Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

More and more brands are using live ads during TV events. For me, the one that stands out from the UK marketplace was the live Honda sky-diving ad on Channel 4, and here is a perspective on recent developments in this area – ‘There’s a cachet and a wow factor if a live ad is well executed (Blake Morrison, from Ripplebox). It comes across better to a live audience than something that feels so curated that it doesn’t have any room to breathe.

This a pretty powerful way to ‘encourage’ adoption. The WeChat ID pilot programme in Guangzhou is to be extended to the whole of Guangdong province and further across China from January next year (as) WeChat is poised to become China’s official electronic ID system.

This is worth thinking through for a couple of seconds. From the New Scientist – ‘Chinese search giant Baidu says it can create a copy of someone’s voice using neural networks – and all that’s needed to work from is less than a minute’s worth of audio of the person talking. Baidu can clone your voice after hearing just a minute of audio.’

From Adweek. ‘For those few uninitiated souls, HQ Trivia works like this: In real-time, the show’s emcee poses 12 questions with three possible answers, while players vie for a shot at splitting a jackpot—averaging anywhere from $1,500 to $25,000. On Super Bowl Sunday, 2 million people logged on for a single session, angling for $20,000 in winnings (168 people shared the prize). According to the app-research firm Sensor Tower, since launching in August, HQ has been downloaded more than 5 million times.

From MIT. ‘The most successful people are not the most talented, just the luckiest, a new computer model of wealth creation confirms. Taking that into account can maximise return on many kinds of investment. If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich? Turns out it’s just chance.’

A short video from RSA Create. ‘We have taken huge steps towards tackling some of the biggest threats to humanity throughout history, and in many ways our lives have never been better! So where do we go from here? Author and historian Rutger Bregman argues that in order to continue towards a better world, we need big ideas and a robust vision of the future. 

Friend of the Filter, Only Dead Fish’s  Post Of The Month competiton, is a good place to see some insightful writing. This week’s winner was the piece featured in this newsletter last week – You Are The Media You Eat from Genius Steals. This was the piece from the Filter which won in Jan 2015 – How We Read Today. 

From The Guardian. ‘Echoes of Amélie in Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, traces of Nabokov in Kristen Roupenian’s Cat Person … Where is the line between influence and plagiarism?’ The highest form of flattery? In praise of plagiarism.

From Wired : A Short History of Technology Worship. ‘In spite of the yoking of technology and science in the word STEM, they’ve always been an uneasy pairing. The word technology is best understood as the masculine form of the word culture, and when you’re pitching culture projects to patriarchal joints that find the idea of “culture” unmanly, I’ve often found that “technology” seals the deal.’

This job application letter (short video) has raised the bar to a whole other level. 

Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

4th March 2018

‘We are now seeing poetry used in commercial storytelling because viewers are wise to conventional advertising and are bombarded by it, so they have developed ways to filter it out….Poetry is more entertaining than most ad copy, and viewers are inclined to respond to a lifestyle or feeling rather than a hard sell. They are also more open to subscribe to a brand when responding to the emotional and human connection brought about by a poem.’

A recent news article in the Guardian, based on data from e-Marketer, asked the question ‘Is Facebook for Old People?’ The article suggested that Facebook is becoming the social network for the over 50’s. This analysis, which compares total minutes by age for Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, would seem to confirm this.

‘We should broaden the definition of success to include what the customer would see as success: helping them achieve their goals in the moment.’ From Adweek – Why Empathy Is the Key to a Positive Brand Experience.

Fast Company’s perspective on the world’s most innovative companies. Really like the punchy headlines summarising each company’s main achievement. How about this for The Washington Post – ‘Bringing Amazonian ambition to the news’.

If the traditional New Year predictions are not ambitious enough for you, you may like this report from PWC – ‘The World in 2050, The Long View: how will the global economic order change?’ One prediction is that, by 2050, the top 4 goal economies will include China, India, Indonesia and the US will have dropped from first to third.

