There is no doubt that after nearly two months of lockdown, we are spending more and more time in front of our screens — an average of three hours watching TV (up by 10 minutes a day, as Sean
Hargrave noted in his recent article), reading
news online, or checking social media. This, in turn, means we are exposed to more and more advertising. Of course, brands have needed to adjust their messaging, exercising empathy
and sensitivity more than ever at this time. But that has led to two things. First, ads related to COVID-19 can be increasingly hard to differentiate, following a similar formula of
sentimentality and sincerity. And second, and more worrisome, ads can hit the wrong notes -- actively turning people off brands and products because the tone or imagery doesn't resonate with
an audience that has endured a lot over the past two months.
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