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Advertisers Shift to Coronavirus-Aware Commercials

As the coronavirus pandemic has descended upon the U.S., the television industry has been upended in a matter of weeks: Live sports and other events cancelled while more people are staying home and seeking comfort and escape through the TV. This has also left marketers scrambling to shift budgets and strategies as commercials that were once innocent now feel tone-deaf

Some industries have pivoted faster than others; automakers being one example. In the last couple of weeks, new spots from brands such as Cadillac, Buick/GMC and Ford recognize the current situation and offer assistance in the form of payment assistance and vehicle delivery to customers’ homes. 

Other industries are jumping in too: For Clorox, a situation such as this is a freebie as its products are already being coveted by consumers. Guinness aired an ad recognizing how this St. Patrick’s Day felt different sans the big public celebrations. KFC is hyping its delivery service, while Visit Las Vegas urges safety first — because the city will still be there after this is all over. 

Below, we highlight TV advertising insights for these spots using data from iSpot.tv, the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company. Notably, the spots from Buick/GMC, Ford and Guinness all have an above-average iSpot Attention Index, meaning they received fewer interruptions. 

Cadillac – “We Have Your Back” 

  • Total impressions: 180,634,909
  • Top network by impressions: Fox News (28.6 million) 
  • Top show by impressions: The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer (7.8 million)

Buick/GMC – “We’re Here to Help” 

  • Total impressions: 385,322,921
  • Top network by impressions: CBS (18.5 million) 
  • Top show by impressions: Chicago Fire (6 million) 
  • Attention Index: 112 (it’s received 12% fewer interruptions than the average auto ad)

Ford – “Built to Lend a Hand

  • Total impressions: 118,621,321
  • Top network by impressions: CBS (4.4 million)
  • Top show by impressions: 60 Minutes (4.3 million) 
  • Attention Index: 158 (58% fewer interruptions than the average auto ad) 

Clorox – “Help Spread Protection

  • Total impressions: 34,513,076
  • Top network by impressions: ABC (4.1 million)
  • Top show by impressions: American Idol (3.8 million) 

KFC – “Holy Buckets: Free Delivery” 

  • Total impressions: 162,022,176
  • Top network by impressions: A&E (10.3 million)
  • Top show by impressions: Family Guy (6.2 million)

Guinness – “A St. Patrick’s Day Message From Guinness

  • Total impressions: 20,257,501
  • Top network by impressions: ESPN (7.4 million)
  • Top show by impressions: SportsCenter (3.3 million)
  • Attention Index: 138 (38% fewer interruptions than the average beer ad) 

Visit Las Vegas – “The Only Thing That Matters to Us Is … YOU

  • Total impressions: 51,127,785
  • Top network by impressions: NBC (15.2 million)
  • Top show by impressions: American Idol (4.4 million)