Bud Light’s ‘Humans of Genius’ Stay Home; Perfumes Boom: Thursday’s First Things First

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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.

Bud Light Reimagines Iconic Campaign in ‘Stay at Home Humans of Genius’ Ads

Following its “Whassup” revival, Anheuser-Busch has given its popular “Real Men of Genius” campaign the social distancing treatment in four new spots that encourage people—and not just men this time—to stay at home and, of course, drink Bud Light. The nostalgic campaign gives its geniuses the same classic soundtrack, the aspirational aesthetic and the deep, dramatic voiceover.

Watch it: The brand is also encouraging fans to tag friends on social and thank them for something they’ve done to make quarantine easier.

More Creative Campaigns of the Covid Era

The Latest Agency Mashup Is Dentsumcgarrybowen

Move over, VMLY&R, because there’s a new long-winded agency name in town: Dentsumcgarrybowen. The new creative entity, which is part of Dentsu Aegis Network, encompasses Mcgarrybowen’s various offices around the world and a number of agencies that operate under the Dentsu name outside of Japan. It will be led by global co-presidents Merlee Jayme and Jon Dupuis, who will report to Jean Lin, global CEO of creative at Dentsu Aegis Network.

Read more: A spokesperson said it’s part of the “three lines of business” Dentsu Aegis Network set up last year: creative, media and customer relationship management (CRM). 

How the Subscription Model Revolutionized the Way We Buy Perfume

In the past few years, fragrance subscription services such as Luxury Scent Box, Perfume Surprise, Scentbird and ScentBox have exploded onto the scene. The market for the services is large, worth $8.4 billion as of 2018, and it is growing: Worldwide, fragrance purchases were up by 5.5% last year.

Unlike other ecommerce categories, fragrances require consumers to test them out in store. But dissatisfaction—and now safety concerns—with that trip, not to mention the increasing decline of many traditional retail outlets, have opened the door for subscription services to proliferate. For a monthly fee, customers can receive a variety of travel-size fragrances in the mail so that shoppers can test before committing or simply wear an ever-changing array of new scents.

Read more: For all the novelty and success of these services, observers point to several issues that they will need to confront if they plan to stay around.

Advertisers Plan on Spending One-Third Less in This Year’s Upfront

According to a new survey, advertisers are planning on spending about 33% less than usual during this year’s upfronts negotiations—close to $7 billion of the roughly $20 billion usually spent. That’s an increase over what some ad sales experts had predicted last month.

Advertisers’ biggest upfront concerns include how they will reallocate spend if major sports events are canceled, whether TV viewership will decline again as shelter-in-place orders are lifted, how content gaps caused by production shutdowns will impact audiences, and what protection they’ll have given the current unpredictability.

Read more: “They can’t commit long-term but they can’t afford to get caught flat-footed in a tight scatter market, either.”

  • Also in TV and Streaming News: In its first television push, which kicked off during last night’s The Masked Singer on Fox, Disney promoted its streaming bundle, which includes Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu’s ad-supported tier.

More of Today’s Top News and Highlights

Ikea’s Quarantine Campaign Offers 6 Ways to Make Furniture Forts

Created by agency Instinct, a new campaign from Ikea Russia includes a series of instructions for parents on how to make tents and forts indoors to create a sense of adventure for children cooped up at home as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Image of the Ikea home forts

Using Employee Feedback to Improve the Remote Work Experience

Kamron Hack, director of people and culture at Firewood, shared with Adweek that leadership at the digital marketing and creative agency have gathered feedback from employees on improving the WFH experience:

“We asked employees if they needed any equipment to optimize their work from home setups and arranged to provide the necessities. We surveyed to see if employees needed to adjust their schedules to account for child care, elder care, or any other extenuating circumstances and worked with them to find a schedule that works for everyone involved. Finally, we requested employee critique of our programs (meditation classes, fitness club meetings, happy hours) designed to connect people despite the distance so that we can continue the all-important human connection we need to keep our culture alive and well.”

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