Instagram Launches Reels To Rival TikTok; Biden Plans $280M Fall Ad Buy

instagram reels

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A Reel Good Try

Instagram launched its TikTok competitor, Reels, on Wednesday in 50 markets. It’s yet another example of parent company Facebook’s typical “if you can’t buy it, copy it” strategy. The creator-focused tool, which lives within Instagram’s Explore tab, is designed to make posts go viral. Users are able to share 15-second videos and edit them directly in Reels, while influencers with public profiles show up in Instagram’s Explore tab. The idea is to help the TikTok (er, sorry, Reels) creator crowd grow their followings through Instagram’s already massive user base, even if they’re new to the creator game, Axios reports. “The pitch for new creators is that Reels is a good way to get discovered, even if you don’t have a follower base,” said Vishal Shah, VP of product at Instagram. Reels launches as TikTok faces an uncertain future. There’s also growing competition in the space from upstarts, including Triller, and from the more established platforms, such as Snap, making moves into short-form video features a la Tiktok.


The campaign for presumptive Demcratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will unload $280 million in anticipation of the November election, according to The New York Times. Of that, $220 million is earmarked for TV, and $60 million will go to digital ads across 15 states. Those states include battlegrounds, such as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – which Trump won during the last general election cycle – as well as conservative strongholds, such as Texas and Georgia. The Times notes four states – Texas, Georgia, Virginia and Colorado – where Biden is booking ads and Trump is not. Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign has reserved $145 million in TV – but no word yet on how much he’ll spend in digital. More.

Halloween Nightmare

What’s scarier for a candy brand than no Halloween? Just 27% of US adults plan to take their kids trick-or-treating due to COVID-19, and candy companies are preparing for the worst. Halloween is by far the biggest holiday for candy brands. Hershey’s makes half of its candy sales during the holiday from trick-or-treating, and Halloween accounts for 10% of its annual sales, Adweek reports. In preparation, Hershey’s has shifted production away from Halloween this year should “sales be a little bit lighter,” said CEO Michele Buck, but a hit is inevitable. So what’s a candy brand to do this October? They can use this Halloween to build brand equity with themed promotions, focus advertising on people treating themselves and promote general market products to cushion the blow. “It doesn’t have to be the disaster that some investors have feared,” said John Baumgartner, senior equity analyst at Wells Fargo.

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