Ayzenberg And Microsoft Score Two Gold Wins In The Promax Games Awards

Ayzenberg’s work led to two wins for Microsoft in this year’s Promax Games Awards, including gold for Best Key Art for Gears 5 and gold for Best Promotional Trailer: Mobile for Minecraft Earth.

“We’re very proud to be Microsoft’s ongoing partner for work on the Gears franchise and all things Minecraft, and are so pleased to see this content recognized,” said Gary Goodman, Ayzenberg chief creative officer.

Ayzenberg created a live-action trailer for the launch of Minecraft Earth, an augmented reality (AR) mobile sandbox game that immerses users in a block-filled world where they can collect items and go on adventures with up to 40 people in a single real-world location. Xbox released the game in November 2019 and saw 1.4 million downloads in the following week across the App Store and Google Play.

In creating the key art for Gears of War 5, which launched in September of last year, the agency was tasked with devising a combined static and motion visual identity system that foreshadowed a new chapter in the evolution of the Gears of War universe. Additionally, Ayzenberg revamped the title to a succinct “Gears 5.”

The agency also contributed to Microsoft’s gold win for Best Marketing Campaign of the Year for Gears 5 “Bound by Blood.” For the campaign, Ayzenberg created the key art, ran a social activation called Fractured and supported the overall initiative as Microsoft’s social agency of record. Ultimately, Fractured achieved over 50 million daily profile impressions and 1.3 million daily profile visits, breaking channel records and leading to a win in the 12th annual Shorty Awards.

At last year’s Promax Games Awards, Ayzenberg was part of a Microsoft win on the launch of Forza Horizon 4, for which the agency created the key art and social.

Joey Jones On Merging Art And STEM To Create Compelling Brand Experiences

As part of its global effort to teach and demystify coding to students, Microsoft Education livestreamed a series on YouTube called Hack the Classroom: STEM Edition, an event designed to give K-12 educators, parents and guardians resources and tutorials that students need to become creative problem solvers.

On day three of the event, a group of industry experts shared how the fields of art, tech, and STEM merge to show how computer science can lead to careers in a variety of fields. One such expert was Joey Jones, Ayzenberg vice president, executive creative director, who leads the agency’s department that directs and produces computer animation, visual effects and motion graphics.

Jones, who recently worked on the graphics package for the Ad Council’s latest Love Has No Labels campaign, shared how he was always making art and building things as a kid. Unsure as to how he could make a living doing what he loved, he applied his math and computer skills to instead earn a degree in architecture.

During that time, he fell in love with building and animating on the computer, ultimately realizing that those skills could be transferred to animation and storytelling around products. So he returned to school to learn the craft of developing stories via the computer, which called for the perfect fusion of art, science, engineering and design, he said.

“My job is taking a product and using technology and code to create compelling and incredibly rich experiences, whether it’s a little movie, augmented reality experience, virtual reality experience or an online website to show [people] how a product is worth investing their time in.” said Jones.

For students looking to follow in Jones’ footsteps, he suggests keeping in mind the impact of mobile.

“The mobile phone has changed the way we interface with the world and will play an even bigger role in our lives in the future. Right now we pull out our phones to take pictures. Most people say the camera will be the next web browser, enabling you to document the world and interact with it. So being proficient in coding that creates these mobile-powered stories will be very powerful and set you apart from the others.”

Jones’ participation in the Hack the Classroom event is an extension of Ayzenberg’s work toward increasing representation in STEM, a field in which women hold less than 30 percent of jobs. 

This year, the agency developed a new social approach for Ad Council’s 360-degree public service campaign, She Can STEM, combining profiles of female role models with striking aesthetics and a relevant tone of voice to resonate with girls aged 11-15.

The campaign saw the creation of a Study Tunes playlist on Spotify to help girls get in the back-to-school mindset and a series of hand-illustrated GIPHY stickers, which received over 200 million views.

The campaign, which won a Shorty Award in the field of technology, resulted in a 59 percent increase in followers for She Can STEM among the target demographic as well as an engagement rate that’s double the industry standard.

Beyond Beer At Anheuser-Busch With Lana Buchanan

On this 238th episode of “Marketing Today,” I speak with Lana Buchanan, vice president of marketing for Beyond Beer at Anheuser-Busch. Buchanan oversees the marketing for everything that does not fall in the category of beer and, as such, has a massive portfolio full of product categories that require different marketing approaches!