Interesting piece from Genius Steals (after Eli Pariser and his Filter Bubbles) on the case for a balanced media diet – ‘You Are The Media You Eat.’ ‘ People tend to consume media that supports their existing views, but any content where ideology leads to falsehood, is bad for you.’

‘Facebook is masterfully tempting us to build ‘mediated relationships’ with screens, devices, the cloud and soon via augmented and virtual reality; rather than with real people that are right in front of our noses. Facebook has ingeniously replaced real human friendship with an almost black-mirror type simulation (a kind of ‘demented reality’..) that feeds off the human need for positive affirmation (and dopamine). Facebook is no longer ‘social’ anything, it’s an AI-platform that needs to regulated/updated.’

‘No matter how hard they try, brain scientists and cognitive psychologists will never find a copy of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in the brain – or copies of words, pictures, grammatical rules or any other kinds of environmental stimuli. The human brain isn’t really empty, of course. But it does not contain most of the things people think it does – not even simple things such as ‘memories’. Your brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories. In short: your brain is not a computer‘.

‘One promise of ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft was fewer cars clogging city streets. But studies suggest the opposite: that ride-hailing companies are pulling riders off buses, subways, bicycles and their own feet and putting them in cars instead. Studies are increasingly clear: Uber, Lyft congest cities.’

Dolce & Gabbana used drones to carry handbags down the runway, instead of models.

Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

24th Feb 2018

Amazon’s football livestreams may test the Premier League’s OTT (over-the-top TV) ambitions. Amazon could livestream Premier League matches in the U.K. in a move that will determine whether football chiefs launch their own over-the-top service. ‘..Advertising on Prime (is) one way Amazon could monetise the rights it buys… if Amazon could show brands selling on its site that there’s an upturn in sales from their stores during matches, then the proposition starts to become more interesting, particularly for related products such as ticketing and merchandise.’

Michael Harris has forgotten how to read. ‘Our sense of time has always been warped by our technologies. Church bells segmented the day into intervals. Factory whistles ushered workers. But the current barrage of alerts and pings leaves us more warped than ever. I’ve been trained not just to expect disruption, but to demand it.’ For a long time he convinced himself that a childhood spent immersed in old-fashioned books would insulate him from our new media climate – that he could keep on reading in the old way because his mind was formed in pre-internet days.’ He was wrong’.

After months of asking to get their content onto Amazon, publishers have got their wish. Amazon has been running a test with a small group of publishers where versions of publishers’ commerce-focused articles are accessible directly inside Amazon’s website. But as it always is with Amazon, there are risks. …And on the subject of news (and Facebook), this from Digiday: ‘Facebook didn’t get into the news business with the expectation that they would become the most powerful force in American media. They got in because they wanted to squash Twitter.’ ….And on the subject of Twitter, does it look like it might be on its way back?

Space X has launched two demonstration satellites, which are being used to test SpaceX’s future Starlink broadband service. Once all the necessary testing has been completed, the launch of operational satellites could begin sometime in 2019. SpaceX’s ultimate goal is to provide gigabit broadband worldwide by 2022.  BTW, you can use a website to track Elon Musk’s Tesla through space, the aptly named whereisroadster.com.

Here are two great creative executions, focusing on two very different subjects : ‘As a marketer, when things go badly wrong, sometimes it is best just to hold your hands up. Even better if you can be self-deprecating as well.’ Here ‘KFC’ becomes ‘FCK‘, as @KFC_UKI apologises for the recent absence of chicken. And on a much more significant and serious note, this outdoor execution was inspired by the film Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, and potently brings to life the lack of progress with the Grenfell Tower enquiry.

In 2018, The Account Planning Group is celebrating 50 years of planning excellence. To coincide with this anniversary, the APG is collaborating with Russell Davies on a series of podcasts and they will be releasing one a month for the whole year. ‘Each podcast features Russell in conversation with a planner who has done interesting things. The idea is to get them telling some unusual stories; the stories that don’t get captured in case studies and awards entries.’ Well worth a listen. 

