Food Delivery Ad Spend Reaches $269 Million During Coronavirus

A Kantar study of food delivery advertising during February 2-April 11 shows ad spend in the category at $269 million, down just over 5 percent compared to the same time frame in 2019. Despite the modest decline, a handful of food delivery brands actually upped their ad spend during coronavirus.

Kantar’s data show that seven of the ten highest spending food delivery brands increased their year-over-year ad spend. The biggest spender in the category, Domino’s increased its ad spend by 9.7 percent, to $80.1 million, from February 2 to April 11. 

What’s more, five of the top ten biggest spenders in the category saw double digit increases in their year-over-year ad spend during the pandemic: Papa John’s saw a 48.3 percent increase, GrubHub saw a 31.8 percent increase, DoorDash saw a 60.2 percent increase, Shipt saw a 68.9 percent increase and Papa Murphy’s saw a 57.1 percent increase.

Though it’s the lowest spender in the category on the list, Freshly saw a whopping triple digit increase in ad spend—774 percent. 

Brands that saw a decrease in year-over-year ad spend in the period spanning February 2-April 11 include Little Caesars (-7.5 percent), Pizza Hut (-36.2 percent) and Marco’s Pizza (-11.5 percent).

The pizza chains have created television spots with the pandemic in mind and to highlight their new no-contact pizza preparation and delivery policies. For example, a Papa John’s spot stressed that humans don’t touch its pizzas while a Little Caesars ad displayed how customers can pay for and pick up their pizza via an automated machine.

In addition to safety, another major theme for pizza chains has been solidarity. In employee recruitment ads, Domino’s said it’s looking for extra hands during “these tough times,” while Papa Murphy’s re-purposed an existing spot with the messaging, “We’re in this together.”

To maintain activity, food delivery services like GrubHub and DoorDash are running television ads that urge Americans to support the restaurants they love and have always been there for them.

Pinterest Rolls Out Resources, Tools For Creators And Small Businesses

This week in social media news, Pinterest announces new creative specialty partners and rolls out resources to support small businesses, Snapchat reports a 44 percent year-over-year revenue growth in Q1 and Zoom announces a forthcoming feature that would allow hosts to report participants.

Pinterest Introduces New Tools For Creators, Small Businesses

Timed for quarantine, Pinterest announced Adobe Spark, Over, PicMonkey and Canvas as new creative specialty partners, launched the Pinterest Creators brand and rolled out a new community that provides online support for small- and medium-size business accounts.

Why it matters: Like most social platforms, Pinterest has seen a surge in usage during coronavirus, especially in regard to shopping activity, which it recently supported with the launch of a new shopping feature that lets Pinners shop from Pins, boards and from search. Coupled with this shopping feature and its new online hub for small businesses, Pinterest could be a more valuable platform for businesses looking to maintain activity.

The details: In addition to adding trusted creative specialty partners for creating and designing Pins from business accounts, Pinterest has developed a brand for its Pinterest creators. As per Pinterest: “Pinterest creators are expressive, inventive and one-of-a-kind, and new resources and ongoing communications identified through the new brand are aimed at supporting creators with the tools to help them grow on Pinterest.”

Pinterest plans to launch tools for business accounts that offer feedback and tips on growing their reach on the platform. It will also expand its free e-learning tool, Pinterest Academy, which is being supplemented by a video series called “Mavens,” in which creators share their experiences with Pinterest.

Facebook Pilots Location Feature For High-Reach Pages, Instagram Accounts

Leading up to the election, Facebook says it will now provide the location of high-reach Facebook Pages and Instagram accounts on every post they share to increase transparency.

Why it matters: The addition builds on Facebook’s transparency efforts. In 2018, it included the primary country location of the managers behind Pages, and an “About This Account” feature on Instagram that provides more context for people to evaluate the authenticity of an account. 

The details: Facebook is piloting the feature in the US, starting with Pages and Instagram accounts that are based outside the US but reach big audiences based primarily in the US.

