Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. If you're reading this online or in a forwarded email, here's the link to sign up for our Wake-Up Call newsletters.
Good morning! We have now been living with the threat of the coronavirus for more than a year. Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring the virus a global pandemic, which has resulted in nearly 530,000 deaths and 29 million COVID-19 cases in the U.S., along with nearly 10 million lost jobs as businesses closed up. But things are taking a turn for the better. As of Wednesday, the U.S. has reported fewer than 400,000 new coronavirus cases a week, a number not seen since October, and increasing numbers of people are getting vaccinated.
To encourage Americans to get vaccinated, the families of living past presidents—the Obamas, Clintons, Bushes and Carters—came together on the one-year anniversary in two new PSAs from the Ad Council, by creative agency group SJR and Pereira O’Dell.
One year ago today, Ad Age began tracking the marketing industry's hour-by-hour response to the pandemic in this blog. We documented moves like Coors Light halting its "Official Beer of 'Working' Remotely" March Madness campaign. The tournament was later canceled and working remotely, of course, took on a whole new meaning. The advertising world was forced to close offices, stop agency reviews and halt campaigns.
As the pandemic wore on and Zoom fatigue set in, we cataloged in a follow-up blog about how brands like Coors Light, Heinz and Yelp got crafty in their pandemic ads and how businesses like restaurants were fighting through the unprecedented slump. While many businesses are still figuring out their place in the new normal, it’s apparent the industry has come a long way since the start of the pandemic.