Empathy in the midst of COVID-19 Impacted HolidaysEpisode 2: Easter – PRS IN VIVO – A BVA GROUP COMPANY

Empathy in the midst of COVID-19 Impacted Holidays
Episode 2: Easter

As the pandemic continues, we have again reached out to our global network to run a short Empathy LAB to explore how consumers are feeling about the spring religious holidays in light of COVID-19.  This is the second in our series, debuted earlier this week on the first night of Passover.  This installment addresses the global Christian observation of Easter, captured on video with consumers living in Italy, Jamaica, Spain, Russia, UK and the US. 

Easter 2020 will certainly be one to remember as religious and non-religious families and individuals across the globe make plans for a Lock-Down Holiday.

A short summary of responses include: 

  • Those living solo or with prior plans to visit family members abroad appear the most affected
  • Individuals and families will turn to video calling and conferencing to connect with their family
  • The international closure of churches will be a big blow to many who see Easter Mass as one of the celebration’s key highlights
  • Celebrations and rituals will be downsized from extended to immediate family scale
  • Many Easter Egg hunts will take place in the home
  • Some concern over the availability of chocolate and other seasonal treats availability – especially to those self-isolating (This will be made that much more challenging since one of the factories manufacturing them actually closed due to safety concerns!) 
  • With growing job losses and resulting reductions in income, shopping for food and treats reserved for Easter consumption will decline

Despite the sadness and the real hardships associated with the pandemic, the majority of our respondents remain positive and thankful, especially if they and their families and friends are still healthy. With more time at home, many are embracing the creative challenge of coming up with alternative fun arts and crafts activities to keep the kids entertained.

Ms Alara Hindle – Founder of LOLA (Lots of Lovely Art) gives a brief account of how surging demands for kids arts and crafts product left her company out of stock in March.

‘’We’ve completely sold out of our educational art boxes this month. It’s like we’ve become the toilet roll for mums! Our site even crashed last week!’’   

Other good news reveals that many communities are pulling together to bring a new kind of normality to the holiday.  Neighbourhood “WhatsApp” groups have been set up to connect individuals living in close proximity to provide help to one another, ensuring the most vulnerable are looked after during self-isolation and social distancing.  A good number are suggesting communal food purchases from local independent suppliers -  and wholesalers with minimum orders -  while others offer to cook up an Easter feast to share with others unable to shop or cook for themselves.

Churches and governments across the globe are also looking into innovative ways to make Easter more inclusive and memorable this year at a time where so many have been affected. An empty Duomo in Milan will be filled by the dulcet tones of Andrea Bocelli’s Music For Hope concert streamed live on Easter Sunday on Bocelli’s own YouTube channel at 7pm local time, or 1pm ET and 10am PT.

We will be sharing another episode of this series on consumers’ sentiments on the observations of Ramadan in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, which will air before the start of the holiday.

Empathy LAB is PRS IN VIVO’s proprietary video ethnography tool, designed to capture real people doing real things in real environments. It is one of the modules in our new LAB Suite of consultancy services built around a behaviour-centric framework providing insight right across our clients’ product life cycles.

The LAB Framework (Leveraging Authentic Behaviour), is built on sound principles of behavioural science, where observation of real consumer behaviour consistently acts as a crucial starting point.

The approach affords clients a means of ensuring that they can Immerse and Inspire, Build and Iterate, Guide and Refine, and Always Stay Ahead through qualitative interpretation of authentic consumer behaviour wherever they are in the development of new products and shopper experiences.  During an industry-wide pause in face-to-face research, our LAB suite enables agile and intimate access to consumers, living their lives and sharing their insights, emotions and motivations. 

If you would like to know more about the LAB Suite of behavioural qualitative solutions, please reach out and we can arrange a chat

We hope you have a safe and peaceful weekend, and maybe even get to partake of a Cadbury egg or two! 

Matt Michaud is Senior Vice President - Head of Behavioural Qualitative at PRS IN VIVO, a BVA Group company, providing consultancy in the application of behavioural science product and shopper experience.