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.
Don’t Expect Many Brands to Embrace April Fools’ Day in 2020
With Twitter commenters proactively warning brands for at least the past week against pulling any April Fools’ Day pranks, it’s unlikely we’ll see any major stunts this year. Brands, including Google, SodaStream, Honda, T-Mobile and Giphy, are skipping the annual “holiday,” even as they’ve made it a perennial and high-profile part of their advertising.
Savvy Distilleries Are Putting in Extra Effort to Make Their Hand Sanitizers Look Stylish
Many distilleries have made the decision to do their part for the community and produce hand sanitizers, a commodity the coronavirus pandemic has rendered rare and precious. But instead of just funneling the product into bottles and getting it out the door, distillers and brewers like Mammoth, Old Fourth, Hanson of Sonoma and Lexington designed elegant packaging for the sanitizers.
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.
Opinion: Thinking of Partnering With a Charity? Keep in Mind the Following Compliance Regulations
In today’s coronavirus-fraught society, there are endless causes and groups in need of support, offering brands, agencies and other organizations opportunities to partner with charity groups on campaigns and initiatives. However, it pays to be cautious and do your homework before jumping into a charity partnership, as Heather Nolan, partner at InfoLawGroup LLP, explains in a recent Voice piece.
- Related: US consumers expect the global socioeconomic and political challenges posed by the coronavirus crisis, as well as the existential threats of widespread illness and unprecedented isolation, to be tackled by brands, not just the government, according to a recent survey.
Why Workers Are Going on Strike at Whole Foods, Amazon, GE and Instacart
Instacart shoppers and Amazon warehouse workers went on strike Monday. The two delivery companies are essential services, but some workers say the companies are doing little to protect them from spreading it. And at General Electric, some plant workers walked off the job because they want the company to shift factories to produce the much-needed ventilators increasingly sought by desperate hospitals. On Tuesday, workers at Whole Foods Market (owned by Amazon) will also strike, citing similar concerns about public health and a lack of safety gear.
- Yesterday, Amazon said the limitations it imposed on the products it will accept at its warehouses will extend beyond its original estimate of April 5, prompting more headaches for sellers. The ecommerce giant also said it is broadening the list of goods “on an item-by-item basis.”
More Key Industry News and COVID-19 Updates:
- Three weeks after shifting this year’s Digital Content NewFronts to a virtual event in light of the novel coronavirus, the Interactive Advertising Bureau is now postponing the entire annual event for nearly two months.
- Nike surprised investors last week when it reported better than expected third-quarter results, with revenues up 5% globally to $10.1 billion during the period, offering a bit of good news in an otherwise grim news environment for the retail sector.
- As brands shift ad spends due to the coronavirus, The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s Group will offer an unusual guarantee to print advertisers who take out an ad between April 1 and June 30: The ad must achieve at least a 70% recall rate. If it doesn’t, those advertisers will be offered the same-size ad and placement for free within two weeks of the original ad’s run date.
- WPP has implemented a number of cost-cutting measures in light of the spread of COVID-19, including freezing new hires, reviewing freelance spend and stopping “discretionary” costs, which include travel, hotels and awards show payments. WPP is also postponing planned salary increases for 2020.
Vintage Travel Posters Are Reimagined for Social Distancing
NASA creative designer Jennifer Baer created a series of posters that spin the classic designs seen on vintage travel posters into a constructive message for cabin feverish Americans: “Stay the F* Home.”
More of the Latest: