Ways Brands Are Getting Creative With Their Ads as Quarantine Stalls Production

From Burger King and Nike to Panera and Potbelly, marketers are finding clever ways to create content

There is no doubt that we are living in historic times. And brands, in common with all businesses, have found themselves scrambling to adapt to the newfound reality we all suddenly find ourselves in.

Today, the idea of spending months developing and shooting an advert feels like a pipe dream from another era. But that hasn’t stopped major brands from rising to the challenge with nimble, creative workarounds that pack a big punch.

Burger King: ‘Stay Home of the Whopper’ – Agency: FCB

This TV spot, which tells people to stay home and order delivery, was created by agency network FCB using footage that was actually shot before the COVID-19 pandemic for an unrelated ad concept. In the spirit of creative re-use, the agency team realized the footage could still work for a campaign specific to the quarantine era.

Burger King has launched a number of timely global initiatives during the pandemic, including the build-it-yourself  “Quarantine Whopper”  from Paris agency Buzzman for Burger King France. While outlets there have been closed, the brand showed consumers how to make their own Whoppers and other popular Burger King sandwiches at home using store-bought ingredients—a trend that many other brands would soon follow by releasing their signature recipes to the public. 

The brand also rolled out a social media campaign doling out free Whoppers to students who can answer tricky math, science, and literature questions.

Nike: ‘You Can’t Stop Us’ – Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Portland

This 60-second spot by Wieden + Kennedy Portland was compiled using still and video footage of  people exercising at their own homes during lockdown. 

While it featured megastar LeBron James, as well as Nike-backed talents like Somali boxer Ramla Ali and beach volleyball star Sara Hughes, this ad focused on everyday people doing their best to stay fit indoors.

“To those playing in living rooms. To those playing in kitchens. To those playing in bedrooms,” the ad reads. “We may not be playing to giant crowds, but today we’re playing for 7.8 billion people.”

Apple: ‘Creativity Goes On’ – Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab

With an initial rough cut assembled over a weekend and the entire production process completed in a whirlwind two weeks, Apple’s “Creativity Goes On” captured a fascinating cross-section of what creativity looks like in this moment of global quarantine.

The spot uses only “found footage” created by everyday users of Apple products and celebrities alike, but the uplifting tone of the spot avoids putting undue emphasis on the brand. Instead, it celebrates how innovation can thrive in the face of isolation.

Domino’s: ‘We’re Hiring’ – Agency: CPB

The idea of using Zoom as a primary means of workplace communication, let alone to film an entire ad, is one that just wouldn’t hold water until quite recently. But Domino’s and agency CPB have proved you don’t need fancy equipment to create an effective and topical ad.

“We’re Hiring” features real Domino’s franchisees sharing two messages: that they’re open for business and that,  perhaps rarest of all, they’re hiring.  The spot urges those seeking full- or part-time work to visit jobs.dominos.com to find current openings.

Jeep: ‘Same Day’ – Agency: Highdive

Waking up every day in this quarantine moment really can feel like Groundhog Day–which Jeep perfectly encapsulates in this series of social media shorts that reprise the classic 1993 film Groundhog Day,  featuring Bill Murray. 

“We understand that every day is starting to seem the same,” begins one video as an alarm clock strikes 6 a.m. Sonny and Cher begin singing “I Got You Babe,” and Murray wakes up once more in a Punxsutawney, Pa., bed-and-breakfast.

McDonald’s: ‘Unskippable Ad’ – Agency: Leo Burnett Moscow

Leo Burnett’s Moscow office created an “unskippable” preroll ad for McDonald’s Russia, with a simple but well played premise. The spot shows someone washing their hands for 20 unskippable seconds–the amount of time recommended for proper hand-washing.

Launched for Russian viewers on March 23, the ad has been viewed more than 120 million times, according to the agency. It’s a great example of a concept that’s  simple, but effective, and highly relevant to the present day. 

Panera: ‘One Neighbor to Another’ – Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Delivery drivers deserve our gratitude. While the world has paused, they keep things moving in our communities by dropping off essential goods including food. Panera taps into this reality with three social video shorts featuring its delivery drivers Leigh, Theodore and Velinda. 

