experienced rapid growth or ‘panic’ buying (e.g., Zoom, toilet paper and other paper products) while others are closed completely or severely impacted (restaurants / bars, travel) 

As TV viewership continues to evolve, Danielle emphasizes that marketers should not sacrifice quality over quantity. She explained that creative changes to address sensitivity are not always relevant for every brand. However, every brand should main its authenticity to reach the right audience with the right message.  

Tune into the full session here for all the shared insights and understand why adjusting current TV buys aren’t about eliminating one element over another, but rather integrating the ones that are most relevant. 

Register for our final Partners + Insights session here!  

May 28th: KANTAR – Stephen DiMarco, US Chief Digital Officer