Evidence Shows that You Should Keep Advertising During a Recession

advertise during a recession

First the COVID-19 pandemic and then the war in Ukraine that has caused inflation records to be broken globally. What’s next? Should brands stop advertising every time there is a crisis? Concrete evidence based on previous crises shows that you should do just the opposite.

We start with a fascinating research paper by Kate Nichols of Elon University titled “Influence of Advertising During the Great Depression”.

“During the 1930s, the American Tobacco Company recorded consistent profits with the exception of 1931; Lucky Strike maintained its place as the most purchased tobacco product on the market throughout the Great Depression. The company credited its steady advertising revenue figures as a company asset of continued “great value” in relation to its rising profits (“American Tobacco,” 1929-1939). Lucky Strike’s market share indicates that advertising might have greatly influenced sales during a time when consumer spending was at an all-time low (“Cigarette Figures,” 1938). “

If you are a business currently struggling due to the economic meltdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, we recommend you keep reading. In 2020 we asked the following questions about how businesses and organizations were coping with the coronavirus conundrum. Questions that are relevant to be answered during any financial crisis.

Questions About Advertising During the COVID-19 Crisis You Need to Ponder

Are Brands/Businesses Pausing Their Advertising During the COVID-19 Crisis?

What Happens When They Stop Advertising?

What Happens When They Don’t Stop Advertising?

Examples of Brands Winning Market Share Because of Advertising During Recession

The examples below are based on an article by Forbes: “When A Recession Comes, Don’t Stop Advertising”.

  • Back in the 1920s, the cereal industry was dominated by Post. They significantly cut ad spend during the Great Depression. Kellogg’s, on the other hand, doubled their ad spend and even introduced Rice Krispies(R&D). Profits grew by 30% and Kellogg’s went on to own the category.
  • During the 1990 recession, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell were able to do some damage to McDonald’s. When the fast-food giant decided to cut advertising both Pizza Hut and Taco Bell pounced on the opportunity. As a result, Pizza Hut increased sales by an astonishing 61% and Taco Bell blew up by 40% while McDonald’s spiraled down by 28%.

“I was asked what I thought about the recession. I thought about it and decided not to participate” -Sam Walton; Walmart Founder

advertising during recession
Advertising during a recession

How Should I Advertise During this Crisis?

You do not want to go out guns blazing without bullets. We could never give you all this juicy information without recommending to you what to do. We have been telling you how to approach this crisis as a business for a while now. I have therefore listed all the articles that can help you below. However, in staying with the numbers-oriented nature of this article I will first share some more numbers:

Based on Kantar

  • 77% of consumers want brands to talk about how they are helpful in everyday life,
  • 75% want brands to talk about their efforts to face the COVID-19 crisis, and
  • 70% want brands to offer a reassuring tone.

Based on Internet Advertising Bureau:

  • Businesses are taking a long-term brand building strategy
  • 63% of businesses have adjusted their messaging 

And Now Our COVID-19 Articles in One Place

The Impact of Coronavirus on Your Business and What to Do

Discusses the short-term and long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic and what you need to do on a high level.

Your Business After the COVID-19 Pandemic: Going Through The 4 Phases

An uplifting and reassuring article that talks about the four phases that your business will go through during the pandemic.

Muslim Ad Network Offering $25,000 in Free Advertising for Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus

An overview of the offer to small businesses by Muslim Ad Network that will remain valid until the crisis ends, or we reach 100 registrants.

6 Things MAN is Doing During a COVID-19 Impacted Ramadan Which You Can Do Too

Similar to this list, this article outlines what Muslim Ad Network has been doing during this difficult period. However, it is more focused on how you can copy what we are doing and use it for your own business/organization/brand.

Feel free to contact us, so we can help you through these times. Or just say hello!

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