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Five things on Friday #270

Things of note for the week ending Saturday, October 6th, 2018.

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Did you know, if you SUBSCRIBE to the Five things on Friday newsletter, you are 100% guaranteed to get MORE STUFF (eg: a proper intro and probably some more gifs) than reading it here on whatleydude.com.

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TO THE THINGS!
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1. ALEXA-ENABLED HOMES

Here’s a thing: about ten days ago, it was announced that Amazon – specifically Amazon’s Alexa Fund – had invested in a Californian home design and prefab housing company, Plant Prefab.

THIS IS REALLY INTERESTING (h/t Caroline). 

I’ve long held the belief that home assistants won’t truly be ‘here’ until they come embedded in the home. Literally. Smart speakers are great – as are the myriad of products and services they plug in to – but until all those different touchpoints are completely in sync, eg: baked into the very walls of your home, then ultimately you’re just buying tech after tech after tech in the hope that it will eventually marry all together on its own. 

Amazon making this kind of move (and I fully expect Google to start looking at something similar in the near future; (see Google Fiber for early attempts in a similar space)) marks a move that is probably well overdue but completely in-line the the Bezos strategy for consumerism in the future. Alexa everywhere. Plugged into your door, your fridge, your home, and even your damn microwave*.

Most tech takes, on average 20-30yrs before it becomes completely embedded in the modern world. Smart-homes are no different. If anything, it may well be longer – given the size of the purchase. One thing is for certain, your children’s children will be buying these. I just hope they manage to avoid the nightmare as visualised from the opener of Season 2 of Mr Robot (4mins 24seconds – this is brilliant).

As I said, it’s really interesting and very much a sign of things to come. 

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*Did you see the Alexa Microwave? It’s actually a thing. I may have linked to it a week or so ago. And somthing has been bugging me about it since:  I don’t get it. I still don’t get it. It’s been a few weeks since they announced it and I’ve been thinking about Voice a lot of late and I STILL DON’T GET IT. Obvious accessibility benefits aside, IF YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE MICROWAVE TO PUT THE FOOD IN, YOU MAY AS WELL PUSH THE BUTTON ONCE/TWICE WHICH IS INFINITELY FASTER THAN SAYING ‘ALEXA, PLEASE TURN ON THE MICROWAVE FOR 3MINS’. I don’t get it. That is all. BLERGH. 

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2. NEW HELLBOY MOVIE? YES PLEASE. 

I’m just here for the poster. 

‘LEGENDARY AF’

Amazing. 
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3. I AM LATE TO THE KILLING EVE PARTY BUT I DON’T CARE

You’re one of three people reading this.

1. ‘James, where the HELL have you BEEN? Killing Eve has been out for AGES and I can’t believe you’ve taken SO LONG to get involved! Welcome! Isn’t it FANTASTIC?’

or

2. ‘UGH. JAMES! Another person telling me to watch this show! It’s on ‘the list’, OK? I just haven’t got around to watching it yet and hey, you know what, on your insistence, maybe I’ll start it tonight.’

or

3. ‘Er, WTF is Killing Eve?’

People 1. I know, I know. I should’ve gotten to it earlier.

People 2. DO IT. 

People 3. Read on! 

I’m a huge Pheobe Waller-Bridge fan ever since I saw her in SIXTY-SIX BOOKS way back in 2011. I then saw her again in 2013 when FLEABAG was a one-woman show at the Edinburgh Fringe (show 18 in that list). AND THEN AGAIN when FLEABAG become a killer BBC comedy (not seen that either? watch it). PWB wrote KILLING EVE and it shows. It is phenomenally good. Psychopath killer kills people. MI5 agent spots a pattern. Cat and mouse – AND BLACKEST BLACK OF ALL BLACK HUMOUR – ensues. 

Watch it with your eyes. 

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4. SOME UNPUBLISHED WRITING, PART ONE (OF MAYBE TWO BUT DEFINITELY NOT THREE)

Over the past couple of months, I’ve written responses to three separate writing/commentary briefs. One is definitely being published (next week, and I’ll yell about it here), two is currently in the ether (it might get used, it might not), and three… well about 10% of the Q&A got used.

I liked that other 90%, so I thought I’d reproduce the whole thing here because why not. 

The topic: Esports + Brands

Why is gaming set to be the new vanguard of sports sponsorship and brand experience?
There are two main drivers. First, and most obviously, there’s the explosion of eSports as a multi-million-dollar industry – globally. With an audience of over 300m players/viewers worldwide, and projected revenue for 2018 expected to hit close to a billion dollars – it is inarguable that eSports has arrived.
The second and probably the most important part of the equation is that game developers are now opening themselves to brand partnerships. It’s been a long time coming, first with in-game advertising in racing games for example, and now – with the advent of micro-transactions – in-game purchases are another way for companies to get their brands in front of the avid gamers of today.

