Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on Adweek.com each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.
These Top Marketers and Media Execs Are Showing a Way Forward Amid the Coronavirus Crisis
For this week’s Adweek cover story, we spoke with a number of the industry’s brightest minds, including Marin Sorrell, Colleen DeCourcy, Antonio Lucio and Linda Yaccarino, to get their perspectives on what marketers must do to navigate these trying times. We asked them for short-term solutions, how it has impacted their businesses and how the pandemic is similar to past crises.
One of the major themes to emerge is to care for each other and stay connected. “Stay close to your people, and do what you can for the community,” said Jo Ann Ross of ViacomCBS. “If you support your team in this moment of uncertainty, they will be ready to get the job done today and far into the future.”
Martin Sorrell, who has certainly seen his fair share of market turning events in his career, predicted Q2 and Q3 “will be pretty brutal, but by Q4, world, you might see a recovery.”
DeCourcy ended her interview with an inspiring piece of advice, “Wieden once said, ‘Chaos is the only thing that honestly wants you to grow.’ We are an agency full of creative people, and our mission now is to take that chaos and make something out of it. Something of value. Something that matters.”
How Marketers and Agencies Are Trying to Strike the Right Tone in the Age of Coronavirus
New creative has been hard to come by in the past few weeks as the crisis around the globe deepened. Many brands are reevaluating their approaches in order to assure they’re hitting the right tone with their marketing at a time when the wrong message could appear insensitive.
Recently, KFC pulled a campaign in the U.K. that featured 60 seconds of people licking their fingers, which sends the opposite message for what’s best for public health—don’t touch your face. Meanwhile, Hershey’s recalled its new work, which showed strangers hugging and shaking hands over gifts of chocolate. Finally, Coors Lite canned a plan to call itself the “Official Beer of ‘Working’ Remotely” during a March Madness campaign. That tagline would now appear incredibly insensitive and opportunistic.
Infographic: An Inside Look at Lifewtr’s Recycling Process
This week’s infographic looks at the sustainable transition of one of PepsiCo’s products: Lifewtr, which will no longer use virgin plastic in its bottles. PepsiCo says the conversion will eliminate more than 8,000 metric tons from production and 10,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year (according to the EPA, that equates to almost 25 million miles driven by an average car).
Adweek’s Guide to COVID-19 Coverage: How the Advertising and Marketing World Is Forging Ahead
During the past three weeks, Adweek’s editorial staff has pivoted toward covering how the pandemic is affecting your businesses and what you can do to stay afloat. We’ve found that readers are deeply interested in the topic as last week alone, over 75% of our traffic on new stories came on content related to the pandemic. To help guide you through our coverage, our audience engagement editor (and frequent author of First Things First), Jessica Zafarris, put together a run down of our most essential stories about the coronavirus’ impacts.
Related: In her editor’s letter this week, Lisa Granatstein, editor, svp, programming, explains how the Adweek newsroom is navigating this new normal.
More Coronavirus Headlines:
- Disney’s Onward Available for Digital Purchase as Coronavirus Shutters Theaters
- 3M Has Doubled Global Production of Its N95 Respirators
- Jeff Bezos Tells Employees—and the World—He’s Wholly Focused on COVID-19
- Ogilvy South Africa CCO’s Profanity-Laced Video Addressing Work During the Coronavirus Crisis Didn’t Land Well
- Retailers Want Consumers to Spend Their Quarantines Shopping