Top Stories

  • Morton Salt revamped its packaging for the first time since 2014 to make its products such as pool salt, water-softener pellets and ice melt more recognizable outside of the condiment aisle. The new packaging design includes transparent windows that allow customers to see inside the containers, a slightly altered sans-serif typeface and minor variations to the proportions of the Morton Salt Girl depending on the product. (Adweek)
  • At least 18 major brands that have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since the start of the pandemic — including Hertz Global Corp., J.C. Penney Co. and Neiman Marcus Group Inc. — gave executives six- and seven-figure payouts before asking bankruptcy courts for help, according to regulatory filings and court documents. The bonuses, which range from $600,000 to $25 million, collectively add up to $135 million, while those same companies laid off tens of thousands of workers predominantly making under $29,000 a year. (The Washington Post)
  • JM Smucker Co. is selling its Crisco shortening business to B&G Foods Inc. as part of a $550 million cash deal that includes manufacturing facilities and warehouses in Cincinnati. JM Smucker Chief Executive Mark Smucker called the Crisco brand “iconic,” but said it isn’t part of the company’s strategic priorities of pet food, coffee and snacks. (Bloomberg)

Chart Review

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

OTTxSCIENCE 2020: Streaming in the New Media Landscape 12:00 pm
eMarketer Webinar: Agile Marketing and Decision-Making with Data to Drive Brand Awareness 2:00 pm
Adweek Virtual Series: How Brands Found Their Voice With Audio
Brand Insider Summit: QSR
OTTxSCIENCE 2020: Streaming in the New Media Landscape 12:00 pm
Variety’s Power of Women Virtual Summit 12:30 pm
Pandemic Economics: How COVID-19 Is Shaping American Household Behavior 2:00 pm
eMarketer Webinar: Investing in Modernization: The New Wave of Customer-Centered Martech 2:00 pm
Brand Insider Summit: QSR
Variety’s Power of Women Virtual Summit 12:30 pm
Digital Marketing Report: Benchmarks and Insights to Drive Your Media Strategy 2:00 pm
Media Innovators North American Regional Program
Great Expectations: The Evolving Role of Companies in a Post-election World 1:00 pm
View full calendar

Webinar – Pandemic Economics: How COVID-19 Is Shaping American Household Behavior

Join Mark Zandi, the Moody’s Analytics team and Morning Consult’s John Leer this Wednesday, 10/28 at 2 p.m. ET for a webinar examining how U.S. households are coping and how their behavior may change post-pandemic.

Based on a national survey of 5,000 adults, this discussion brings together Morning Consult’s real-time data intelligence and Moody’s Analytics economic expertise, to provide comprehensive insight.  Register here.


Global social media ad spend jumps 56.4% in Q3
John Glenday, The Drum

That’s according to the latest trends report from Socialbakers, which showed that North America led the way with spending up 61.7%.

TV ad buyers expect networks to tax upfront advertisers that waited to commit
Tim Peterson, Digiday

While most advertisers have done their deals with TV networks, others have waited to make their commitments — and they’re likely to pay a tax on the extra time.

Campaigns Rush to Submit Facebook Ads Ahead of Limits
Emily Glazer et al., The Wall Street Journal

Ban on new political ads in final week before Election Day has groups looking to new platforms, social-media influencers.

McCann Announces Further Leadership Shifts
Lindsay Rittenhouse, Ad Age

Grant Theron is named CEO of Commonwealth//McCann while Sean Bryan and Tom Murphy replace Eric Silver as co-chief creative officers of North America.

Kazakhstan, Reversing Itself, Embraces ‘Borat’ as Very Nice
Joel Stein, The New York Times

After banning the first Sacha Baron Cohen satire, the country has created tourism ads adopting its catchphrase.

Media and Entertainment

Sizing up streaming: Netflix has 400 times more movies than Apple TV+
Janko Roettgers, Protocol

Based on TV shows alone, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are almost head-to-head, with Hulu not far behind. 

Shaquille O’Neal Takes Stake In Genius Brands, Set Kids Animated Comedy For Kartoon Channel
Jill Goldsmith, Deadline

Shaquille O’Neal will executive produce and star in a new animated comedy for kids, Shaq’s Garage, for Genius Brands International and ABG Group.

BuzzFeed Expects to Break Even This Year, Thanks to Heavy Cost Cuts
Lukas I. Alpert, The Wall Street Journal

Digital media company’s revenue damaged during pandemic as layoffs, other cuts shore up bottom line.

