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Coronavirus hits Twitter ad revenue and Buffalo Wild Wings celebrates at-home sports: Tuesday Wake-Up Call
In an indication that social media platforms are not immune to the coronavirus, Twitter yesterday issued a profit warning, despite the fact that usage on its site has spiked during the pandemic.
As Ad Age’s Garett Sloane reports, the company said on Monday that the outbreak had impacted its global ad revenue “significantly” in the past few weeks. Ahead of its quarterly results on April 30, Twitter has retracted its previous profit forecast, made at the end of last year, in which it indicated it would generate between $820 million and $885 million in revenue and operating income of up to $30 million.
This comes despite a sharp increase in visitors to the platform. So far this quarter, Twitter said it has seen 164 million daily users, a 23 percent increase on the first quarter of 2019. Meanwhile, according to an internal Facebook report obtained by The New York Times, Facebook is also seeing a significant spike in traffic due to the virus, as "millions of Americans are rediscovering the social network’s virtues."
With sports canceled and half the world on lockdown, marketers whose campaigns revolved around sport are having to react to the new realities in creative ways. One is Buffalo Wild Wings, which, as Jessica Wohl reports, was forced to scrap its March Madness-themed campaign when the pandemic canceled the annual college basketball tournament.
Instead, it has released a video celebrating people around the world showing off their sporty moves while staying home. Created by The Martin Agency, the "Sports Live On" video went live Monday and features, among clips of people playing basketball and hockey at home, a woman called Melody Donchet, who “has racked up thousands of views of herself juggling a roll of toilet paper with her feet.”
U.S. election news has rather been overtaken by other events during the last week but, guess what? It’s still happening. And Ad Age is here to cover it. Datacenter Director of Data Management Kevin Brown, in partnership with Kantar/CMAG, continues to track the ad spending for all those campaigns. Check out the latest spending charts here and find out where the spending hotspots are, such as North Carolina, which has seen the biggest barrage of TV and radio ads. Meanwhile, if you’ve been too distracted to keep up with the candidates’ latest messaging, Simon Dumenco reports on the latest developments, including Trump’s YouTube video titled “Join the Army for Trump.”
In the latest edition of Ad Age Remotely, Sophia Amoruso, founder of the women-focused media business Girlboss, joins Ad Age's Jeanine Poggi to discuss how it’s taking its rally virtual this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of charging audiences to participate, Girlboss will make registration free and will look to bring in revenue through advertising. “We’re going to talk about everything from self-care to looking after each other during these difficult times,” says Amoruso.
Musk to the rescue: A few weeks ago he described the coronavirus panic as “dumb” but now Tesla CEO Elon Musk has come to the aid of California by donating more than 1,000 ventilators to its hospitals. As The New York Post reports, Musk tweeted on Monday night: “China had an oversupply, so we bought 1,255 FDA-approved ResMed, Philips & Medtronic ventilators on Friday night and airshipped them to LA. If you want a free ventilator installed, please let us know!”
Working from home? Agencies are having to find new ways to engage their employees remotely as the industry embraces WFH culture. Ideas range from online yoga and meditation classes to kids' bedtime storytelling sessions, work-from-home Spotify playlists, happy hours and cocktail hangouts. Read more here.
Digital tax approved: Maryland lawmakers have “quietly approved” a 10 percent tax for every digital ad sold by companies such as Google and Facebook, reports Ad Age’s George P. Slefo. The measure only applies to ads shown to Maryland citizens, but a “copycat” bill was introduced to New York lawmakers last week.
Contactless Big Macs: McDonald’s is promoting its drive-thru and delivery options in a video campaign reminding consumers that its U.S. restaurants are still open for business, writes Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl. Created by Wieden+Kennedy New York, five simple graphic spots with gold and red color schemes suggest different menu items and the contactless ways customers can pick them up during the coronavirus crisis.
Magazine cover of the week: New York’s newspapers and magazines are coming up with some powerful, creative imagery around the pandemic. After the New York Post quarantined Lady Liberty, Simon Dumenco writes that the March 30 issue of The New Yorker features a cover by artist Eric Drooker that depicts a “stark, disquieting illustration of an abandoned Grand Central Terminal as New York City’s residents self-isolate in response to the coronavirus pandemic.”
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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