Twitter Releases Data On Video And Ad Performance Amid Coronavirus

Twitter conducted a survey to measure consumer sentiment towards brands during coronavirus and to explore the state of ad and video performance on Twitter.

Why it matters: While many brands have reduced the amount of ads during the pandemic in fear of coming across as insensitive, it’s interesting to note that just 37 percent of US Twitter users believe it’s insensitive for brands to continue advertising as normal.

The details: Twitter reports that as of March 23, 2020, its quarter-to-date monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) grew by 23 percent year-over-year to 164 million. The platform has also noticed higher video consumption, with stable year-over-year growth in watch time in entertainment (85 percent), news (73 percent), creator content (34 percent) and sports (31 percent). Twitter says ad receptivity “remains strong,” with Media Rating Council video view rates having increased by 5.5 percentage points in March 2020 compared to last year.

In terms of advertising, 89 percent of respondents said it’s important for brands to provide reliable and accurate information, 86 percent said it’s important for brands to help support society’s vulnerable and 82 percent said it’s important for brands to support frontline staff and workers.

Facebook Rolls Out New “Animate” Feature For Stories

Facebook has added a new tool that lets users animate still images in four ways, on stories, according to social media expert Matt Navarra.

Why it matters: The animate feature is another tool for stories Facebook is testing including a mood option and a feature that would allow stories to last up to three days.

The details: With the animate feature, users can add basic motion to still images via four modes—bounce, zoom in, zoom out and pan.

TikTok Enables Login, Video Uploads And Analytics On Desktop

TikTok just added a new web login option which will allow users to upload videos and view their analytics via desktop, as spotted by Pentos.

Why it matters: As social media usage is up and people are still stuck at home, TikTok has followed in the footsteps of Instagram which recently enabled DMs and Instagram live streams on desktop.

The details: The web login option appears on the top right screen of TikTok’s trending page. Once logged in, users can access basic account information and browse the feed.

Snapchat Q1 2020 Report Shows Increased Users And Revenue

Snapchat’s Q1 2020 earnings report shows stable increases in daily active users (DAU) and revenue amid coronavirus. 

Why it matters: While many advertisers have reduced budgets due to the pandemic, Snapchat experienced high revenue growth rates in the first two months of the quarter, reporting year-over-year ad growth in January and February at 58 percent. The figure dropped to 25 percent in March.

The details: Snapchat saw an increase of 11 million DAU to 229 million, a 20 percent jump in active users year-over-year. The majority of new users came from its “Rest of the World” category while 2 million came from users in North America. According to its average revenue per user, however, Snapchat sees 3.5 times more revenue per user in the US. The app’s overall revenue grew by 44 percent year-over-year to $462 million in Q1.

Instagram Tests Stickers For Promoting Business Profiles

Instagram is working on a “Share Professional” sticker which would allow users to introduce business profiles in a story, according to reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong.

Why it matters: The feature comes amid Instagram’s efforts to help promote small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic including the recent launch of a gift card, food order and fundraiser sticker for stories and profiles.

The details: Per Wong, the sticker would include a header that pulls in thumbnails of a brand’s most recent three posts on Instagram, and would link to the brand’s account. 

Zoom Hosts Can Soon Report Participants 

According to an update posted to its Help Center, Zoom will soon let hosts report meeting participants to avoid misuse of the platform.

Why it matters: The safety feature comes after Zoom has become the target for harassment by “Zoombombers” as usage has skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic.

The details: As per Zoom: “Account owners and admins can now enable a setting to allow the host to report participants to Zoom. This feature will generate a report which will be sent to the Zoom Trust and Safety team to evaluate any misuse of the platform and block a user if necessary. This setting is available at the account, group, and user level and can be locked at the group or account level. This setting requires the Zoom client version which will be released on April 26, 2020.”