Smart. After years of testing, The Wall Street Journal has built a paywall that bends to the individual reader.

Nesta has mapped the regional progress of creative industries in the UK, with their Creative Nation report. You can look at individual areas via this interactive visualisation. If you want to look at innovation across the globe, split out by country, then the 2018 GE Innovation Barometer, is the place to go. 

This is fun. A map showing the top tourist attraction in every country, according to TripAdvisor. Some surprises here….

This is a really nice Sci-Fi short about The First Faster-Than-Light Spacecraft. 16 mins long but worth a watch. ‘And just like that, the astronaut had disappeared.

Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

19th Feb 2018

Love this take. ‘What the Russians are accused of doing was not only a unique incursion into American democracy, it was also, at its simplest, a highly effective digital-advertising campaign. Ad industry Insiders create a campaign to give Russian Hackers proper credit for their achievements.’

From The Economist : This book predicted most of the tensions tearing contemporary Britain apart. ‘A wonderful volume, it not only reveals the deeper reasons for all the bizarre convulsions. It also explains why things are not likely to get better any time soon. The book is Michael Young’s “The Rise of the Meritocracy”—and it was published in 1958.’

A year after P&G ignited debate in the digital marketing industry around industry measurement, Unilever have started another important discussion regarding social platforms, and the urgent need for them to become safer places for their users. ‘The quandary for marketers is that they realise public trust in the social platforms and corporations is nose-diving, and their brand risks a negative rub-off by advertising on a platform that’s polluted with misinformation or offensive content. At the same time, they can’t replace the platforms’ audience and user data elsewhere.

Autonomous vehicles are soon going to be widespread and in many ways this seem like a very good thing. But this piece relating travel sickness, raises one serious drawback. In a world where we will all be passengers, and are not looking at the road ahead, this could be a huge issue. Possible solutions to avoid a motion sickness epidemic could be glasses , light, rushing air or even vibrating seats.

These are the five cities selected, by NESTA, to develop the future of drone operations in the UK –  Bradford, London, Preston, Southampton and the West Midlands. These cities will now work with NESTA, over the next five months to look at how drones could be used in their communities. From using drones to support public services to the commercial opportunities that might exist, they’ll explore the public attitudes, environmental impact, logistics and safety of drones operating in complex urban environments.

This is a very nice activational idea from Hills BalfourMDSG (friends of the Filter) and Visit Las Vegas, to counter the January blues and announce a new direct British Airways flight from Dublin to Las Vegas.The Doctor will see you now….

Valentine’s Day. Here are the ten most shared ads on Facebook. An eclectic mix has Virgin Atlantic  Amazon and Co-op Insurance in the top 3.

Robots have typically only demonstrated limited cooperation with each other thus far, but this short clip demonstrates just how collaborative and polite these Boston Dynamics pet robots are. It’s a positive move — so long as the robots remain friendly……

On a more upbeat note here is the most recent short video release (and Vimeo Staff Pick) from Passion Pictures‘ ‘Joy’ Series. This is Joy and the Heron. 

‘It’s nearly the end of the week. Time is dragging and emails are weighing you down. Here is something that can brighten your mood, and it’s right here, free and ready for you to mash that replay button’: Bollywood dance videos synced up perfectly with Kendrick Lamar songs.

Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

10th Feb 2018

‘Despite the advances of social media, the number of friends we can have seems fixed at 150, but finding a way to transmit touch digitally could change that. Touch, satisfies a whole host of our biological needs. Physical contact boosts our endorphin activity, making us feel better and potentially having a direct positive impact on our immune systems.

‘In the wake of Facebook’s announcement that it would deprioritize publishers’ content in its news feed, the need for publishers to diversify their traffic sources has never been more urgent. In the U.S., HuffPost hasn’t let the Facebook feed changes deter it from growing niche communities.’ Another response is to plan more topic-specific newsletters.

From McKinsey. ‘Why Digital Strategies Fail’ – 1) Fuzzy definitions and, 2) Misunderstanding of the economics of digital. ‘Most digital strategies don’t reflect how digital is changing economic fundamentals, industry dynamics, or what it means to compete.’