We start our conversation with Buchanan’s background in the alcohol industry and the horror story that forced her to become an expert cocktail creator. Then Buchanan discusses what it’s like working with such an extensive portfolio of products and why she loves it. “With every different category, I get to think differently in terms of the consumer,” Buchanan says.

At Beyond Beer, all the separate teams have the same goal, “create an innovation that really fits the needs and the wants of the consumer in the different moments.” Buchanan then breaks down different marketing techniques that help them connect with consumers on an emotional level, because at the end of the day, “the most powerful brands are the ones that make you feel something.”

We then discuss how Buchanan’s time working on Bon Viv and her experience from traveling Europe after college helped her learn how to pivot with the changes in front of her. Lastly, Buchanan dives into the BLM movement and the importance of changing your marketing strategies with the world’s continually shifting landscape. “If you don’t evolve with the consumer, you’re going to get left behind!”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Lana bought a puppy during the pandemic. 1:33
  • During her time at Campari, Lana was forced to learn how to create a smattering of classic cocktails. 2:15
  • Lana currently handles everything that is not in the category of beer at Anheuser-Busch. 4:30
  • With so many categories, Lana chooses to take a consumer-first approach when handling her extensive portfolio. 5:33
  • Between categories, there are similar marketing frameworks that are used, each having its subtle differences. 6:49
  • Innovation goes beyond just the business opportunities in growing categories, and Lana must find out what factors are driving that growth. 8:28
  • Each team keeps a vision board that includes both the short and long-term goals. 10:10
  • Through small-market tests, each team does their best to see if they can connect to the consumer. 10:38
  • Small tests are still brewed in the full tanks but are strictly tested in very small regions for months at a time. 11:34
  • Next year, on top of launching big campaigns, Lana’s team will be conducting 4 or 5 small tests. 12:22
  • When it comes to marketing alcohol, connecting with the consumer at an emotional level is an incredibly important goal. 14:00
  • Knowing your target and what they want is one of the most powerful things a marketer can have. 15:42
  • Wherever a drink lies on the spectrum, they all have the same goal of connecting with the consumer. 16:32
  • Social Club is one of the projects that Lana is most proud of because it challenged the standards that have been created in its category. 17:14
  • The business dynamics have already changed 4 or 5 times this year alone because of the pandemic. 19:35
  • During her time at Bon Viv, Lana learned how to pivot a marketing plan to connect with what’s important at present. 20:20
  • With a safety-first mindset, traditional sampling has been adjusted so that consumers can have the experience. 22:41
  • Don’t be afraid to pivot when something doesn’t feel right. 23:52
  • After graduation, Lana decided to pass up on multiple job prospects to travel around Europe and get closer to her Russian background. 24:57
  • Lana looks back and wishes she had stopped to celebrate the wins more. 26:34
  • Lana recognizes the importance of the BLM movement and works to implement change in her team. 29:37
  • Too many marketers and agencies are afraid to recognize the change in the world and refuse to evolve. 30:48

Resources Mentioned:

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Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:

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.

Twitch Hits A New Milestone With 1.7 Billion Hours Watched In November

Amid a pandemic-driven rise in usage, Twitch keeps breaking its own record. This time, the platform hit a new viewership milestone, with nearly 1.7 billion hours watched in November—a five percent increase from October. That’s according to new data from Arsenal.gg, StreamElements’ analytics partner.

Twitch’s non-gaming Just Chatting category maintains its position as the most popular category on the platform since May. In November, the category set a viewership milestone with 228 million hours watched—a 246 percent increase year-over-year.

The second most-watched category on Twitch was League of Legends, followed by Among Us in third. While most games declined in hours watched, Minecraft and World of Warcraft saw a huge jump in viewership—60 percent and 64 percent, respectively.

Arsenal.gg also reports Twitch’s Beauty & Body Art category, which encompasses everything from traditional makeup tutorials to cosplayers and body painters, continues to see significant growth. As of the first two months of Q4, the category jumped to over 466,000 hours watched, marking a 441 percent increase in watch time from the pre-pandemic period. The category peaked in October when it saw 349,000 hours watched as a result of Halloween cosplay.

“Women are more than 40 percent of the gaming lifestyle scene, making live streaming platforms the next frontier for beauty products. Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen the beauty category on Twitch grow over 260 percent in terms of hours watched with cosmetic brands like L’Oréal, MAC, Em, Hero, and e.l.f. already dipping their toes in the water,” said Doron Nir, chief executive of StreamElements.

