Facebook Plans Office Reopenings; Lowe’s Marketing Investments Pay Off

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Back To Work

Facebook has a plan for reopening offices in July. The company will have a 25% occupancy limit, bring people back in shifts and require temperature checks, Bloomberg reports. Facebook will also limit the number of employees in meeting rooms and shut down buffets and gyms. The company is also working on a plan to allow for social distancing on its shuttle buses. People who want to continue working from home can do so through 2020. Google CEO Sundar Pichai told The Verge that he isn’t all-in on working from home (following Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s announcement that employees could work remotely indefinitely) because productivity is down and forward-looking strategy requires collaboration.

The Highs And The Lowe’s

Lowe’s outperformed Home Depot in Q1, partially due to its stronger commitment to marketing. And now, marketers hope Lowe’s first quarter performance will be a case study for their own business value. While Home Depot shut down advertising to limit store visits, Ad Age reports, Lowe’s went ahead with big promotional events. It also sponsored some of the only live TV events since the pandemic struck, including the NFL Draft and “American Idol.” Lowe’s has had a choppy few years, said Morgan Stanley analyst Simeon Gutman in an investor note. “It is encouraging to see what appears to be clean out-performance in a period with so much disruption.”

Fly Me To … Nowhere

Expedia’s revenue dropped 15% YoY to $2.21 billion in Q1 as the travel industry remains shut down, CNBC reports. Advertising revenue dropped 23% as travel brands halted spending. Revenue from hotels decreased 10%, as room nights stayed declined by 14%. Airline revenue fell 56%, driven in part by a 41% drop in revenue per ticket and a 26% decrease in tickets sold. When COVID-19 became a global pandemic in early March, cancellations surpassed new bookings on the platform, and total gross bookings were negative for the month. CEO Peter Kern brought up Expedia’s reliance on performance advertising on the call, since Google tweaked its search algorithm and decreased its organic visibility. “We’ve chased unhealthy growth over the years, and Google and other performance marketing channels have tried to disintermediate us, and we’ve made some not terribly smart choices along the way,” he said.

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