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Friday’s First Things First – Adweek

Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s new daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on Adweek.com each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.

Forget Halloween, Target Says It’s Christmas Ad Time

Well Halloween is officially over and it’s time to trade the jack-o’-lanterns for tinsel and holiday lights, according to Target. Embracing the go big or go home logic, the retail store unveiled its holiday campaign today, centered around a 60-second anthem video and featuring a cast of 125 people in nearly 100 holiday moments. Here’s something to consider: Are the holidays creeping up earlier and earlier every year? Target is hardly the first brand to push its holiday ads before the holidays, especially with a shorter shopping season. Cost Plus got a jump on holiday advertising while Christmas is coming early for the Lifetime network.

Read more: Target CMO talks what went into this year’s holiday branding.

Is This What Happens When Independent Agencies Get Bought Out?

It’s not easy being an independent agency out there. Barton F. Graf recently closed, as did TM Advertising in Dallas, which bought itself back from IPG two years ago. And some shops like Barkley are buying back stock in order to strengthen their independence. That said, life isn’t always great if a holding company gobbles an indy agency up. Zulu Alpha Kilo, which has a history of making short films that mock industry trends, took those holding companies to task with a humorous short.

Read more: Watch the short film about a lemonade stand that goes corporate. Poor imaginary friend Wilbur.

Can Anyone Topple Google in the Ads Game?

If you’re a marketer, would you rather know your consumers’ interests, their curiosities or what they actually buy? Facebook, Google and Amazon are building out capabilities to address all three and build off their respective strengths. Amazon and Facebook have a lot of catching up to do, as Google currently owns the market, scoring $34 billion in advertising revenue during the third quarter of 2019, almost double its nearest competitor, Facebook.

Read more: Today’s digital feature from programmatic editor Ronan Shields analyzes Google’s ad business, exploring the obstacles the search giant faces to stay on top of the digital advertising pecking order.

Related: Want to learn more about programmatic advertising? Take the next lesson in our Institute of Brand Marketing, which covers the nuts and bolts of programmatic. Past lesson subjects include VR/AR, personalization and AI.

Best of the Rest: Today’s Top News and Insights

Ad of the Day: The Lyrics to ‘I Will Survive’ Become Powerful Words of Defiance in This Cancer PSA

In the first few weeks of her time as CEO of Ovarian Cancer Action, Cary Wakefield met agency managing director Vicky Jacobs, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer six years ago. Their conversation led to the creation of a passion project that raises awareness of chronically underfunded ovarian cancer research.

Powerfully set to children reciting the words of “I Will Survive,” this PSA turns the Gloria Gaynor classic into a potent message of resilience.

What Spooks Marketers?

Stephen Clements, chief creative officer, Y Media Labs
When someone not in the industry asks me what I do, I feel a wave of dread wash over me. I gulp and I usually say I make apps and websites—a massive undervaluing of what I actually do, which is help businesses undergo digital transformation—but at least they can relate.

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