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November 12, 2020 - By Barron Rosborough

Hawke Media Special Report: November 12, 2020

COVID-19 is still here and it continues to cast an ominous shadow over the United States as cases continue to spike. With over 10.5M cases recorded and fast-approaching 250,000 related deaths, it’s difficult to grasp what the path forward looks like after nearly 8 months of various levels of restrictions.

However, this week the world got a glimmer of hope after Pfizer reported a successful Phase 3 human trial of their COVID-19 vaccine saw greater than 90% fewer cases of symptomatic COVID-19 in patients that received the vaccine versus those that received a placebo.

If the trials continue with little to no adverse side effects through the third week of November after participants have been observed for 2 months following a second dose of the vaccine, Pfizer can apply for an “emergency use authorization” from the FDA to begin distributing the vaccine.

Lots of data is still needed to determine the effectiveness of the vaccine and the length of time it protects recipients. If the vaccine is determined to be safe and effective, it would be widely available in 2021 with a limited run in late 2020.

Consumer Trends

Social Issues

US Adults' Attitudes Toward Brands Who Speak Out Against Racial Inequality, by Race/Ethnicity, June 2020 (% of respondents)

Source: eMarketer

  • The majority of consumers want brands to use their platforms to amplify messages of racial inequality, but there is a lot of skepticism among consumers about opportunism among brands and their true dedication to equality. 

Holiday Spending


Source: Marketing Charts via NRF

  • Consumers are planning to continue spending on gifts this holiday season, while slightly decreased from the previous year, spending seems to be pretty stable across gifts and holiday-related items. 

Leveraging Personal Data


Source: Absolunet.

  • Shoppers are getting savvier about their personal data and beginning to leverage it in exchange for experiences and added value from brands.

Business Trends

GDP Bounce Back


Source: SWW Advisors

  • GDP grew by a record 33.1% annualized rate in Q3 2020 largely due to a boom in consumer spending.



Source: Shippo

  • Brands are beginning to feel the pressure of the holidays as order volume increases and shipping on time becomes a bigger concern.
  • Over the course of the pandemic, many have seen shipping delays and aren’t confident that carriers will be able to deliver this holiday season. 
  • Hawke’s Advice: Ship early, ship quickly, and know your dates!



Source: Clark Consulting via Retail Dive

  • The data shows that the overwhelming majority of retail apps that handle user/consumer data are actively leaking personal information.
  • Make sure your app-based transactions and user data stay private to avoid a negative brand experience and potential backlash.