I hope you are keeping healthy and staying well in lockdown. I thought I would highlight some of our top picks, we have seen this week from various sources, webinars and other such calls that we are making with the various CEO’s of the industry.
1. Arguably the most useful webinar to date was put together by WPP, this happened in the first week of the lockdown and looked at which sectors would recover first and the experiences in the Far east where most things are getting back to normal. In the Uk we are far from normal here as Lockdown looks set to continue for the next two weeks at least. Most brands have been balancing whether to go ‘dark’ during lockdown, and save marcomms budget, or whether to stay ‘bright’ for the inevitable recovery.
Retailers who have had to close under lockdown have understandably gone dark, unless they had a digital platform and online delivery service, Fortnum & Mason has just furloughed 700 staff.
2. This Webinar was followed by the Kantor/Ogilvy webinar, on ‘Retailing in the UK,’ clearly the supermarkets have been busy with hoarding and a huge increase in frequency of purchase but how have they been coping, click and collect is on the rise, Ocado and Tesco delivery spots are sparse, new distancing parameters means overall till roll will stabilise. The session looked at which categories are in growth, why there was so much frequency of purchase, based largely on the Superpanel data.
Here’s the Link for this and forthcoming webinars: https://www.kantar.com/Inspiration/Coronavirus/WEBINAR-How-brands-can-survive-the-COVID-19-crisis
3. The advertising Cog blog Spot: Is it right to advertise in a recession? Our view is proceed with caution and spend on your media wisely and look for savings on media where offers are prevalent.
4. Adaptability is a new buzzword. Our colleagues at Econsultancy are finding evidence of Adaptability in Marketing? As marketers adapt to the ‘new normal’, many are finding both positives and negatives in working from home, with a dip in team morale balanced by a new sense of empathy for colleagues. This according to findings is from the second survey conducted by Econsultancy and Marketing Week on the impact of COVID-19, involving 1,990 global marketers and agency professionals.
We highlight this one and the link: http://view.mail.centaurmedia.com/ qs=e995f5066225a256d554d06d2481362b866451c6c2f90fb04e655981ea9d575a3c2476ce9cd02615ab79a4928efe81d3f84a9ec96bef73a8b9eef0bfce7478f512e5424a29c5f4969a6598ff2986c0d3
- The Good Friday Mobile/Fix the View from the US on all things media in conjunction with the Media Kitchen
Most CEOs are focusing on revenue stabilisation, furloughing where relevant, dropping industry awards and looking at non discretionary spend. Agency CEO’s are seeing how their agencies are configured from home. Those most prepped for delivering service levels will be the most stable. It really will be a survival of the fittest. Our holding company Leader of the week goes to the Mark Read of WPP, his calmness and understanding is steering WPP away from the revenue pressures as the teams sensibly hunker down.
Our view is clear, the agencies best prepared are making it work already, or using European offshoring offices in Sweden and Norway to deliver creative work, but a wider lockdown will limit ability to deliver. Most agencies are evolving a light touch, safe distancing, with just two people on filming projects for example, having agency talent in the right city to deliver has been a problem. Homeworking is working for most (and is set to last in the UK) although the addition of children at home proved demanding for some. Most new business pitches have stalled as agencies are focusing on their current client needs.
We strongly believe that those brands that go into this crisis with adspend on brand values with emerge in the better place. Whilst the world around us looks like a disaster movie, there is an opportunity to prepare for the future. Brands need to keep selling and keep the cash moving. There is evidence of brands supporting very human approaches to support society. There are a couple of brands that have used the lockdown to change their advertising model – following the mantra better, simpler, cheaper, we see this as a short term reaction, the focus is still on driving down ‘non working spend’ rather than adding agency competencies.
So with very limited sport, no Henley regatta or festival, no Cannes, Wimbledon, and Royal Ascot all cancelled. What are we going to do? There is a real sense of society caring for the vulnerable with medicines in our community. We are shopping from home – a positive note we heard this week that Majestic Wines processed £2.5 million of wine sales via their new website in a day, so those brands with an e- commerce platform, and a continuing serviceable one are the green shoots for the commercial future. Surprised by the quality of wine purchased it was only marginally up, so even in these times only a few treats for us all.
We really hope to get back to work soon, as projects sit dormant, we are here to be supportive, to do accelerated pitches to shorten the pitch process. We are working from home, but are here to help you if we can, until next time…lets be positive.