As England emerges from Lockdown 2, we thought our readers might enjoy a lighter touch to our Lowdown this month…
Read on for some uplifting stories that show that it’s not all bad right now and there is light at the end of the tunnel!
Who has the best music in this year's Christmas ads?
As each ad is streamed off YouTube, their claim that YouTube is the ‘world’s biggest jukebox’ does seem to ring true. As reported on ‘Variety’, the platform is building on this with new launched 15 second audio ads targeted to users who listen to music or podcasts in the background. It also allows advertisers to target music line ups. The platform certainly isn’t short of content with ‘over 70 million official tracks, plus remixes, live performances, covers and other music content’ so their offering is a serious challenger to the likes of Spotify. Global Head of Music for YouTube, Lyor Cohen, suggested the move was "“trying to help artists in the industry earn more revenue from ads – period”, therefore benefitting record label partners and their artists.
A chain of kindness sparked by a 6-year-old boy
Blake Durham, a 6 year old boy from Stockton-on-Tees decided to ‘do something kind’ after paying for the Mc Donald’s meal of those next in line at his local drive-thru and prompting everyone else in line to follow suit. His selfless actions remind us that a sense of community has flourished in 2020.
Our first national lockdown very rapidly forced people to stay at home and better integrate into a community that, often, they barely knew. Indeed, back in May, WARC highlighted that ‘Localism’ was likely to be a post pandemic trend. Fast forward nine months and the sense of community and localism continues to grow in strength with advertisers waking up to the revival of communities. Lush Local is a fantastic example of this - desperate not to waste 3 floors of in-store product, the team turned their flagship London shop into a local distribution centre, creating a new bike and on-foot delivery service. Lush Local serves customers they find on social media and loyal shoppers they know of who live in the area.
As lockdowns continue (in one guise or another), many behaviours have gone on so long that they start to stick. Localism is one to watch.
“Nothing says I’m thinking of you…and your horse…like an Ifor Williams Trailer…”
...or so says Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. The Hollywood pair have recently secured the purchase of Wrexham Football Club and are showcasing the wares of their main sponsor, Ifor William Trailers (an entertaining watch).
But, as The Drum reports, will the pair produce a worthy marketing case study on how to turn around the fortunes of a languishing brand? Indeed, McElhenney said: “Why would we not think about Wrexham the way that Manchester United thinks about Manchester United?” - fighting talk and one to inspire every brand manager.
Another round of applause
Echoing a similar message to UNISON’s ‘No Going Back To Normal’ campaign, school children from St Anthony’s Primary School in London recorded a music video ‘Another round of applause’ with Hollywood director, Saloum N’jie.
An uplifting performance reminding us to keep pushing for a full Living Wage for key workers (something we stand by as an endorsed London Living Wage employer).
24 hour shopping - hurrah!
As part of the new rules, shops in England will be allowed to stay open for 24 hours a day to help keep shops 'more pleasant and safer'. Great news for those last minute shoppers who can go shopping at 3am if they chose (and if shops oblige)!
Thankfully the Black Friday bonanza has given retail a very welcome lift with reports suggesting that shoppers were spending £2 million-a-minute on deals online. Not all retailers are benefitting equally however, as consumers have accelerated the shift in their spend to brands with strong and enhanced e-commerce strategies developed over the last 9 months.
Christmas comes early!
Even M.i.'s resident Christmas scrooge (who typically baulks at early Christmas decorations) has admitted today that 'this year the sooner Christmas arrives the better'. It seems he's not alone. As reported on the BBC, Christmas tree growers are having a bumper year as consumers are buying earlier and spending more (and even splashing out on a real fir tree). Let's hope this year's Christmas cheer extends beyond trees alone, so that the economy goes into 2021 a little merrier...
As reported in Campaign, the UK's supermarkets teamed up with Channel 4 to stream their ads back to back on Friday 27th November in a unified stand against racism. The move is in response to an appalling social media reaction to Sainsbury's 'Gravy Song' Christmas TV ad that features a black family.
Well done to the retailers for coming together to #StandAgainstRacism, something we wholeheartedly support.
2020 has been a good year for...beavers
Well, let's face it, 2020 had to be good for someone!
It turns out that 2020 has been a really positive year for English beavers. According to a recent BBC report, a 5 year government trial into the re-introduction of beavers into the wild has provided many benefits. They have been helping to alleviate flooding (due to their natural engineering prowess) and sparking new life into barren wilderness.
On that positive note, may we wish you a very merry Christmas and if we all keep beavering away, that we'll see many more returns to growth in a healthier 2021!