Five things on Friday #247

Things of note for the week ending Friday, January 26th, 2018.

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So y’know, SUBSCRIBE TODAY.

TO THE THINGS!

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1. SPOT MINI

The latest iteration of the robot dog from Boston Dynamic is MENTAL AND WHEN YOUR KIDS ARE YOUR AGE THEY’LL HAVE ALL ONE*

LOOK AT IT!

You can hit the image and it’ll open the 25 second YouTube video that goes shows just how darn realistic this thing is.

Boston Dynamics Spot Mini.

Coming to a vision of the future near you.

*And by ‘have one’ I mean, ‘will probably live in a neighbourhood where these things patrol the streets at night and act as a weird kind of security nightmare for would-be crims/dystopian governments wanting to keep its citizens in check. Maybe. 

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2. GEE DEE PEE AAAAARGH! 

If you keep reading about how huge GDPR (aka the General Data Protection Regulation) will be (and how it will massively impact your day-to-day business) and yet still have ZERO CLUE what the HELL it is and WHAT IN THE HEAVENS you should ACTUALLY BE DOING ABOUT IT.

Then please, worry no more.

Econsultancy has been looking at the whole thing from a marketer’s* perspective and has compiled a handy list of its blog posts to date on the topic as well as a bunch of training courses for you to go and have a look at.

It isn’t scary and, if you’re in marketing (hell, even if you’re not) you should read it. It WILL impact your business.

Off you pop.

*Note: ‘Marketers’ not ‘Marketeers’. We market stuff, we’re not running around with swords and muskets like some crass over-branded version of ourselves. Blergh. 

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3. HOW TO TAKE A PICTURE OF A STEALTH BOMBER OVER THE ROSE BOWL

The photo is not a fake.

And here’s how it was shot

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4. THE FALL OF TRAVIS

I’ve written about the absolute state that is Travis Kalanick (and Uber) several times before in this newsletter. It doesn’t matter if you’re super familiar with everything that happened or in actual fact have never paid any attention to any of it, this Bloomberg Business piece is a must-read.

Damming. Horrifying. Ridiculous. Peak BS.

#DeleteUber.

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5. GARY VAYNERCHUK IS TRYING TO KILL YOU

 [taken from Gary V’s book ‘Now is the time to crush it’] 

Jon Westenberg writes.

‘I can’t even express to you how unhealthy [the above] is likely to be.

If you work a full time job, and you get home from it and spend time with your family, and then work until 2 or 3 AM and then get up and do it again, you are going to have a nervous breakdown.

You are going to suffer. You are going to be exhausted. It’s going to severely impact the people around you in negative ways. It’s just not sustainable to live that kind of lifestyle, and the damage you will do to your relationships and your mental and emotional — let alone physical — health could last a lifetime.’

Westenberg is right.

And he speaks from experience too.

Sorry, Gary, I’m with Jon.

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PRE-BONUS ESSENTIAL READING: 

Only the essentials. 

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THE BONUS SECTION OF BONUS-SHAPED BONUSES: 

Bon. Us. Good together – 

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THIS IS THE END. 

There’s a running joke among some of the folk I’ve worked longest with: ‘The many lives of James Whatley’ – they say. The work I’ve done, the odd semi-successful careers I’ve had. The places I’ve found myself in, and the people I’ve met – it’s all just chance, really.

Yes, a wink and a smile goes a long way but – in the end – it’s how you hold yourself when the going gets tough.

Be the grass. Not the stone. Flow with the weather. Don’t close up and go brittle. You could break. Sway.

This stuff takes practice.

This week’s advice for the weekend is to consider others. While I would never, ever counsel measuring yourself with someone else’s yardstick, you should always be mindful of the unseen battles that others are struggling with.

Literally, no one has roses all the time.

No one.

Be kind.

To yourself and each other.

Whatley out, x. 

Five things on Friday #246

Things of note for the week ending Friday, January 19th, 2018.

Hola

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.

And now, your things:

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1. THE BEST PARTY IDEA 

I love a party. I also love making party guests work. You can ask anyone that’s ever been to a party I’ve thrown (tie party, come as an effing hipster, Halloween, animals – you name it – but the rule is, if you don’t participate, just don’t come) – this is something I like to do.

So imagine my UTTER GLEE when I saw a tweet earlier this week talking about a party where EVERYONE HAD TO PREPARE A THREE MINUTE LECTURE ON SOMETHING THEY WERE PASSIONATE ABOUT.

