Starcom launched the first netnographic study that analyses the transactions of the online communities during the pandemic

Mihai Cristea 07/10/2020 | 18:09

The world knows new connections. Some that it accepts, some that it doesn’t. The social nature ones transform themselves in a new civic attitude, the personal ones into a new filter of experimenting the reality and at the same time, taking decisions.

By Romanita Oprea


In this context, brands become some social vulnerable actors that should always have a complex understanding of the consumer and the new reality, in order for the communication to be a resonant and authentic one. Starting from this observation, Starcom Romania launched the first series of netnographies that analyse the transactions of the online communities. The approach was initiated in March and were followed over 50 online communities, gathered around a pre-established set of interests.

„The epidemiologic Big bang called Covid-19 determined major reconfigurations of spaces- either we talk about the domestic space, the identity one, the social or the virtual one. Advertising is a social influent actor– having both the argument of the audience, as well as the one of the behavioural impact. It’s like a living organism, involved in permanent change relationships with everything that surrounds them. In order to the brands to metabolize all those social dynamics, the advertising needs to do its job, it’s needed a profound understanding of the whole social ecosystem. The netnographies, through their specific and through the analysis’ longitudinal character, offered us a multitude of valuable insights that can be easily transformed in stimulus or communication territories for the brands. This manner of work and relating of the creative industries to the context will make the difference, medium or long term, between the brands with socio-cultural footprint and the episodic brands,” said declarat Andreea Lupu – Strategy & Innovation Director.

The online communities represented the barometer of the psycho-social changes: through the generated conversation subjects, the types of reaction, tone-of-voice, the types of actions proposed and the means of expressing the feelings.

The netnographies represent longitudinal qualitative studies that offer the possibility of a deep psycho-social analysis for the brands and for the teams behind the communication campaigns. This type of qualitative research represents tens of hours of analysis and dedicated teams, with complementary specializations (sociology, behavioural research, anthropology, brand strategy).

The Starcom Romania team that initiated the project was formed of the seniors of the Data & Insights and Brand Strategy & Innovation departments.

The first netnographic researches analysed the communities created around the interests in home deco, home cooking, outdoor activities, cultural activities, music and concerts / festivals.

“The social reality is determined by the ideas, the representations and the subjective motivations of the community members, determining a propagation of the behavioural changes. Through a monitoring of several existing expertise in the agency, we identified, with the help of the netnography, dynamic factors that started new behaviours such as, for example, an accepting of the need of relaxation in a secure environment, many people putting up areas with armchairs, benches with pillows, divans oriented towards a beautiful view or an aesthetic decor. In the communities focused on the home cooking we observed a special attention in getting some similar food such as the ones served in restaurants, the people bringing the cultural experiments from the public space into the safety of the private space,” said Rodica Mihalache, Data & Insights Lead.

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