 
What benefits are there of combining the gaming sector with live events / as well as virtual event experiences?
For the gaming sector, live events, virtual or otherwise, are its lifeblood. League of Legends tournaments sell out STADIUMS of attendees. With an online audience that grows well above seven figures, if gamers are a brand’s target, then looking to see how to get involved with these kinds of events would be an obvious choice.
 
How about in-game advertising and influencer marketing, what does this bring to brand experiences?
From an influence standpoint, professional players are where you can make an impact. Broadcasting their gameplay via Twitch or YouTube Gaming (and soon – Facebook), these ‘streamers’ have an attentive avid audience and fanbase stretching into the hundreds of thousands. If you can make the partnership fit – and by that I mean not come across as a clunky, ham-fisted money spunk, then the dividends you reap could be well worth the investment. From an in-game advertising perspective, I’d probably look past that and see if there was any way to brand any in-game items that could be unlocked or purchased using microtransactions. That could be something like Rockstar Energy drinks giving away free in-game items with every ring pull for Destiny 2 or even Mercedes popping up as an unlockable vehicle in Mario Kart.
 
Is football the obvious sport at the moment and why and what other sports could seize this gaming opportunity?
As a huge gamer myself, I have to say Football is far too obvious – and easy. I’d look further. The traditional ‘sports’ that we all know – they exist for gamers, yes. But DOTA, SFII, Super Smash Bros., Fortnite, League of Legends, PUBG… these are the games that people tune in to watch. Not FIFA.


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Tune in next week for more: STUFF THAT DIDN’T GET USED. 
(apart from the first one, that definitely is, and it’s a huge deal, and I’m super excited – you know which one, Iain)

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5. #ASKTWICE

Mental Health Awareness week for the UK was back in May. For the US, it starts tomorrow. I feel now as I felt back then. And if you need to talk, you can hit reply to this email or DM me on Twitter. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs – (long-time readers will know). 

If you’re one of the 3-in-4 people that won’t suffer problems with your mental health then maybe this new ad from Time to Change is for you.

If a mate says they’re fine and you think they might not be, ask twice. 

(full disclosure: I didn’t work on it but it IS from Ogilvy London (and I really like it)) 

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THE ESSENTIALS: 

  1. Oh dear, Topshop.
  2. Iceland’s lessons for all.
  3. #MeToo across the EU.
  4. Nobel.
  5. And still Brett Kavanaugh rolls on.
  6. This chart though.
  7. What do you do on a daily basis? 

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THE BONUS LINK SECTION OF BONUS BONUS LINKS

I HEARD YOU LIKED BONUSES SO I PUT BONUSES IN YOUR BONUSES SO YOU CAN BONUS WHILE YOU BONUS

  1. The Unilad/Ladbible thing is as grim as it is hilarious. There is a lot to unpack here. The dark motives of a leading competitor? The fact that you can be so massive and not make a profit? The general attempt to convince folk that what these publications create is anywhere near original?
  2. Brandwatch bought Crimson Hexagon. This is huge and firmly cements Brandwatch as THE market leader when it comes to all things social/market intelligence. I was the Brandwatch NYK event earlier this week  (it was great). If you get the chance to go next year, do so. 
  3. More Christine and the Queens.
  4. ‘Thunderstorm’ never saw the light of day. After the popularity of this reveal, I think that will change in the near future. 
  5. This is a tiny little thing but I love this Twitter execution from Xbox. Just a really neat way to bring to life a super active month of gaming in one easy video. Looks great in feed too. 
  6. On a related front, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is out this week and I’m not getting it until January (I’ve got Destiny to finish and Red Dead is out in a fortnight PLUS the AC price will drop in January). That said, it is reviewing INCREDIBLY well – and look, giant wangs!
  7. SNAKE RESCUE!
  8. Best speaker swag.
  9. The case for chaos.

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Until next time.

Five things on Friday #268

Things of note for the week ending Sunday, September 23rd, 2018.

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Did you know, if you SUBSCRIBE to the Five things on Friday newsletter, you are 100% guaranteed to get MORE STUFF (eg: a proper intro and probably some more gifs) than reading it here on whatleydude.com.

So y’know, SUBSCRIBE TODAY.

TO THE THINGS!
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1. NEED SOMETHING

WHAT THO? Send me your suggestions.

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2. SOME THOUGHTS AND LINKS ABOUT VOICE ASSISTANTS

Some noodles, underpinned with a few links on stuff I’ve been reading on the topic lately. 