Facebook Backtracks On Campaign Budget Optimization Mandate

Facebook is giving advertisers flexibility in their buying strategies by no longer requiring them to use its Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) feature, as reported by Search Engine Land.

Why it matters: In September 2019 Facebook planned to mandate CBO-only campaigns, which utilizes the platform’s algorithm to automatically optimize budget allocation on ads in a campaign. Some advertisers, however, weren’t having it, noting that they saw better results when they had control over budgets. 

The details: A Facebook spokesperson said, “While we still believe CBO provides performance and value gains, we will move to offering CBO as an option and not as a requirement.”

LinkedIn Tests Poll Option For Posts And Presentation Mode Hashtag

LinkedIn is working on its own poll option for posts that would allow users to ask followers questions as well as a “presentation mode” hashtag tool which would display the broader conversation associated with a specific hashtag, according to reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong. 

Why it matters: LinkedIn groups previously had access to polls until the platform removed the feature in 2014. Resurrecting the tool and making it available to all users could be helpful for group admins to gather relevant feedback from group members and for brands to gain audience insight.  

The “presentation mode” hashtag could be useful for encouraging event attendees to engage with an event-specific hashtag.

The details: Though LinkedIn hasn’t officially announced the poll option, Wong’s observations show it would be made available within users’ post composer options. Users would be able to add a question and up to four possible answers, and set the duration of the poll. 

For its hashtag search tool, upon selecting a hashtag, LinkedIn would display a full-screen feed of posts using that hashtag.

Pinterest Releases April Global Micro-Trends Amid Coronavirus

In a company post, Pinterest shared what’s trending around the world in quarantine life for the month of April including supporting small businesses and searching for family bonding games.

Why it matters: Understanding Pinners’ behavior could help brands and retailers craft their messaging and inform ad spend during the pandemic.

The details: According to Pinterest, users around the globe are increasingly searching for bread recipes, with searches for salty croissants up 1,532 percent in Argentina and searches for Japanese brioche up 1,081 percent in France. As Pinners are stuck at home, they’re looking for ways to apply their creativity and connect with family members: Searches for family games have increased by 5,000 percent in Argentina, 2,830 percent in Spain and 1,863 percent in the US. Pinners are also looking for ways to support small businesses and healthcare workers as searches for “support small businesses” are up 746 percent in the US and 3,124 percent in Australia.

Facebook Launches Dedicated Gaming App On Android

Facebook released its dedicated gaming app on Android two months prior to its scheduled June launch, with an iOS version coming in the near future.

Why it matters: According to the New York Times, Facebook’s gaming investment has led to over 700 million of the site’s 2.5 billion users actively playing games on the platform monthly. The early launch of its devoted gaming app was timed well as users are stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The details: The dedicated Facebook gaming app includes a Go Live streaming feature which lets users share gaming streams directly to their Facebook page, a game discovery feature that allows game discovery through friends’ activities and by category breakdown and a chat platform feature.

Facebook Expands Fundraisers To India 

Facebook has launched Fundraisers, a page where users can raise money for causes, friends and businesses, to India, where it’s also working with several additional Indian state governments to provide accurate coronavirus information, as reported by TechCrunch.

Why it matters: India is one of Facebook’s biggest markets by user base. Its expansion of Fundraisers there follows its efforts to fight coronavirus misinformation. Recently, it launched an information center in India that includes information from local government agencies and global health organizations, and an information hub on WhatsApp. Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp also launched helplines in India in partnership with the Indian government, with Facebook now maintaining partnerships with 11 state governments in India for its WhatsApp helpline and 9 state governments for Messenger.

The details: Ajit Mohan, the head of Facebook in India, said: “At a time when the country is in the middle of an unprecedented effort to fight the outbreak of the virus, we are deeply aware of the economic impact of the disruption in normal life. Communities around the country need help. Facebook Fundraisers allows people to leverage the full scale and power of the platform, and their passion, to direct resources to initiatives that can protect and save lives.” People in India can use Fundraisers to create their own causes and discover over 70 charities to financially support.

