In the midst of all our town halls, Latin dance breaks and golf tournaments on Zoom, April zoomed by at an alarmingly rapid pace. With the calendar turning to May, it’s officially Q1 earnings season. Plus, Nielsen dives into what sports fans are watching in the absence of sports.
Here are the eight stats from the past week in the world of brands, marketing and advertising that caught our eye.
1. Despite significant slowdown, these companies were Q1 bright spots
Though Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, have all admitted to feeling the financial sting of Covid-19, the three tech brands still posted some strong first quarter results. Facebook reported revenue of $17.7 billion in Q1, up 18% from the first quarter in 2019; Alphabet reported revenue of $41.2 billion for the opening quarter of 2020; Amazon reported net sales revenue of $75.5 billion in Q1, up 27% from the same period last year.
Additionally, Facebook’s ad spend in East Asia grew 12.7% since the beginning of March (after dropping by nearly 50% in North America between December 2019 and March). Alphabet’s total advertising revenues for Q1 were $33.8 billion compared to $30.6 billion last year, and revenue at Amazon Advertising went up by 44%, coming in at $3.9 billion for the period.
2. Now boarding for your next literary adventure
Had your plans to snorkel in Los Cabos or hike through Montserrat derailed by the pandemic? The Wild Detectives, a treasured bookstore and cafe in Dallas, is offering a quarantine-approved alternative: literary travel expeditions.
Loyal customers were confused when they visited the bookstore’s online platform this past Sunday, only to be met with what appeared to be a travel agency site. The deceiving Book a Trip platform, developed by DJNR Interactive, allows people to search for destinations but returns results for books written about the queried city. To promote the site, agency partner Dieste created equally bamboozling spots.
Since April 26, The Wild Detectives said its online sales have increased 200%, with 30,000 unique tourists searching for their next adventure on the site.
3. Amid all the bad, pets are thriving
A new 60-second spot from Chewy, produced remotely by the online pet product retailer’s in-house marketing team with creative agency SpecialGuest, reminds us why the Covid-19 crisis has led to a pet ownership boom: Our furry, scaly and feathered friends bring us together.
They make the news better, too:
The need for animal companions has given a boost for digital pet platforms like Chewy (Q1 2020 sales are expected to be between 35% and 37% higher than last year), which in turn is helping our four-legged pals thrive. Market research firm Rakuten Intelligence revealed that U.S. online sales of dog food and treats were up 88%, and sales of cat food and treats were up 82% in March compared to the same period last year. Lockdowns also led to sales of housebreaking and incontinence products rising 132%.
4. Philanthropy Live
Last month, we apparently got really into peeking into the personal spaces of our favorite macro- and microinfluencers: There was a 70% jump in people using Instagram Live in April. To further reap the benefits of our collective boredom, Instagram is helping nonprofits by making its Donation sticker available on livestreams. Users will now be able to thank donors in real time, and also invite other people to join their Live video to host a telethon-style fundraiser.
5. It’s my party, and I’ll eat a Whopper if I want to
For parents, these “unprecedented times” have brought on worries about the economy, healthcare, jobs and when they’ll finally be able to relinquish homeschooling duties. For their kids, these “unprecedented times” have brought on simpler, but still meaningful, worries such as, “Will any of my friends come to my ill-timed birthday party?”
Probably not, which is why Burger King France teamed up with agency David Madrid to make unhappy birthdays happy again. The burger chain offered free post-lockdown parties to 500 lucky kids. All their parents had to do was upload a photo of their birthday cakes to social media, tagging Burger King.
By the end of the day, all the parties had been claimed, with more than 2,000 people participating. The promo’s popularity led the burger chain to pick 100 more winners this week.
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