How Are DTC Brands Adjusting to a Global Crisis?

June 15, 2020

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands have been in the spotlight long before COVID-19. For the past few years, these innovative advertisers have fundamentally altered the shopping experience for millions of people. Are you short on time during the week but want to still make sure you’re eating healthy foods? There are numerous meal and grocery delivery companies that can help. Are you looking for customizable beauty products? There are brands for that as well. Essentially, if you can name a type of product, there’s now a corresponding DTC brand (if not several) for it!

Furthermore, while DTC brands are often referred to as digital natives, they have also become one of the fastest growing groups of TV advertisers—embracing TV’s role as a powerful performance-marketing channel (in addition to taking advantage of its unparalleled reach). Now, due to COVID, numerous people worldwide have been spending the majority of their time at home as a result of stay-at-home orders. This means that, while food delivery and subscription services are nothing new, items that are typically purchased in-store, including personal care and CPG products, are now being bought online—and so, once again, DTC brands are front and center.

In addition to evolving shopping habits, the global pandemic has also led to increased TV viewing across all platforms and lower inventory costs (making the path to entry more accessible, especially for young brands). The combination of all three of these factors means that DTC brands aren’t just airing on TV—they’re actually thriving on it!

How do we know? TVSquared analyzed performance data from hundreds of DTC advertisers around the world during the January-April 2020 time period, and we quickly identified a clear trend: skyrocketing web traffic and response for major DTC categories! Here are a couple specific highlights from our data analysis:

  • With our homes doubling as gyms for many of us, the DTC Fitness category has seen TV-driven performance increase by +200%!
  • When analyzing one specific app-based DTC Online Education brand that is advertising across TV platforms, we saw that its linear TV response has been up by 63%, while its OTT response has been increasing by 85%.

For our full analysis—including a look at how DTCs are performing on TV by specific daypart—watch our short video below:

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