Five things on Friday #261

Things of note for the week ending June 29th, 2018.

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TO THE THINGS.

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1. LET’S JUST COME OUT AND SAY IT

If you don’t know what Blockchain is – AND IT’S OK IF YOU DON’T – Reuters recently put together this rather smashing overview of exactly what it is, how it works, and just how well it can be applied across multiple uses (outside of crypto-currencies).

Simple to read. Simple to understand. Good job.

2. SELF-CARE FOR YOUR BOOKMARKS

Feeling good? Good.
Feeling OK? OK.
Feeling low? That’s OK too.

If sometimes you struggle – and hey, we ALL do, then maybe take a look at this thoughtful self-help step-by-step guide that I counsel all of you to take some time to look through.

I have it saved now.

You should do the same.

3. TWITTER IS STILL MAKING MONEY

I have strong reservations about this Buzzfeed article, that reads like a PR puff piece (sorry not sorry), for Twitter. The author manages to write 2000 words on why Twitter is profitable when literally one word will do.

That word is only used twice in the whole piece but it is hella called out in the comments.

I’ll give you a clue: it rhymes with DUMP.

4. LOOSEN UP THAT CREATIVE PROCESS, YEAH? Dr Ryan Wallman – aka ‘Dr Draper‘ – is one of my favourite people to follow on Twitter. Smart and provocative with it – his no-nonsense approach to the creative process is matched only by his disdain for the pomposity that comes along with it.

eg:

In a rare sub-280 character moment, Wallman wrote this piece for Marketing Week this week, extolling the virtues of giving agencies space for their individual creative process. Understanding that ‘the work’ isn’t always FOR YOU and that testing isn’t always (if ever) right.

It’s a good read.

5. POKEMON GO IS STILL A THING AND IT’S BIGGER THAN EVER

Did you know that last month, Pokemon Go generated over $104m in revenue? That’s up 174% YOY. Source.

Did you know that 147m people played Pokemon Go last month ALONE? Not bad MAUs at all. Source.

And, to top it off, Niantic – the makers of the eponymous title – not only have other, similar games in the pipeline (Harry Potter has been announced) but is also working on improving the AR tech and making it all a lot less floaty. They call it ‘occlusions’ and it looks a little like this.

The reason I’m telling you this? Basically, anytime ANYONE talks about AR, eventually, Pokemon Go will come up in conversation and, as sure as day follows night, someone will say ‘Yeah, but that’s dead now, right?’. Now you can put them right.

Right?

Right.

THE ESSENTIALS: 

Three this week: 

  • Terry Crews says why he didn’t push back. Christ. TERRY CREWS. 
  • I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the men being called out. This NYT piece is about what happened next to the women who said ‘Me Too’ – and it is this edition’s essential read. 
  • 414 (and counting).
THE BONUS LINK SECTION OF BONUS BONUS LINKS

Five things on Friday #260

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TO THE THINGS.

________________

1. MISADVENTURE WITH THE MAGICIAN OF MANHATTAN

Anna. The trickster. You may have heard about this article already. If you haven’t read it yet – do. It’s great.

2. 10 BRILLIANT BRITISH FEMALE SCREENWRITERS WHOSE WORK YOU NEED TO WATCH

Sharing this list for two reasons.

1. It’s a great list of GREAT talent.
2. I have a friend on it and I AM SO PROUD.

The end.

3. #WOMENCANNES

Going to Cannes this year (for the advertising/creativity festival)? Don’t seem to have a Y chromosome about your person? Then hey, wear black yeah?

4. THE CULTURAL VANDALISM OF JEFFREY TAMBOR This is an important piece (and here’s a link to the original NY Times piece that it stems from – read both).

I know people that can separate art from artist. I have tried. And I don’t think I can. This piece puts it very well indeed.

5. A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO HAWAII’S OTHERWORLDLY LAVA

The Atlantic, being interesting AF.

THE ESSENTIALS: 

Three this week: 

THE BONUS LINK SECTION OF BONUS BONUS LINKS

Five things on Friday #259

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TO THE THINGS.

Things of note for the week ending Friday, May 18th, 2018.

