How consumers are reacting to life under lockdown

With life having changed so much in Great Britain since late March, it is key for media and brand professionals to understand how consumers feel and how they believe their behaviour and media consumption is evolving under lockdown.

Our Great Britain TGI Consumer Data for Q2 2020 includes a variety of Coronavirus-specific attitudes – listed below – that probe these thoughts in detail and can be examined in relation to the rich depth and breadth of consumer behaviour for which TGI is renowned. Here we take a look at some highlights from the findings.

The full list of Coronavirus attitude statements on TGI GB Q2 Consumer Data:

  • The Coronavirus outbreak has encouraged me to use video calling platforms such as Whatsapp, FaceTime and Skype
  • Since the start of the outbreak, social platforms like Facebook and Instagram have become more important to me
  • In the past few weeks I’m watching more online video and TV on demand
  • The Coronavirus crisis has helped me embrace technology
  • Other countries are handling the Coronavirus crisis better than my own
  • I am worried I will lose my job due to the Coronavirus outbreak
  • I think the economy will bounce back stronger after the Coronavirus crisis
  • Once restrictions are relaxed I’ll spend more time than ever out of the house
  • Commuting to my usual place of work will be a welcome relief after working from home
  • During the Coronavirus crisis, supermarkets should implement clear and fair rules on grocery shopping
  • I wish people would follow the government advice on social distancing more stringently during the Coronavirus outbreak
  • The Coronavirus outbreak has made me more worried about my future
  • The Coronavirus emergency has given me time to learn a new skill
  • I trust my government to be prepared for future global challenges
  • The impact of Coronavirus has helped communities to come together
  • I trust my government to make the right decisions for my country
  • The Coronavirus outbreak has helped me appreciate what I have more than I used to
  • Home working will become much more popular after the Coronavirus outbreak
  • The government should do more to mitigate the negative impact of Coronavirus on education
  • Safeguarding the vulnerable during the Coronavirus outbreak should be everyone’s duty


The young and the well off are turning to tech to see them through the crisis

Many people are turning to social platforms all the more to stay connected during this time. Those who say the pandemic has prompted them to embrace technology have tended to be the younger and wealthier. For example, Nest Builders (aged 15-34, married/living as a couple, do not live with son or daughter) are 39% more likely than the average adult to agree that the crisis has helped them to embrace technology.

Similarly, it is the younger and higher income consumers who say they are watching more online video or TV on demand since the pandemic began and that since the start of the outbreak social platforms and video calling platforms have become more important to them. For example, those with a family income of £75,000+ are a third more likely to say that the outbreak has encouraged them to use video calling platforms such as Whatsapp, FaceTime and Skype

Those turning to tech to stay in touch are those who previously would have been more likely to go out and socialise generally. Those who say social platforms have become more important are 28% more likely to use restaurants 2-3 times a month or more.

Key opportunities for reaching these valuable consumer audiences who are forming new tech-driven habits

With more – and particularly commercially valuable - consumers turning to TV and video, video calling and social platforms whilst they are cooped up at home, it is instructive to understand which other media they are particularly likely to consume so that they can be targeted effectively both during and after lockdown.

Those who say that during the outbreak they are watching more online video and TV on demand are 36% more likely to be amongst the heaviest fifth of consumers of gaming, 34% more likely to be in the heaviest fifth for cinema going and 29% more likely to be in the top fifth for mobile internet – but only 21% more likely to be in the top 20% for video-on-demand.

Those who say that since the start of the outbreak social platforms like Facebook and Instagram have become more important to them are 38% more likely to be in the top fifth of cinema goers, 37% more likely to be in the top fifth of gamers and 29% more likely to be in the top fifth of mobile internet users.

Clearly gaming, cinema and mobile internet are – or will be post-lockdown – important places to reach key consumer audiences who have formed new media habits during the pandemic.

The more extroverted are finding life in lockdown particularly tough

We have already seen that those who used to go out a lot are particularly likely to use tech to stay in touch with friends and family. Indeed, those who are most impatient for life to get back to normal are likely to be more extroverted. Those who say that once restrictions are lifted they will spend more time than ever out of the house are 27% more likely to say they like to stand out in a crowd, 29% more likely to agree that their car should catch people’s attention and 35% more likely to agree that they like others to look at them.

This is also a group especially likely to engage with a variety of media forms that can be exploited to appeal to them once they are back out from their homes and looking to spend on socialising. For example, they are 59% more likely to be willing to pay to access content on magazine websites, 44% more likely to say they prefer to buy products from companies who sponsor TV programmes and 33% more likely to claim to feel valued by companies who send them mail.

Higher earners and parents of young children especially worried about their jobs and keen to return to work

For many parents, commuting to work will be a welcome relief after working from home – no doubt away from the pressures of trying to home school whilst doing their normal job. For example, Primary School Parents (live with son/daughter and youngest child aged 5-9) are 61% more likely than the average adult to agree with this. Those with a family income of £75,000+ are also significantly more likely than the average adult to feel this way.

No doubt relatedly, parents of young children are particularly likely to be worried about losing their job due to the Coronavirus outbreak, with Playschool Parents (live with son/daughter and youngest child aged 0-4) 59% more likely than the average adult to agree with this view. This could be because they are struggling to juggle work with home schooling or simply that they would feel particularly vulnerable if they were to lose their job when they have dependants to care for.

But parents aren’t the only groups worried about job security during this time. Those with a family income of £75,000 or more are 46% more likely to be worried they will lose their job as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. Perhaps conscious of the financial pressures many businesses are facing, they worry that higher paid roles may be most susceptible to being cut. This may explain their keenness to get back to normal life and return to commuting to work.

Younger groups especially critical of government response to the pandemic

Those in younger lifestage groups are particularly likely to be critical of their government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Those in the Flown The Nest group (aged 15-34, not married/living as a couple, do not live with relations) are 75% more likely than the average adult to feel that other countries are handling the outbreak better than their own. Similarly, Fledglings (aged 15-34, not married/living as a couple, live with parents) are 33% less likely than the average adult to agree that they trust the government to make the right decisions for their country.

These younger consumers are also those likely to feel particularly frustrated that they are currently unable to go out, see their friends and participate in a variety of different social activities that they would normally be doing. It is important for marketers to understand these frustrations and engage with these consumers accordingly.




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