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1. HACKING PARIS FASHION WEEK
This is phenomenal work.
Oobah Butler blagged his way into Paris Fashion Week – with an inspired ‘disguise’ and the swagger to match.
“We enter a beautiful 17th century Parisian flat – the kind of place that looks bare without a thick cloud of cigarette smoke. An older South-East Asian gentleman and a younger lady, both in full Prada suits, study catalogues. Two 6ft models are there to try on anything we want to see them in. I have no idea what I’m doing.”
“People look confused, and it dawns on me that I’ve fallen into the only task more impossible than convincing fashion people I’m a fashion designer: trying to convince Italians that I – man with a head made of ham, voice-box forged on the outskirts of Birmingham – am Italian.”
“I arrive at the address and an older lady with a slender face and dusty long blonde hair meets me. “Georgio!” We kiss both cheeks. With her black netted dress and white tights, she looks like an illustration from a Pink Panther book.”
All of it is ROCK SOLID gold.
And the best of all, the pay off is absolutely brilliant.
2. THIS WEEK, IN PUNCH-YOURSELF-IN-THE-FACE HEADLINES
I hope you’re not eating anything when you read what comes next.
Did you see it? I mean. Really? Did you actually see it? I’mma put it in again, just in case you missed it.
In one headline, here is everything that is wrong with the direction the [advertising] industry is heading.
What the juddering fire truck is ‘a new scripted branded content series that aims for authenticity’ when it’s at home?
Don’t worry, I clicked through on the story (so you didn’t have to). Apparently, a ‘new scripted branded content series that aims for authenticity’ is a really ugly and verbose way of saying ‘We’re making a show for YouTube’. The authenticity part? That comes from [paid] influencers appearing in the show.
First off: I mean, if Wal-Mart Canada (and its respective agencies) have uncovered a genuine insight that has led them to this creative proposition then FAIR PLAY to them. I hope the series is a huge success. Truly. Stuff like this is rarely done right and, if it is, it could do well for them.
But that’s not the point.
WHY THE LIVING HELL IS IT BEING REPORTED IN THIS AWFUL THICK LANGUAGE THAT MAKES IT ALL SOUNDS RIDICULOUS AND UNNECESSARY?
Maybe I’m missing something. Maybe the ad industry got together and decided that the only way to communicate what we do is to make it sound as ridiculous and complicated as possible.
But that’s not the ad industry I’m trying to work in – nor make around me.
‘Scripted branded content series’ – honestly.
3. ‘I AM ONE OF THE STRONGEST PEOPLE I KNOW’
Is one of the best things I’ve read this week. If not the best.
Good work, Cathy.
Looking forward to finally/eventually meeting you.
4. THE ART OF AVOIDING A-HOLES
I’m avoiding typing out anything from this (pretty great) interview as I fear it may hit some of your profanity filters (those of you that get this to your work address) but how’s this for a strategy for avoiding a-holes?
If you have an a-hole in your life (or if you know someone that does) then read this interview.
It might help.
5. NOT ALL BRANDS NEED ‘A PURPOSE’
This is a solid argument from Neil Simpson, associate planning director DDB New York – talking down the trend of ‘brand purpose’ when it gets in the way of the business of SELLING STUFF.
This segment particularly shines:
“The story usually starts from the premise that today’s consumer has somehow ‘evolved’ to consumeIn
brands in a radically different way from their parents. They have become ‘post-commercial,’ attracted to meaningful, symbolic, and purpose-driven products.thisworld brands have gone from functional signifiers of quality, to philosophical/mythical concepts that help consumers self-actualize. A recent HBR piece noted consumers ‘increasingly expect brands to have not just functional benefits but a social purpose.’
There’s often a diagram from Simon Sinek.”
Ha. I buy a lot of what is being said here. However I also think that, for a particular kind of consumer, self-virtue-signalling may also play a part in some of the ‘purposeful’ purchase decisions. To whit, consumer A feels just that tiny little bit better about themselves because they’ve chosen Brand X over Brand Y because they read something about Brand X doing something good for charity at the weekend. There’s a kind of woolly science that bears further exploration/discussion.
Still, good rant Mr Simpson.
Not many this week – I haven’t had much chance to catch up on ALL THE INTERNET you see. But still, quality not quantity – right?
- Wanna be Twitter’s new global head of social? Must love emojis.
- Some/many of you know I have a penchant for my PS4. My current game of choice? Destiny 2. Here’s a neat little video that demonstrates the way the game changes depending on whether or not it recognises you from Destiny 1. Really nicely done.
- Google is really good at design.
- One of the crazier ledes I’ve read this week.
- Pacific Rim’s sequel has got itself a trailer.
- I think I’ve posted this before but now I’m [soon going to be] a Pixel 2 owner, this is more pressing – USB-C is not all it’s cracked up to be.
- There’s a new Assassin’s Creed coming out. It’s set in Egypt. Brilliantly, Ubisoft has built a ‘Discovery Tour’ mode into it. Nice!
- Everything you know about the female character you’re falling in love with written by a man.
- I love this ode to the Motorola phone featured in MICHEAL CLAYTON – spoiler alert: if you’ve not seen it, this post contains a huge spoiler about the end. Furthermore, if you’ve not seen MICHAEL CLAYTON – fix that! At once! Like, THIS WEEKEND! It’s SO SO SO GOOD!
- This is a really interesting snapshot of how an incoming community tries to integrate with an existing one – in my hometown too. Fascinating – and well-reported too. Good job.
- Oh Twitter, when will you get anything right?
- What men aren’t taught about periods.
- FOX (they of X-Men movie fame) is bringing out a new X-Universe film. This time it’s called ‘NEW MUTANTS’ and it ain’t your standard x-movie.
- ‘What do you do when you need to laugh, James? Oh, I head straight to Brown Cardigan and don’t stop scrolling until my eyes are streaming with laughter and I can’t take anymore’ (some content NSFW – you have been warned)
- Here’s your quarterly reminder to remove ‘just’ from every email you write.
- LOVE WILL SAVE THE DAY is the best music newsletter you’re not subscribed to (yet).
And with that, my flight has just been gated and I need to close my laptop and head northwards. To Stockholm!
See you on the other side x