1. SOME TRAILERS FOR YOUR EYES

TRAILER 1: TREMORS, THE TV SHOW 
With actual Kevin Bacon doing real acting (and not pimping EE for once).

TRAILER 2: BLACKkKLANSMEN
Spike Lee and Jordan Peele? Sign. Me. Up.

TRAILER 3: ARIANA GRANDE DOES LABO
Not a film but still super cool.

TRAILER 4: BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
Rami Malek is life.

TRAILER 5: SORRY TO BOTHER YOU
YES.

2. WETRANSFER AD CONTENT IS GOOD SHOCKER

This is old, apparently, but I really like it.

After sending a WeTransfer the other day (to myself – standard), the holding page after the upload was this – a simple story about regrets. Originally made for International Women’s Day but a) still available and b) still worth reading.

Enjoy.

3. ACCESSIBLE GAMING  

This is fantastic.

Pictured above is the brand-new, just-announced-yesterday Xbox Adaptive Controller.

You can read about it on the Microsoft website (and you should – the amount of care that has gone into creating this thing is plain to see).

Gaming is a HUGELY social activity. I never shy away from the fact that I game with my friends, online, on the mic, at least once a week – and I’m OK with it. As I overheard one of my mates say to his wife off-mic as he was laughing at a joke ‘Yeah, what? It’s like being down the pub but I’m here, yeah?’ – brilliant.

Gaming can be a solo venture too. Escapism. But that can only go so far. Enabling gaming for people that previously would’ve struggled or, worse yet, had enjoyed it but now couldn’t, is a phenomenally progressive move from Microsoft.

It is exciting and inclusive.

The charity our gamer group supports, Games Aid, has been helping create joypads for disabled children for years – from scratch. To have one of the major hardware manufacturers get onboard with this so publicly and with meaning is – as I said – fantastic.

MORE PLEASE.

4. LA JUMENTWithout doubt, the most famous photo of any lighthouse in the world ever. You may not know the name but I’m certain you’ve seen the photo before.

This is a short film that features the man pictured – and is quite lovely.

5. YOUR NEXT TED TALK

Newly minted Chief Strategy Officer at Ogilvy UK, Mr Kevin (Kev) Chesters, has been to TED every single year since 2009. When he gets back, he distills his favourite talks from the event into one easy to consume hour of downloadable intelligence that he presents to those he works with.

2018 was no exception and today I went to this year’s edition of that download.

And… er… here are my notes:

What you have there, is a list of 29 (probably 28) brand new TED talks to keep an eye out for over the coming months.

These are (in Kev’s opinion – and one that I buy into; the presentation was super compelling) the best ones of the bunch and I’ll be keeping an eye out for them so you should too.

Additionally, feel free to hassle Mr Chesters on the Twitters as and when you have feedback/notes. .

THE ESSENTIALS: 

Three this week: 

THIS BE THE BONUS SECTION. HEREIN YOU SHALL FIND THE BONUS LINKS THAT FORM THE BONUS SECTION. ENJOY THE BONUSES. HMM. BONUS. 

Five things on Friday #258

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TO THE THINGS.

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1. BE MORE PIRATE

Another week, another book recommendation (if you missed the last edition, then Molly Flatt’s Charmed Life of Alex Moore is OUT NOW – it’s dead good).

This week I’m recommending a different book altogether. Something that, had I not heard it from the horse’s mouth direct, I probably would’ve shrugged and moved on from – I’m hella glad I didn’t.

Some background: last week, the second week of the Squared Guru training I mentioned, we were fortunate to have an amazing speaker in the shape of Sam Conniff. Founder, ex managing director of youth marketing agency, Livity, and now author, give a talk about why pirates were THE ORIGINAL innovators (he wrote this article about the book launch – worth a look).

Aside from setting a new bar for representation on a single slide, the talk – and Sam – was excellent – and I am a complete convert. I bought the book off the back of that presentation and you should do the same.

I’ll read mine, you read yours, and then we’ll compare notes in about a month. Deal?

Deal.

Go get.

