The Duality: Advertising in a Pandemic-driven Recession

The current situation is unprecedented. Advertisers are scrambling to figure out how best to advertise in the context of a pandemic and a recession, what ARF CRO Paul Donato is calling: The Duality. While no research exists examining advertising in the context of both of these things, solid research, and ARF original research, examines advertising during a recession, when brands “go dark” and advertising adjacent to upsetting news.

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How Does Click-Through Behavior Differ Across Devices?


An enormous number of consumers have many devices today that they use to connect to the internet. This has made digital advertisers wonder if click-through behaviors are the same or different across devices. In this study, published in the Digital First section of the JAR, researchers look at how click-through behaviors differ in paid search advertising campaigns when a user is using a tablet versus a desktop computer versus a smartphone.

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Should Brands Slash Their Advertising Budget During a Recession?


With COVID-19 threatening a worldwide recession, many brands may be considering slashing their advertising budgets. A historical analysis of studies on advertising in recessions in the Journal of Advertising Research would have brands shy away from this move. The 2009 article, still relevant today, found that advertising is important during an economic contraction, and good advertising could reap a brand many benefits that may last beyond the economic downturn.

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Do the Lights Go Out When Brands Go Dark?


Deciding to make major cuts or to eliminate brand advertising can be one of marketers’ most painful choices. This ARF paper summarizes the findings from a number of studies that quantify the impact and implications of drastic budget reductions, offers a case study, and provides insights, so that marketers can be better informed as they have to consider tough calls.

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Future State: Navigating the New Media Landscape


There are a lot of questions surrounding how media is evolving, how viewers select content out of seemingly innumerable choices and how streaming services decide what to adopt. While several ARF events have tackled such questions, experts weighed in with their most recent insights at February’s Leadership Lab at ARF headquarters in New York City. Dubbed Future State: Navigating the New Media Landscape, the ARF’s CRO Paul Donato and EVP of Research and Innovation, Dr. Horst Stipp, co-chaired an event that dished out oodles of interesting insights.

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