Five things on Friday #309

Things of note for the week ending Friday 31st January, 2020.

Newsletter #309: Introduction


Hello and welcome to Five things on Friday #309.

A big hello to the new subscribers that have arrived this past seven days – a fair amount of you arriving via this lovely thread of strategy newsletter recommendations kicking off (and at least two of you recommending mine).

So thank you for that. You’re all lovely.

What can I tell you?

Here’s a silly thing: as it’s been so sodding cold of late, I have taken to wearing two pairs of socks to work. It has been three or four weeks now and I can tell you: IT IS A REVELATION. Being like, a totally super unique adland person, and like, y’know, being such an individual that I wear low-top white Chuck Taylors every day …MY FEET HAVE BEEN COLD. So this is hella useful. Try it. If you learn nothing today, at least you have something new to try on Monday (cue 15 of you hitting the reply button to tell me that it’s obvious and I’m late to the party but whatever etc).

Here’s another pre-thing thing:

This week we, Digitas, launched our experience consulting arm at a very fancy morning at the Soho Hotel. The magic of Digitas is the sheer breadth and depth of multiple skillsets we have in the building and listening to our experts talk about this new offering was as inspiring as it was exciting. Valeria Corna, experience consultant at Digitas, wrote this piece for WARC to explain further (and you should read it).

And I think that’s it for intro.


Let’s head…

TO THE THINGS.

1. THE NUMBER ONE THING

I like to put a good thing in at number one. The hook. The thing that convinces you to keep reading for the rest of the newsletter.

This week I had nothing. Nothing. Nothing that I deemed worthy enough to be number one in FToF. So bad was the situation that I even considered writing the whole thing off until next week.

But I didn’t do that.

No, I tweeted the question instead.

And this was the best answer BY FAR.

Want more? Go swimming in the replies.

2. SEVEN REASONS WHY VIDEO GAMING WILL TAKE OVER

This is excellent.

Published at the start of the month (I’ve only just got around to finishing it) and it is worth your attention.

There are three things that are of note here.

First thing, Matthew Ball is good reading. Read more of him. Challenge, critique, let it percolate. Etc.

Second thing, I have a whole other rant that I’m probably saving for a separate piece/article/whatever but the main thrust is ‘GAMING’ as a genre is only just barely hitting its stride as marketers and advertisers begin to look under the hood of the umbrella term of ‘gamer’. GAMER is such a blanket catch-all term you may as well use something godawful as ‘millennial’.

Underneath ‘gamer’ are so many sub-genres of sub-genres, tribes and sub-tribes, made up of platforms, games, clans, and so so so much more – and that’s before you get to demographic data that sits underneath THAT. So to say ‘I want to market to gamers’ is to say something as crass as ‘my target market is millennials’. CRASS.

Third thing, Fortnite is mentioned in this article 16 times. Earlier this week Microsoft announced its Xbox division had had an 11% dip in earnings from ‘content and services’ for Q2 and put a portion of that blame firmly at the door of Fortnite. Fascinating.

And do please, read the article.

3. THIS WEEK AT FACEBOOK

Yes, that’s right. We are back with THIS WEEK AT being about big blue. You know big blue? The one with the really useful platforms but questionable company practices. Yes that’s the one.

Shall we? Let’s.

TWAF #1. SHOCK SHOCK HORROR HORROR SHOCK SHOCK HORROR

First up this absolute bombshell (insert your personal choice of sarcasm emoji here) that FACEBOOK’s (in all caps when you mean the company, Facebook when you mean the app – thanks, the FToF Style Guide) new oversight committee – put in place to provide oversight of content decisions and be ‘an independent authority outside of Facebook‘ – actually has no power whatsoever.

Facebook’s rules for new oversight board leave the company firmly in control – CNBC.

As Damien Collins MP put it so eloquently way back in September (via the always fantastic Social Media Geek Out podcast – specifically this episode):

“This is a body created by Facebook, paid for by Facebook, recruited for by Facebook… to sit in judgement on Facebook’

Quelle surprise. When will any government legislate? Good job there are no major political issues in the western world to help slay this dragon – AMIRITE?

NEXT

TWAF #2. VISIBILITY!

Big news: Facebook now lets you see the connections made when you are NOT on Facebook. If you are logged into Facebook RIGHT NOW then you all need to do is click this thing right here and you too will be able to see who is tracking/sharing data about your movements online.

But.. this leads us quite nice to…

TWAF #3. LOL, WHUT.

AS IF THIS ACTUALLY MEANS ANYTHING!

As Gizmodo wrote is this [with this amazing headline]: It means nothing! Your data will always stay inside Facebook AND if you continue using the services that you sever, those connections will just reestablish themselves within seconds. So, as someone so eloquently put it in the office recently. these announcements for me, on both counts, are quite literally: all fart and no poo.

Got kids? Keep ’em away from Facebook. All of it.

Yes, I am currently booking speaking engagements.

4. THE STRATEGIC CASE FOR DIVERSITY

I mean, it seems obvious but…

In a week where we saw eMarketer publish its UK Key Digital Trends asking only 21 number of mostly white men for their opinions (for the record, eMarketer got called out on this – a lot – and the editor subsequently apologised then proceeded to blame everyone else for it – stunning really (scroll down to Jonathan Teitloff’s response to see what I mean… and then re read the whole thing. I guess there’s only one key point: if apologising, like ever, REALLY REALLY try NOT to say the word ‘BUT’. Ever. It really helps) JP Hanson writes and argues (BLERGH – why is it even an argument!) that diversity is actually a strategic advantage.

You know… In case you needed a business reason to be a better human.

5. COOKING WITH PARIS

I made Paris Hilton’s lasagne and it tasted like a shoe‘ is the best line I’ve read this week. Enjoy.

BONUS LINKS. YOU WANT EM? I GOT EM.

It’s late.
I have links.
You have eyes.
I sound like an Oatly ad.
Let’s to this.

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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