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House bound and house proud Aussies seek inspiration during COVID-19 lockdowns

3 minute read | Adam Axiak, Readership Media Lead, Media Industry Group & Lyndal Cowling, Industry Lead | May 2020

As self-isolation and lockdowns have been playing out to flatten the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) curve, many Australians have used this as a time to seek inspiration for those much needed home improvements and gardening.

While we know that media consumption has skyrocketed as consumers have been living under lockdown restrictions to flatten the curve, being at home has inspired them to combine their media consumption with home improvements. Whether it’s because they notice imperfections inside their homes, are thinking about bigger renovations or are thinking about taking up gardening as a new hobby, Australians are spending substantially more time online reading home and garden content during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Nielsen Digital Content Ratings data shows that Australians spent 120%1 more time on home and garden websites since the government announced stage 1 restrictions on Sunday 29 March 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.

As a result of spending substantially more time at home than they did before, the lockdown period has resulted in 25-39 year olds becoming more house proud. While all age groups are more actively engaging with the home and garden content, younger Australians aged 25-39 have spent 139% more time online engaging with home and garden content during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

With restrictions in place and fewer options to get out of the house, it’s evident that many Australians entertain and inspire themselves with weekend house projects to keep themselves busy. 

Before the COVID-19 lockdown, online engagement with home and garden content was relatively even throughout the week. However, since the stage 1 restrictions, there has been a dramatic increase during the weekend with Saturday (+151%) and Sunday (+135%) seeing the most profound increase.       

Survey data from a recent COVID-19 Nielsen Pulse Survey reveals that 35% of Australians aged 18+ have purchased house & garden products in the past month. The results mirrored the increase in younger audiences aged 25-39 engaging with home and garden digital content, signaling that 36% of people within that age group have purchased house & garden products in the past 30 days.

Asked about what motivated them to make their recent house and garden purchase, Australian audiences indicated that the extra time that they had on their hands to work on improving the house was by far their biggest driver at 30%. With more time at home, and seeing those things around the house that need attention, 21% also said that they made the purchase as something in their house broke and that they need to fix it. 

For brands who have continued to advertise during the COVID-19 pandemic, 12% of people who made a house and garden purchase said that this was motivated by seeing an advert from a brand, company or product.

The household dynamics and lifestyles of Australians have no doubt been disrupted due to the restrictions and lockdowns from COVID-19. As a result, many Australians who would otherwise be travelling, eating out or socialising at bars and pubs have taken to new ways to keep them entertained and to find an escape outside of the four walls they live in. This is most evidently seen for 25-39 year olds who have taken to house and garden improvements as a new pastime and creative expression. As this new generation of do-it-yourselfers are doing their early home improvements, there is an opportunity for marketers to reach this important demographic and build their brand for years to come. 

Source: 1Nielsen Digital Content Ratings, Daily Tagged, 01/04/2019-12/05/2019 (excluding the week of 15/04/2019-21/04/2019)  30/03/2020-10/05/2020 (excluding the week of 13/04/2020-19/04/2020), Digital (C/M), Persons 2+, Average of Total Time Spent for each period, Text, Home & Garden sub-category

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