You Don’t Cut Ad Spend in a Crisis

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While not an important issue in the grand scheme of things, marketers all over the planet were forced to face an unprecedented challenge during the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies stared at inestimable revenue decline as consumers stayed home, reined in and saved money. If there is one company that we can look to as an example for how to handle advertising during a crisis, it’s Procter & Gamble (P&G).

While many companies went dark amid the Covid-19 pandemic, P&G doubled down on marketing during this time. The company gave three reasons for this decision—to boost short-term sales, build long-term equity and eliminate any competitive advantage that a pause would give brand rivals. P&G believed that marketing would continue to make a difference through the pandemic, especially when it forced everyone indoors and ensured that more people were consuming more commercial media (at reduced ad rates) than ever before.

Covid-19 caused every brand to question itself. The brave, the clever and the ones with long memories doubled down. Those with lesser budgets, shorter memories or a lower grade of leadership cut back and paid the price. While there is a lot more to revenue growth and decline than just advertising investment, the latest empirical evidence from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute suggests just how right P&G was to maintain ad spend and how wrong most other companies were to cut it. (Marketing Week, 08.11.21)

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