2. BITS AND PIECES OF SELF-SERVING STUFF THAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE USEFUL TO YOU. 

First, The Drum wrote about the purposeful decision to cultivate and encourage different cultures between companies and their in-house innovation teams/departments – something that I hugely disagree with!

You can read more about that, here.

Second, WIRED wrote about YouTube’s recently announced foray into recruiting ‘A-listers’ for its next batch of original content. The angle of the piece makes it seem like it’s an ‘instead of’ or an ‘either/or’ when it’s actually an ‘and’ and furthermore, a really interesting strategic point of growth when you think about it…

Me? I tend to fall down on the more audience-centric POV.

Third and finally, I’m speaking at the Buy Yorkshire conference on Tuesday next week (May 15th). Running through a slimmed down (but updated) version of the #OgilvyTrends2018 presentation. I’m really looking forward to it and, if you’re in the area, you should come (it’s free).

3. THE HUMAN TEST


It was a Sunday night. An ad came on in the background – it sounded a bit… different. I looked up. And I saw this.

And it was awesome (and so I tweeted about it, above).

There’s a lot to love here.

1. I LOVE how the ad uses a catch-all term for all home assistant. Over, for example, the easier route of just going after one.

2. I LOVE the test itself (you should try it).

3. And I LOVE the fact that Channel 4 used a TV ad to drive interaction with this, what is ostensibly a teaser trailer for its next seasons of its sci-fi drama, HUMANS.

Ask your Home Assistant ‘Start Human Test’ and have a play.

Those that hold up the Burger King ‘Whopper Hijack’ as a ‘best in class’ use of voice (it isn’t) could learn a lot from this.

4. GO SPEED GO. SPEED RACER came out ten years ago this week and, for what it’s worth, that film is a GOD DAMN MASTERPIECE –  and I’ll fight anyone that disagrees.

Good job HULK agrees then.

5. OFCOM REPORT ON ADULT MEDIA USAGE

Not that new but if you missed it it’s definitely worth taking a look at.

As is this thread of data points therein.

THE ESSENTIALS: 

Three this week: 

YOU ARE NEARING THE END OF THE NEWSLETTER. MIND THE GAP.  

Aaaaaaaaaaaand…. GO! 

  • Did you know that you can view (and edit) the advertising info that Google has on you? I didn’t either. Go see.
  • What is life?
  • Klout closed. Just in time for GDPR. I’m probably going to write about this at some point (the first two comments on that post are SOLID GOLD too).
  • Mark Hamill is great
  • There’s a pixel watch coming, apparently.
  • Facebook said sorry – in an ad.

Five things on Friday #257

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TO THE THINGS.

_______________

1. THE CHARMED LIFE OF ALEX MOORE

I wrote about this several editions ago – when the proof copy of my dear friend Molly Flatt’s debut novel, The Charmed Life of Alex Moore, first arrived.

Back then I said something along the lines of:

“My friend Molly Flatt has a book out. It is pretty damn good (so far). I am awfully proud of her.”

Last week I finished it.

And here’s what I said, to Molls, shortly after:

Quite.

Having had a few days to reflect, I’m less emosh and more thoughtful. The Charmed Life of Alex Moore starts out as a rich and knowing insight into the crazy world of startup land. If you’ve ever been anywhere near that industry, or have wanted to know how crazybatshi it can be, then you’ll love the way this book starts.

But then things get weird.

Unexplained coincidences. A call from a research agency in the Orkney Isles sets in motion a chain of events that completely flips everything Alex knows about herself, and the world, completely on its head.

Alex Moore is a brilliantly realised character living her best life in a perfectly described London of 2018. Until she’s not. And that’s when things get weird and wonderful. Go with it – the reward is worth the journey.

I cried. Thrice.

The Charmed Life of Alex Moore is out next Friday and you can pre-order on Amazon, Kindle, or Audible TODAY. Don’t just do it because Molly is a mate, do it because it really is a bloody good book. x

2. NOT TECHNICALLY BEAUTIFUL

Tracey Thorn, best known as being one half of the duo ‘Everything but the Girl‘, writing for The New Statesman on 35 years of being described by male journalists.