Created by agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners to highlight the bakery chain’s service but with limited production capabilities as a result of the coronavirus, the agency had the drivers shoot the commercials themselves inside their cars.

The spots, which the agency turned around in five days, were largely unscripted and and shot entirely on drivers’ smartphones. The drivers offer positive messages, including: “Stay safe. Stay inside. And I’ll bring dinner for you.”

Lego and 10 Downing Street: ‘Stay Home’ – Agency: A+C Studios

The British government has been grappling with ways to keep people from leaving their homes during lockdown and a looming four-day Easter bank holiday weekend made the challenge even greater.

So it enlisted the help of Lego to help get the message across in an animated video released on social media last week in advance of Easter Sunday. The production firm behind the video,  A+C Studios, commissioned one stop-motion artist, who worked from home to position the figurines for the the creative while being supported, remotely, by a team of animators and post production specialists.

Source: https://www.adweek.com/creativity/10-ways-brands-are-getting-creative-with-their-ads-as-quarantine-stalls-production

Wait for iPhone 12 drags on as Apple delays production by a month


Apple is delaying mass-production of the iPhone 12 lineup by around one month, according to a Monday report from The Wall Street Journal.

Sources blame the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic for the delay, which is likely to mean Apple’s next-generation handsets won’t be available until October. A trusted source for Cult of Mac recently made  the same prediction .

“Apple Inc. is pushing back the production ramp-up of its flagship iPhones coming later this year by about a month, according to people familiar with the changes,” reads  the report , which requires a WSJ subscription.

Sources blame weakened global demand, with consumers spending less on non-essential purchases during the pandemic — and on COVID-19 disruptions to key Apple manufacturing partners in Asia.

Expect an October debut

Recent reports have indicated Apple plans four different iPhone 12 models, in three different sizes, for a 2020 release. They’re all expected to offer faster 5G connectivity, Apple’s next-generation A14 chipset, and other big improvements.

It’s likely Apple would have been aiming to launch all four devices in September, as is tradition for flagship iPhone introductions. To meet that timeline, however, mass-production has to take place over the summer months.

That’s not going to happen this year, at least not at the rate Apple requires, thanks to the global pandemic. So, although Apple could still debut its newest handsets in September, we may not get our hands on them until October at the earliest.

Apple cuts iPhone 12 orders

In addition to delaying production, Apple has also slashed iPhone 12 orders, the report reveals. Sources say the number of units it plans to manufacture in 2020 has been reduced by as much as 20%.

Supply chain sources recently claimed Apple was pushing forward with what they believed were  unrealistic iPhone 12 sales estimates . They warned, however, that Cupertino could revise its figures before mass-production began.

Today’s WSJ report echoes similar claims made by reliable TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and by a source for Cult of Mac, which both predicted  an October launch  for iPhone 12.

Long-time iPhone fans will remember a similar delays for iPhone X and iPhone XR. Both handsets were unveiled in September 2017, alongside iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, but they did not start shipping until October and November 2017.

Source: https://www.cultofmac.com/705351/apple-delays-iphone-12-production-wsj/

Gates Foundation will commit ‘total attention’ to coronavirus pandemic


Covid-19 15/4 trên Thế giới - Bill Gates phản đối Trump cắt ngân ...

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is now devoting all of its attention to addressing the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said in an interview published Sunday. 

Gates  told The Financial Times  that his  foundation , which has an endowment of more than $40 billion, was prepared to put all of its resources toward fighting the virus, even if it meant efforts to combat other deadly diseases would suffer as a result. 

“We’ve taken an organization that was focused on HIV and malaria and polio eradication, and almost entirely shifted it to work on this,” Gates, a leading philanthropist, said. “This has the foundation’s total attention. Even our non-health related work, like higher education and K-12 [schools], is completely switched around to look at how you facilitate online learning.”

The Gates’ foundation  has already committed $250 million  toward coronavirus relief efforts around the world. The group’s most recent $150 million pledge is set to go toward international efforts to develop diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, as well as efforts to provide resources to African and South Asian countries.  

This latest commitment means that all of its workforce and expertise will be directed to the current pandemic. Gates said that clinical trials for new AIDS drugs would take a backseat to the work being done to develop treatments for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. 

“This emergency has distracted a lot of critical work in many, many areas,” he said. 