ViacomCBS Int’l Studios Launches Kids Division, Led by Nina Hahn
Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter

VIS Kids is designed to expand the studio’s global kids content pipeline.

Social Media and Technology

Invisalign Taps TikTok Influencers Like Charli D’Amelio and Gains Social Clout
Emmy Liederman, Adweek

Sales among teenagers jumped 25% in Q3.

Twitch emerges as rising platform for beauty brands
Liz Flora, Glossy

Beauty influencer and Em Cosmetics founder Michelle Phan may have nearly 9 million followers on YouTube, but there’s another video platform that she watches constantly: Twitch. 

New data shows which gaming brands are dominating sponsored influencer posts on YouTube and Instagram
Dan Whateley, Business Insider Premium

Twitch was the most prolific gaming brand, appearing in 426 sponsored posts by 131 YouTube and Instagram creators, according to CreatorIQ’s analysis. 

Bill Nye The Science Guy Helps Chipotle Sell Its New Environmental ‘Foodprint’ Tracker
Ilyse Liffreing, Ad Age

On Monday, Nye—who gives a nostalgic kick to 90s kids who grew up watching him in classrooms across America—took to TikTok to share a video in which he encounters himself at a Chipotle and orders his favorite meal. 

Sam’s Club Lets Customers Do Their Holiday Shopping in the Iconic Griswold Family Home
Kaila Mathis, Adweek

The brand recreated a VR activation from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and filled it with purchasable seasonal items.

Facebook Moves Into Cloud Gaming
Sarah E. Needleman, The Wall Street Journal

Social-media company’s free-to-play model differs from paid, subscription cloud-gaming services of rivals such as Google and Microsoft.

Snapchat’s dancing hot dog returns for Election Day
Makena Kelly, The Verge

There’s just over a week left until Election Day and Snapchat is reviving one of its most beloved characters, the dancing hot dog, to encourage users to make a plan to vote.

PR and Marketing

Burger King parent’s quarterly sales fall 8% as pandemic weighs on Tim Hortons sales
Amelia Lucas, CNBC

Popeyes, however, once again reported double-digit same-store sales growth, thanks to the enduring popularity of its chicken sandwich.

Kia Relaunching Brand With New Logo Early In 2021
Jeff Perez, Motor1

The so-called ‘Plan S’ will put a big emphasis on electric vehicles.

Hasbro Tumbles After Results Fall Short of Rival Mattel’s
Kelly Gilblom, Bloomberg

Hasbro, the largest U.S. toymaker, said Monday that revenue fell 4% on a pro forma basis to $1.78 billion.

Nissan Appoints First US CMO Amid Leadership Realignment
Kathryn Lundstrom, Adweek

Allyson Witherspoon will step into the newly created role on Nov. 1.

McDonald’s is hosting a music festival as the fast-food giant tries to win over younger customers
Barbara Smith, Business Insider

The virtual music festival with prominent UK acts like Stormzy, Lewis Capladi, and Jess Glynne, will take place from Oct. 30 through Nov. 1. 

Airbnb Fights Its ‘Party House Problem’
Erin Griffith, The New York Times

Noise. Damages. Safety questions. Airbnb is racing to address the risks posed by partying guests before it goes public.

How Saks Fifth Avenue is providing luxury shoppers with ‘comfort food’ during the pandemic
Phil Wahba, Fortune

Saks has seen modest comparable sales increases since the summer, driven by its soaring online business.

Candy Brands Are Trying to Solve the Halloween Pandemic Puzzle
Paul Hiebert, Adweek

To overcome the obstacles this year has presented, candy brands are approaching Halloween by embracing what the day is all about: creativity and imagination.

Amazon has created fertile ground for bribery schemes, sellers say
Jason Del Rey, Recode

In the wake of a $100 million Amazon bribery scandal, sellers say the tech giant deserves more scrutiny for suspending merchants with no warning and little explanation.

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

The RealReal’s head of retail details his brick-and-mortar strategy and explains why in-person sales are still a big part of the $26 billion luxury consignment market, even during a pandemic
Bethany Biron, Business Insider

The RealReal opened its fourth physical store in Chicago on Friday, marking its first foray into the Midwest and a larger strategic push to capture more of the fast-growing luxury resale market beyond the coasts.

Morning Consult