Audience Intel Report 11

July 29, 2020

Industry Insights Marketing Tactics RCG News

This ongoing report on consumers provides valuable advertising and media news for marketers and advertisers. We curate stories of interest and insight. Use the button below to have each Audience Intel Report delivered directly to your inbox.

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Back to Back-to-School

Location is questionable, spending is certain. Consumers tentatively plan to spend a record amount to prepare students for school and college this year as they buy more laptops and computer accessories according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Retailers ready for anything? Retailers are building flexibility into their “back to school” promotional language. On its website, Macy’s has adopted the phrase, “No matter how we school, let’s be ready” while Kohl’s states, “Heading back or logging in, the new year starts here.” Here’s how some other retailers are handling this year’s unusual season.

One binder to rule them all. The advent of each school year always makes some of us nostalgic for Mead’s Trapper Keeper. Invented in the 1970s by E. Bryant Crutchfield this essential back-to-school gear was typically emblazoned with bold designs. Though now largely replaced by laptops and tablets, the Trapper Keeper was once the latest tech in managing documents, as this ad from the 80s makes clear.

Eating Out on Way Back In?

QSRs have weathered the pandemic more effectively than fast casual and sit-down establishments.  Strategies including limiting menus and strengthening promotions have contributed to relative success for some Quick Service Restaurant operations according to the Wall Street Journal.

Headwinds remain for food service industry. The Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC) which was formed in March to represent the 500,000 U.S. non-chain restaurants released an independent study that found about 85% of independent restaurants across the country may be forced to close by year’s end in the absence of federal intervention.

The spirit is willing. Americans say they want to dine out again: In a consumer survey conducted by, eating at restaurants only trails “seeing friends and family” on the list of reasons to venture out. But there’s also a gap between what they want to do and what they will feel safe doing.

Lessons from Insurance Advertising

Insurers join ranks of top ad spenders.  The insurance industry is investing record amounts in consumer advertising recently. The category aired a staggering 9.3 million spots across radio, television and local cable – an increase of more than 1.5 million instances compared to the same period in 2019, according to Media Monitors’ rankings of the top 10 advertisers from April 1-June 30, 2020.

Advertising arms race.  Allstate’s recent ad spending reflects its “Transformative Growth Plan” announced in December. According to the CEO, the uptick in investment is in response to competitors who have been able to build market share faster through “mass advertising spending and low-cost structures.”

Insurance leads the way on brand “spokespersons.” Once a category dominated by “conversation over coffee” creative, insurance has become a hotbed of clever commercials. The category has become rich with examples of highly-memorable personalities and characters.


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