The billionaire philanthropist predicted that the virus’s outbreak would cost the global economy “tens of trillions of dollars” and that some nations would have “greatly reduced” economic activity for years because of it.   

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations funds Open Access for MSM ...

Nearly 3 million people worldwide have been infected with COVID-19, including about 940,000 individuals in the U.S., according to a Johns Hopkins University database. The virus has caused more than 200,000 deaths, including more than 50,000 in the U.S. 

Gates has remained extremely vocal during the crisis. After President Trump vowed to freeze funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) over its response to the outbreak, he tweeted that the move was “as dangerous as it sounds.”

He reiterated those comments while speaking with The Financial Times, saying that WHO is a “very important” body that “should actually get extra support to perform their role.”

“I think [Trump] will do deep analysis and decide that they probably should get more money, not less money,” Gates said.

Source: https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/494733-gates-foundation-will-commit-full-attention-to-coronavirus-pandemic


Media Together: Advertising and Sales

As with all industries, the spread of Covid-19 has put strains on all facets of the media industry, including marketing, advertising and editorial teams. As part of an ongoing project, Adweek has solicited stories of those who have been furloughed, laid off or otherwise affected by the pandemic. If you’ve been affected, please consider submitting your story here.

What’s your experience been like during Covid-19?

Covid has been challenging. I’ve been laid off for three weeks now and just trying to stay grounded, but I do have moments of anxiety and discomfort. I understand that its a competitive job market so I’ve been patient, but NYS unemployment has been extremely difficult to navigate and bills need to get paid. It’s a delicate balancing act managing my emotional and mental well-being while applying for unemployment, relevant jobs and networking on LinkedIn.

Bernice Veloz

What’s your hope for the media industry post-Covid-19?

The industry is quite fascinating right now, ripe with innovation and ideas. My hope is that brands shift the narrative to forge a more authentic relationship with audiences. We’re all in this together. It’s been great to see brands pivot to address this.

What is your motivation behind working in the industry? What are some memorable experiences you’ve had during your employment in the media industry?

This industry is my calling. I am a multicultural marketing guru in training that loves shaping the narrative of how brands connect with this unique and special audience. My entire career has been quite memorable, both good and bad. One of my favorite memories is working the Latin Grammy Awards with Univision on behalf of Metro by T-Mobile. The event is grandiose; the collaboration and camaraderie among all the brands, agencies, media platforms to bring the night of life was incredible to experience firsthand.

Source: https://www.adweek.com/digital/media-together-advertising-and-sales/


Trying to do social media marketing that actually works grows more difficult by the day. In fact, Facebook is regularly throwing advertisers right out the back door of the castle. To get back in, companies are often required to redo their sites and behavior in ways that neuter effectiveness. Do not underestimate this problem.

However, despite the changing marketing landscape, there are still two things that haven’t changed and most likely never well. Let’s take a look.


The Marketing Success Triangle Has NOT Changed

Right markets get the right message by the right media.

Simply broadcasting a message to millions via social media accomplishes little for most businesses. Companies like GoPro and Red Bull are great examples of brand-builders using viral videos and social media to rise from obscurity to fame in the marketplace.

But your business is probably not akin to theirs. You have to be very careful to model and emulate businesses that have much more in common with your own. Take capital and human resources, for example. If you’re funding your business’s growth from its profits or from money borrowed by mortgaging your home and your grandma’s wheelchair, you’re in an entirely different place than a company into which hundreds of millions of dollars of venture capital and Wall Street money flow.

Further, viral explosions aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, as Greg Levitt, co-founder of 33Across.com, a social media sharing platform, admits. From his firm’s research:

  • Consumers are most likely to share articles, news and content related to science, but only 9 percent of person-to-person recipients click on the shared links regarding these topics.
  • Timely news and political items are less widely shared at 2 percent, but the click rates are 86 percent and 77 percent, respectively.
  • Business-related: Only 4 percent share and 24 percent click on the shared links.
  • Health: 3 percent share, 15 percent click.
  • Celebrity and entertainment: 2 percent share, but 40 percent click.
  • Consumer reviews of products, businesses: 1 percent share, 4 percernt click.
  • Personal finance: 1 percent share, 11 percent click.

(The above stats were based on surveys of 500 publishers of online content.)