Walmart Names William White As Chief Marketing Officer

This week in marketing leadership moves, Quibi’s head of brand Megan Imbres departs, Walmart appoints William White as CMO, HMD Global hires Stephen Taylor as CMO and Kar’s Nuts names Jennifer Bauer as CMO.

Quibi Head Of Brand Marketing Departs Two Weeks Post-Launch

Quibi’s head of brand and content marketing Megan Imbres is leaving the company two weeks after the platform’s launch, according to the Wall Street Journal. In an email to staff, Imbres said, “It feels like an opportune time of transition where I can take some time to identify my next challenge.” Before joining Quibi in April 2019, Imbres held various marketing positions at Netflix for six years.

Walmart Brings On Target’s William White As Chief Marketing Officer

Walmart is bringing on former Target senior VP William White as its CMO. White replaces Rich Lehrfeld, senior VP of brand, creative and media who Walmart named interim CMO in January 2020. White was with Target since 2013 and held previous leadership roles at The Coca-Cola Company. He will start as Walmart CMO on May 11.

HMD Global Appoints Stephen Taylor As Chief Marketing Officer

Nokia phone maker HMD Global has hired Stephen Taylor as CMO, with the responsibility of overseeing overall marketing strategy for the entire portfolio of Nokia phones. He will report to CEO Florian Seiche.

Taylor was previously CMO, EMEA at PayPal where he spearheaded an overhaul of the company’s digital marketing efforts. Prior to that, he was CMO for Europe at Samsung Electronics.

Kar’s Nuts Appoints Jennifer Bauer As Chief Marketing Officer

According to Food Business News, Kar’s Nuts has hired Jennifer Bauer as its new CMO. Bauer joins from Campbell Soup Co. where she served as VP of innovation as well as VP of marketing for pretzels, crackers and specialty cookies.  

Roger Solé Named WeWork Chief Marketing Officer

Following Maurice Lévy’s departure as interim CMO, WeWork has hired Roger Solé as CMO, according to Adweek. Solé comes from Sprint, where he served for five years as the president for Puerto Rico and head of Hispanic advertising.

Pladis Hires Caroline Hipperson As Chief Marketing Officer for UK, Ireland

Pladis, parent company of McVitie’s, Jacob’s and Godiva, has named Caroline Hipperson as its new CMO for the UK and Ireland.

Hipperson was previously CMO at Holland & Barrett for 18 months from April 2018 to August 2019. Prior to that, she held the role of global VP for Bacardi’s Martini.

Levi’s Doubles Its Product Views After TikTok Influencer Activation

Due to mandated business closures amid the coronavirus pandemic, retailers are leveraging social commerce to reach consumers stuck at home. Levi’s is one of those brands—with its physical stores temporarily shuttered, it recently utilized TikTok’s “Shop Now” program to connect with Gen Z shoppers via TikTok influencers.

Calling on its Future Finish 3-D denim customization technology, Levi’s enlisted four TikTok influencers to personalize their denim before the coronavirus outbreak. Appearing as in-feed ads, the creators’ videos were posted during the week of April 13. TikTok users had until April 19 to click on the ads’ “Shop Now” button, which would direct them to a page on where they could buy the designs shown in the video. 

In a company post, Levi’s reported that watch time for these influencer videos is twice as long as the platform average on TikTok. Product views to’s “Future Finish” pages have also more than doubled for every product included in the videos, according to the same post.

It helps that Levi’s tapped mega TikTok influencers–selected for the activation were TikTok influencers Callen Schaub, who has 3.6 million followers; Gabby Morrison, who has 2.6 million followers; Cosette, who has 1.9 million followers; and Everett Williams, who has 109,000 followers. Cosette captioned her video, “Designed my own @levis shorts at #LeviHausMiami last month,” with the hashtags #oddlysatisfying and #ad.