Last week I mentioned I was on the Vocal Vanguard panel at BAFTA for American Express. As well as some further digging on the topic for that specific event, I’ve also been collating evidence for marking my own homework in public when it comes to reviewing the trends/predictions Marshall Manson and I made in December last year (see: ‘the end of typing’, slide 25 onwards). 

Here are a collection of different data points I’m noodling on. 

1. Five insights on voice technology 
Thanks for this one, Marshall. It covers off exactly what it says. No real surprises but good to have it from Google Assistant’s VP of engineering. 

2. The reality behind voice shopping hype
The Information here on excellent form (if you don’t have a subscription you can read the full article here) dissecting the astonishingly low numbers re sales + voice. 

Quote: 

“The Information has learned that only about 2% of the people with devices that use Amazon’s Alexa intelligent assistant—mostly Amazon’s own Echo line of speakers—have made a purchase with their voices so far in 2018, according to two people briefed on the company’s internal figures. Amazon has sold about 50 million Alexa devices, the people said.

Of the people who did buy something using Alexa voice shopping, about 90% didn’t try it again, one of the people said.”

Pretty damning – especially if you believe voice as sales driver is the key thing here (we’ll come back to this). 

3. Consumers are embracing voice services
This one covers a recent Adobe report that surveyed 1000 US voice assistant owners and, yet again, no huge surprises in the what but the lift in frequency (71% of smart speaker owners use theirs daily) means something is catching here.  

With these reports and numbers floating around my head, something struck me during the Amex panel I mentioned that I’ve been pushing around and, with no real evidence to support it (yet), I’m going to write out a theory here for discussion. 

In spite of multiple efforts by brands (tech and consumer facing included) the ‘killer app’ of the home assistant seems to be ‘Play some music’ or ‘Set an alarm’. This much we know. 

The consumerism dream of humans searching for and purchasing products all day long via their home assistant hasn’t happened. Yes, this is an extremely nascent space. Yes, we’re probably at least 10 years away from home assistants being commonplace.

However, I theorise that with the introduction of screen-based home assistant support (be that Chromecast integration with the Home, the rumoured (read: leaked – it’s pictured above for crying out loud) Home Hub, or even the Amazon Echo Show), consumers are able to be offered visual confirmations on actions and/or purchases.

The killer app, to my mind at least, will be one that snares this combination of UI points (screen + voice) perfectly – and potentially unlock the value that seems to be hidden away in this new vertical.

We’re seeing more and more integrated offerings coming forward in the assistant space (don’t even get me started on microwaves) – I don’t think enough attention is being paid to the opportunity that the screen integration brings. 

Like I said, just a thought – a theory. 

Expect more of this from me as we move towards the next edition of #OgilvyTrends2019. 

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3. THE TRAILER SECTION

A bunch of ace trailers dropped this week. 

Ready, steady… CLICK!

  1. CAPTAIN MARVEL
  2. STAN & OLLIE
  3. MARY POPPINS

Lovely. 

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4. @LGBT_HISTORY

This is an important read.

And an Instagram account you should follow.  

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5. THE MASSIVE VIDEO GAMES SECTION (INCLUDING SOME STUFF ABOUT THE V&A EXHIBITION)

If you follow me on Twitter you may be forgiven for muting or even unfollowing given the amount of gaming stuff I’ve been putting out since returning to the platform post-summer.

A combination of a spate of great releases (looking at you, Spider-Man and Destiny 2: Forsaken) and my annual jaunt to Birmingham for the Eurogamer Expo, it’s pretty much wall-to-wall gaming.

So by way of an apology, let’s talk games some more! 

FIRST:
Last Monday I got myself along to the DESIGN PLAY DISRUPT (check) exhibition at the V&A museum in London.

And it is excellent. 

A thoughtful and well-curated look at what video games are today, Design/Play/Disrupt is recommended to you for all kinds of reasons. 

Looking, as the name suggests, what it means to design a game, what the societal disruptive forces are at play (covering gamergate, inclusion, the use of non-english language, and more), and of course play itself.

There are nuggets to be found here. From understanding the impact of representation in gaming (see: Mafia III) through to a BRILLIANTLY presented set of short films on the SIZE of the gaming world.

It has the original notebooks of Neil Druckman, creative lead for THE LAST OF US, to some of the weirdest games you’ve ever seen/played – #DesignPlayDisrupt is worth a couple of hours of your time (and you can see my photos here).

It’s on until February next year and tickets are £18. We did it in two hours and saw everything – your mileage may vary. But GO. It is great. 

NEXT:
As I mentioned, I’ve been at EGX this weekend (got back this afternoon). I saw my friends, hung out in town, drank a bit, ate infrequently but overall I played A LOT of games.

