NEWS & INSIGHT

14 may 2020

VA Consulting 's COVID-19 production guidelines to re-think the advertising world at the time of Coronavirus - Advisory - Arbitrio

READ MORE: Engage magazine

The new emergency pushes the market to make use of great consultancy not only for problems related to cancellation or postponement of events, but also to the ones connected to production and that outline new messages.

Taking a look at advertisements on the TV in the last few months allows to note that something is deeply changed. Lately, we indeed experienced a fast shift in perspective in the major television campaigns which are no longer putting the focus on the product – that seems to act as a backdrop – but on values and people instead, whether they are the targets or production companies partners. Being forced to stay at home for such a long time has led to take effect on both consumers’ habits and advertising production. People are using up more television content (+17% during daytime compared to the same period in 2019), digital content (+50% of news, videos, chats and productivity), also buying more products online (+20% than in 2019).

This rise in figures is due to the time spent at home and to new needs, among which positive messages, especially related to family. Advertisement has been able to monitor and meet these needs, often thanks to domestic settings of commercials. All of this leads to two reflections: advertising world has slowed down its growth, but has never stopped. We will fully grasp the new opportunities dictated by the aforementioned increased percentages, only by following some important recommendations in the production field.

How to handle audiovisual productions and their (possible) cancellation

With current restrictions to movement, in a constantly evolving situation, it would be appropriate: to be flexible; to use personal photo/video archives; to talk in streaming with its agency in order to solve eventual problems; to adapt the script to new demands (talking about values, community, future hugs even before the product, but always with the foresight not to cause panic in consumers, using campaigns suitable to drive them to the urgency of purchase); to cast talent adept at embodying the new messages; avoid crowded sets and excessive interaction among the actors and with the crew. Options in computer graphics will surely be the future of advertisement, as in the cinema. Moreover, it is fundamental to verify that the costs of cancellation or postponement of audiovisual productions are revised in detail, in order to check the not refundable expenses. A review of the insurance policies will show which costs may or may not be covered by clauses linked to pandemic, taking into consideration that eventual complaints or refund requests related to Covid-19 could hardly be fulfilled and certainly not quickly. It will also be important to reassess talents’ contracts because of the current situation.

What to do if an event is cancelled

If an event related to advertising or film world is cancelled due to Covid-19, it is necessary: to review insurance covers in order to verify if a cancellation policy exists; to double-check the agreements with agencies, production partners and third parties for possible terms of cancellation; to negotiate their feasible fees, also verifying whether there are state deals to facilitate practises. Finally, please be aware of a possible alternative, that is the choice to organize a virtual event that can be substitute for the live one.

<< In this context, the must-have is maximising the efficiency of marketing and communication operations, considering the investment and the channels to use in the most appropriate manner. Competitions and selections of creative agencies, TV commercial productions and photoshoots, events and press campaigns have been cancelled or postponed. However, this situation does not preclude that we will find new opportunities to communicate through digital channels >> Alessandro Arbitrio, Ceo @ VA ConsultingAdvertising Producion Advisory & Cost Control, explained.