‘Quantum computers are straight out of science fiction. Take the “traveling salesman problem,” where a salesperson has to visit a specific set of cities, each only once, and return to the first city by the most efficient route possible. As the number of cities increases, the problem becomes exponentially complex. It would take a laptop computer 1,000 years to compute the most efficient route between 22 cities, for example. A quantum computer could do this within minutes, possibly seconds.’ Imagine how much fun they could have with passwords and accessing databases.

‘The executive begins by taking the stage and working through a thick PowerPoint deck, each slide packed with the latest business buzzwords. As the minutes tick by, I see the audience slump back in their chairs.’ If we all hate jargon, why do we keep using it?

Nice piece from @mariapopova. ‘Aesthetic Consumerism and the Violence of Photography: What Susan Sontag teaches us about visual culture and the social web.’ ‘Needing to have reality confirmed and experience enhanced by photographs, is an aesthetic consumerism to which everyone is now addicted.’

From Adweek. ‘Why travel brands are particularly ripe for digital innovation.’ ‘The travel sector is already disrupting itself and disrupting itself again, because it has all the makings of things that are going on in the consumer markets right now, which is in the direct-to-consumer, service-based moment. Most of what is coming in the marketplace right now, are people trying to disintermediate as much as possible.’

Who Killed Time Inc.? ‘Time Inc. was especially vulnerable. It lived within a giant entertainment conglomerate, Time Warner, which always had other priorities. Its key decision makers, who had long track records of editorial achievement and business success, could not move beyond the old print paradigm. Its weeklies, bi-weeklies, and monthlies were ill-suited to the internet’s real-time, high-volume pace.’

This from The Economist’s look at the ‘Jihadist Women’s Magazine sector’ (Al-Qaeda chick-lit) : ‘How To Please Your Holy Warrior, make your house ‘a paradise on earth’ and other domestic tips’.

Creative Review’s perspective on the best ads from the SuperBowl.’ Humour replaced politics in this year’s Super Bowl commercial breaks, with the best ads of 2018 aiming to make us laugh rather than cry.’ You may have heard that the Philadelphia Eagles won the game, but based on this tweet, looks like it was UK ad agency Lucky Generals.

Finally, this short video is from a while back, but is still a rather sweet illustration of how strength can be drawn from unity. Originally an ad for a bus company, this is ‘It’s smarter to travel in groups.’ 

Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

4th Feb 2018

“Discussions of decentralisation may seem esoteric, but anyone interested in the future of cryptocurrency should try to follow along. Part of the vision sold by the technology’s biggest promoters is that it can help solve problems of financial inequality created in part by traditional, centralised institutions. If digital currency allows wealth and power to pool in the hands of a few, that’s not so revolutionary.’ This is the hidden power of Bitcoin and Ethereum.

From Digiday. The Facebook algorithm change that has publishers panicking may be good news for a certain group inside the industry: influencers and their followers. ‘As Facebook decides to favour content from friends and family over posts from (certain) publishers, agency buyers are telling clients to focus more on influencer content.’

‘In October of last year, Alphabet, announced it was taking its data-hoovering powers out of purely digital realm and into 3-D space. Sidewalk Labs, its urban innovation venture, officially launched a partnership with the city of Toronto, where it would experiment in improving—nay, optimising—city streets by observing and measuring how people live.’ This is how they are planning on creating the city of tomorrow.

‘In Automating Inequality, author Virginia Eubanks argues that the poor are the testing ground for new technology that increases inequality. The book, out this week, starts with a history of American poorhouses, which dotted the landscape starting in the 1660s and were around into the 20th century. From there, Eubanks catalogues how the poor have been treated over the last hundred years, before coming to today’s system of social services that increasingly relies on algorithms.’ Algorithms are making American inequality worse.

Podcast listeners may be the holy grail advertisers hoped they would be. ‘It’s likely that… high engagement rates and low levels of ad skipping will see a flood of new advertisers who have until now been reticent to enter the Wild West of podcasting‘.

