Media Beat: April 20, 2020

By David Farrell

Have you noticed how cliqued and similar pandemic corporate ads are?

– Ad Contrarian Bob Hoffman pointed us to YouTuber Microsoft Sam’s video post (and the comments below it are too true and more than not hilarious.

Corporate covid-19 response videos are eerily similar. *Cue sombre piano music* When a company or brand releases a Coronavirus Response ad, they might tell you that we're living in "uncertain times", but that "we're here for you". They may say their top priority is "people" and "families" by bringing their services to the "comfort and safety of your home". And don't forget: "we're all in this together!" #together What's the deal? In reality, many companies have found themselves short on cash, almost overnight. They needed to get a message out - and quick. They asked their teams to throw something together. Since they can't film a new ad because of social distancing, they compiled old stock b-roll footage and found the most inoffensive royalty-free piano track they could find. This, combined with a decade of marketing trends dictated by focus groups and design-by-committee, released a tsunami of derivative, cliché ads all within a week of one another. It's not a conspiracy - but perhaps a sign that it's time for something new.


And now a chuckle

It is a slow day in the small Saskatchewan town of Pumphandle, and the streets are deserted. Times are tough; everybody is in debt, and everybody is living on credit.

A tourist visiting the area drives through town stops at the motel and lays a $100 bill on the desk saying he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs to pick one for the night.

As soon as he walks upstairs, the motel owner grabs the bill and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.

The butcher takes the $100 and runs down the street to retire his debt to the pig farmer.


The pig farmer takes the $100 and heads off to pay his bill to his supplier, the Co-op.

The guy at the Co-op takes the $100 and runs to pay his debt to the local prostitute who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer her "services" on credit.

The hooker rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill with the hotel owner.

The hotel proprietor then places the $100 back on the counter so the traveller will not suspect anything.

At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, picks up the $100 bill and leaves.

No one produced anything. No one earned anything.......

However, the whole town is now out of debt and now looks to the future with a lot more optimism.

*And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how a Stimulus package works!!! – Shared by Maryanne in Tucson via Warren (Cosford's) Network newsletter.

Australia to force Google and Facebook to pay for news

The move follows a similar dictum order in France, but securing a deal that compensates news orgs is likely to face expensive and protracted legal pushback from the tech goliaths. – The Guardian

Increased media consumption versus hollowed out ad revenues

Twitter was among the first major US digital ad publishers to give investor guidance on the new situation. Based on our analysis of Twitter’s Q1 update, the company looks set to see a decrease in revenues of between 9% and 40% during March. Facebook also released information about its engagement and ad revenues, noting that a lot of the increased engagement is on properties or services, such as WhatsApp, that aren’t monetized much to begin with. – Nicole Perrin, eMarketer


HRadio exploits tech for radio

Against a backdrop of increased competition from streaming services and declines in listening from younger audiences, an EU-funded project is working to develop new radio services.


By combining IP and broadcast signals, listeners can interact with their radio station, receive personalized content such as news and weather updates, and easily pause or substitute broadcast radio with on-demand content. – Will Jackson, Radio World

All-podcast radio station launched in the UK

The UK’s first radio station devoted exclusively to podcasts has launched in London. Podcast Radio broadcasts on DAB+ digital radio, showcasing podcast content from around the world. The launch was Joe Wood’s Alien Nation with pop star Robbie Williams guesting. The two discussed their encounters with UFOs and explained what they believe is out there. – Radio World

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Joey Martinez

Neil Young & Crazy Horse


Neil Young, Nickelback, Nas & 50 Cent to Play Ottawa Bluesfest's 30th Anniversary

For its 30th birthday, the capital city festival is also getting major acts like country group Zac Brown Band, pop hitmakers Maroon 5, and one of the last shows by Tokyo Police Club.

Ottawa Bluesfest, the eclectic festival held annually in Canada's capital city, is planning a nine-day celebration for its 30th birthday.

The festival has revealed its full lineup, with Canadian stars Neil Young and Nickelback joining previously announced headliners Mötley Crüe and Tyler Childers, as well as hip-hop legends Nas and 50 Cent, country rockers Zac Brown Band, and chart-toppers Maroon 5.

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