Levi’s digital business now accounts for over 15 percent of its total revenue, double what it was three years ago. This dramatic growth is due in large part to Levi’s efforts to increase its social media visibility and user experience over the last few years. In October 2018, Levi’s announced a partnership with Pinterest on a tool that offered Pinners a customized styling experience based on a visual questionnaire and their personal Pinterest activity. Pinners were then presented with a shoppable Levi’s Pinterest board.

In June 2019, Levi’s and Snapchat partnered for Pride Month on a Pride Lens that let users virtually try on clothes. In-store shoppers could unlock the lens when they scanned the QR code posted within US Levi’s stores. Through the lens, Snapchatters could not only try on a Trucker jacket but also customize it with Pride patches and order it through the Snapchat app.

Events Take The Virtual Stage

In the past weeks we’ve seen event after event get cancelled, but that doesn’t mean the events can’t make the shift to a digital event. That’s where virtual reality is stepping up and companies are leaning into the medium to help bring their events to life. 

This week we’re highlighting a couple of standouts that caught our attention and how they’re bringing their events to virtual reality or helping you bring yours to the masses through this technology.

Tribeca Hits The Virtual Screen

What’s happening: Cinema360 brings Tribeca Immersive to VR with Oculus. Tribeca Immersive, the innovative storytelling segment, offers virtual reality headsets owners to explore four 30-40 minute curated programs. Films are viewable now through April 26th in Oculus TV. Just like a physical event, these are time limited which encourages VR headset owners to check out the content now so they don’t miss out.

Why it matters: Aside from this being a great way to continue this portion of the festival, despite current global conditions, fans of the film festival that may not otherwise have the opportunity to watch this content are now able to experience it firsthand. This has taken Tribeca from a single location and given a global audience a chance to experience this unique event. From a marketing POV consider the new audience and reach that leveraging VR can present to these new cultural experiences and look for opportunities to reach these new audiences. 

HTC Offering VR Event Space

What’s happening: HTC pitches ‘Vive Events’ as they’ve identified a need and desire for businesses to continue participating in events. The events are meant to take the place of physical conferences and expos and can support up to 5,000 attendees at once. 

Why it matters: Even though everyone is staying home and most big conferences are getting cancelled, virtual reality is providing the presence people love to would-be conference attendees. If you’re planning a conference and are uncertain of the future of your event, it might be worth looking into this digital alternative to bring your audience and industry together while staying apart. The service also offers a way for people without VR headsets to participate, so anyone and everyone can still join in. 

Revenue And Expenses With Divvy’s Sterling Snow

During this 203rd episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Sterling Snow, the senior vice president of revenue at Divvy.

Today we talk about the founding story of Divvy and why it was created in the beginning. We also talk about marketing at a high-growth company and what the impact of building your own brand can be on your own company.

Snow tells us how Divvy began and where Divvy customers start their journey. He describes his broad role and predicts that having someone that is singularly responsible for revenue in this way will become a trend. Snow shares Divvy’s initial marketing strategy and how the company diversified. His advice to other marketers at high-growth companies is, “You can find these high-efficiency low-cost channels that really allow for quick and efficient growth.”

Snow then emphasizes the importance of how people can use their personal brands to benefit the companies they work for. He says, “I think people underestimate how much impact they can have on their own careers and on the companies, they work for if they take a little bit of time to put together a content strategy for themselves.” The conversation highlights how starting your own personal brand can help your company.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Where Sterling grew up and what brought him to Salt Lake City. 01:43
  • Divvy is a financial platform that allows companies to automate expense reports and make payments. 02:40
  • The impetus to found a payments/expense management company. 03:26
  • Where Divvy customers start their journey. 5:04
  • How Divvy makes its money. 06:11
  • Sterling’s responsibilities as Senior Vice President of Revenue. 06:56
  • How Sterling approaches the large scope of his role. 07:42
  • What led Sterling into the marketing realm. 08:30
  • Divvy’s marketing strategy. 09:24
  • Sterling advises other high-growth marketers. 11:28
  • When Divvy was founded. 12:59
  • How Divvy has diversified its marketing strategy. 13:16
  • How Sterling fuels his ideas. 13:57
  • The importance of how people can use their personal brands to benefit the companies they work for. 14:40
  • The best way to build your personal brand while highlighting the company. 15:49
  • Is there an experience in his past that defines who he is today? 18:25
  • How Sterling knows when to take a break. 20:54
  • What is the advice Sterling would give to his younger self? 21:48
  • Are there any brands, companies, or causes that Reggie follows that he thinks other people should take notice of? 22:54
  • The most impactful purchase he has made in the last 6-12 months of $100 or less. 33:52
  • Sterling’s take on the top opportunities or threats facing marketers today. 25:14

