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10 Ways Brands Are Getting Creative With Their Ads as Quarantine Stalls Production
After plans for the year went off the rails and social distancing has halted production, fast-tracked messaging and creative workarounds are the new normal for brands developing and shooting adverts. Plenty have risen to the challenge with impressive spots and engagement tactics targeted at homebound viewers seeking entertainment and ways to help front-line heroes and essential workers.
While brands like Nike, Apple and Burger King are leaning into social distancing activities, Domino’s is aiming to help people find jobs, and Toyota and Lego (via the British government) are embracing animation as an alternative to shoots.
- Related: The Ad Council has set up its first private marketplace, where publishers and ad-tech companies are donating inventory for coronavirus public service announcements.
What It’s Like Taking on a New Leadership Role in the Middle of a Pandemic
At a time when leadership is arguably more important than ever, recently installed executives are being asked to make decisions and provide guidance for people that they’ve barely gotten the chance to know—and even then, only via video chat. Plus, any goals they may have had when they signed on have gone out the window to make way for urgent matters amid the pandemic.
Read more: We talked with executives like Tracey Pattani, CEO of BSSP, and John Maxham, CCO of Laughlin Constable, about what professional life feels like when the “normal” is new in more ways than one.
Agencies Feel the Impacts of COVID-19
Thursday was a tough day for staff at BBDO and DDB. BBDO has gone through a round of layoffs totaling around 10-13% of its staff across its U.S. offices, including BBDO New York CCO Greg Hahn and director of integrated production David Rolfe.
Hahn’s tenure at BBDO New York lasted 15 years, with the last seven as CCO. Under his leadership, the agency launched a number of memorable campaigns including breathing new life into Snickers’ “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign. BBDO New York produce the famous Brady Bunch edition of that campaign as well as the iconic Sports Illustrated ad below.
After he was promoted from ecd to CCO of the flagship office in 2013, the network was named Adweek’s Global Agency of the Year in 2014 and U.S. Agency of the Year in 2015.
Related: DDB also implemented an unknown number of furloughs, salary reductions, structured retirements and other measures, including around 30 employees across all departments. The reductions were, unfortunately, followed by what some are saying was poorly worded internal messaging.
Why Supply-Chain Snags Might Make Hand Sanitizers Even Harder to Find
Thanks to the needs of medical staff and panic buying amid the pandemic, hand sanitizer continues to fly off shelves. But the shortage may worsen as the essential materials needed to make hand sanitizer—plastic bottles, alcohol, gel polymers and even towelettes used for antibacterial wipes—are increasingly hard to source or prohibitively expensive for manufacturers.
Adweek’s Robert Klara talked to several companies that produce sanitizers about the skyrocketing prices of these materials, including one brand that was already planning to sell sanitizer in aluminum containers to reduce plastic waste.
Introducing D&I TBD, Adweek’s Podcast on Diversity, Inclusion, Equality and Equity
To explore, address and champion diversity and inclusion in the ad industry, Adweek is launching D&I TBD, a biweekly audio magazine. In the first episode, Glenn Singleton, president and founder of Pacific Educational Group and Courageous Conversation, discusses his early experiences in becoming a leader in the space, the importance of authenticity to creating inclusivity and the persistent issues of systemic racism that holds the industry back.
Listen here: Singleton, an Adweek Champions honoree in 2020, offers tangible “musts” in understanding the opportunities in diversity, inclusion, equality and equity, including a look into the Courageous Conversations books that he published in 2012 and 2014.
Have you been following #AdweekTogether? On our daily live show that’s broadcast on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and our website, we talk about the challenges the advertising and marketing world are facing today—and how we can overcome them, together. Watch the latest episode with Taboola’s Adam Singolda here.
Best of the Rest: Today’s Top News and Insights
- Online Investment Tools See a Boost Amid Economic Uncertainty
- AMC Networks Rolls Out Upfront Portal to Assist Buyers During Pandemic
- TikTok Taps Hulu’s Nick Tran to Lead North America Marketing
- The Biggest Live-Sports Fans Are Still Watching TV, Even Without New Games
- ViacomCBS Lays Off Contracted Workers Across Many Divisions
- SNL Star Michael Che Pays Rent for Tenants in His Late Grandmother’s NYC Building
- Jeff Bezos’ 2019 Amazon Shareholder Letter Is Light on Insights
- Architectural Digest’s Chief Editor Talks Expanding Digital Content in the Time of COVID-19
A New Honda Ad, Made During Quarantine, Ends With a Surprise Twist
Any commercial that shows a car racing through wide open spaces had to have been shot before the current pandemic and its mandated lockdowns. Right? In this case, no, because as the camera pans lovingly across its exterior and captures its turns and maneuvers, the sleek sedan isn’t what it seems. Watch below to see the surprise twist, and read more about it here.
More of the Latest
- The Real Downton Abbey Is Hosting Virtual Events—With Cocktails
- Jägermeister’s Virtual Charity Brunch Will Offer Cold Brew Cocktail Lessons
- Impossible Foods Expands Grocery Store Rollout of Meatless Burger
- The Search for a Coronavirus Vaccine Now Has an Online Show
- Can Ad Tech Provide an Alternative to Traditional Upfronts?
- Retailers Should Rethink Customer Segmentation to Be More Relevant