Here’s a quick overview of that (in no particular order): 

  1. The Division II. Surprisingly enjoyable. 
  2. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. If you played and liked Origins, you’ll like this. I didn’t get a huge amount of time on it but I’m sure it’ll be great. I’ll probably get it next year when it drops in price. 
  3. Metro Exodus. Very Fallout. Not for me. 
  4. Destiny 2: Forsaken. I have this game but wanted to play it with a few friends that hadn’t touched it before. They enjoyed it, you might too. Bonus: I went to the panel with the game designers on the Friday and that was fantastic as well. Happy to nerd out at any point on any of this. 
  5. Nintendo LaboOH MY GOD WHAT FUN (that’s me in the video). You can’t see in the video but I was laughing and grinning like a mad person throughout. This is definitely something I’ll be doing with the children at some point next year. 
  6. Figment. Utterly charming little indie game – out now on Steam/Switch (it’s about £13 too) definitely worth a look, I was smiling at the joy it brought. 
  7. Untitled Goose Game. Yes, that’s it actual name. Your job is to be a total dick to a farmer and it made me laugh – a lot. This will be huge. 
  8. Beat Saber is coming to PSVR. These guys were insane at it
  9. Starlink. Really interesting concept tying toy/model ships that interact with your controller (see this link for a selection of photos + a video that shows how it works). Fun. Probably a money pit, mind. 
  10. Call of Duty 4. The new battle royale one. I hated it. Blergh. 

Notable absences: didn’t play Tomb Raider. Didn’t get on with the last one so will give this one a pass.  For some reason, RED DEAD II wasn’t there. No idea why. 

And of course, in the evening it was the annual MLGX fundraiser and much fun was had. See peak nerdery on the #MLGX hashtag – no, I’m not linking it. If you want to see, I’m making you search for it. 

OH AND THE LAST THING:

PlayStation has followed the crowd and announced it’s own mini-retro console, The PS One Classic. If you know someone who will want one at Christmas, I strongly recommend pre-ordering now. This thing will sell out FAST. 

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THE ESSENTIALS: 

If you’re new here, the section known as THE ESSENTIALS is about highlighting the stories that continue to come to light in regards to the #MeToo movement. It’s been here since it began and will remain so until it ends. 

Only one this week and it is simply: #WhyDidntIreport
(sorry: two – ‘Everything I can remember‘)

These should come with trigger warnings by the way. Just, FYI. 

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THE BONUS LINK SECTION OF BONUS BONUS LINKS

THESE LINKS ARE YOUR BONUS. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. 

  1. Video Game Skies are lovely.
  2. Americans are changing how they eat. Interesting read.
  3. We lost Dennis Nordon; this obituary from the BBC is excellent.
  4. If you’ve not read about the prisoner who painted Golf courses, you should.
  5. MDMA + OCTOPUS + ? 
  6. A great thread on Chas from Chas + Dave (who we also lost).
  7. Christine and the Queens (Again) in GQ. READ IT!
  8. I’m here for Joaquin Phoenix as Joker.
  9. Looking for something on Netflix? Try MANIAC.
  10. Big fan of the Wolf Alice Mercury Music Prize acceptance speech.

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Until next time.

Five things on Friday #267

Things of note for the week ending Saturday, September 15th 2018.

Did you know, if you SUBSCRIBE to the Five things on Friday newsletter, you are 100% guaranteed to get MORE STUFF (eg: a proper intro and probably some more gifs) than reading it here on whatleydude.com.

So y’know, SUBSCRIBE TODAY.

TO THE THINGS!
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1. HÉLÖISE LETISSIER

aka: Chris[tine and the Queens]

I think I have been in love with Christine and the Queens since I first ever saw them perform on Graham Norton many moons ago.

Music: amazing
Dancing: amazing. 
Attitude to life: amazing. 

The New York Times interview with Chris/Christine is fantastic. And I strongly recommend you read it. 
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2. WORLD AFRO DAY

“Hair bias is rarely discussed, but it 

remains a persistent global problem which affects millions. This year alone, families have had to take legal action both in the UK and overseas for the right to have their children attend school with their natural Afro hair.

Whether it be the refusal to overturn an American state ban on dreadlocks or the damaging implications of schoolgirls being forced to straighten their hair in South Africa, discrimination based on hair has serious implications for many people’s job prospects, education 
and wellbeing.”

A year, a young Ogilvy fellow co-founded a new BAME collective within the agency called Ogilvy Roots.

This year, that same person has helped get this campaign live for World Afro Day (definitely click and read up on this one). 

‘Change the Facts, Not the Fro’ is an awareness campaign that is focused on tackling how society perceives women’s Afro hair and highlighting the importance of celebrating it in its natural glory. This campaign aims to challenge the status quo so this generation and the ones to come feel they have the choice to wear their hair in whatever way, shape or form.

Well done, team. This is great work.

Give them some love!

