As we reflect on the past 18 months, different industries were impacted by the pandemic in different ways. Some saw unprecedented growth, others are now beginning to recover. As part of our virtual ITV Showcase 2021 event, Dominic Mills, Mediatel’s ‘Mills on Monday’ columnist, shares three ways the advertising industry has been positively impacted by the disruption to the norm.

1) The return of media’s key values 

“One of the things they say is that a crisis builds character and we saw that,” says Dominic. He believes this period saw the industry’s key virtues of ‘can-do’ attitude, agility, and flexibility re-emerge. These things led to greater mutual respect and a better understanding of partnership. “[It’s created] the idea that actually the partner you have at the moment is maybe the one you should stick with,” he says

2) A greater emphasis on trust

“There was a reappraisal of the value of proven and trusted media,” he says. And with this, came the re-emergence of the value of brand. “As with media in troubled and uncertain times, people want to transact with entities that they trust and respect, which in turn, respect them and society too,” he says. Dominic explains that start-ups, disrupters, and the established players all believed in the power of brand and refused to take this for granted during the pandemic. “When the chips are down,” he says, “it’s the brand that matters.”

3) The growing importance of brand purpose

Dominic admits that he used to be “sceptical” about purpose, considering it to be an attempt by some brands to shift responsibility to the consumer. But he believes the pandemic has brought about a new kind of purpose, which he calls “purpose 2.0” or “purpose with a small p”. “It’s relevant, it’s focused, it’s achievable,” he says. “If you think about the Venn diagram of functionality, origin, and community, new purpose sits more squarely in the sweet spot.” 


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“They say that in a crisis, character reveals itself and I would say that the industry has revealed its true character now. Now your challenge is to stick with it.” Dominic Mills, Mediatel’s ‘Mills on Monday’ columnist

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