17 May

Easing of COVID restrictions opens fresh opportunities for data-driven creative

Today marks a major step forward in the pandemic recovery, with many restrictions eased across the UK. Opening up the indoor economy – such as restaurants, cinemas and museums – will encourage people to do much of the fun stuff we used to take for granted.

This is good news for sports venues and fans, with up to 10,000 supporters (or 25% of capacity) allowed back through the turnstiles. Foreign holidays will also get the green light, albeit there is a limited choice of destinations at the moment.

Impact on brands and advertising

In recent weeks, in-house marketing teams and brand agencies will have ramped up their activities in anticipation of a return to more normal times. For those in the CPG, retail, sports and travel industries, especially, this is an opportunity to re-establish old friendships, attract new audiences and show why they are more relevant than their competitors right now.

The next few weeks and months offer an enticing mix of sporting events, including the NBA playoffs, UEFA Champions League final, the Euro 2021 finals, the British & Ireland Lions tour, Wimbledon and hopefully the Olympics. Beyond Nike, Adidas and Sky Sports, a wide assortment of CPG brands will also thrive on this renewed exposure, given their long-standing sponsorship of elite sports.

CPG – back to the local? 

For CPG, the further opening up of sports events will reignite data-driven sports-related campaigns – a creative trend that was increasingly popular before COVID struck. Using data-driven creative, CPG brands can broadcast ads that are hyper relevant and speak directly to target audiences, in the moment. Guinness did a fantastic campaign, pre-pandemic, encouraging rugby fans to visit their local pub to watch a Six Nations match (and drink a Guinness).

Meanwhile, the number of people buying groceries in-store has already started to eat back into online sales, reminding brands of the potential for location-based ads. During lockdown, Aldi showed how store data can be used to create the most useful and informative ads – in their case, helping people to shop safely. 

Sports Betting – data-driven advantage 

The sports industry is looking to make up for lost time with additional sporting events throughout 2021. The Euro 2020 finals will be hosted this year, Wimbledon and the Olympics will return, and the FA cup final on 15th May saw 20,000 spectators at Wembley (after a negative COVID test).

For the sports betting industry, the increasing return of elite sports should correspond to an increase in online betting after a drop off in growth during the pandemic. Spirable offers a unique solution to help operators capitalise on this increase and steal a march on the competition at the same time. Data-driven relevance will create the most compelling ads using live odds and other data, such as the latest score or the weather.

Agility is key to success for sports betting operators, so any advantage on time saving can make the difference between winning or losing a customer. Our creative automation gives operators the power to create ads at the speed and volume required to outsmart their rivals.

Retail – accelerate the recovery 

Despite retailers re-opening the doors after months of closure, the snap-back has yet to happen. Changes in consumer behaviour caused by the lockdowns has resulted in a third reduction in footfall compared to pre-pandemic figures. The easing on May 17th should help close this gap, to a certain degree, but the limited return of office working will continue to slow the recovery.  

During this challenging time, efficiency is more important than ever. Retail marketers still need to do more with less. With some large retailers going into administration during the pandemic (Debenhams the latest casualty), cost and time saving is paramount. Retailers generally have high volumes of creative that need to be refreshed regularly due to changing price or stock levels. Their ability to create these in an efficient and cost effective way is therefore critical. The luxury retailer Pandora has done a great job of tailoring content to entice customers into their stores at short notice.

Travel – flights of fancy 

The changes today make travel to holiday destinations possible (for some countries), opening up opportunities for travel operators to start advertising flights, hotels and packages again. Although there is going to be no shortage of people looking to book holidays, the market will be more competitive than ever. The travel and tourism industry looks set to rebound at the fastest rate this year at +19.5%, according to WARC.

Many travelers are price sensitive, so data-driven ads that adapt to pricing changes  can provide audiences with the content they need to make a purchase. Using creative to stand out from the crowd is going to be more important than ever, especially with people having to holiday at destinations they wouldn’t usually consider. Bye bye Ibiza, hello Falklands! Spirable allows travel operators to create inspiring and emotive dynamic video ads to promote any destination. They can easily adapt to new destinations using the same template, as new holiday destinations make the Green List.