Among the top Twitch streamers in November were Gaules with 15 million hours watched, followed by HasanAbi in second and xQcOW in third.

Facebook Gaming also had a strong month, with 100 percent YoY growth–part of its continued momentum from Q3 when it surpassed 1 billion hours watched for the first time.

Comparatively, YouTube Gaming says it saw 100 billion hours watched this year, double the amount of hours watched in 2018. 

Listen In: Happy Holidays To A Brave New World In Media

We used to hear folks say ‘content is king,’ meaning if you had good content the eyes would follow (and where the eyes go, the brands go). But things are changing.

Ayzenberg media director Leo Hernandez helps us understand the accelerated evolution we’re seeing and how changing habits like screen-time have led to an ‘overpowering’ of the consumer. We also try to answer the following questions: What does the broadcast media landscape look like during the pandemic? How are media consumption habits changing?

There’s a lot to unpack, including what happened on Black Friday, a moratorium on Quibi and which sports managed to avoid tripping up in 2020.

About Listen In: Each week on Listen In, Bretz and a rotating cast of hosts from Ayzenberg interview experts in the field of marketing and advertising to explore uncharted territory together. The goal is to provide the a.network audience with actionable insights, enabling them to excel in their field.

Pringles Debuts Full Body Version Of Its Mascot After A Request From John Oliver Went Viral

For the first time ever, Pringles unveiled a full-body version of its mustached brand mascot Julius Pringles, or Mr. P, after a request from HBO’s Last Week Tonight host John Oliver went viral.

During the show, which has pivoted to YouTube segments since the pandemic, Oliver joked, “There is a lot that we don’t know about the Pringles guy. In fact, the only thing we do know is his head looks like a hard-boiled egg disguised as Tom Selleck.”

Oliver said the show would donate $10,000 to Feeding America if Pringles showed the world what Mr. P’s body looks like, but on one condition: that Pringles doesn’t spend any of the money on the brand “because it’s a garbage snack.” In just four days, the video amassed over 4 million views.

Viewers took to Twitter to share amusing caricatures of what they thought the rest of Mr. P might look like. Oliver shared these depictions in a video update in which he implores Pringles to give the people what they want, saying:

“My point here is, I know so much useless information about Pringles. But not the one thing that I really want to know, which is: What is Julius Pringles working with from the neck down?”

Two days later, Pringles debuted a casually dressed Mr. P, who welcomes fans into his holiday-ready home in this 14-second video:

The tweet garnered nearly 10,000 likes, 2,000 retweets and 800 comments. Neither Oliver or the show have reacted yet to the news.

Pringles’ banter with Oliver is a prime example of how brands can benefit from marketing opportunities spurred by organic social media moments. Another notable example of this involved user @420doggface208, who rose to internet fame after he posted a TikTok video of him skateboarding to work while drinking a bottle of Ocean Spray cranberry juice and lip-syncing Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” The video has racked up more than 72 million views and led to 15 billion brand impressions. In addition, in the week after the video was posted, “Dreams” was streamed 8.47 million times in the US alone.

What We’re Reading—Week Of December 7th

How Will The Influencer Sector Change In 2021?

The Drum

Ian Randolph, head of product and R&D at Tailify, believes that in 2021 consumers will begin to lose faith that tech giants are aligned with their interests and that marketers will have the confidence to shift budgets toward influencers.

Why it matters: An April 2019 survey from YouGov found that just 19 percent of users trust Facebook, while a Google study discovered that influencer marketing was five times more effective than directly measured.

Mass Exodus From The Coasts To The New Heartland Is Well Underway


Recent data shows a huge amount of Americans leaving crowded metropolitan cities for suburbs in the Midwest, Southwest and Southeast.

Why it matters: According to a report from Heartland Forward, the mass exodus can be attributed to a trend of millennials finding that many of their goals are more achievable in the New Heartland, where the cost of living is less and the same amenities as coastal cities exist but with additional benefits.

Sponsored Influencer Posts Mentioned These Video Game Brands The Most


A new analysis from CreatorIQ found 2,700 sponsored posts from 870 influencers on Instagram and YouTube that featured video game companies in September. Appearing in 426 posts from 131 creators, Twitch was the most-marketed gaming platform among influencers.