Levitt explains the wide disparity between share and click rates as “ego sharing.” That is, senders sharing content they believe will boost their perceived intelligence, informed status, etc. regardless of whether they think recipients will find it interesting or not. The overall average is 3 percent sharing of content and 24 percent of recipients clicking on shared links.

To me, this says there are only two useful plays: First, work with a tightly targeted list of thought-leader, market-leader and influential recipients to deliver content of high interest and value that enhances their status if shared — to hit or beat the 3 percent bar, but so that the 24 percent of those recipients who are shared with are ideal for you. Or, second, you need a massive volume outreach so the 3 percent matters.

The stats about forwarding/sharing of “reviews” about products and businesses suggest that angst over this — and time and money spent on it — may be overdone.

Ironically, and in the face of what I’ve pointed out above, you can make a case that it’s important to include social media as part of your integrated marketing plan. But approach it strategically, with the same direct-response and sound business principles that you would in any other media channel. 


The Stuff of Bank Deposits Has NOT Changed

You can’t go to the bank and deposit likes, views, retweets, viral explosions, social media conversations or brand recognition. Bankers are extremely narrow-minded. They won’t even accept vegetables grown in your backyard garden or bitcoin. They want real money.

You must insist on exactly the same thing from all media. Contrary to popular belief, no media is different. No media gets a pass because it’s different. Don’t be fooled. Be open-minded, creative and opportunistic, but always keep a watchful eye on the bottom line.

Opportunism and skepticism are not mutually exclusive. They can and should work in concert, like partners, just as Walt Disney, the visionary, and Roy Disney, the money watcher, worked successfully in tandem. Approach social media this way, and you’ll avoid being burnt.


Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/348156


3 Amazing Ways to Rake In Cash On Your Own Time


From writing emails to transcribing interviews, these women are making serious dough — without punching the clock.


“I bring in $15 an hour sending emails!”

“When the online business my husband and I own started to slow down, I needed to find a way to make money.

Since I have back problems and can’t stand for long, I wanted to continue working from home. Last year, I was searching for jobs and found SimplrFlex, a company that hires people to answer customer service emails on behalf of their clients. It sounded like a fun and flexible opportunity, so I applied.

“To get the job, I had to read mock customer service scenarios and take a quiz about how to handle them. Then I had to answer 10 customer service tickets that were more specific to ensure my answers addressed the issues, were concise, and didn’t contain typos.

“Once hired, my work consisted of answering emails about the status of orders, tracking information, and returns or exchanges. SimplrFlex provided templates, but I could also customize emails. As I gained more experience, I moved onto accounts that also use a chat feature.

“I work between five and six hours a day, helping clients in industries from retail to insurance. I love working for SimplrFlex because I have autonomy and flexibility and can work as much or as little as I want. I get paid $1.50 an email and make between $12 and $15 an hour. The money I earn pays the bills and is saved for home-improvement projects.”

“I earn a full-time income moderating social media!”

“Not long after I left my full-time job in sales to stay at home with my child, a woman I used to work with launched her own marketing company, Web Marketing Therapy. She offered me part-time work handling social media for her clients, and since I could work from home and I spent time on social media anyway, I knew it would be the perfect gig for me.

“My job entails handling social media marketing and management for a variety of clients, including a medical spa, a restaurant, a plastic surgeon, an attorney, a health and wellness coach, and a company that sells Chinese medicinal herbs. I write and post content, thank customers, redirect them to services and respond to their comments. Some clients ask me to post specific content, such as their product promotions on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn, while others let me decide what to post. I use free tools like HootSuite to schedule the posts and Canva to create graphics. The best part is that it’s creative, and when I get to know the clients, they give me free rein to post content.

“I work around my kids’ schedules, between 10 and 20 hours a week and make a full-time income — money that pays for the gym, my kids’ activities and vacations to places like Hawaii!”

“I make up to $485 a week transcribing conversations!”

“I used to work as a medical transcriptionist for a children’s hospital, but from an emotional perspective, the work became challenging.

About five years ago, I was looking for a change, something I could do from home so I could take care of my daughter as well as my mother. I learned that CLK Transcription, a local company that offers transcription services for journalists, authors, educators and researchers, was hiring.

