So long Black Friday! Target released a series of Black Friday-themed ads in late October, encouraging customers to shop all through November for ongoing deals and surprises. “Black Friday used to mean long lines and deals gone in a flash. That was Black Friday then. This is Black Friday now.” The pandemic, which has altered shopping patterns, has seemingly dealt a fatal blow to our typical Black Friday, forcing more marketers to “up their e-commerce games.” As retailers have stepped away from Black Friday promotions to limit in-person crowds they’ve made better use of e-commerce and new fulfillment services including curbside pickup. Like Target, Lowe’s, Gap, Home Depot and others have publicized longer-lasting deals that exclude single Black Friday discounts. (AdAge: 11/6/20)



As the pandemic has enforced travel restraints, health rules and smaller gatherings this holiday season, spending patterns will be very different compared to years past. Nielsen identified five shopper groups they see emerging this holiday: “constrained and restricted”, “constrained but free”, “cautious middle”, “insulated but restricted”, and “insulated and free”. The report advises that “with daily COVID-19 developments it will be imperative that companies align their plans with the new circumstances that consumers find themselves in”. Nielsen predicts homemade gifts and cooking will thrive this season. Companies will cater to new needs for instant or distant gifting by innovating the ways in which a product or service can be shared from the comfort of home. As traditions are being rewritten, some consumers may choose to spend more on themselves than others this year. Online shopping will continue to be the most popular choice for many consumers as they continue to stay at home and search for the best prices. (ProgressiveGrocer: 11/4/20)



As states are still counting votes, and ad analyst are tracking the ad dollars spent to influence voters, Advertising Analytics reports that the grand total for all political media across all races comes in at $8.4 billion; with $3.0 billion spent on the presidential race. Once again, traditional broadcast TV captured the majority of political ad dollars, with $936 million for the post-primary in the presidential campaign. Among the battle ground states, Pennsylvania lead with $11.4 million in the presidential campaign, followed by Arizona and Wisconsin each with $11.2 million, and Florida and North Carolina rounded out with $8.7 million. (Inside Radio: 11/10/20)

According to Advertising Analytics, 2020 saw nearly $247.5 million being spent in national TV between Jan. 1,2019, and Election Day, marking a 200% increase over 2016 (when $85 million was spent nationally). Digital advertising is taking a large role too as Google, YouTube and their partner properties have taken in more than $626 million in revenue since May 21, 2018, with the Biden, Trump and Bloomberg campaigns representing the three biggest spenders. “The dynamics are welcome ones for TV networks and stations, which have seen advertisers claw back the usual commitments they make each year.” (Variety: 11/4/20)



Alex Trebek

“He will forever be an inspiration for his constant desire to learn, his kindness and for his love of his family.” Monday night’s episode of Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards gave a moving tribute to the beloved host Alex Trebek, who died of pancreatic cancer on Sunday at the age of 80. After Richards concluded his tribute with the words “This is Jeopardy!), the camera panned to an overhead shot of the empty stage which Trebek graced for more than 37 seasons and shared a moment of silence. (Deadline: 11/9/20)