Subscribe the podcast:
Listen in iTunes (link:
Listen in Google Podcasts (link:
Listen in Spotify (Link:

Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

TV Ad Spend In First Half Of 2020 Expected To Be $10 to $12 Billion Less Than Expected

Emarketer’s updated television ad spend report reveals that television ad spend in the US will decrease by between 22.3 percent and 29.3 percent in the first half of 2020, $10 to $12 billion less than expected in its previous forecast, which predicted a two percent increase in television ad spend for all of 2020—an estimate that was reached before the coronavirus outbreak.

While television ad spend was down last year and eMarketer expected the trend to continue in 2021, the 2020 Summer Olympics and presidential election were expected to offset the downward trend. NBCUniversal estimated ad commitments for the Olympics amounted to nearly $1.25 billion. 

Political ad budgets will also be hampered in Q2, in part to avoid insensitivity in light of the pandemic. However, Kantar believes fewer political ads now doesn’t mean less ads later, as it noted in a blog post: “But with travel, rallies, and in-person campaigning severely curtailed, and campaigns striving to maximize communication channels that they can control, paid advertising in general, and television advertising in particular, will likely be the best vehicle for campaigns to deliver the messages they want delivered.”

The cancellation of the Olympics coupled with postponed sports programming such as the National Hockey League (NHL), National Basketball Association (NBA) and NCAA March Madness games will contribute to billions lost in ad revenues for television networks.

A March 2020 study from Kantar found that the aforementioned sports content collectively accounted for nearly $2 billion in television ad revenues in 2019. Similarly, MoffettNathanson Research estimated in March that due to the NBA season cancellation, 2020’s losses to ESPN, TNT and ABC would equate to about $700 million.

Emarketer believes television advertisers will adopt a wait-and-see approach as the economy continues to stall.

Social Distancing Campaign Picks: Week Of April 20th

What a crazy time to be a visual storyteller. We’re generally out in the world, surrounded by inspiration and bombarded by stimuli. Of course, we still have our devices, we still spend lots of time devouring news of the virus and we still binge an infinite number of great shows. Nevertheless, social isolation due to coronavirus is having an impact. Something very different is going on here that is akin to Thoreau separating from the world at Walden Pond to get to something deeper and more meaningful.

Throughout quarantine, I’ve been following brands that are trying to find an authentic and thoughtful way to connect with their audiences. What do you do when you can’t write a script, hire a director, put a crew together and go shoot and edit a story? You have to be open to exploring new ways to create moments for telling those stories. 

Here at Ayzenberg we’ve been on the R&D path since the very first week of the “lockdown” and are already pitching ideas to clients on how to adapt to this new reality. There are incredible opportunities to tell a story that is screaming to be told, one that is authentic and socially resonant.

Each week, I’ll be sharing my take on a few brands that have been brave enough to put something out there that really hits all the marks.

Ikea – Make Home Count

Ikea’s 55-second home-made spot celebrates “the simple joys that come with making home count,” spotlighting parents reading to their son, a woman watering her plans and a little boy sitting on his working-from-home dad’s lap. This was the first spot I encountered that really had a clear perspective on what we were all going through. I love how Ikea positioned the glass as half-full.

