Five things on Friday #329

Things of note for Friday May 6th, 2022.

INTRO

Hello hello x.

It’s the end of week one, month three in the new job. And it’s been hectic* (more, much more, on that later). I hope you’ve been keeping well.

It’s Thursday as I write to you. I’m home from seeing DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS and, without giving away anything all I will say is: I didn’t realise how much I’d missed Sam Raimi.

I’m hopeful for a subdued FTOF this week. The past handful of editions have slipped into the ranty space and frankly, this is not why I started (keeping weekly notes in my moleskine that became a blog which then became) my newsletter.

So let’s see open the FTOF dot txt file and see what happens.

My name is James Whatley, and welcome to Five things on Friday #329.

It’s ok, you haven’t missed much.

Shall we?


1. WHY NOT LET’S KICK OFF WITH SOME DECENT MUSIC

One of the handful of reliable sources of new music I follow is this semi-regular list from Jodie Bryant.

Some proper bangers on this month’s.

I think so at least.

Do you?


2. WORLD’S BEST FPV DRONE SHOT?

Love me some quality drone footage. And guess what: I’ve got some for you right here. See that? That down there?

That’s a drone that is.

And what’s happening with that drone is this: an FPV drone pilot is doing a follow shot of professional mountain biker Tomas Slavik racing the Red Bull Valparaiso Cerro Abajo last in April 2022.

There’s an 11 minutes video from Red Bull (who else?) that sits behind it and while you could skip straight to 8:14 and watch the one continuous shot from there, I would recommend you watch the whole thing.

It’s ace.

Zoom zoom!


3. THIS WEEK IN GAMES

From a personal perspective, I can’t tell you anything much else outside of ELDEN RING. ELDEN RING IS LIFE. I’m playing far too much and to be frank, you’re lucky you’re even getting a newsletter at the moment, given the pull of the PlayStation behind me… and yet… here we are.

To the (games) things!

First, let’s talk about brands.

Beano Brain, the insights team behind Beano Studios (yes, that Beano), released this top ten chart from their top 50 of the coolest brands for kids and teens (UK data):

Image

Every single brand on this first list is either a game or doing something with games in some way, shape, or form.

That’s even before you get to the clear winners of the games category in Minecraft, Roblox, Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox.

That’s Gen Alpha. What about Gen Z?

Adage and The Harris Poll have got you. And this one’s really interesting.

Here are the top five Gen Z brands by brand equity growth (almost certainly all US data)”

Yeah, that’s right. ELECTRONIC ARTS is up there with Old Spice, Urban Decay, Square, and Whirlpool.

From Adage:

[A]nalysts attributed EA’s plans to rebrand its popular FIFA game and end a long-standing relationship with the soccer organization, and its announcement of a mobile version of its battle royale game Apex Legends. The brand worked with video game influencers in late 2021 such as Twitch host KarimCheese, who made a video sponsored by the brand showing him teaching his grandmother video game lingo. Electronic Arts also collaborated with the NFL to create a virtual celebration for the Pro Bowl. It also launched a network of creators in late 2021, which gives YouTubers, bloggers and others the chance to collaborate and attend the brand’s events.

While I highly doubt the brand’s reported choice to move forward without its FIFA partnership has created that much cut-through, I do believe that EA’s other brand-based efforts, detailed above, have helped it rebuild itself into something that can once again be loved by players – and beyond.

Gaming brands, eh? Turns out they’re important.

And now for some bullet news:


4. THIS WEEK IN JAMES

See what I did there?

No Metaverse moans in slot number four this week (not directly, at least – honestly it’s just punching downwards at this point). No no. Instead this week I thought I’d gather up all the other stuff I’ve been doing since we last spoke.

Instead, because I’ve not been writing Five things on Friday for a few weeks, it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped writing anything. It means the writing, and occasional speaking for that matter (or in some cases simply turning up), has been elsewhere.

Here’s a list of that stuff, if you’re at all in any way interested in that 🙂

And finally, in what has turned out to be a rather hideous self-serving section, something else that I got up to recently – and is in line with the themes we’ve been discussing in these pages over the past couple of editions, is the Playable Futures WASD panel about leadership.

Wasd1

We finally got our hands on a copy of the video from the panel that day and you can watch it all right here.

Personally, I’m really happy with how this turned out. I was only two months into the job at this point (EEK!) but thanks to some fantastic prep from our head of comms + PR (big up Emily Britt) and some inspiration from panel-hostess-with-the-mostest, Nicola Kemp, we had a really great conversation.

Covering everything from the games industry talent crisis, the gender pay gap, mental health awareness vs crunch, DE&I, and ultimately, what it means to be a leader in games in 2022 and beyond.

*Like I said: it’s been hectic.


5. THE EMPTY DAY

“The day after a mental health moment or psychiatric experience always leaves a void. I call it The Empty Day.”

Adam Libonatti-Roche on incredible, visceral form.

Ahead of Mental Health Awareness week (or as some people call it ‘Annual Yoga on the roof week’, please read this.

It’s important.


BONUS SECTION

THIS IS THE BONUS SECTION. BONUS LINKS THAT BUMP US OVER FIVE THINGS BUT DUE TO TIMING AND SELF-IMPOSED WRITING RESTRICTIONS ARE LIMITED TO PITHY COMMENTARY ONLY (IF THAT).

ENJOY.


YOU ARE REACHING THE END OF THE NEWSLETTER. HAPPY?

It’s been nice to [put the PlayStation controller down in my spare time and] do some newsletter writing again.

As ever, I’m always interested in what you’re up to. One of my favourite questions to ask new people I meet is always ‘What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?’ – it switches people on straight away and there’s nothing I love more than people being passionate about something they care about.

So.

What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?

Whatley out x

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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