This AdAge article (5/4; subscription) grades corporate performance during the pandemic; revealing which brands are “surging, sinking or just holding steady.” With a focus on first quarter, the reports “gave a glimpse into second-quarter trends.” Clorox, one of the “surging” brands was also mentioned in detail by MarketingDive (5/4). In an effort to hold onto the increased trial of Clorox products it is seeing during the coronavirus health crisis, their CEO plans to increase second half 2020 ad spending by $50MM.


Adweek’s article (5/1) on the restaurant category’s quarterly results showed that, where reported, most same-store sales dropped between 25% to 35% for when stay-at-home orders began. However, the opposite was seen for Domino’s Pizza and Popeyes which grew a reported 7% and 26%, respectively.



Nielsen published “Advertising in the Age of COVID-19”, a new guide for advertisers and agencies. Available for download, the six-page document reinforces recent research including evolving media habits and retail shopping behaviors, while assessing the impact of not advertising. Media insights include TV’s increase in both reach and time spent, increases in streaming, and a report that 83% of consumers “are listening to as much radio as they had before the pandemic.” E-commerce share and growth are shown across multiple categories indicate the unprecedented opportunity to capture new buyers due to unavailability. And finally, a marketing mix analysis shows how cutting advertising in 2020 can lead to a revenue decrease in 2021.



Reuters (5/4) declared that “It’s okay to laugh again” in their article on ways that marketers are changing the tone of their communications to be lighter and less somber. As a point of reference, they site clichés identified in the compilation video “Every COVID-10 Commercial is Exactly the Same”. Brands helping spread the humor include Anheuser-Busch with their “Wassup” refresh from 4/23, Diagio asking people to Hangout from Home, as the US shifts to restart business. In a display of cross-platform creativity, Emily Crisps (right), a UK based snack brand, poked fun of themselves in their transit posters and social, while suggesting a TV ad instead.

Emily Crisps Transit Poster OOH Ad Humor

Despite the return of some humor, a new VAB study, reported by B&C (4/30), shows that advertisers are still looking for positive messages and helping communities (even the “Wassup” ad mentioned above, closed with a heartfelt “stay safe” message). The VAB study tied intended sales as a metric, with 55% of respondents saying they were more likely to make a brand purchase for companies providing resources or helping the community. Coke’s video, in honor of International Workers’ Day is one recent example (The Drum, 5/4).



Researcher e-marketer updated their “US Time Spent with Media” report (requires sub.) with 2020 data and a forecast through 2022. In part a result of pre-pandemic trends as well as the effects of the coronavirus crisis, average time spent with media will increase more than an hour a day (to 13 hours, 35 minutes.) Other notable trends include more digital and non-digital video viewing,

AND NOW A WORD …                                

In an interview with MediaVillage (5/5), Active International’s President of Sales Operations and Chief Risk Officer, Kevin Farkas, explains how “corporate trade can be an economic lifeline” for companies during the pandemic and a partner for the long term.

Kevin Farkas MediaVillage Interview Image

With some marketers looking to exit their media commitments and others seeking full value for excess inventory, Active’s business solutions, powered by forward investments and trading arrangements across industries, can provide relief.