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As the World Prepares for a Very Different Easter, Brands Change Creative and Brace for Impact
Cadbury U.K. yanked an Easter TV spot showing a grandfather hugging his grandchildren during an egg hunt, while Jelly Belly scrapped its “Better Shared” campaign. Facing an egg shortage thanks to panic buying, an egg dye brand is suggesting that people dye marshmallows and ping-pong balls. Peeps is touting craft projects kids can make with the marshmallow treats.
In short, brands are having to seriously rethink the way they’re advertising for Easter. As the first major U.S. shopping event of the coronavirus era, the way they—and consumers—approach the holiday will have lasting effects, especially on candy brands for whom the holiday represents a huge chunk of revenue.
Here’s how a few other brands are responding to COVID-19:
- As part of its new Stay In Theater Family Movie Nights franchise that starts this weekend in partnership with Target, NBCU will simulcast a different Harry Potter film for the next three Friday nights across USA, Syfy and E! On Saturday nights, it will air various family films in Spanish on Telemundo.
- In a new 60-second spot titled “It’s About People,” Frito-Lay bucks the trend of brands changing their logos and argues that the current moment is not an opportunity to grab the public’s attention by demonstrating their cleverness, creativity or thought leadership. Instead, this is a time for humans to help other humans.
- In an attempt to cheer everyone up during quarantine, DoubleTree by Hilton is sharing a small morsel of its tradition: its beloved cookie recipe.
- Coinciding with Friday’s National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day, pharma giant Gilead announced the creation of a new global $20 million fund to help keep struggling healthcare and LGBTQ nonprofits open.
Q&A: Behind Mark Read’s Plans to Protect WPP’s People, Clients and Future
In less than two years at the helm of the world’s largest advertising holding company, Mark Read has seen WPP undergo a rapid transformation. Wunderman and J. Walter Thompson merged, as did VML and Y&R. WPP sold its majority stake in research firm Kantar. Now Read faces a pandemic that threatens to upend the agency network, putting countless jobs at risk. As of now, Read says he can’t rule out job losses, but the leadership team took a 20% paycut as the first step to protect jobs. To try to quell anxieties, WPP leadership has been doing massive virtual town halls with employees, sometimes speaking to as many as 2,000 people.
Amid the Pandemic, People Flock to Steak-umm for Consolation and Insight
Hard-hitting, reasonable truth bombs from a frozen meat brand? In the era of COVID-19, things have been stranger. Frozen meat brand Steak-umm’s Twitter account has published several deep, thoughtful threads reflecting the current state of affairs and the zeitgeist, beginning with Monday’s sobering, nine-part soliloquy on Twitter admonishing misinformation and advising on the importance of media literacy and reliable sources of data.
It’s all the work of Nathan Allebach, social media manager for Allebach Communications and the man behind the brand’s voice, whose real-talk isn’t exactly a new strategy.