Why it matters: The increased activity around influencer marketing comes amid a surge in consumer spend on video games, which is set to reach $13.4 billion this holiday season.

PS5, Xbox Rollouts Drive 80% Jump In Ad Spending For Video Games

Marketing Dive

The release of Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X contributed to an 80 percent rise in ad spending for the video game industry in November, according to data from MediaRadar.

Why it matters: Sony spent more than $15 million to promote the PlayStation 5 in the month prior to launch, more than triple what Microsoft spent on advertising Xbox Series X and S.

How Do You Evaluate Performance During a Pandemic?

Harvard Business Review

To avoid lasting consequences for workplace diversity and crisis-specific biases, managers must figure out how to approach performance reviews and reward women who are stepping up during this time without inadvertently penalizing those who have needed to lean out.

Why it matters: While important, compassion isn’t enough. Managers must implement good processes to help block bias in their assessments. That includes defining effective criteria before making critical decisions about employees, aligning all decision makers and engaging others in being consistent and equitable.

Pantone Names 2 Colors Of The Year For 2021: Gray And Yellow


Pantone has revealed two new colors of the year for 2021—ultimate gray and a yellow hue called “illuminating.”

Why it matters: The two shades represent resilience and positivity, respectively—two things that many will seek after a tough year as they shift from a quantity to quality mindset.

Advertising Giant Dentsu Just Announced Huge Job Cuts. Insiders Are Speculating About How They’ll Play Out And The Growing Influence Of Data Agency Merkle

Business Insider

Dentsu is laying off 6,000 people, or 12.5 percent of staff outside its home country of Japan, causing worry about the growing influence of Merkle, which Dentsu acquired a majority stake in for $1.5 billion in 2016.

Why it matters: After Merkle was fully acquired, around 25 executives received both equity and senior roles at Dentsu. The reorganization has also forced out some longtime execs elsewhere at the company.

It’s Time To Stop Looking To Brands To Save Us


2019 research from Edelman found that across seven nations including the US and the UK, citizens trust brands more than they trust the government.

Why it matters: Brands have widened their influence beyond the scope of their products and services, causing people’s expectations of them to increase. But as brands fail at defending worker’s rights, halting racism and upending sexism, it’s futile for consumers to continue to place so much hope in them.

Speeding Up To Become Even More Consumer-Obsessed: An Interview With GSK’s Keith Choy


Keith Choy, the head of the Asia-Pacific unit of GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer healthcare group, considers the pandemic a chance to double down on existing digitization initiatives and strengthen end-to-end supply chains to better respond to emerging consumption trends across the 23 marketers the company serves.

Why it matters: Choy says that part of GSK’s response to the pandemic includes the development of an end-to-end consumer data management platform for which GSK needs to build out the framework, operationalize it and find the talent to support it.

HumanCo’s Next Step: The Intersection Of Helping Humanity & Driving Shareholder Value


With the wellness market valued at $4.5 trillion, HumanCo was created to focus on long-term investments in companies in which brand equity can be built around integrity 

and trust.

Why it matters: Together with CAVU Ventures, HumanCo has launched a special purpose acquisition company called HumanCo Acquisition Co on the Nasdaq to help publicly traded, high-growth consumer companies focus on advancing healthier living.

Instagram Adds Shopping To Reels

This week in social media news, Instagram launches shopping in Reels, App Annie says TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2020, Facebook tests a content calendar tool in Creator Studio, Instagram launches a shoppable Christmas catalog curated by UK influencers, YouTube Gaming hits 100 billion hours of watch time, Reddit sees a 52 percent increase in posts year-over-year and more.

Instagram Launches Shopping In Reels

After announcing the feature in October, Instagram has launched shopping in Reels, its TikTok-like feature, enabling brands and creators to tag products in short videos posted to the section, which got its own tab on Instagram last month.

Why it matters: Shopping has become a focal point of the Instagram user experience. In October, the app expanded shopping on IGTV globally, letting users check out in the app or on a seller’s website. With the addition of shopping in Reels, users will now be able to shop from every major touchpoint ON Instagram.

The move also follows TikTok’s announcement of a global partnership with Shopify, which allows Shopify merchants to create, run and optimize their TikTok campaigns within the Shopify dashboard. TikTok says other in-app shopping features will follow.

The details: With the debut of shopping in Reels also comes a “Branded Content” tag, which will enable Instagram creators to be transparent about sponsorship from brands.

