It’s Sunday. I think. The sun seems to rise and set, but all my days have seamlessly meshed into one. Day, night, light, dark. My girlfriend takes me for walks around the block like I’m a golden retriever. Good boy. I return to my beloved couch, I kick my feet back and, as I’m about to hit play on yet another marathon re-watching of The Office, my phone buzzes: 

Alert: Your screen time is up 116% from last week.

Geez, I wonder why.  

Lately – no – obviously, we’re all just a little more tuned into our phones.

We didn’t think we could possibly check our social media channels more than we already do, but here we are. We scroll social media, chins down and eyes wide, looking for a hint of hope or comfort. Anything but fear. And while we mostly follow sources we trust, we’re still bombarded by conspiracies, whispers and second opinions from total strangers. And usually, they’re loud strangers. They say it’s a hoax, they say you’re in trouble, they say go build a shelter in your backyard and stockpile cans of beans.

For all their merits – of connectivity and distraction – social feeds nourish our minds with negativity. And the worst part about it is that it’s unreliable negativity. With so many humans giving us so many different perspectives, who can we believe? The little computers we carry in our pockets appear to be creating a new form of panic. And for some of us, that panic is increasing every week (to 116% to be precise).

The whole world is understandably overwhelmed. And it’s causing more people to put their phones down and look elsewhere for that precious peace of mind.

People are relying on television more during the COVID-19 outbreak

More and more people are turning to television for their regular dose of news. Compared to four weeks ago, Bell Properties reported a 248% increase in the number of Canadians tuning in to TV news broadcasts.

Bell Properties Media Consumption Data – March 26, 2020

The numbers suggest we are realizing we can’t rely solely on social media for critical updates. We’re watching TV like we did when the twin towers were attacked during 9-11. Like our parents and grandparents did during the October Crisis.

It’s about credibility, but more so, it’s about trust, and truth.

When we look at our phones, we’re left wondering when the headlines will turn positive. We know they will, but ….

So we put our trust in news anchors – the people who live in our community and know us. Thankfully, they’re not shouting in capital letters, using apocalyptic hashtags, or pretending to be something they’re not. They’re doing what they’re trained to do – sharing facts, official information and research. And this makes us feel better.

With the right message, you can align your brand with that trust.

Great work by Subaru

With audiences tuned to TV, commercial breaks are now your brand’s big opportunity to share what you represent. And right now that’s not about selling them something – it’s about inspiration and reassurance. Let them know you’re a brand who understands and is here for them. Like the trusted and compassionate news anchors we turn to every night, speak your truth and tell your story.

Brands that understand this responsibility can leverage the credibility of news broadcasts by aligning with the tone of the broadcasts themselves. Millions of people are turning to TV news to feel okay about what’s going on in the world. Done with tact, advertising during a news broadcast today allows a brand to project its values and connect with the most captive audience it’s ever been in front of. If you’re thinking of pulling your advertising space, our advice is: Don’t. Instead, reconsider your original message; it will make a much-needed world of difference.

McKim has been planning and buying television strategically long before most of our staff were born. Get in touch to make the most of this important medium during these challenging times. Contact us to find out how.