It is an essential read.

3. THE REDEFINITION OF CHARACTER IN THOR: RAGNAROK

Cutting off Thor’s hair in RAGNAROK should be a huge deal. But it wasn’t – not really – and it was handled with such deft care, along with a whole bunch of other huge character changes that you barely even noticed because you were having so much fun.

As Film School Rejects notes:

“Thor: Ragnarok is a little miracle of a movie. It’s easily the funniest film in the franchise. As much as I praise the vision of the directors witnessed in Iron Man 3and Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: Ragnarok plays like a Taika Waititi film first and a Marvel movie second. He picks up two of their most mishandled action figures, frees them of their usual accessories, and redefines their appeal. Thor is not the God of Hammers; he’s the mother frickin’ God of Thunder. Cue “Immigrant Song.””

And the Marvel Cinematic Universe is better for it.

Read the analysis – it’s good.

4. THE WORST OF TIMES, THE BEST OF TIMES.(OR ‘HOW I GOT MADE HEAD OF STRATEGY AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY INDUSTRY LANDSCAPE)

Ben Shaw writes:

“Consultancies are eating our lunch, brands are spending less with agencies, with procurement running the show and paying us by the hour, pitches now seem to be not only chemistry, tissue, strategy and creative but hey look we even made the ad too. Instead of a multi-year marriage between client and agency, long term brand building responsibility has seemingly been handed over to the logo, creatives are increasingly being told to tell a thumb stopping, emotionally engaging story in 3-6” vertical mobile film, the programmatic revolution increasingly looks like Brexit with lots of overpromise and plenty of under delivery, ad fraud seems ripe within the digital ecosystem with fewer and fewer pounds going towards actual comms, media agencies have been found out for not being transparent so brands are building teams in-house, influencers are the new media and replacing creative ideas with poorly acted product placement, Social Media ad spend is set to beat the storytelling heartland of TV, unsurprisingly, more and more of our best young talent isn’t even thinking of joining the industry, whilst our best talent is leaving to go client side or join a platform/consultancy, the #MeToo wave is slowly making its way through the industry with the biggest of big dogs being taken down, the gender gap pay difference confirms that we aren’t supporting talent in our industry if they want to nurture life as well, and our entire industry feels like it’s built on a cultural cohort of white middle class Oxbridge thinking that is more out of touch with the rest of the country than ever before. Phew. Oh. And A.I. is going to replace all of us.”

When you put it like that way, the industry’s problems writ large, it all becomes rather depressing.

The good news is (and also delivered by the brilliant and newly minted Head of Strategy at BBH London), it’s not all as bad as it looks.

Putting Ben in this role is bloody smart. I admire the man and his work – and I’m looking forward to seeing what else he brings to the table. Soon.

5. PASSING THE TORCH

This is a GREAT read.

Andrew White for the New York Times sits down with Denzel Washington and Michael B. Jordan. He opens with a question on what it was like for MBJ when, after his performance in Fruitvale Station (no, Robbie, I haven’t seen it yet -I’ll watch it tonight) film critics described him as a young DW.

And then it just flows from there.

One of those interviews where you just wish you were in the room.

THE ESSENTIALS: 

Three this week: 

THE END IS NEAR. THERE IS ONLY ONE MORE CHUNK OF INTERNET TO FOLLOW: COME AND HAVE A GO IF YOU THINK YOU’RE HARD ENOUGH. 

LET’S HAVE IT. 

Five things on Friday #256

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. YOUTUBE KIDS, BUT WITHOUT THE YUCKY STUFF

That’s what Buzzfeed is reporting anyway. If you’ve not followed this one, here’s the first proper in-depth look that made so many parents (myself included) uninstall YouTube Kids from their devices.

The good news is, YouTube has spent the past six months or so a) attempting to get rid of the bad stuff (v difficult given the sheer amount of content uploaded every day) and b) developing a new whitelisted-content-only version of the app.

This is a good development on a bad story.

Well done everyone.

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2. ONE QUESTION

The next One Question event has been dated (June 7th), venued (Electric Cinema), and the tickets are available NOW.

