Corona beer in surprise sales surge and Visa repositions Olympics campaign: Wednesday Wake-Up Call
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Corona’s surprise sales uplift
If there’s one thing you can say about the time of coronavirus, it’s that the surprises never stop. Back in late February, Constellation Brands, owner of Corona beer, was forced to hit back at a survey put out by a PR agency that claimed people were cutting back on the beer because it shares the same name as the coronavirus. This came after the beer’s “unpopularity” had become an early urban legend during the first weeks of the pandemic.
But now the latest sales data for packaged goods brands has shown that the opposite is true. As Ad Age’s Jack Neff reports, “Nielsen data from Credit Suisse found sales for Constellation Brands, owner of Corona, are up 39 percent for the most recent week, led by the Corona family, up 50 percent.” As for why, "apparently, Corona is proving a popular choice at Zoom happy hours," writes Neff.
Another sector on a roll is, well, toilet paper. Kimberly-Clark saw its sales increase by 160 percent the week ended March 15, fueled by toilet paper brands Scott and Cottonelle. Cleaning products like Reckitt Benckiser’s Lysol and Mucinex also performed strongly, but beauty brands suffered, with L’Oréal sales down 10 percent.
Visa repositions Olympics campaign
With the Olympics now postponed until 2021, one of its major sponsors, Visa, has acted quickly to pivot its campaign and make use of content featuring Olympians that it had already part-produced, but with a COVID-19 twist.
The brand and agency BBDO New York are debuting a series of videos titled "Do Your Part Like An Olympian,” report Adrianne Pasquarelli and Ann-Christine Diaz. The spots show athletes promoting safety and sanitation from their own homes.
For example, in one clip, skateboarder Sky Brown says, “Hi, I’m Sky Brown, and this isn’t easy,” before kick-flipping a skateboard in her bedroom. She then moves to the bathroom and says, “But this is,” as she washes her hands.
Before the cancelation, Visa had planned to run a similar campaign that featured tough athletic feats juxtaposed with the ease of using a Visa product; the ads had been 80 percent produced.
Insights from Richard Edelman
How should brands handle their public relations during the pandemic? Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi interviewed PR heavy Richard Edelman during a live edition of Ad Age Remotely to get his take on the situation. Among his insights: Brands should only introduce new products at this time if they have some relevance to COVID-19, and they should use a scientist rather than a celebrity to endorse them. Advertisers should consider both TV and radio as “born again.” And agencies need to stick close with their clients, look after their people and do something for their communities. If you missed it yesterday, listen again here.
A Titanic mistake?
It may have seemed like a good idea at the time when Columbia University decided to work with the stars of the epidemic-themed movie “Contagion” to launch their own PSAs around coronavirus. But, as Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing writes, the campaign has sparked a social media backlash, particularly with regard to Kate Winslet, who “explains in scientific terms how handwashing can get rid of the virus,” citing her time preparing to play an epidemiologist in the movie.
The message from Twitters users was clear: stick to the film scripts, and we'd prefer our advice to come from real doctors. Comedian Jonathan Pie was one to weigh in, tweeting “Kate Winslet giving advice about a pandemic is all fine and dandy, but if she offers you advice on how to stay alive after your luxury cruise ship starts to sink, tell her to f*** off. That plank had space for TWO people.”
Burger King’s homemade Whopper instructions
Burger King has closed its restaurants in France, but it still wants customers to eat Whoppers. So, it issued them with some home instructions on Twitter. In a campaign by Paris agency Buzzman, it published a tweet showing simply a list of store-bought ingredients needed to put together your own "Whopper de la Quarantine." While the idea flirts with the risk that people will enjoy their homemade burgers so much that they’ll carry on after lockdown, if any brand could get away with this, it’s BK. Check it out over at Creativity Online.
WPP reviews costs: WPP has launched a review of its costs, reports Ad Age’s Lindsay Rittenhouse, as the world's largest advertising holding company provided an update yesterday on its business during the pandemic. It includes a hiring freeze; a review of its freelance expenditure; stopping discretionary costs including travel and hotels and the costs of award shows; and postponing planned salary increases for 2020. Its executive committee also took a 20 percent pay cut for an initial period of three months.
Stories, shared: Snapchat is allowing developers to install its signature Stories videos directly into outside apps like Triller, reports Ad Age’s Garett Sloane. The new feature means that developers can enable their own user bases to post videos from Snapchat to their followers on the third-party apps including Triller, Squad, Hily and Octi.
Coronavirus campaign of the day: Facebook has posted a poetic film that juxtaposes moving scenes of a world "ravaged but not destroyed" during the coronavirus pandemic, writes Ann-Christine Diaz. The spot is set to a stirring spoken word track by poet Kate Tempest, and was created by Droga5 using both user-generated and photo-journalistic content. It depicts images both “harrowing and hopeful”: alongside footage of a doctor whose face is bruised with mask marks, there are exhausted medical workers taking a lighthearted dance break during their shifts, families and friends bonding remotely and musicians playing out of their windows.
And finally…It's April Fool’s Day today, and Ad Age has some important advice for marketers on what to do this year. Anyone still mulling whether they should create something light-hearted to promote their brand...well check it out here.
That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call, thanks for reading and we hope you are all staying safe and well. For more industry news and insight, follow us on Twitter:@adage.
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