App Annie: TikTok Was The Most Downloaded App In 2020

According to App Annie’s 2020 mobile recap, TikTok was the most downloaded app worldwide and the second highest in terms of consumer spend.

Why it matters: Businesses have been able to run targeted ad campaigns on TikTok for a while now, including brand takeovers, branded hashtag challenges and auction-based in-feed video ads, to name a few. But this year, TikTok has ramped up its social commerce efforts through a global partnership with Shopify, which will enable millions of merchants to reach the app’s Gen Z users, a cohort with a spending power of over $140 billion.

The details: Per App Annie, second to TikTok for the most downloaded apps worldwide is Facebook, followed by WhatsApp, Zoom, Instagram, Messenger, Google Meet, Snapchat, Telegram and Likee.

In terms of apps that saw the most consumer spend this year, Tinder came in first, followed by TikTok, YouTube, Disney+, Tencent Video and Netflix.

Facebook also claimed first place for most monthly active users this year, followed by WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram and Amazon.

App Annie expects global mobile app and game downloads to hit 130 billion across iOS and Google Play this year, with spend reaching $112 billion—a 25 percent increase year-over-year.

Facebook Tests Content Calendar Tool In Creator Studio Dashboard

Facebook is testing a new content calendar feature in its Creator Studio dashboard that provides creators an overview of past and scheduled posts, reports Social Media Today.

Why it matters: Currently, creators can schedule their Instagram feed and IGTV posts up to six months ahead using Facebook’s Creator Studio tool. This new calendar feature would allow creators to more easily plan their strategy.

The details: As seen in this screenshot posted by Matt Navarra, the new content calendar option shows separate icons for a creator’s activity, including single image updates, IGTV posts and Stories updates.

Instagram Launches Shoppable Christmas Catalog With UK Influencers

Instagram has launched a 12-page shoppable Christmas catalog highlighting a range of products selected by nine UK influencers to spotlight small businesses.  

Why it matters: The influencer-led guide comes just weeks after Instagram debuted a new format for sharing curated shoppable content—Instagram Guides. 

The details: Instagram tapped influencers from different backgrounds, like an LGBT activist and a fashion stylist, to highlight products from their favorite small businesses. Users can shop the products at the bottom right of each catalog page via the “Shop Now” button, which directs users to the brand’s Instagram.

YouTube Gaming Hits 100 Billion Hours Of Watch Time

Like other major gaming platforms, YouTube Gaming has seen explosive growth this year, with 100 billion watch time hours and over 40 million active gaming channels.

Why it matters: The pandemic has accelerated YouTube Gaming’s standing, as it saw 14 percent growth between March and April, and was up 65 percent year-over-year when lockdowns started, according to StreamElements and Arsenal.gg. During that same period, Facebook Gaming saw 72 percent growth between March and April and a 238 percent surge in growth over last year.

The details: After hosting charity tournaments around the world and digital in-game concerts, YouTube Gaming’s pandemic efforts have paid off. The platform reports that it saw over 100 billion hours of gaming content watched globally and has more than 40 million active gaming channels.

Its gaming community is also growing. YouTube reports that more than 80,000 of its gaming creators hit 100,000 subscribers, over 1,000 creators hit 5 million subscribers and over 350 creators reached 10 million subscribers.

Reddit Reveals Key Stats For 2020

In its annual year in review, Reddit shares insights into overall usage for 2020, including number of daily active users, most discussed topics and most upvoted posts.

Why it matters: The company reached 52 million daily active users—a 44 percent increase YoY.

The details: Reddit has seen a significant increase in engagement this year, with 303.4 million posts (up 52 percent YoY), 2 billion comments (up 18.6 percent YoY) and 49.2 billion upvotes (up 54 percent YoY).

Users mentioned COVID more than 50.2 million times while the coronavirus community was the third most popular. Reddit’s unemployment community saw a whopping 48,286 percent YoY growth while its Black Lives Matter community saw a 9,972 percent increase in activity YoY.

Other most discussed activities and topics on Reddit this year include playing video games together, George Floyd, police brutality, work search and career workshops and social distancing, fossil fuels, peanut butter bread and mail-in voting.

Snapchat Announces $3.5 Million Augmented Reality Creator Fund

During the first day of its virtual Lens Fest, Snapchat announced a $3.5 million AR creator fund for 2021, reports CNET.

Why it matters: According to Snapchat, its creator-made AR lenses have been viewed more than a trillion times.

