Five things on Friday #290

Things of note for the week ending Saturday March 30th, 2019. 


Hello, sunshine! ️️️

Spring has sprung, the sun has come out and, political climate aside, there is a definite lift in the step and feeling of all and sundry. 

I hope you’ve had a productive week. I know I have. One of those weeks where you kind of have to pinch yourself a little bit and realise where you are, what you’re doing, and what kind of brains you’re working with. Honestly, if you’d told me six weeks ago the kinds of meetings I’d be having this week, I would not have believed you (in the best of ways). 

So yeah, the new job is working out great, thanks 🕺️

What else can I tell you?

Oh yeah. Quite a few hit the reply button last week and the wealth, variety, and just sheer brilliance of those responses never cease to amaze me (if I owe you a reply, expect it after this week’s arrives). 

Maybe this week will be your week. 

So yeah, before we move on: How are you doing?

You have a think about that question and I’ll go ahead and get the things written down. Yeah? Yeah. 

Let’s do this. 


“If, on a certain evening about sixty-­six million years ago, you had stood somewhere in North America and looked up at the sky, you would have soon made out what appeared to be a star. If you watched for an hour or two, the star would have seemed to grow in brightness, although it barely moved. That’s because it was not a star but an asteroid, and it was headed directly for Earth at about forty-five thousand miles an hour. Sixty hours later, the asteroid hit. The air in front was compressed and violently heated, and it blasted a hole through the atmosphere, generating a supersonic shock wave. The asteroid struck a shallow sea where the Yucatán peninsula is today. In that moment, the Cretaceous period ended and the Paleogene period began.”

This paragraph (and photo) are taken from the opening of a fascinating article brought to you via The New Yorker and it details the background, story, and controversy surrounding a young paleontologist’s discovery of the most significant event in Earth’s history. 

It’s a long-ish read but if that opener has you, be warned – the whole thing does not let up from start to finish. 

Go read it – and enjoy


At some point in March, Apple put this out into the world (if you hit the image, the video should open).  

And I find utterly fascinating. 

A few things. 

First off, it’s a neat 45s ad. 

Second, from a practical/sweat-those-assets perspective, being made up of such tiny little chunks and edits, this is easy to turn into other, smaller edits (for pre-roll, social, 15s TV etc. (this part isn’t fascinating, just an observation)). 

Third, it’s crazy to me that this is the kind of world we live in now. Where one tech giant’s company’s advertising is specifically anti another tech giant’s business model. 

Fourth. It’s been five years since ‘the big Apple celebrity data leak‘ and while it was proven that Apple was not specifically at fault, I wonder how much collective memory is held in the public consciousness regarding the clash of these two points. 

Fifth. This is clearly aimed at both Facebook and Google. Will they respond? Google might. Facebook? Probably not. It can’t even keep its founder’s data safe


aka ‘pitch insanity’

Dave Dye gives a warts and all insight into the gargantuan effort to try and win a pitch for Innocent drinks.

Sometimes they say there is a method in the madness. Reading this you realise that the madness is in the method. 

If you work in the industry, then this is a must read. 
If you don’t work in the industry and you have the time, this post gives a phenomenal look at what it can be like sometimes. Fortunately for all of us not all of the time. But I think there is something in this that anyone working in advertising can and will recognise… 

Read it.

As a side note, this reminds me of a pitch for Netflix I was once involved in. Easily the worst pitch I’ve ever had the misfortune to work on; three rounds in, an indecisive client, conflicting feedback after each round — everyone lost their summer.

Later that year, in autumn, playing pool with a mate from a competitor, turns out they pitched as well. And yeah, they had had a rough time of it as well. 

No one won.

Everyone hated it.

And guess what? The work was never awarded.

They ran the global stuff instead (I think it was the Gervais ads). Anyway. It happens. Hopefully, thankfully, afaik, only a few times in a lifetime but still. Look out for them… 


It doesn’t matter if you are or are not living in the UK. The next question still applies:

Do you have any idea what’s going on day-to-day on the UK/EU front (I hate the B word)?

It’s OK, the majority of you will either say ‘No’ or ‘I did but I really can’t be bothered anymore’ or simple ‘Yes but when will it all end?!’

Then I can recommend you follow one person and that person is Ian Dunt.

Ardently following the day’s proceedings with ongoing Twitter commentary punctuated by a decent write up every couple of days or so his Twitter feed is the first place I go to every day when I want to know what’s going on with parliament vs government (which is pretty much where we’re at on this by now).

Been in meetings all day and need to catch up? Go read Dunt’s feed.

Big parliamentary vote on? Go read Dunt’s feed.

Some big EU news story/development? Go read Dunt’s feed.

You can read it as one constant viewpoint on an ever-changing sea of uncertainty or simply see it as reading one man’s slow descent into madness as he tries to keep on top of the inept collective of buffoons that are attempting to run the country. Either way, he is a must follow


A super smart friend (and FToF reader/ playlist-co-author/collaborator), sent me this utterly gorgeous short 3min film about The Moon.

It moved me. 

It might move you too.

(Thank you, Sarah) 


The Essentials are the weekly links to the #MeToo movement. Any article. Any press. Any story. Any white male firing. If it happens, it’s here. The big one this week is Mexico’s creative and media industries kicking back hard -at last. For those of you with an NYT subscription (of if you’ve not hit your monthly hit) this piece is also a good write up. The other one to read this week is this one: ‘the time they didn’t get away with it’. Final final thing: listen out




Congratulations on reaching the end of the newsletter!

It’s 11:01 on Saturday morning, the kids are going crazy and I need to get out into the garden. I’m taking the Mrs to a spa for Mother’s Day tomorrow and not planning on being back online until the middle of next week. 

I can’t wait. 

I hope you have a glorious weekend, my friend. Thank you so much for reading, subscribing, and hopefully enjoying. 

Until next time, 

Whatley out. 

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Author: James Whatley

Chief Strategy Officer in adland. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x