The pandemic hits the advertising account review

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The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in SeoulReuters

Ad business as (un)usual 

The advertising world was once known for its costly face-to-face pitches, the high-end commercial shoots, and in-person networking events — much of which has been upended by the pandemic. 

Add a less visible part of the ad business to that list: the account review. Electronics giant Samsung began a review of its US ad-buying business earlier this summer, but it's since canceled it in response to the economic effects of the pandemic, according to sources.

The account was worth about $845 million, based on Samsung's US ad spending last year, and had four of the top ad holding companies including Publicis Groupe and IGP pitting for the business.

It's another reminder of how much has changed over the past several months.

  • The pandemic and protests against police brutality have also caused marketers to adapt their messaging (while risking blowback in some cases).
  • Cost-cutting has affected nearly all parts of the agency landscape as holding companies have pulled their earnings estimates for 2020, frozen hiring, and cut pay.
  • Many of the shifts are expected to endure. Data will likely take on a bigger role as marketers want to know how their campaigns are working in real time.
  • And advertising will likely continue shifting from traditional media to influencer marketing and e-commerce platforms as people spend more time on social media and online shopping.

Read more here: Samsung cancelled a review of its $845 million US advertising business due to the pandemic. Here's what we know.

Vox Media/KitchenAid
Brands come to Hollywood

People are streaming more video than ever, so what's a marketer to do? For some, join 'em. Tanya Dua reports that the documentary trend has picked up in the pandemic for a few key reasons:

  • You can make docs while still following social distancing rules.
  • Brands are going where the eyeballs are (streaming video).
  • Short films are suited to brands' love affair with purpose-driven marketing.
  • And they might be seen by people who would normally skip ads.

Read the rest here: People are doing everything they can to avoid ads, so brands like KitchenAid, Verizon, P&G, and J&J are producing more long-form documentaries

Instagram ReelsCHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images

TikTok-Reels faceoff

How many ways can you compare TikTok and Instagram Reels? Dan Whateley asked music marketers to size up the two in terms of their utility for music marketers, and the clear early winner is TikTok when it comes to discovery features.

But don't count Reels out just yet, they said.

Read the rest here: Music marketers say Instagram's Reels can help record labels reach new audiences but that it lacks some key features that make TikTok the industry leader

Other stories we're reading:

  • Mondelez CFO frees up funds as snack maker turns advertising back on (Wall Street Journal)
  • Meet Katherine Power, the serial entrepreneur who's running 3 companies with more than $60 million in total funding, including one with Cameron Diaz (Business Insider)
  • Media companies get in on the SPAC action (Axios)
  • AMC Theatres says it will stay open as other major chains close because of its industry-shocking windowing deal with Universal (Business Insider)
  • Inside the businesses of royal style bloggers, who bring in thousands of readers and customers a day by helping them dress like Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle(Business Insider)

That's it for today. See you next week.

— Lucia

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