Things of note for the week ending Sunday January 29th, 2017.
I return to this newsletter draft as the US is at the brink of a constitutional crisis. The American Civil Liberties Union (who?) seems to be front and centre of the legal battle with the new President and, if you’re wondering what you can do to help your fellow humans (outside of retweeting a bunch of stuff, sharing videos on Facebook and very occasionally signing a petition that could make a difference) then you can donate to the ACLU here.
Back to the draft…
A few things to cover off this week. A quick one for those of you that follow my podcast shenanigans. Stefan and I have put the show on hiatus for a little while due to both LIFE and general lack of interest in the mobile news at the moment. Yes Mobile World Congress is right around the corner but there are far more interesting / pressing things to discuss than whether or not device X carries a Snapdragon 835 or an 830.
Anyway, if you’re an occasional listener or if you’ve ever listened, you can give our potentially final episode of the show right here (there are iTunes links and stuff at the link). Thanks for all the cookies.
Shall we crack on with THE THINGS?
Thing 1: THE ANGEL OF KNIVES
I thought this, found via Buzzfeed News, was incredible. The sculpture above, a 27-foot high angel, is made from the 100,000 knives that have been handed in or collected by 41 different police forces across the UK.
The article moots the idea of it appearing on the 4th plinth at Trafalgar.
That would be immense.
Thing 2: GET OUT THERE
Last year, in the face of Brexit, the nation woke up to a divided Britain (to date, nothing beats Andrew Marr’s 3min analysis from that same week – if you haven’t watched it, you should). As we know, London especially felt the brunt of this division. How did we not see it coming? Are we living in a bubble of our making? Do we even know any of the UK outside of the M25? Those Londoners that voted to remain in the EU asked these questions of themselves and many probably still do. But, when the way you make a living relies on your very ability to understand your audience, those questions matter just that little bit more.
This additional weight in the concern drove the Ogilvy & Mather London Planning dept to kick off a project called ‘GET OUT THERE‘ – a mission to get out of London and getaway from the all-too-easy habit of desktop brief writing. The ‘Google Planner’ is not the ad industry is or should be proud of and O&M has a mission to get rid of it completely.
The launch caused some decent debate too.
Thing 3: TERENCE AND THE MULBERRY TREE
We’re not even out of the first month of 2017 and I’m already linking to the blog of Mr Terence Eden. Regular readers know that I’m a fan of his brilliance and this piece, by Mr Eden, is no exception.
‘Welcome to my mulberry-induced madness’
Terence saw the above sign and he wanted to know what it meant.
Thing 4: INSIDE INSTAGRAM
Toward the tail end of 2015, Kevin Systrom, the CEO of Instagram, came to a realization: The photo-sharing app he had founded five years earlier was straying too far from its roots.
Instagram was growing, yes, and finally generating some serious ad dollars â€” which Facebook had been waiting for since it bought the company for $1 billion back in 2012.
But its user base was also growing, and it wasnâ€™t all good growth: Instagram feeds that were once dominated by photos from friends and family members were becoming more impersonal.
As well as providing some decent quote fodder for that part-time Tumblr I look after, this in-depth look into Instagram’s journey from hip-filter-fun to Snapchat-feature-stealer from Recode makes for insightful reading.
Worth your time, I’d say.
Thing 5: WHY DID BUZZFEED PUBLISH THE DOSSIER?
The editor-in-chief at Buzzfeed, Ben Smith, writing in the New York Times, outlines the two key reasons why it decided to publish the dossier that many others did not.
I don’t know where you stand/stood on the above action. Or even if you had an opinion at all. Still. It’s a good read. Both as a glimpse behind the BF curtain but also at the future of news and media itself.
Thing 6: HESITANT EVIL
There’s a series of zombie games called Resident Evil. The latest release in the series (not the seventh but called), Resident Evil VII, came out this week and one of the unique things about it is that it is PSVR compatible.
My friend Matt, like me, hates scary games.
My friend Matt, unlike me, has decided to play RE7 in PSVR and upload the footage.
Go have a giggle.
Thing 7: THE GETAWAY CAR
I’m going to end this newsletter by asking you the same question I asked on Twitter about it:
It’s a great ad but:
Could any brand have made it?
The replies to the above tweet are worth a read also.
No bonuses this week.
It’s late. And I’m tired.
Until next week.
Whatley out x