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3. THE HURRICANE FLOREANCE STORM GRAPHIC YOU’VE ALREADY SEEN

Did you see/miss this?

Watch it now/again.

It’s been all over the Internet this past week – AND FOR GOOD REASON. This storm is BIG and helping people understand the impact that the flooding it will bring will mean more people evacuate and less people die. 

WIRED has the story behind how they did it.

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4. APPLE DOESN’T TWEET BUT IT BLANKETED TWITTER WITH FOR THE IPHONE LAUNCH AND WE SHOULD TALK ABOUT THAT

Normally, you’d shrug something like this off. But with the launch of Twitter’s ad transparency tool, these dark tweets can still be found, read, and analyzed. 

Which is exactly what Digiday did.

There’s some great conjectural thinking here. Worth reading. 

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5. TEN RULES FOR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS

Mentor? Teach? Mentee? Study? 

Read this

Short, yet immensely valuable. 

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THE ESSENTIALS: 

If you’re new here, the section known as THE ESSENTIALS is about highlighting the stories that continue to come to light in regards to the #MeToo movement. It’s been here since it began and will remain so until it ends. 

This week, your essential reads are:

  1. Jane Fonda: ‘It’s only the beginning‘ 
     
  2. Lady Gaga ‘I’m still in disbelief
     
  3. The dark side of working for Les Moonves

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HE BONUS LINK SECTION OF BONUS BONUS LINKS

THESE LINKS ARE YOUR BONUS. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. 

..

  1. The V&A Video Games Exhibition, Design/Play/Disrupt, is NOW ON. Go and see it (I’m going on Monday).
  2. How do you beat bottlenecks?
  3. Cruise Entertainers (sang to the tune of Smooth Operator).
  4. Not a link but Spider-Man came out on PS4 last week and it is AMAZING. SPECTACULAR. And if you have even a passing interest in the game or the character, I strongly recommend you get it. It is SO GOOD.
  5. This is a great interview with a very young William Shatner
  6. Last week I was at BAFTA, speaking at an American Express event hosted by Actual Fiona Bruce. It was dead fun! Some links and photos here (if that’s your thing). Happy to answer questions on some/all of it. I also have a great Fiona Bruce/Rhubarb story now… 
  7. PREACH
  8. Naughty Made in Chelsea influencer lady – the ASA says you are NAUGHTY!
  9. Twitter in 2009 vs 2018 (see also: reasons for removing it from your life in the opener)

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Until next time.

Five things on Friday #266

Things of note for the week ending Saturday September 8th, 2018.

Did you know, if you SUBSCRIBE to the Five things on Friday newsletter, you are 100% guaranteed to get MORE STUFF (eg: a proper intro and probably some more gifs) than reading it here on whatleydude.com.

So y’know, SUBSCRIBE TODAY.

TO THE THINGS!

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1. MICHELLE YEOH

aka: the section where YET again James kicks off FToF with ANOTHER GQ profile piece (but it’s another stonker). 

Michelle Yeoh is a badass. A bloody good actor. An incredible athlete. And above all, seemingly a super lovely woman.

Definitely take some time out of your day and read this fantastic interview.

Bonus thing: While we’re are it, ‘In conversation with Kathleen Turner‘ is also worth gifting your eyeballs to for a good reading; there is SOLID GOLD to be found in this one. 

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2. HOW WHITE PEOPLE HANDLE DIVERSITY TRAINING IN THE WORKPLACE

This article (edit: it’s a section from a book), written by former professor and now facilitator and consultant, Robin DiAngelo, goes into the real experiences she has come up against when running diversity training for white people in the USA. 

Unpacking superiority, fragility, and more – it is provocative and prompts self-examination. 

A recommended read

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3. COME ON THEN, LET’S TALK ABOUT THAT LISTERINE INSTAGRAM THING

Full disclosure: I was asked to contribute to a piece for this last week and missed the deadline (Sorry Stephen!) this section is some of what I wrote and some further thinking. 

Did you see/miss this?

It’s been all over the trades these past two weeks and I’m kind of unsure what ELSE there is to say about it.

Oh how people cried!

People blamed: the Instagrammerthe clientthe briefthe platform… and of course, it being a big Twitter viral thing, everyone piled in and had a pop or a moan

Truly, what else is there to say about the poorly briefed, poorly executed, and poorly received Listerine activity also known as ‘#BringOutTheBold’. 

Last year, Marshall Manson and I wrote about ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’ (slide 43 onwards). It theorised, and not without evidence, that for influencer marketing to succeed in the future then it would require brand marketers [and their agency partners] to take more ownership over influencer activity.

The point being, per the late 1800s economic theory the trend referenced, when it is in everyone’s interest to pull as much as they can from the opportunity available, no one will maintain that opportunity, and the well [of money, from brands] will run dry. After this week’s epic moan-a-thon, you can see it happening.

