How coronavirus has changed the impact of advertising

Marketing How coronavirus has changed the impact of advertising

Published on 13.08.2021 by Dominique Richner and Marianne Binggeli, project managers at intervista AG

The pandemic has caused a sense of screen fatigue. Of all the advertising channels surveyed, personally addressed promotional mailings are currently having the greatest impact. Physical mail has gained in importance.

In February 2021, intervista conducted a representative online survey on behalf of Swiss Post of over 1000 people from German-speaking Switzerland. This study aimed to find out what impact the pandemic is having on consumer behaviour and the use of advertising channels.

The results show that while coronavirus has driven digitization forward, there is also a growing sense of screen fatigue. 18 to 29-year-olds in particular suffer from it, with 53% now frequently experiencing screen fatigue. As a result, 42% of this age group allow themselves screen-free times.

So it’s no surprise to find that around one fifth of all respondents say that they currently value reading on paper more than they did before the pandemic. Physical mail, the letter box and parcels have also become more important, especially for 18 to 44-year-olds. These results are presumably related to the fact that at the time of the survey, almost half of respondents (48%) were working from home more frequently.

In the study, we also looked at which advertising channels are most effective in the lives of people impacted by coronavirus. Personally addressed promotional mailings – as compared to 14 other advertising channels – are clearly the most noticed. Advertising on search engines and websites receives the least attention.

Personally addressed promotional mailings don’t just catch the eye, they’re also most likely to result in the purchase of advertised products and services. In direct comparison with promotional mailings by e-mail, they are perceived as less annoying and get looked at more readily, for longer and more often. All of this is probably because recipients literally have more points of contact with physical mailings, for example when they carry the addressed promotional mailing from the letter box into the home. On top of that, more content is visible at a glance than with other advertising channels, such as e-mail newsletters.

Finally, the study provides interesting insights into consumer behaviour. The majority of respondents (52%) have changed their consumption behaviour during the pandemic, with more attention now paid to Swiss origin and the quality of products. 44% say that they’ll probably continue to focus on these two aspects, even after the pandemic.

The detailed results of the study are available in German at


Due to the current situation, Connecta Bern will again be held as a digital event in 2021. Connecta is renowned for shining a light on the diverse nature of digitization and this year will be no different with content presented across the three formats of Connecta Blog, Connecta TV and Connecta Talk. Find out more here:


Dominique Richner

Dominique Richner, project manager at intervista AG, leads studies on various topics. She specializes in multivariate analyses.

Marianne Binggeli

Marianne Binggeli, project manager at intervista AG, leads studies on various topics in both the quantitative and qualitative areas.

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