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How marketing can thrive in the worst of times

From the Great Depression to the economic tumult of this great pandemic, there is a common thread for marketing: Every downturn brings opportunity and innovation.

In a new 56-page white paper, Ad Age examines innovation in the worst of times, from the 1930s to the present.

What happened to marketers, media and agencies during past downturns? There were layoffs, closings and cutbacks—no surprise. But every deep recession also saw great innovation with new companies, products, services and technology.

“Downtime Opportunity: 2020 Edition” offers an optimistic view of the opportunities that unfold in the toughest times.

The white paper is available for purchase and download at The report is free for Ad Age Insider members and Ad Age Datacenter subscribers.

Ad Age is no stranger to adversity: The publication launched less than 90 days after the stock market crash of 1929. This new report, an update of a white paper first released in the Great Recession, is based on a deep dive into Ad Age’s archives, supplemented with additional research and government data.

Looking for ideas? Here are 10 learnings from “Downtime Opportunity”: