4 Creative Campaigns to Ease the Quarantine Blues: Thursday’s First Things First

Plus, here's where the presidential candidates are spending their ad dollars in 2020

The relatable campaign by Promote Iceland presents the country as the ultimate escape. M&C Saatchi Group
Headshot of Jess Zafarris

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4 Creative Campaigns to Ease the Quarantine Blues

A few weeks ago while writing First Things First, I mistyped the phrase “streaming service” as “screaming service,” and joked to my colleagues that, honestly, I’m in the market for both. The release of NBCU’s Peacock yesterday scratched the former itch, but little did I know that Iceland’s tourism board would oblige the latter with its latest campaign. If you, too, feel like screaming, the latest ad for Promote Iceland [Watch it here] invites travelers to do so in many of the scenic locations in the nation’s stunning wilderness.

As a matter of fact, this campaign was one of several ads aimed at curing the Covid-19 doldrums yesterday. Blue Bunny joined forces with experiential agency FCBX with an initiative that allows people to upload images of receipts for canceled or postponed events for a chance to win prizes.

In what might be the most wholesome campaign of the year, Country Time (with help from Leo Burnett) created a bailout fund for kids who haven’t been able to generate pocket money by running their curbside lemonade businesses this summer. (The campaign is a spin off of when it covered legal fees for kids whose stands got shut down.)

Doritos chipped in with a variation of its former “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign, which, from 2006 to 2016, encouraged aspiring filmmakers to create their own 30-second commercials. Now it has revived the same concept with “Crash From Home.” The winning video will nab $150,000 and air during the NFL Sunday Night Football game on Sept. 13.

Barack Obama’s, Joe Biden’s Accounts Accessed in Large-Scale Twitter Breach

Among the high-profile Twitter accounts hacked on Wednesday were those of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Others included Kanye West, Mike Bloomberg, Elon Musk, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos, along with the corporate accounts for Apple, Uber and Cash App. Variations on this message were sent out via these accounts: “I am giving back to the community. All Bitcoin sent to the address below will be sent back doubled! If you sent $1000, I will send back $2000. Only doing this for 30 minutes.”

Chaos on Twitter: As a result of the hack, all verified accounts (“blue checks”) were prevented from sending out or quoting tweets for several hours.

Premium | Here Are the 2,085 Agencies That Received PPP Loans of $150,000 or More

There are approximately 14,000 agencies in the US. Of those, 2,085—representing 15% of the industry—have received loans ranging from $150,000 to $10 million through the federal Paycheck Protection Program intended to boost businesses that suffered from the Covid-19 pandemic. These loans will go toward retaining 67,000 jobs. Many of the agencies that received larger loans were those that depend on hard-hit client industries, like Las Vegas agency R&R Partners, which is using its loan in the maximum range ($5 million to $10 million) to support 276 jobs.

By the numbers: Explore a list of all of the agencies that received loans and their approximate amounts.

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Premium | Political Conventions Are Muddled, but Candidates’ Digital Ad Spend Is Clear

Everything is weird, upside down and unusual—except, apparently, for the ad spending habits of presidential candidates. Political ad spend for the 2020 election is projected to reach $15 million, and a bit more than half will air on local TV channels, which is fairly normal. Trump’s campaign is targeting Google and Facebook at $50 million, a $6 million increase over 2016. Biden’s spend on those channels is only at $23 million (similar to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 spend). Digital ad spend is expected to grow even more to compensate for in-person events.

But there’s a hitch: The spotlight is on social platforms, especially Facebook, over accusations of enabling the spread of misinformation.

More of Today’s Top News and Highlights

New York City Looks to Locals to Boost Its Recovery

The Big Apple is now in the Renew stage of its ongoing reopening plan, aimed at “inspiring New Yorkers and those within a short drive” to explore safely, and NYC & Company is working with local businesses and restaurants to create itineraries for featured neighborhoods. Following this period will be the Recover stage, emphasizing confidence in travel and visiting restaurants in a campaign similar to Restaurant Week. These efforts are aimed at leveraging locals to help boost the economy and bring the city back to life.

More of the Latest


@JessZafarris jessica.farris@adweek.com Jess Zafarris (née Jessica Farris) is an audience engagement editor at Adweek.