We can’t go through such an unforgettable period in history and expect everything to return to the way it was. However, with change comes opportunity, so the secret now is to look to the future, learn, and adapt. As part of our virtual ITV Showcase 2021 event, industry experts joined host Adil Ray to explore three ways consumers have changed and unpick how TV advertising has the power to help brands seize the many opportunities that lay ahead. 

Watch some of the best bits from the discussion, with additional commentary below. 

Catch up now

Adil Ray summary
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1. The increased importance of family

Sharry Cramond, Marketing Director, M&S Food & Hospitality, explains lockdown has made people realise the importance of families. “In the last year,” she says, “they’ve probably spent more time apart from their families than ever before, but they’re telling us they actually feel closer to their families than ever before.” 

It’s led to people rethinking the way they’d usually celebrate events, with the M&S Family Matters report finding that 56% of families are planning a big get together this year. There’s also a greater emphasis on “micro-events”, with people wanting to make more of smaller occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. 

How ITV can help brands to grasp this opportunity

Jason Spencer, Business Development Director, ITV, explains that family is ITV’s “heartland audience,” with programming designed to reach every kind of family. However, ITV doesn’t just think about what this diverse category watches, but also how they watch.  

“We’re just trying to make sure that we can engage and reach out to all different communities, bringing the family together in front of the TV on a Saturday evening, but equally putting shows on ITV Hub,” he says. 

The insights

  • 70% of families agree that ITV is for everyone

  • 55% agree that ITV is best to watch when you want to spend quality time with your family 

  • During these moments of togetherness, viewers are 4 x more likely to actively seek out information about the ads

2. A growing emphasis on sustainability

Sebastian Munden, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Unilever UK & Ireland, believes the pandemic has given consumers “higher aspirations” and an increased appetite for sustainable brands. “They’d like to be able to buy products that they knew were good for the environment, that are good for their health, and have the values of social justice at their heart,” he says.

How ITV can help brands to grasp this opportunity

“We’re seeing more and more brands coming to us asking about our sustainability credentials,” says Jason. This focus on sustainability is why ITV Home Planet has been created, an initiative to bring together sustainable brands to encourage viewers to reduce their carbon footprint at home. 

The insights

As part of ITV Home Planet, much-loved brands Volkswagen, Sainsbury’s, Ribena, and Inch’s Cider took part in a special ‘Green Scene’ ad break takeover. 

All strengthened their sustainability message, with positive perceptions of ITV’s green credentials increasing by 42% amongst viewers exposed to the ad break. 

The growing importance of trust

Sharry explains consumers also now place a greater value on brand trust and authenticity—and for M&S, this means showing customers their food’s journey from farm to plate. “I think people are looking for brands that they can really trust and they want to know where their food is really coming from,” she says.

How ITV can help brands to grasp this opportunity


As one example, M&S works with ITV to create Fresh Market Update, an ad campaign that helps to tell the story behind its food and its farmers. It works because it not only shows the nation where its food comes from, but the campaign is delivered in a creative way by a trusted broadcaster. “TV is a really important mass communication channel for us,” she says. 

The insights


  • TV is the medium most likely to help brands appear high quality, successful, and popular in the eyes of consumers.

  • 30% of respondents rated brands advertising on TV as trusted to deliver on promises made, making TV the most trustworthy medium.

  • ITV is the commercial brand that people feel closest to and believe has the most relevance to them.

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