Let’s address the blame game (it’s stuff like this that makes me question the sanity of my entire industry at times).

First, it is entirely wrong to place any blame at the feet of the influencer. Entirely wrong. 

Here is a person is out to make money from their craft. If a brand wants to throw money at that, then fair play. If the armchair critiques literally pressed their thumbs two, maybe three more times then they would’ve seen that, irrespective of product placement, Scarlett London’s ENTIRE FEED is clearly the work of someone who enjoys creating quaint hyper-real model shots – and that’s entirely OK because this is their choice and their Instagram account is theirs and they can do whatever they want with it.

IMPORTANT POINT: Those choices also include the moment when brands want to stick a product in because y’know because that’s how they make money. Cool? Cool. 

SECOND IMPORTANT POINT: If anything, Scarlett London should be applauded for being able to get a mouthwash brand to pay for something that the poster does every day:

‘I post whimsical photos of my life with balloons’
‘Here’s some money’
‘I post whimsical photos of my life that now feature mouthwash’

👏👏👏👏 👏

Next up, you want to ridicule someone/something (because maybe, just maybe, you can’t move off the sofa today without feeling clever because you said something cutting about someone/something you’ve never met or worked on then OK) then ridicule the brand. This whole ‘bring out the bold’ campaign point is just so… blergh. Somewhere someone at Listerine wrote several PowerPoint presentations talking about the value of Influencer Marketing. Meetings were had. Budget was pitched for, allocated, and spent. And this is what they’ve ended up with. 

I don’t understand it. 

The (my) problem with marketing generally is that idiots ruin it for everyone else. A mouthwash commissioning content that barely speaks to their brand strapline of MAKE BOLD CHOICES (which, when you think about it, is almost the exact opposite of what you want a mouthwash for – surely a better line would be ‘MAKE THE SMELL OF LAST NIGHT’S BOLD CHOICES GO AWAY’) is terrible. And the problem is – as Marshall and I extolled at the back end of last year – content creators will keep content creating. It’s up to brands and agencies to both understand how to work with influencers and WHEN. Or else you’ll end up with stuff like this and the tragedy will be that influencer marketing will end for everyone. 

/rant

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4. COLIN KAEPERNICK

I love everything about this.

‘But James! The brand preference has dropped so suddenly!’

‘Yeah, piss off – sales are UP

“Consumers don’t think how they feel. They don’t say what they think and they don’t do what they say” – David Ogilvy. 

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5. POSITIVE ACTIVISM FTW

I love this for so many reasons. 

1. They noticed a gap for art and filled it. 
2. They noticed a lack of Asian diversity on display in McDonald’s and fixed it. 
3. The BTS video is brilliant – watch it.
4. AFAIK, this photo is still hanging.
5. I used to work at McDonald’s – and the idea of something like this happening at my own store puts a huge grin on my face (especially given the amount of OTHER STUFF that went on while I worked there – ask me about that over a pint some time).

Well done everyone.

Gold stars all round.

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THE ESSENTIALS

If you’re new here, the section known as THE ESSENTIALS is about highlighting the stories that continue to come to light in regards to the #MeToo movement. It’s been here since it began and will remain so until it ends. 

This week, your essential reads are:

  1. Ronan Farrow on how without the first amendment, #MeToo would’ve been denied oxygen.
     
  2. The rush to rehabilitate Louis CK (reading this reminded me: if you haven’t yet, please watch Nanette, you’ll find it on Netlfix).
     
  3. This is bigger than Argentino

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THE BONUS LINK SECTION OF BONUS BONUS LINKS

SING! OH MY GOD IT’S BACK AGAAAAIN.

Like the end credits of Bad Influence that you had to record and hit the ‘still’ button the VCR to read the lot… the bonus section is coming atcha in five, four, three…

..

.

  1. That time Bradley Cooper played the Elephant Man and just made faces.
  2. Searching for the Angel that held me on Westminster Bridge (this is a heartwarming read)
  3. Structuring Strategic Storytelling (read this, plannery folk).
  4. Losing Earth: the decade we almost stopped climate change (sobering)
  5. Related to THING ONE above, this is an amazing Thread.
  6. Yellow Stripey Things: A Comprehensive Guide.
  7. First degree BMW burns from Audi.
  8. I went to the ROMEO + JULIET Secret Cinema nd had a GOOD TIME. Also: Baz Luhrmann (you can actually see me in the background of that second shot – brilliant).
  9. The best football club in the world‘ – hard to argue.
  10. A super simple – and screamingly obvious – design choice where someone just went ‘Yeah but why do we do it like that?’ – big fan. 
  11. The Facebook Story problem (good reading, as ever).
  12. I lost a pitch and talked about it (because the world would be a better place if we acknowledged failure from time to time). The replies are a mixture of friends, idiots, and mansplainers (sharing for the sheer comedy).  
  13. I’ve probably shared this before BUT DID YOU KNOW: the plural of anecdote is actually data? Bet you didn’t.
  14. Another AR is here and alive in 2018 proof point.
  15. Bob Hoffman: ‘Are you deluded?’
  16. Finally, Rob Blackie is worth a follow on Twitter. Consistently smart with an analytical eye for details that many miss. Do it. 