Why you cannot quit Amazon Prime. ‘And this is how they get you. Maybe skipping my trip to the store was worth spending a few bucks more. But when it succeeds, Prime becomes a habit. And as with all habits, it’s worth asking yourself every once in a while whether keeping it is really in your best interest.’ Prime has mastered something much more valuable: the psychology of being a consumer in an era of too many choices.

From @econsultancy. Six of the best travel brands on YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest & LinkedIn. These are – Soho House, Booking.com, Lonely Planet, KLM, Delta Airlines and Aer Lingus.

From Aeon – ‘Local Links Run The World.’ ‘Networks in nature (for example ant colonies) show how, for the networks that we engineer and those that tie us to each other, the pattern of links at the local scale sets the options for stability and transformation. Almost everything that happens in life is the result of a network. Making, or breaking local links is the way to change.

Field of Vision. A short film made with footage of every reported concussion in the NFL this season. This is the film the NFL does not want you to see.

‘Vitaliy Raskalov overcame his fear of heights by scaling the world’s tallest buildings, ignoring any need for safety. But now that he’s reached the top of his game, the 24-year-old adventurer wonders if the real goal has been right in front of him all along.’ This clip shows the illegal ascent of The Central Park Tower, in New York. Climbing starts at around 1.27 in.

Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

26th January 2018

What makes a good TED Talk? This perspective from Helen Walters, TED’s Head of Curation – ‘The most important quality of a TED talk is that speakers come to the stage prepared to discuss a single idea worth sharing – not a body of work, not a few different ideas, definitely not some kind of self-serving shill. It’s one idea the audience can walk away with.’ And just in case you haven’t see it, here is my TED talk, from a couple of years back- How Street Wisdom Changed My Life.

From a review of Hit Makers, on thinkgrowth.org. ‘A book about what makes certain things “go viral”— a song, a painting, a story — may not seem, at first pass, to be a book about diversity. And yet it can’t avoid it. The science of what humans like, after all, is also a science of what we do not like. This is what the science of popularity reveals about the challenges of diversity.’

We now see smartphones as dangerous for young minds. Can Apple do something about it? This from The Monday Note – ‘There’s another, more important reason for Apple to take on tech addiction: because it would probably do an elegant job of addressing the problem.’‘I do think this is their time to step up,’ says Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google who now runs Time Well Spent, an organisation working to improve technology’s impact on society. ‘In fact,’ Mr. Harris added, ‘they may be our only hope.’

Nice piece from friend of The Filter – Brand Learning, on why brands should always tell the truth. ‘We believe that purpose should act as a guiding direction for a brand’s customer experience and also their employee experience. By using purpose as a guiding light for the entire end-to-end customer experience, a brand can achieve consistency which will stand up to scrutiny, an inevitability in our connected world.’

Interesting to see that this is having an impact. ‘With its emphasis on transparency, the jobs site Glassdoor aims to upend corporate power dynamics. Improving workplace culture, one review at a time.’

A compelling and powerful plea for pithiness. From BBH Labs – ‘Forget ‘Manifestos’, brand ads should be as short as possible.’ ‘I’ve got a few problems with brand ‘manifesto’ ads. With a couple of notable exceptions, they are just strategy set to a mood film. They over explain something that didn’t need explaining. They veer into topics unrelated to the product. They try too hard to be liked. Most off all, I hate that they are all long.’

Millennials are on their way out. By my reckoning, the first cohorts of Generation Z are 14, which means they are soon going to be the ones we will talk endlessly about. Probably a good idea to understand what makes them tick, and this report from Global Web Index, should help.

Sonic Logos have had a considerable impact across TV and Radio advertising, witness the Intel and McDonalds examples, both of which are instantly recognisable. With the rise of voice tech, this tactic will be going to another level entirely. ‘If music creates emotion, we see that brand favourability increases and brand consideration increases – metrics that really apply directly to ROI. When it comes to experiences, brands are realising that emotional connection is more important than ever.’