Why it matters: Right now, our heads can’t help but be filled with fear of the unknown and it’s so easy to let that consume us. Brands that focus on what’s really important—the things that make us who we are and our connection to the tribe—in such a poignant way will stand out amid the pandemic. It’s also a reminder that whatever you are doing today or tomorrow, to just make it count.

The details: I love that creative agency TBWA\Singapore asked their staffers to film themselves at home to capture all of these human moments and to showcase the fact that our homes have now become our playgrounds, our schools, our offices and all things in between.

Goodby Silverstein – Toilet Paper

In this video that advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners posted to its Instagram channel, staff are shown at home passing a roll of toilet paper to each other on a conference call, accompanied by the message, “Please don’t squeeze or hoard the Charmin. Pass it on!” Apparently the idea spawned from the way the agency was using video conferencing in a 5×5 grid to conduct their internal meetings. I also love that they used the Benny Hill theme song to give it it’s appropriate tongue-in-cheek tone. So fun!

Why it matters: For me, in its simplest form, this is a celebration of who we are as creatives and why what we do matters. Yes, the video was solely created as a morale booster for the agency, but the takeaway here for brands is to use a comedic vehicle to comment on what is happening in our world—in this case, people who panicked at the news of the lockdown and hoarded more toilet paper than needed. I doubt a toilet paper shortage is anything any of us have seen in our lifetime, so good on Goodby for entertaining us while landing an important messagedon’t just think of yourselves, be kind and share.

The details: As the father of two middle schoolers, I was amazed at how quickly and seamlessly we were all able to transition to work from home and school from home using video conferencing technologies. This piece showed up right as the toilet paper shortage issue was affecting everyone, and what’s really inspiring is that this team decided to use their video conferencing technology, while working from home, in a playful way to land the message that some things that we take for granted can easily take on new meaning in our lives. Hats off to ya’, Goodby!

Activista – Social Distancing And Classic Album Covers

After noticing people were ignoring stay-at-home orders amid coronavirus, founders of the agency Activista, Beto Fernandez and Paco Conde, redesigned vintage album covers to help enforce the safer-at-home message. The ensuing project, which they named 6 Feet Covers, displayed acts of social distancing through updating images that already resonate in popular culture. For example, they revamped Abbey Road to show all four Beatles spread out down the road instead of in the crosswalk together.

Why it matters
: Activista landed the stay-at-home message in a more personal way that highlighted the seriousness of staying inside—a balancing act marketers must achieve in today’s climate to ensure they’re showing consumers they’re doing their part to respond to the pandemic without being insensitive.

The details: I’m an unapologetic classic rock fan so I was instantly drawn to this work. Unable to create content from scratch, Activista took a very simple and artful approach to mirror the new normal and promote the important message of staying home to flatten the curve. Be it ‘The Beatles’’ Abbey Road or ‘KISS’’ Destroyer, these iconic images have been in my life for as long as I can remember. Seeing them now through the lens of proper social distancing protocols just nailed it for me. The power of Activista’s idea is that it carries that spirit forward into our current reality.

(Editor’s note: AList is published by

The NBA, Microsoft Team Up To Create AI-Enabled Streaming Service

The NBA and Microsoft inked a multiyear deal to create a new artificial intelligence-enabled streaming service that delivers personalized game broadcasts and additional sports content. 

Microsoft Azure’s machine learning and data analytics will present users with localized experiences tailored to their preferences and rewards participation including real-time start overlays, alternative audio and video feeds and gaming elements. Users can earn loyalty points when they watch games, share content from the platform or buy tickets or merchandise, as reported by Variety.

The NBA says fans could potentially apply tiered rewards, status badges and streaks toward discounts on tickets, exclusive content, merchandise or the NBA League Pass, its subscription service that includes out-of-market games.