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Until next time…

Five things on Friday #265

Things of note for the week ending Friday, July 27th, 2018.

Things of note for the week ending July 27th, 2018 (I’m taking August off so this is the last edition until September).

Did you know, if you SUBSCRIBE to the Five things on Friday newsletter, you are 100% guaranteed to get MORE STUFF (eg: a proper intro and probably some more gifs) than reading it here on whatleydude.com.

So y’know, SUBSCRIBE TODAY.

TO THE THINGS.

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1. THE DARK KNIGHT: TEN YEARS ON

THE DARK KNIGHT is inarguably one of the greatest superhero movies ever made. It is ten years old this month and it still holds up.

And this Village Voice article is a great look at its themes and why it still resonates so strongly today.

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2. THIS PLAYLIST IS EVERYTHING

Here in the UK we have a music album compilation/tradition known as ‘NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL MUSIC‘ – you can date someone within the nearest year or so by what their very first edition was and this month, NTWICM hit #100.

To celebrate, the AMAZING Popjustice put together the DEFINITIVE NTWICM Spotify playlist – and it is effing phenomenal.

Go listen to some bangers RIGHT NOW.

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3. LATEST VOICE ASSISTANT STATS

National Public Radio in the US dropped its latest Smart Audio Report and it has some really interesting stats on the what and why people use smart home assistants – aka smart speakers.

A few nuggets of interest include:

  • Ownership skews female and slightly older
  • For early adopters, smart speakers are now the number one way they consume audio
  • Nearly 40% of people purchase smart speakers to help them reduce screen time.

The whole report is super interesting and definitely worth 15mins of your time to consume and consider.

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4. MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS

This week I learned about the documentary about THE NATIONAL called ‘Mistaken for Strangers‘ – up until I went to put this into the newsletter, I thought it was new. I was going to show you the trailer and then tell you how excited I was to see it.

Turns out it isn’t new at all and that you could probably find it online quite easily.

So I intend to do that this weekend.

You should do the same.

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5. AN INTERESTING TREND IN VR

This week, Sega released a free update to the PS4 game ‘Sega Classics’. The update brings PSVR support to the game and the actual VR experience is that of sitting in an old bedroom from the 1990s and playing the classic games you grew up playing.

Like this:

Which, while funny, is a bit weird (you can see a video of it in action here).

So there’s a general trend here.

Here’s Netflix VR:

And here’s the BBC doing the World Cup.

You can see it, right?

I really like that VR can take you away to different places and immerse you in new and fantastic experiences. Sitting on a sofa and playing a game or watching a movie in a different environment to the one you’re in is not my idea of an amazing VR experience.

I’m not sure I like it that much. So hurrah for free PSVR updates but boo to tacking on a room build to what is simply the standard app/game experience.

What do you think?

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THE ESSENTIALS

This week. 

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THE BONUS LINK SECTION OF BONUS BONUS LINKS


Until next time…

Five things on Friday #264

Things of note for the week ending July 22nd, 2018.

Did you know, if you SUBSCRIBE to the Five things on Friday newsletter, you are 100% guaranteed to get MORE STUFF (eg: a proper intro and probably some more gifs) than reading it here on whatleydude.com.

So y’know, SUBSCRIBE TODAY.

TO THE THINGS.

_______________

1. THE BIG BEAUTIFUL BELUGA

LOOK AT THIS AMAZING PLANE!

The AIRBUS Beluga XL is a thing of beauty (and you’re an idiot if you think otherwise) – it shouldn’t even fly, but it does!

Brilliant.

Via.

2. THE ‘SECRET WORLD’ OF PRESS KITS

Stay with me, this isn’t completely gaming related. Honest.

This piece appeared in my newsfeed last week and I opened it to read later as I thought it’d be dead interesting. It’s gamer related and I was intrigued as to what kind of ‘press kits’ could be so secret.

I used to work in this world – a little bit – when I was at my previous agency (we made all sorts of magical kits/boxes/experiences for influencers so I can appreciate the effort that goes into them).

Imagine my surprise when I went to re-open the link to read it and it 404’d on me. ‘Damn’, I thought ‘Those secrets must’ve been pretty secret!’

