Growing Tensions Complicate Pandemic Recovery in Week 12

  • Categories:

    COVID-19 Response

  • Date:

    June 5, 2020

Growing Tensions Complicate Pandemic Recovery in Week 12

COVID-19 Response

At the end of last week, consumer and business confidence painted a promising picture. Meanwhile, stock market performance and revitalized real estate and remodeling sectors all pointed to a strong recovery for the home and building category. The industry, like the rest of the nation, appeared to be making a strong comeback despite lingering challenges from the pandemic.

One week later, the United States is reeling from racial tension and protests in communities everywhere. The troubling events gripping our nation understandably have marketers asking lots of questions, from how to respond as a company to how to keep business moving.

These are difficult questions, and while we don’t have all the answers, we’re working hard to give brands the right tools to move forward. Meanwhile, Wray Ward remains committed to all of those who hope for and work toward justice, peace and healing, just as we remain committed to supporting your business.

Here are some of the top developments to consider right now as you grapple with the effects of COVID-19, ongoing protests and other factors shaping the global landscape in early June. For a closer look, download a free copy of our latest weekly POV.

    As of June 4:

    1. Total U.S. COVID-19 cases continue to climb, topping 1.8 million this week, as states begin reopening their retail and service economies. (Johns Hopkins)
    2. Total unemployment through the week ending May 30 held steady at just under 15%. (Department of Labor)
    3. Minorities have faced a double whammy from the coronavirus — negative health impacts and unemployment rates that are trending higher than national averages. (Roll Call)
    4. Despite the continual drumbeat of bad news, the stock market continues to make gains. The NASDAQ 100 reached record highs this week, becoming the first major U.S. stock index to fully erase its losses from the coronavirus pandemic sell-off. (CNBC)
    5. Airlines are starting to feel a little more bullish, as they plan to increase flights across the summer months. (American Airlines)
    6. Homebuilding, remodeling and DIY indicators are all holding steady from previous weeks’ reports.
      1. Nearly half of single-family builders are not using incentives to bolster sales and/or limit cancellations. (NAHB)
      2. The percentage of contractors reporting they did not purchase products during that last two to three weeks remains relatively flat at 10% (down from highs of 24% at the peak of the COVID-19 crisis in mid-April). (The Farnsworth Group)
      3. The Farnsworth Group also reports a steady increase in the percentage of DIYers doing projects versus the prior week.
    7. The news media has shifted from nonstop pandemic coverage to nonstop protest coverage. Many brands stopped advertising completely this week in solidarity with protests and/or to avoid proximity to this content.
    8. Brand spending on advertising is now projected to be down $50 billion in 2020 due to impacts from the pandemic. (WARC)
    9. Making use of highly engaged online audiences and record-low CPM rates is helping brands reverse shrinking margins. (Nielsen)
    10. Consumers are expecting brands to offer more than words in response to protests, calling on them to also support the cause with donations. (Adweek)

    As a reminder, on a weekly basis, Wray Ward will continue to publish timely information, trends and advice related to the coronavirus.*

    If you have questions or want to discuss specific next steps for your brand, please feel free to contact me.

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