Additionally, through Microsoft Azure’s cloud computing services, the NBA will show users videos from its archives based on viewer history and location. The NBA aims to continue customizing these experiences for fans, coaches and broadcasters with the insights it gathers from the platform.

The deal marks Microsoft’s new role as the NBA’s official AI partner, entitlement partner of the NBA Draft Combine starting next season and associate partner of future events including NBA All-Star, WNBA All-Star and MGM Resorts NBA Summer League.

The new streaming service, which will become an updated version of the NBA app, is in development and will go live as soon as possible.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said of the announcement, “Our goal, working with Microsoft, is to create customized content that allows fans — whether they are in an NBA arena or watching from anywhere around the world — to immerse themselves in all aspects of the game and engage directly with our teams and players.”

Over the last few years the NBA has been working to reach younger fans via interactive digital experiences similar to those that Twitch offers. In December 2017, the NBA teamed up with Twitch to stream up to six minor league games per week during the season. And in June 2019, ESPN hosted a telecast of Game 2 of the NBA Finals on the ESPN app. Mimicking Twitch esports experiences, the game play included emoji-like symbols to appeal to viewers ages 12-17.

Half Of Consumers Approve Of Brands Running Ad Campaigns Not Linked To Coronavirus

About 50 percent of people approve of brands running “normal” advertising campaigns which aren’t linked to coronavirus, according to a multinational GlobalWebIndex study, fielded in 17 markets between March 31-April 2. The report marks the second installment of the researcher’s coronavirus-focused study, which initially surveyed 13 global markets, from March 16-20.

Compared to half of respondents that are okay with brands running “normal” advertising campaigns not linked to the pandemic, about 20 percent expressed disapproval of these campaigns. Consumers in Brazil, India and Italy showed the highest approval for “normal” advertising (an increase in 60 percent vs. 40-50 percent in most other places).

Nearly 90 percent of respondents approve of brands providing practical information and tips to help deal with the pandemic. About 80 percent of respondents expressed high approval ratings for brands running campaigns showcasing how they’re responding to the pandemic, how they’re helping customers and how they’re reaching out to customers to let them know how they’re responding. 

Respondents also expressed high approval ratings for brands that provide funny and light-hearted videos or content to entertain people, and brands suspending their normal factory production to help produce protective gear (77 percent for both).

Though half of respondents expressed approval of brands running ads unrelated to the coronavirus, about 75 percent approve of brands running promotions, offers and loyalty perks for customers.

This finding echoes consumers’ increased online shopping behavior. Across the 17 markets GlobalWebIndex surveyed, nearly half report they’re doing more online shopping, with China at the forefront. Two-thirds of Chinese respondents reported online shopping a lot more whereas one in three in the Philippines say they’re online shopping a lot or a little less.

Among those who said their online shopping has increased—Gen Z, millennials and higher income groups—the focus has been on essential products like food (33 percent are shopping online more for this), household essentials (29 percent) and personal care products (27 percent). 

The situation isn’t as positive for fashion retailers for just two in 10 online consumers say they’re shopping more for clothing. Among those who reported a drop in online shopping, eight percent say they’re shopping less for clothing.

Concern over the coronavirus pandemic has significantly grown since mid-March, particularly in the US, UK and Australia. The percentage of respondents who said they feel “extremely” or “very” concerned about the situation in their own country went from 75 percent from March 20 to 83 percent on April 2, 77 percent to 87 percent and 73 percent to 83 percent, respectively. 

Concern over the pandemic in China, the Philippines and Italy has remained stable. Levels of concern in China have only grown one percent, 55 percent to 56 percent, from March 20 to April 2 whereas levels of concern in the Philippines have increased one percent from 97 percent to 98 percent, from March 20 to April 2.

As for how respondents view the pandemic’s impact on personal finances vs. national finances, the biggest gaps are evident in Australia, the US, the UK, France, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand, all of which show a 50-point difference. Still, 80 percent or more respondents in all markets anticipate a dramatic impact on the global economy.