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.
For 5 Decades, Jerry Stiller Was Advertising’s Beloved Curmudgeon
Jerry Stiller, who died Monday at age 92, had a long and acclaimed career on stage and screen, and commercials were no exception. From the 1970s on, he was often found voicing or starring in ads, often with his wife and longtime comedy partner, Anne Meara.
They appeared together in several ad campaigns in the 1970s and ’80s, including a radio campaign for Blue Nun wine, a series of PSAs about the importance of seat belts and ads for Jack in the Box and Windex. Stiller also starred in iconic campaigns for AT&T, AOL, Total cereal, Glad ClingWrap, Marriott and Nissan, among others. These roles required a tough balance of being grumpy but also likable, a balance Stiller managed to bring consistently to his work across five decades.
With Upfronts Week Events Canceled, Companies Are Still Announcing Big Plans
NBCUniversal is aiming for serious transformation in the face of Covid-19. The company, which has already moved to reduce ad loads on special programming, is further trimming ad loads on news programming by two minutes and is eyeing a reduction of 15-second ads in an effort to maximize advertisers’ ROI, it announced in a presentation Monday.
Also on Monday, Fox Corp unveiled a largely pandemic-proof fall schedule, with most having already been filmed, addressing one of TV buyers’ biggest concerns: a lack of new shows to advertise in. And on Friday, Fox Sports held another round of virtual town halls with agencies to prepare for the return of live sports—and, it hopes, to jumpstart talks about the upcoming NFL season.
Young Entrepreneurs Are Stepping Up to Help Amid Covid-19 Crisis
Gen Z and millennial business leaders are showing their own creativity, from pivoting existing initiatives to building new ones. For example, Jorge Richardson, 24, and other co-founders debuted TogetherCard.org, a search engine for gift cards that supports businesses struggling to stay open. Noah Friedman and Sahil Bhaiwala, both 25, created 6FTCloser, which allows users to submit short, personalized videos of thanks and nominate essential workers to receive these messages.
- Saving Advertising Internships: Following a conversation between Mona Gonzalez of Pereira & O’Dell New York, and Rebecca Rivera, adjunct assistant professor at The City College of New York (CUNY), the two organizations have launched “Save the Internships.” The effort aims to secure last-minute virtual opportunities at New York ad agencies for advertising, public relations, marketing, design and communications majors who were relying on the experience and income this summer.
Will Sustainability Remain a Corporate Priority After Covid-19?
Due to Covid-19, some brands that have incorporated sustainability into their plans are now feeling uncertain about whether they can afford to maintain their green initiatives. Unilever told Adweek it’s sticking to its plans to halve its use of virgin plastic by 2025, but not every company was so confident. Marriott and JetBlue’s respective pledges to reduce plastics and approach carbon neutrality could be on hold or lack funding.
More of Today’s Top News and Highlights
- MediaCom Global CEO Stephen Allan Steps Down After 12 Years
- Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun Addresses ‘Second Phase of Crisis’ in ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ Message
- PepsiCo Begins Delivering Snacks and Drinks Directly to Consumers
- Stage Stores Files for Bankruptcy and Launches Sale Process
- Hilton and Marriott See Profit in Q1, but Coronavirus’ Impact Was Already Clear
- Unlike TV, Almost All Viewers Are Present for Digital Video Ads
- Adweek Together: The Future of Audio
- On the Adweek Podcast: Cannabis, Pastimes and Mental Health
The Hidden Power of Bobblehead Marketing: Bringing Dr. Fauci to a Desk Near You
Having watched the soaring popularity of Dr. Anthony Fauci, Phil Sklar, who runs the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, figured the physician would make a good bobblehead. Sklar was right. Giving $5 from every doll sold to the Protect the Heroes campaign supporting healthcare workers, the museum has taken orders for upward of 34,000 Fauci bobbleheads.