The one question this time around is ‘Has technology enhanced or damaged our experiences?’ and the perspectives on offer cover everything from data, to business, the arts, and more.

One Question is my favourite conference(?) in the events calendar and, if you fancy a day of being intellectually stimulated on topics and ideas that are sometimes close but often quite far away from your day to day then I wholly recommend it.

Off you pop.

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3. DIE HARD WITH THE FBI

Have you seen DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE (easily the best sequel in the entire franchise)?

Know that whole ‘let’s rob the federal reserve and steal it all with dump trucks’ bit? Yeah, the writer’s work on the subject was so good that the FBI was called in to investigate just how the writer, Jonathan Hensleigh, knew so much about it.

Brilliant.

4. TIME PASSES VERY SLOWLY WHEN YOU’RE IN A HIPPO’S MOUTH. Quite.
5. CHATBOTS, EH? 

If you’ve been reading this newsletter for a while (or if you know a bit about me and my work) you’ll know that about two years ago now, I started dicking about with building chatbots. I built one for the building I work in (if you ever visit Ogilvy London, search Messenger for ‘Roombot’) and subsequently wrote the strategic POV for the agency and launched a bot building practice/framework to help figure out how this new technology could be applied to solve consumer and client problems.

I wrote about it two trends decks ago and, in the most recent one, reviewed my prediction of ‘The chatbot gold rush’ as a ‘B+’ for effort while remarking that ‘it was less of a rush, more a leisurely jog’.

In short: bots arrived but they didn’t exactly set the world alight and, like multitudes of new technologies as and when they’ve appeared, it takes a bit of time to figure exactly how to apply them.

This article (and the title for this section) is a really good dip on where we are with bots today.

It goes some way in addressing the whole mis-naming problem that’s gone on with chatbots/bots etc… ‘Message app’ or ‘Message service’ is probably an easier and more accurate sell.

We’re still building bots for clients (we’ve run Stoptober on Messenger for Public Health England the past two years and, most recently, built the messenger solution for Reuters) – with more to follow v soon.

I guess our golden rule is a combination of framing vs pointy-problem-solving. In reverse order: what is the pointy problem we’re trying to solve and, when we’ve worked that out, how do we frame the messenger-based solution correctly to the consumer to encourage participation.

One to noodle on…

THE ESSENTIALS: 

Three this week: 

BEHOLD! THE BONUS SECTION FOR YOUR EYES!  

BEEE-OH-EN-OH-ESSS.

 

Five things on Friday #255

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So y’know, SUBSCRIBE TODAY.

TO THE THINGS.

__________________

1. THE ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS

Related to last week, a reader sent in this profile of The Rock.

And it is worth your time.

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2. HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN IPHONE

This is great. This guy went to the markets in Shenzen, China, to see if he could build his own iPhone 6S from spare parts.

[watch the 24min video – yes it’s long but it’s great]

There are a few things of note here:

  1. It’s super interesting!
  2. The one thing the guy doesn’t tell you is how much all the parts cost (it’s $300 (not including duff parts)).
  3. The proliferation of We Chat as the payment mechanism throughout the market is phenomenal.

A couple of trends presentations ago (specifically slide 25, here), Marshall Manson and I said that, when it comes to the future of messaging apps, we should look east to see where the tech is going.

Worth a watch.

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3. A HIGHER LOYALTY

Ahh… the James Comey book is nearly here.

The New York Times review is worth a read as is I am sure the book itself (out on Thursday).

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4. ABOUT THE BOYS

Tim Winton on how toxic masculinity is shackling men to misogyny.

Christ, this is so well written.

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5. ACTUAL MACHINE LEARNING

Research scientist, Janelle Shane, has been pulling out the more interesting findings from a paper on algorithmic creativity.

You can read the Twitter thread or Shane’s blog post on the topic.

Both are insane.

Turns out if you ask an algorithm to learn how to jump a certain height, it’ll teach itself to can-can.

(thanks, Olly, for the tip)

______

THE ESSENTIALS: 

Three this week: 

BEHOLD! THE BONUS SECTION FOR YOUR EYES!  

B/O/N/U/S.