Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on Adweek.com each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.
Considered an Essential Business, Cannabis Sales Surge as Consumers Hunker Down
Ever wonder what everyone’s doing in their socially distanced spare time? Before the coronavirus pandemic, April 20, 2019 (ya know, the unofficial holiday of cannabis), was the high-water mark for legal cannabis sales. Those records have been shattered as industry sources report double- and triple-digit increases in sales from Maryland to Illinois to the Pacific Northwest in the wake of shelter-at-home rules.
With the U.S. Stuck Inside, Where Does That Leave Out-of-Home Advertising?
With everyone stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, out-of-home advertising, such as signs on top of taxi cabs, subway advertisements, billboards and bus shelters, are no longer attracting the consumer attention they usually do. So what can advertisers that usually rely on OOH do? It turns out that as certain locations see a major drop-off in foot traffic, others like grocery stores, gas stations and and pharmacies have seen an uptick.
How the Ad Council Created 4 Coronavirus PSAs in a Pinch
While the Ad Council is no stranger to crisis—it was founded during World War II, after all—the coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented challenges. Since March 13,the nonprofit has produced four unique campaigns working with dozens of partners across the media and industry as well as government agencies, the White House, and digital and out-of-home partners.
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 here.
Why More Media Companies Are Cutting Salaries Instead of Laying Off People
Future Media Group, Vice, BuzzFeed, Gannett and American Media Group have cut the salaries of their staff as a way, they say, to avoid more layoffs. Other publishers are likely to offer something similar. The hope is that these measures will preserve staff morale and keep the businesses running so when people can physically gather again, and marketing budgets are restored, publishers’ businesses will be able to handle the demand.
The Primary on Hold: Biden and Sanders Haven’t Run TV Ads in Weeks
In this brave new world, the two remaining Democratic candidates—former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders—have gone off the airwaves completely: Neither Biden nor Sanders has run a television ad since March 17. For overall ad spend, the presidential race has “slowed considerably,” and digital advertising has been largely aimed at fundraising rather than persuasion.
More Coronavirus Updates from Advertising, Marketing and Media:
- Following the IAB’s decision Tuesday to delay the NewFronts by nearly two months, to the week of June 22, companies like Digitas, Amazon (which had been set to make its inaugural NewFronts appearance this year) and Twitter have told Adweek they will no longer appear at the annual series of presentation for media buyers.
- Many predict a sharp contraction in the total number of ad-tech companies in the years, if not months, ahead, but these two petitions are appeals to blunt the coming maelstrom—and save the cookie.
- Aiming to help provide a solution to the ongoing problem of gauging shifts in consumer demand amid the coronavirus pandemic, online grocery delivery platform Instacart has opened its vast vault of data to the nation’s producers of packaged food items.
Best of the Rest: Today’s Top News and Highlights
- After 2-Year Regulatory Maze, Sprint and T-Mobile Have Merged
- NPR Names Michael Smith as Its New CMO
- Jason Kilar Named WarnerMedia CEO
- 9thWonder CEO Jose Lozano on Furloughs, Salary Cuts and Learning From Past Disasters
For April Fools’ Day, Adweek Surprised Rising Ad Talents With Unexpectedly VIP Zoom Calls
This year, traditional April Fools’ Day gags feel pretty out of sync with the state of the world, as a global pandemic continues to leave people locked in their homes and riddled with anxiety. Instead of a prank for April Fools’ Day, Adweek invited a small group emerging ad professionals to call into one-on-one video chats via Zoom, then let them in on the secret: They would actually be talking to some of the biggest names in the industry. Watch to catch advice from DDB’s Wendy Clark, Make Love Not Porn’s Cindy Gallop, Vayner Media’s Gary Vaynerchuk, Burger King’s Fernando Machado, and Isaiah Mustafa (a.k.a. the Old Spice guy).
More of the Latest:
- From Fyre Festival Whistleblower to Agency ECD, Oren Aks Lands in San Diego
- Why This Canadian Agency Is Choosing to Open Its Doors Now
- Chicago Mayor Gets Silly at Home for Social Distancing PSAs
- This Beauty Brand’s CEO Has Great Advice for Product Innovation and Job Security
- Uber Urges Riders to Stay Home So It Can Help Those in Need