Writers Strike and Its Effect on Marketing

Group of American activists is protesting

If you haven’t heard, the entertainment industry is undergoing a writer’s strike, but this leaves the question of, “How does this affect me and the marketing industry?”.  

Every action has a chain reaction, and the writer’s strike is no different. There’s the obvious one: the writing of TV and movies has stopped. However, the pre and post-production and filming have also come to a halt on a number of projects.

Happy group of people holding blank banner during strike

The shows that have already been written, filmed, and edited can go on as normal. However, shows that are written on a weekly or daily basis, like Saturday Night Live and late-night shows, have come to a complete halt. All this interrupted television means advertisers and marketers have fewer prime-time ad spots. This now poses the question: “If advertisers and marketers are not relying on prime-time to get their message out, what platforms are they using to get messages out?”

The good news is, marketers are no longer tied to relying on television! They now have more options with the introduction of new marketing channels, such as social media, YouTube, and digital ads. Given the unreliable nature of television at the moment, the strike’s unknown outcome, and no end date, marketers will stray away from television ads and rely more heavily on social media, influencers, digital ads, and YouTube. 

The little girl and a grandfather wathing television with a popcorn.

The above scenario is best for advertisers running ads for products and services, like a commercial for IKEA, razors, etc. but what about movie marketers? The ones in charge of securing TV spots for the stars of movies and shows. Late-night shows allowed for a human element to get the audience engaged and more likely to see the product. This connection is not easily replicated through social media, especially on short notice. Creating a social media campaign and capturing content with actors is a process that takes time and planning. 

It’s likely that movies that would have usually relied heavily on late-night TV to promote their project and don’t have content already captured will struggle to get people to the movie theaters. 

For smaller marketing firms like ours, this means any smaller design and marketing projects pertaining to television or the entertainment business have been placed on hold for the time being. Design and marketing are professions that work closely together with TV and entertainment. While our agency has not been heavily impacted by the strike, the marketing and advertising industries have and will continue to feel the effects even after the strike ends since production has been stopped for almost 4 weeks. 

We hope the Writers Guild of America, movie studios, and streaming services come to an agreement that fairly compensates the writers and ends the strike. 


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