The impact of social distancing on creative in ads

Paige Murphy
By Paige Murphy | 31 March 2020

The move towards social distancing has changed the way brands use creative in their campaigns.

Since mid-March, there has been a 30% drop in the use of “human connection” imagery with an emphasis on more social distancing imagery instead, according to a study from artificial intelligence (AI) tool Pattern89.

There has been a 600% increase in images of people washing their hands, face and body.

The AI tool also discovered a 200% increase of “cleanliness” related images and videos. These included touching faces, sneezing, coughing, drinking, smelling, tissues and cleaning.

As a result of a number of travel bans made in different countries around the world, the study revealed there has been an 8% drop in the use of travel imagery.

Use of words such as "rest" and "sleep" in the headlines and body copy of ads, as well as the emoji with a face mask have spiked dramatically.

Aside from specific imagery and text used throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Pattern89's study also found that the top performing marketers were refreshing creative every 10.4 days.

The top advertisers create 271% more ads and invest in creative 2.5 times more than the bottom performers.

The study from Pattern89 was conducted across 1,100 brands and advertisers active on Facebook and Instagram using artificial intelligence (AI) across 150 billion ad impressions to understand what creative changes are happening in real time.

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