Video game ad spend soars and Reddit gets an ad school: Friday Wake-Up Call
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Ad spend on video games has more than doubled since the start of the pandemic. “Individual games for consoles and computers had the most dramatic increase in ad spend,” writes Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing. “Spending by game titles increased by 60 percent, from $10 million in January to $16 million in April."
Even mobile games saw a bump, from $5 million in January to $9 million in April, as commute time (and therefore game time) for many people dwindled to near zero. But mobile use and screen time in general are up during quarantine, so it looks like gamers are making the most of it. Nostalgia is still making it's mark. One of the most heavily advertised games has been the classic “Final Fantasy VII.” Sephiroth!
Publicis Groupe won media planning for McDonald’s in China, where sales account for about 5 percent of the fast feeder’s global total. “The work includes strategic planning across media channels, and digital work to support McDonald's customer data platform development and application in media planning,” writes Ad Age's Jessica Wohl. “The agency switch comes as McDonald’s China tries to win back customers after seeing sharp sales declines in early 2020 due to COVID-19.”
Omnicom’s OMD is keeping the media buying business in China, just three years after retaining the business after a global media review by McDonald’s in 2017. Leo Burnett handles creative and China, and U.S. creative went to Wieden & Kennedy New York last year.
More than 2.4 million Americans filed unemployment claims last week, bringing the running total to more than 38 million lost jobs since the beginning of the pandemic in the U.S. As May nears its end, it seems inevitable that the jobless rate will surpass the 14.7 percent logged in April.
According to a Census Bureau survey this week, 47 percent of American households have lost income from employment. Nearly 40 percent of people expect to lose income in the next month (whether or not they already have).
The Atlantic laid off 68 people in sales, events and editorial on Thursday, 17 percent of its staff. Despite 90,000 new subscribers since March, those gains couldn’t offset the loss of revenue from live events, festivals and digital ad. Perhaps most intriguing, billionaire backer Laurene Powell Jobs opted not to bail out the publication, even during the pandemic.
Cashmere Chief Creative Officer Ryan Ford talks about growing up with hip-hop and becoming a music journalist on the latest episode of the “Ad Block” podcast. Looking for new music to listen to during lockdown downtime? Wondering why there’s been a sudden interest in rap battles between hip-hop legends? He weighs in on both topics, as well as lullabies for his new daughter (who guest stars on the show for a bit) and music distribution before and after the internet.
Snoo school: Portfolio school is often prohibitively expensive. But now meme-writing hopefuls can learn from people in the industry by logging onto Reddit. “Over the course of twelve weeks, the r/Advertising School will bring to budding creatives lessons across a range of advertising disciplines, including copywriting, art direction, production, media planning, design and more,” writes Ad Age’s Ann-Christine Diaz. Teachers include creatives from Goodby Silverstein and Partners, Grey, Truth and Consequences, Tool and Apple.
Ring Ma Bell: AT&T has agreed to stop using the phrase “5G Evolution” in its ads. Contrary to what one might expect, it doesn’t indicate that a phone has 5G capabilities (so put the torches down, coronavirus conspiracy theorists.) “The carrier has drawn ire from rival service providers, such as T-Mobile and Verizon, after updating its phones to replace the ‘LTE’ symbol commonly found atop mobile screens with ‘5Ge’—even if the phones aren’t 5G capable,” writes Ad Age’s George Slefo.
Some 'good' news: ViacomCBS snagged John Krasinski’s “Some Good News” in a bidding war. The eight-episode series that focused only on the eponymous good news will get a new host (womp womp), though Krasinski will stay on as executive producer and will make appearances on the show itself in some other capacity.
See you Tuesday: Wake-Up Call will go on hiatus Monday May 25 for Memorial Day and return on Tuesday the 26th. Have a good holiday!
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