“While I did have experience in the field, their only requirement was to have good grammar, spelling and accuracy. I knew it would be a great opportunity for me to learn about new topics while working from home and making my own hours. So I emailed the owner to express my interest, and I was almost immediately hired.

“When I start a new project, I receive an audio or video file that I download. I then transcribe the speaker’s words into a Word document. I’ve transcribed so many interesting things from interviews for magazine and newspaper articles, books, documentaries, podcasts, and even TV shows. I also transcribe files from roundtable discussions, conferences, market research studies and for college professors and students.

“I enjoy this work because every day is different, and I’m constantly learning something new. I also like that it’s flexible — I work between 15 and 40 hours a week, depending on my schedule, and can make as much as $485 a week. The income I earn goes toward paying the bills and for extras like my daughter’s volleyball fees.”

Source: https://www.firstforwomen.com/posts/money/make-money-at-home

Consumers ‘pay more attention’ to ads next to coronavirus news content

An increasing number of marketers are pulling back from advertising around news related to the coronavirus outbreak, yet there is evidence to suggest they should in fact be seeking it out.

Words relating to the Covid-19 pandemic have fast risen up brands’ keyword blacklists, yet there is evidence to suggest they should actually be actively placing ads next to coronavirus-related content.

It will come as no surprise that people are paying more attention to the news in the current climate, with national and regional publishers seeing record numbers of digital readers. But people are also paying significantly more attention to the advertising around it.

According to eye-tracking specialists Lumen, print advertising is currently generating 21% more attention than the norm for the medium. Some 88% of press ads run during the week of 18 to 25 March were viewed compared with an average view rate of 75%. Two-thirds (66%) of viewable digital ads were noticed compared with an average of 55% for desktop digital tests conducted in the past six months.

“It’s not that you should be doing ads and avoiding coronavirus, it’s the other way round,” says Lumen’s managing director, Mike Follett.

“There is this general belief that you don’t want to have your ads next to any form of controversial content. Brands become tremendously worried about the juxtaposition of those, and this is just another thing they want to block. The blacklists in this sense should be reversed. What [brands] should be doing is not blocking that stuff but searching it out.”

Advertising attention on the up

Dwell time – the amount of time spent actually looking at the ads – has also remained relatively strong. The average dwell time with digital ads in tests run last month was 1.5 seconds, slightly down from the Lumen average of 1.9 seconds. Dwell time with print advertising, meanwhile, increased slightly from 2.1 seconds to 2.2 seconds.

These two metrics can be combined into a single number that estimates the total aggregate attention an ad will receive per 1,000 impressions, known as ‘attentive seconds per 1000 impressions’. This reveals a slight dip in aggregate attention to digital advertising, but a dramatic increase in attention to print advertising.

Lumen estimates advertisers and media agencies could expect to generate around 1,600 second of attention per 1,000 print impressions usually. In the test period, 1,000 newspaper impressions would generate an average of 1,936 attentive seconds, an increase of 21%.

The discrepancy between the performance of print and digital advertising can, in part, be traced to the impact of interest in coronavirus. Some 60% of the press ads tested were sited next to news stories about coronavirus, while only 23% of the digital ads tested in the period were sited next to coronavirus-related content online.

What is clear, however, is that the analysis of the attention patterns within newspapers shows that the ads that appeared closest to coronavirus content outperformed ads next to other subjects.

“People are still engaging with advertising and even more than ever, so you’re going to get more bang for your buck from pretty much any form of advertising at the moment,” Follett explains.

“People look at ads in proportion to how much they engage with the editorial. The more people engage with the articles or social content, the more they engage with the ads. People are engaging more with coronavirus-related content than anything else and therefore they are engaging more with the ads around that.”

While the research can’t decipher whether the engagement is positive or negative, a  recent investigation into the impact of ‘hard news’ on advertising responses suggests hard news has no negative impact on advertising content, responses to ads or brands.

According to the Newsworks and Neuro-Insight study, the average ad dwell time is 1.4 times higher in a hard news environment (45 seconds versus 32 seconds).

Ads in both hard and soft news environments were found to deliver strong engagement (personal relevance), emotional intensity and, importantly, elicit strong levels of memory encoding.

Source: https://www.marketingweek.com/marketers-advertiser-coronavirus-news/