“The likelihood is things will take a bit longer, but there is no creative compromise,” said Mark Benson, CEO of global creative ad studio Moving Picture Company. Brands are coming to the studio to complete ads that were already in production with special effects, he said. “For example, an auto spot where the car would have normally been shot by a specialist auto director -- it still can be, but the car will be built by animators in computer graphics instead of shot live-action on location.”

New Technology
Animation and visual effects studios were already changing the way they work so teams can collaborate remotely, and shifting computing horsepower from office servers to the cloud. The shock of the coronavirus will hasten the move to new video production methods, said Neil Hatton, CEO of film and TV industry lobby group the UK Screen Alliance.

“There are parallels with the Japanese tsunami, which accelerated a move from production delivered on tape to production on computer file as the tsunami wiped out the tape-manufacturing companies on the coast of Japan,” said Hatton.

For an industry that prides itself on creativity, ingenuity is more important than ever. Advertisers may be facing a worse setback than the 10% retraction in marketing spending that followed the 2009 financial crisis, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Bloxham said. Ads typically cost companies the equivalent of about 11% or 12% of sales and are easy to reduce. The slump is going to spread quickly from the travel and leisure industry clients, who cut their spending immediately, to luxury goods, cars and clothes, he said.

“We know that it’s going to be quite a sharp kind of effect -- the question is how long that effect goes on for,” McCann’s Lund said. “We’re having conversations with our clients about what does the world look like on the other side and what does it mean for brands and how they exist in people’s lives.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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