The details: Snap’s $3.5 million fund will provide AR creators with another monetization avenue and enable them to partner with brands for AR-driven ad experiences.

Sophia Dominguez, Snapchat’s head of camera platform partnerships, told CNET:

“I think 2021 is going to be one of those years in which we evolve augmented reality out of this pure communication or social media use case, into things that can actually make our lives better in a much broader way.”

Instagram Tests Timer Listings On Stories

Instagram is testing a new listing under Stories bubbles that shows how much time each Story has left before it disappears, as reported by Social Media Today.

Why it matters: Adding to the addictive nature of the app, the feature could encourage users to engage more often with Stories as they feel pressure to watch them before they erase.

The details: As seen in this screenshot posted by Kyle Harris, Instagram is looking to include a timer at the bottom of each Stories icon, such as “18h left.”

Twitch Updates Its Hateful Conduct And Harassment Policy

Twitch has introduced a new policy around hateful conduct and harassment to take a more consistent and exploit stance against hate after it determined that many users continue to experience harassment and abuse online.

Why it matters: According to Twitch:

“We know that many people on Twitch–particularly women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Black, Indigenous, and people of color–unfortunately continue to experience a disproportionate amount of harassment and abuse online, including on our service. Not only is this blatantly unacceptable, it also undermines the community we’re building on Twitch and threatens the long term viability of streaming as a career for everyone who wishes to pursue it.”

The details: Hateful conduct and harassment have always been prohibited on Twitch, but the platform says this new policy offers more detailed explanations of behaviors, which fall into three categories: harassment, hateful conduct and sexual harassment.

Twitch says it will take action to remove harassment from its service and encourages users to use its report feature to help Twitch identify these issues.

Twitch has added caste, color and immigration status to its list of identity characteristics that its hateful conduct policy protects. In addition, it has specifically prohibited language such as black, brown, yellow and red face unless it’s being used in an explicit educational context.

Sexual harassment is now its own category in Twitch’s policy as the platform has adopted a “much lower tolerance for objectifying or harassing behavior.”

Twitch will walk users through these changes during three live sessions scheduled for December 12, December 16 and January 6.

Snapchat To Host Free Virtual Lens Fest Open To Public

Snapchat is hosting a digital event open to the public called Lens Fest where it will spotlight its Lens Creators community and innovations in augmented reality (AR).

Why it matters: Snapchat continues to develop new AR-enabled functions that are heavily used by both users and developers. According to the platform, over 180 million Snapchatters engage with AR every day, up 37 percent from the previous year. In June, Snap launched the first global sponsored AR try-on lens with Gucci, which let users virtually try on four pairs of sneakers via two different Lenses. More recently, its new anime filter was used more than 3 billion times during its first week of launch.

The details: Snap says Lens Fest will occur in an “immersive, interactive environment” where attendees can access three core sessions daily, demonstrations in Lens Studio, a library of tutorials, a gallery of Lens Creators and more.  

Facebook: Small Business Closure Rates Have Improved But Sales And Demand Still Suffer

Facebook’s sixth “Global State of Small Business Report,” found that closure rates for small companies reached 15 percent in October, down from 26 percent in May. Despite the improvement, small businesses are facing decreased sales and demand.

Why it matters: Impacts on small and medium-size businesses can have greater consequences for the macroeconomy, as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports that on average, small and medium businesses account for 75 percent of employment in sectors directly affected by lockdowns across OECD member countries.

The details: One in four small business owners report that they’ve increased or greatly increased their proportion of digital sales during the pandemic. Still, 55 percent of those that remain open reported lower sales in October compared to the same month in 2019.

Since the start of the pandemic, 31 percent of female business leaders surveyed have spent more time on domestic tasks compared to 26 percent of male business leaders.

Given many expect lack of demand and reduced cash flow will persist, more than half of business leaders surveyed in October expressed concerns about being able to financially support their families, up six percentage points since May.

For each wave of Facebook’s small business survey, a random sample of Facebook page administrators are invited to participate in the repeated cross-section, which included nearly 25,000 businesses per wave over six waves, the equivalent of more than 150,000 businesses in total.

Twitter Rolls Out Frequency Caps Globally For Ads

Twitter has introduced frequency caps for ads on Twitter globally, enabling advertisers to set a limit on the number of times each user is shown their ad within a given time period.