The BBC’s rather edgy new trailer for the upcoming Winter Olympics. ‘The Fearless Are Here’.

This is a properly wonderful new short film from directing duo ‘Us’ – ‘Cautionary Tales’. Make sure you watch the credits.

Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

20th January 2018

Really refreshing piece from the New York Times, via Storythings: Beyond The Bitcoin Bubble. ‘Despite there being a million articles written about Bitcoin every week, we still don’t totally get it. And then this came along and all of a sudden the fog lifted a little. If, like me, you kinda get it but don’t totally get it, then you really should bookmark this essay and give it a read when you have the time. It’s without doubt the best thing I’ve read on the subject.’

From Wired. ‘That mantra of connecting the world was thrown into sharp relief last week when the social network announced the most significant change to the algorithm that powers its News Feed to date. Zuckerberg wrote that the change was to stop posts from businesses, brands and media from “crowding out the personal moments”. The subtext to all this? News. Facebook never wanted to be a news organisation and is now attempting to make a hasty but calculated retreat. But could it all really be about China? 

Not great for the Ad Industry, this research from Kantar Millward Brown, suggests that we are really ‘down’ on advertising. ‘Three quarters of UK consumers believe they see more ads now than they did three years ago. Worsening this scenario, two thirds think ads are generally more intrusive than they used to be, an inevitable issue when brands experiment with big data and tracking.

Again from @Wired. ‘For most of modern history, the easiest way to block the spread of an idea was to keep it from being mechanically disseminated. Shutter the news­paper, pressure the broad­cast chief, install an official censor at the publishing house. Or, if push came to shove, hold a loaded gun to the announcer’s head. Things have changed – is this the (democracy-poisoning) golden age of free speech?

“I was able to launch it, fly it to the location, and drop the pod all in about one to two minutes,” A drone has rescued two people from rough seas off the coast of Australia.

By CNET and from C.E.S  – ‘Wall-sized TVs. Connected everything. Smart mirrors. Autonomous electric vehicles. The world’s thinnest laptop. This is everything that mattered at CES 2018.’

Nice observation on the state of the digital advertising market. ‘Ironically, it is the programmatic media buyers – those doyens of algorithms and efficiency – who have a math problem. They have been calculating the costs of cheap media without all of the figures. The real calculus of programmatic media buying not only must include presumed fraud, irrelevant targets and brand reputation. It must also add to the equation the growing tech tax when literally hundreds of billions of micropenny transactions ring up in the massive, virtual cash register that is the entire ad tech ecosystem. This is the high cost of low CPM’s.’

From Newsweek. Nice touch from @TourismZambia referencing Trump’s comments about “****hole” nations. Their Facebook page declares  ‘Visit ****hole Zambia . Where the only stars and stripes you’ll have to see are in the sky and on a zebra’.

This has been out a few weeks, but I love this HSBC Ad. It really speaks for (some of) the United Kingdom and the current socio-political zeitgeist. ‘At HSBC UK, we believe that no man, or woman, is an island. The people, communities and businesses of the UK all thrive more when they’re connected to something bigger. Very Well Said. #globalcitizen

And finally, Amazon has kindly released an Echo for the older generation. This infomercial brought to us by Saturday Night Live…

Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

13th January 2018

‘There is a famous story about the great 19th-century statesman Gladstone on the campaign trail. During one of his trademark three-hour speeches, a little girl posed a question to her mother. “Mummy,” she supposedly asked, “what is that man for?” Since Twitter appeared in July 2006, people have asked the same question about it. Now we know the answer. This is how Trump helped Twitter find its true purpose.

Great chart from @BenedictEvans who tweeted this graphic showing how technology is connecting all of humanity. With reference to this graphic, a nice observation from @neilperkin – ‘whilst mobile will still grow, we seem to be approaching the top of the S-curve, indicating that the next period will be about shifting to the next technology S-curve (take your pick from AI/ML, voice assistants, AR).’

