Being a freelancer right now in the marketing and advertising industry is unpredictable.
While some work continues to come in, other projects are sputtering to a halt. But as more marketing professionals get laid off or furloughed, demand for freelance work is on the rise.
“We get really good news and then really bummer news every day,” said Stephanie Nadi Olson, CEO and founder of We Are Rosie, a network of 4,000 independent freelancers working across media, creative, mar tech, ad tech, events, innovation and strategy.
Nadi Olson is trying to create opportunities for people who need it while staying connected to her remote community, whether that’s by launching a new Facebook group, creating mentoring opportunities or holding Zoom happy hours for freelancers working on projects.
At the same time, she and her husband are caring for two children, ages 4 and 6.
“It’s intense and a little scary,” Nadi Olson said. “As someone running a bootstrapped business, what does this look like with two small children long term? It’s a mess, and we’re still figuring it out.”
Nadi Olson spoke to AdExchanger from her sunroom in Atlanta, while her children watched TV in the next room.
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"On TV And Video" is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in advanced TV and video.
Today’s column is written by Joel Cox, co-founder and executive vice president of strategy and innovation at Strategus.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, many people had already spoken: They want to consume their television media on their time and terms over the internet. In its February report to shareholders, Roku predicted that half of US homes would cut the cable and satellite cords by 2024.
This is accelerating now, with more people under stay-at-home orders and watching TV. They have more time on their hands, less money for subscriptions, no sports and less patience for negative cable news. They are going to watch ad-supported content, but with little tolerance for irrelevance and over-frequency.
For those who weren’t already on board yet with programmatic OTT (over-the-top) connected TV (CTV) advertising, now might be the time to make a move. Nielsen is forecasting that Americans are watching 60% more television. We’re seeing a surge in available inventory and lower eCPMs. Rather than lock in contracts at a set CPM, transacting programmatically allows brands and agencies to take advantage of real-time market shifts like this, where more Americans are streaming at lower costs than we’ve seen in years.
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Most mornings, you’ll find Barry Lowenthal, CEO of The Media Kitchen, doing makeshift yoga and Pilates with his neighbors on the beach near his condo in Palm Springs – at a safe distance, of course.
And then the day kicks off, a series of Zoom calls and hangouts and conversations with staff, vendors and brand clients who are looking for stability in a world turned upside down. “I spend a lot of my time right now just providing people with assurance that everything is going to be okay through this,” Barry says.
He and his niece, a college student, have started trading videos with each other over Snapchat, talking about things they’re grateful for right now, despite everything. Barry is grateful for Oliver, his five-and-a half-pound Yorkie.
Also in this episode: Barry describes the exercises he’s doing to keep his lungs in shape, what it’s like to be Zoom bombed and how The Media Kitchen is helping families with kids at home stay sane.
Unrelated fun fact: Barry isn’t short for anything … but his father really wanted to name him Beowulf. His mother vetoed that out of hand.
“Data-Driven Thinking” is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.
Today’s column is written by Simon Harris, head of sales EMEA at MightyHive.
Safari has just beaten Chrome’s 2022 deadline for killing the third-party cookie (while also delivering blows to several other tracking methods).
Legislation and measures to improve consumer privacy are changing the way programmatic advertising works. In 18 months, when Chrome blocks third-party cookies, advertising on the open web will change irrevocably. Not to be left out, there are rumblings of mobile user IDs being cut off as well.
Advertisers who could once rely on third-party data to augment their first-party assets can no longer do so. Because of these changes, programmatic will have to grow up fast. In short, it’s time for advertisers to have “the talk” with their partners about the changes that lie ahead and ask them about their plans to adapt.
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Here’s today’s AdExchanger.com news round-up… Want it by email? Sign up here.
Google and Twitter lifted their bans on coronavirus-related advertising. Twitter will allow marketers to feature their pandemic responses in paid tweets, Ad Age reports. Twitter initially banned COVID terms to forestall misinformation, but now feels that “the messaging that brands and businesses can provide to the world … are going to be positively received,” according to head of client solutions Sarah Personette. Google backtracked on its coronavirus advertising ban after backlash from Democrats, who argued that blocking criticism of President Trump’s response to the epidemic would give him a leg up in the election. Google and Twitter are both phasing in advertisers that will be allowed to build “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” campaigns. A blanket un-ban of those terms could end up boosting scam products and fake cures.
Call it the Facebook CARES Act. Facebook is planning to dole out $40 million in grants to 10,000 US-based small businesses. SMBs are reeling from the coronavirus outbreak. The companies will span 34 cities, but the hardest hit in New York City and Seattle will be the first to receive funds, which should start happening this week. Most of the grants will be distributed in cash with ad credits mixed in. But Facebook’s concern for the SMB community is about more than just altruism. SMBs make up a huge portion of Facebook’s overall base of roughly 8 million paid advertisers. If the little guys go under, the platforms are gonna feel it, too. Forbes has more.
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A factoid for our times: Kohler’s sales of smart toilets increased eightfold during the first two weeks of March compared with this time last year. The trend makes sense to Alex Farr, CEO of Zammo, a platform that brands can use to easily build voice apps. Touchless tech is taking off as people do their best to keep their hands to themselves. It’s a coronavirus thing.
Alex is sheltering in a cabin around 15 miles outside of San Francisco, where he can see the redwoods and take walks with his wife. He’s also making time for meditation. Alex is a particular fan of Vipassana. “It’s like medicine without taking anything,” he says.
Also in this episode: Why Zammo had a WFH pandemic preparedness plan in place long before COVID-19 hit and what happened when Alex tried to get too ambitious with his multitasking. (He ended up sending his lawyer a pile of random emoji. Wine glass, eggplant, volcano.)
If you’re blocking the word “coronavirus,” you’re essentially blocking everything.
In this episode of “Social Distancing With Friends,” The Washington Post’s VP of commercial tech, Jarrod Dicker, checks in from his high-energy household (its members include three boys and two dogs) to talk publisher problems, including aggressive advertiser blocklists and the general trend of deflating CPMs.
He also talks about Zeus, the publisher ad tech solution he and his team built and launched in 2016. The Washington Post added a self-serve interface for the buy side called Zeus Prime last year. Publishers need to own their own ad tech, Jarrod says, so they aren’t defenseless against rules established by brand safety vendors and other ad tech companies that don’t have the best interests of publishers at heart.
Of course, publishers also need to have honest conversations with their advertiser clients about brand safety. If both sides had been more open with each other about that months ago, they might have avoided the mass “coronavirus” keyword blocking.
Also in this episode: Jarrod gives his best tips on how to stay sane working from home, and his husky, Cassidy, shares a sporadic tune.
Like all of us, marketing veteran Laura Desmond is navigating the new rules of the video call. In this installment of AdExchanger’s “Social Distancing With Friends” podcast series, she shares her thoughts on the emerging rules of remote collaboration.
“The level of intimacy is actually pretty high, but I also find that my energy is used differently during video calls vs. in-person meetings vs. conference calls,” Laura says.
During video calls, for example, it’s harder to take short mental breaks, check email or glance down at your iPad. But she’s getting used to the new “information flow.”
Laura is an agency veteran who started her career at Leo Burnett and rose through the ranks to eventually become CEO of Starcom. After leaving agency life in 2017, she dedicated herself to private equity and advisory work. She is currently interim CEO at DoubleVerify.
In this episode she revisits some lessons from the last recession in 2008-2009 and shared how they can apply to the 2020 crash, including “invest in your roadmap” and “consumers adapt faster than companies.” She also shares one big reason for optimism: As much as everyone is struggling right now, the cause is righteous.
“I like the fact that in so many ways we’re doing what we’re doing for each other, for our fellow man, for our families, for human kind,” she says. “We’re trying to flatten this curve and be safe and keep our distance so that we don’t overrun the health system. That type of unselfish behavior and altruism – I hope we learn something from that as well. We’ll all be better for it.”