Why it matters: As per Twitter:

“From our research, we found that up to 80% of the overall potential impact on Ad Recall and Brand Awareness occurs within the first 2 exposures per week of a campaign.”

Moving down the funnel, Twitter observed a need for a slightly higher frequency to drive lift. Though increased weekly frequency adds further value, the impact of each added weekly exposure declines relative to the first immersions, according to Twitter.

The details: Starting today, Twitter’s ad frequency caps will be available within ad group details for its reach, engagement, video views and pre-roll views objectives.

The frequency caps will allow advertisers to redistribute impressions to new users, control how many times someone sees their ad and offer more control over media delivery.

KFC Mini-Movie To Premiere On Lifetime For The Holidays

During a year full of unlikely events, unlikely partnerships are bound to emerge. One said collaboration resulted in Kentucky Fried Chicken’s latest campaign—a branded Lifetime Original 15-minute mini-movie starring Mario Lopez as longtime KFC mascot, Colonel Sanders, which aims to distract consumers “from all things 2020.”

A Recipe for Seduction is a romantic mystery set to premiere on Lifetime on December 13 as an addition to Lifetime’s “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” movie slate. In conjunction, KFC is running an UberEats special that gives customers who order $20 or more via UberEats.com or the mobile app six free extra crispy tenders.

The mini flick marks KFC’s first-ever custom mid-form content and will be available to watch throughout the holiday season on Lifetime’s website, apps and video-on-demand platforms.

Love and fried chicken are at the heart of the plot, which involves a young heiress who must contend with attention from a suitor chosen by her mother. When a young chef—Lopez, who plays the lead role in Lifetime’s newly released Feliz NaviDad movie—with a secret fried chicken recipe appears, the mother’s devious plans are revealed.

KFC’s move to reach consumers sheltering in place follows the return of its limited edition fried chicken-scented firelogs. The 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog by Enviro-Log, available to buy in Walmart stores and on Walmart.com, sold out two years in a row. For the first time this year KFC started selling the firelogs in Canada.

At the end of Q3, KFC’s parent company, Yum Brands, reported an eight percent growth in revenue and a net income of $283 million, up from $255 million a year earlier. However, its same-store sales declined for KFC and Pizza Hut as demand lagged in their international markets. KFC’s global same-store sales fell four percent while its US same-store sales saw nine percent growth.

Video Ads Generate The Most Installs Per Impression For Casual Mobile Game Marketers

Video ads generate the most installs per impression and highest return on ad spend (ROAS) compared to other ad formats for casual game marketers. That’s according to a new mobile user acquisition report from Moloco, which examines the performance of banners, interstitials, native ads and videos based on metrics such as cost per payer (CPP), ROAS and retention.

To understand how casual game marketers can budget their ad spend more effectively, Moloco aggregated over 1 billion ad impressions across 100 ad campaigns from 32 different casual games. Moloco then measured the resulting 675,000 installs and 162,000 first time in-app purchases against the specific ad formats and platforms used to produce them.

First up, Moloco found that video performs best on both iOS and Android. On average, video reached a $104.48 CPP and a 16.96 percent 30-day ROAS. Comparatively, native ads and static interstitials came in at nearly ten times the CPP.

Video ads also drive the most installs per mille (IPM) for casual game marketers. During Moloco’s study period, video ads generated an IPM rate of 2.63 versus other formats that generate less than 0.5 IPM.

Next, the data reveal that interstitial ads have the highest CPP due to their relatively low install-to-purchase rate of 6.3 percent, though this format still delivers net-positive ROAS, with a day 30 benchmark of 8.28 percent.

Interstitial ads have the quickest days before first purchase average (0.72 days). Still, they claim the lowest three, seven and 30-day ROAS of ad creatives. For comparison, video has the second-highest days before purchase average at 2.19 and a higher ROAS.

Native ads have a high CPP but demonstrate a strong payer retention rate of 62.59 percent at day 30.

At 21.58 percent, banner ads have the highest 30-day ROAS, but have a comparatively low IPM—a dynamic that indicates banner ads are more susceptible to a type of ad fraud called organic poaching.

Payer acquisition on iOS is consistently more expensive than it is on Android, with the exception of banner ads. Despite the higher install rate for iOS, the average CPP–$145.65–is much higher than for Android, $95.08.

On iOS devices, banner ads ($81.86) and video creatives ($149.93) are the most cost-effective formats. For Androids, they are video ads ($67.12) and banner ads ($193.66).