A summary of the recent CMO Insight Summit in Frankfurt from (friend of the Filter) @BrilliantNoise. The key themes are Content, Collaboration and Commerce.

How Amazon is aiming to use Alexa, to energise its digital advertising business. ‘Some of the early discussions have centred on whether companies would pay for higher placement if a user searches for a product, such as shampoo, on the device, similar to how paid searches work in Google.’

From @Adweek. What 3 Marijuana heavyweights are doing to become the P&G of Pot.

From The Daily Beast – ‘Facebook and Google’s Dirty Secret’ : They’re Really Junk Mail Empires. ‘While industry insiders and major media companies have started to see through the shiny “we’re-a-free-service” veneer of these tech giants, consumer awareness and regulatory threats are just beginning to catch up. This means that Google and Facebook may no longer be able to default to requiring consumers to allow web-wide monitoring and selling of their personal activities, as a condition of using…their social networks.’

Marketing Week, sees brands shifting from efficiency to effectiveness. ‘As brands dedicate more resource to marketing effectiveness they are looking to shift strategy, to instil a learning culture rather than wield a stick’.

Too much TV to watch? Struggling to find something you will like amongst all the options and recommendations? The solution to the problem,  unsurprisingly, is Artificial Intelligence.’AI can help consumers find more content to fit their taste. AI can assist in content curation by organising content by themes. It can also use consumer insights to classify and target consumer segments to test recommendations.

Interesting video piece from Nike China. It shows how Nike are attempting to appeal to this massive, developing market and, as this region is still a nascent opportunity for Nike, they are using a very direct exposition of their brand positioning; an approach last used in the Occident, many years ago.

Love this piece from The Economist on how technology ruins storytelling. Have you ever noticed how connected devices are curiously missing from otherwise contemporary stories? This could be why – ‘Film remakes that should stay on the storyboard; when modernity mucks things up.’


Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

22nd Dec 2017

From @wired. ‘The Internet Is Broken’. ‘So: what if we could start again? Would we really recreate the internet of today – or could we build something… better? Perhaps what we need is a coalition of technologists, scientists and politicians to redefine the internet’s ideals. Every founding document needs amendments. This will be a fractious partnership. What is the internet, really? A network blind to itself and exponentially growing in complexity. It may be too quick to grasp; a giant squid slipping through our fingers.’

Not the most ‘sexy’ of channels, but this research from Smart Insightsidentifies email as the most effective digital media channel; followed by Social, SEO and Social PPC.

Creative Review’s Ads Of The Year. Some of the brands featured include – IKEA, Heinz, Burger King, Nike, Santander and Gucci.

It’s Christmas and therefore time for the deluge of trend reports. This summary from Forbes, removes some of the legwork by ranking some of the contenders. According to this ranking, the best report is from the Foresight Factory and the worst is from JWT.

NESTA does not appear on the above list, but their predictions are always worth a look. Areas included are – the green internet, drones, smart machines, emotional surveillance and robot art. And, as they are always up for open discussion and scrutiny, here are their predictions for 2017 and how they are coming along.

Interesting piece on how similar language is used within organisations and how use of specific words, can be part of the process to create a desired company culture. 

This short video is spellbinding, with a chilling twist at the end. ‘An animator who fled Iran has made this two-and-a-half minute film for a refugee charity that helped him start forging a life in the UK.

This piece is from a while back, but love the proposition, and the delightful accompanying video of two men, who set out to walk every street in the five boroughs of New York City.

Perhaps one to consider over the holidays… ‘We are on the verge of total work’s realisation. Each day I speak with people for whom work has come to control their lives, making their world into a task, their thoughts an unspoken burden… If work dominated your every moment would life be worth living?’

This may be a tad sentimental for some, but other are calling this the best ad of this Christmas. From the BBC, a story that ‘illustrates the joy of a shared moment’ – The Supporting Act.

With the last newsletter of 2017, I’d like to thank all our subscribers for reading across the year. Wishing you all a wonderful festive break and the best for the New Year. See you again in 2018!