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Does the Passion Pound offer an early opportunity for advertisers in lockdown?

By Anna Sampson, Insight & Strategy Director, Magnetic

It seems that on my catch-up calls with colleagues, customers and friends, we’re all talking about what we’re doing to entertain ourselves and get through the current isolation situation. Magnetic’s comms director Jo has suddenly become our resident Alan Titchmarsh, insight manager Gareth has used his travelcard repayment to buy the guitar he’s always wanted, and Sue Todd is so into her cycling I fear we may lose her to the GB Olympic team when this is all over. For me, it’s been the ability to indulge my love of cooking. I’ve always enjoyed it but now find it is both a pleasant distraction and I’ve time to make all the recipes I keep reading about in Olive.

And it seems we’re not alone. New work from TI Media’s ‘Heart of Britain’ panel shows that spending on our passions is very much top of mind right now, with 31% of ABC1 consumers saying that they anticipate this lifestyle spending will increase in the coming weeks.

In a report in partnership with Enders Analysis in 2018 we identified a missed opportunity for advertisers in the ‘Passion Pound’. The report ‘Misplaced Media Spend in a Booming Identity Economy’ found that the vast majority of economic growth at the time was coming from categories which reflect who we are and where we feel we belong: lifestyle signifiers, passions, and social activities.

We called this the ‘Passion Pound’ and it accounted for spend in categories as broad as food, fitness, DIY and pets. These categories made up 52% of discretionary household spending in the previous year, and captured 79% of the growth in the previous five years.

Do these audiences and opportunities provide some guidance as to where marketing spend might best start to be deployed? Is investment in the passions that soothe our soul one route to advertising reinvestment post lockdown?

Furthermore, where concerns about appropriateness of marketing are top of mind, magazines also offer the opportunity for discrete and contextually relevant targeting that avoids messages being overheard or misconstrued, as well as the perfect environment to tap into those passion pounds.

Magazine publishers are sharing some great insight into this area right now, with regular panel insight which we will continue to collate and share. On the theme of my passion cooking – never far from our minds right now – here’s a deck on what our pandemic pantries look like and a link to a recent Hearst white paper on the lockdown kitchen.

Get in touch if there’s a sector you’d like more on.

Anna

ps. and here are three food case studies where big brands have used magazine media:

  • Birds Eye uses magazines in Easter push
  • Rowse Honey tells the story of The Three Bears
  • Magazines prove the magic ingredient for Heinz Seriously Good Mayonnaise