Thankfully, the internet rarely forgets. The Wayback Machine managed to get a snapshot of said post and you can read the original post here.

So what happened?

Having read the article, it turns out it’s basically an interview between Push Square and one of PlayStation Europe’s agencies. Not only does said agency reveal pretty much the entire working process as to how long they take to make these things, they ALSO casually mention a few of the others that they’re working on in the future.

*shocked face*

Can you imagine the angry email from Sony screaming at their agency to GET THAT ARTICLE DOWN RIGHT NOW? I can.

Ha.

If you’re in ‘the industry’ give it a read.

And smile and be thankful that you weren’t on the receiving end of that email.

Brilliant.

3. WHAT THE BBC LEARNT FROM ITS SUMMER OF UHD SPORT

Between the World Cup and Wimbledon, the BBC had its hands full with a ton of sport to choose from. On top of that, it decided to use these two massive sporting event to stress-test its UHD capabilities, something that it has been playing with since the UHD trial went live on iPlayer last year.

James O Malley at Gizmodo was invited into the Beeb to find out how it all worked (this is a great read, btw – super interesting).

4. HOW TOY STORY 2 GOT DELETED. TWICE. If, like me, you’ve Stephen Johnson’s book ‘Where good ideas come from‘, then you’ll know the second part of this story. The second part of the story is reasonably well known. The first part, however, that was new to me. The day that someone accidentally deleted 90% of the movie with a command error.

As ever with these kinds of stories, it’s not the disaster that makes for brilliant reading – it’s what they did next that makes it happen. Ed Catmull’s response to it all is distinctly wow-inducing.

Go read.

5. LEARNINGS FROM RUNNING A DESIGN AGENCY FOR 11 YEARS 

Antony Ribot has been running his design agency for 11yrs. For its 11th anniversary, Ribot wrote a few things on what he’s learnt over the years and you can learn from it too.

THE ESSENTIALS: 

This week. 

Sidenote: this came up in conversation this weekend: ‘Johnny Depp, John Lasseter, and James Gunn walk into a Disney Studio – which one should get fired?’

THE BONUS LINK SECTION OF BONUS BONUS LINKS

Bonus bonus section of new movie trailers. 

On a related note to the intro of this week’s newsletter, The Fantastic Beasts VR experience on the Google Play store – the full experience, not the demo that rolled out with Daydream, has had an incredible 500 downloads.

Cray cray. 

Five things on Friday #263

Things of note for the week ending July 14th, 2018.

Did you know, if you SUBSCRIBE to the Five things on Friday newsletter, you are 100% guaranteed to get MORE STUFF (eg: a proper intro and probably some more gifs) than reading it here on whatleydude.com.

So y’know, SUBSCRIBE TODAY.

TO THE THINGS.

______________

1. BEAUTIFUL UGLY HEARTS 

This essay, ‘The Beautiful, Ugly, and Possessive Hearts of Star Wars‘, is phenomenally good. Compulsory reading for both anyone that considers themselves a fan of Star Wars and anyone that even partly curious as to why there was [seemingly] so much hate for THE LAST JEDI.

Spoilers, obviously, for all movies within.

2. JORDAN VOGT-ROBERTS

Know that name? No? He directed the excellent KONG: SKULL ISLAND and is also slated to direct the movie adaptation of METAL GEAR SOLID. I saw KONG, loved it, and then I think within days of walking out of the cinema, I saw this image from Tom Hiddleston – and I was like, I need to know who this guy is. So like any normal person living in the 21st century, I followed him on Twitter.

HE IS BRILLIANT.

And then last week, out of nowhere, he drops this (and yet another fantastic GQ profile piece).

Read it.

3. SLAY IN YOUR LANE

Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene are the authors of SLAY IN YOUR LANE, a new book that talks about and gives insight to the challenges that black women face throughout every facet of their lives.

VOGUE interviewed Adegoke and Ubviebinene – and it’s great. Read that then order your own copy of the book.

Off you go.

EDIT: the Guardian interview is pretty good too.

4. THIS PHOTO

Three things.

1. I love this photo.

2. Next time you’re looking for a picture for a deck that says ‘People use mobile phones now’ – try this one.

3. The Verge’s take is simultaneously provocative and reductive.

5. SPIELBERG’S ODE TO A FRIEND

I won’t reveal what this link is about because if you haven’t seen READY PLAYER ONE then it completely spoils the surprise, not-from-the-book, and film’s best set piece by a while.

If you have seen RPO, then, by all means, click away (and hey, if you don’t care for spoilers, click also). It’s a great overview and, if you know you director history, not at all that surprising

THE ESSENTIALS: 

Two. OF NOTE. 

THE BONUS LINK SECTION OF BONUS BONUS LINKS