This is a great idea. The rules are for the DTL party (Drink Talk Learn – obviously) are as follows (and are lifted kindly from the thread of above tweet):

So please, all of you, at once. Go away and do this. If you’re a subscriber to this and you consider us real-world friends (I’m looking at you, Robbie) then expect an invite to one of these by the summertime.

Drink. Talk. Learn.

I think that’s great advice to be taking into the New Year. Don’t you?

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2. MUMS NOT DADS 

A simple question: ‘Since becoming a parent, how do you do it all?’ – and yet, only asked of Mums. Not Dads. Parents, this one is for you.

‘As a mother and the founder and CEO of a digital health company, I frequently get asked about “work-life balance.” My husband, Lee Teslik, an executive at Google, who changes as many diapers as I do, has had a very different experience. We’ve never really talked about this dynamic before, so one recent Sunday afternoon while our son was napping, we tape-recorded a conversation about the subject. The following is an excerpt—with all expletives, politics, and tears edited out.’

Read the full conversation, via Quartz.

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3. DYING

Two things about death.

First, this website I found this week via the Warren Ellis newsletter (it is excellent – he is mental, and Morning Computer is probably my favourite thing of his but still, that newsletter be hiding real gems). This – A Course In Dying – is worth your time. A website specifically set up to encourage people to have more conversations about death and dying. We don’t do it until it’s upon us and, lo and behold, by then it is too late. Use A Course In Dying to build your own death awareness – and see where it takes you.

The second thing about dying – specifically, death – is written by Holly Butcher. 27 years old and no longer with us, Holly’s note about what matters and what doesn’t will move even the coldest heart. Read it. Use it.

I passed it to a loved one this week and they said upon reading that they would read it daily to help keep them sane and focused on the things that matter.

Maybe you might do the same.

Probably the most important read this week.

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4. ELLEN POMPEO, GREY FROM GREY’S ANATOMY, ON FINE FORM HERE


This is a great interview.

Read it.

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5. BROOKLYN LAGER: MAKING THE BRAND. 

I was adamant that I’d shared this story before. Turns out I haven’t (at least, I don’t think I have). Anyway, the point is – Brooklyn Lager has appeared out of relatively nowhere and can now be found pretty much everywhere. The logo, however, that CLASSIC logo – ain’t as classic as it looks. It was invented (of course it was) to make you think that it had been around for years.

Not a new trick, not by any stretch. But an enjoyable read all the same.

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PRE-BONUS ESSENTIAL READING: 

Only the essentials. 

  • I quite like Daniel Radcliffe’s response to Johnny Depp’s casting in the next Fantastic Beasts movie. 
  • This Eliza Dushku *on the set of TRUE LIES* story is awful. 
  • Jeez, Sharon Stone.
  • Aziz Ansari – so much to write and share. Babe.net. The email thing. Jezebel. Eesh. Instead, read this – from GQ – about consent, what it means, and why TIME’S UP isn’t just about women coming forward, it’s about men changing their/our behaviour.
  • Bonus one for the boys – here’s THE ROCK TEST – this is great.

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THE BONUS SECTION OF BONUS-SHAPED BONUSES: 

This week, putting the onus into bonus.  

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LOOKS LIKE WE MADE IT. LOOK HOW FAR WE’VE COME, MY BABY. 

I’ve got a good feeling about 2018. I don’t know what it is – or where it’s come from. I know me better than I’ve ever known me before. And that’s a huge thing to be able to say. I’ll write about it soon – maybe in June – and tell you all about it.

Thank you for reading.

Thank you, to those of you that do, for writing.

Just… thank you.

My moral advice for the weekend ahead is to just say thank you.

Until next time, fam.

Whatley out, x. 

Five things on Friday #245

Things of note for the week ending Friday, January 12th, 2018.

Howdy.

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.

Shall we crack on?

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1. THE ONE QUESTION DEBATES

In London at the end of February? This might be of interest to you.

The consistently fantastic One Question is putting on an evening of debate next month that will take on the question ‘What does brand really mean?

Taking place at the rather lovely Soho Hotel, the evening is a slightly different take on its original concept with, instead of individual and multi-industry responses to the one question, a five-person debate focused in and round one industry. And for this first one, that industry is going to be Marketing and Advertising.

Reps from Pepsi and Sony are already confirmed for the panel with more being announced as we lead up to the event.

Tickets are £50 + VAT (before going up to £75 from Feb 1st onwards) – and are on sale NOW.

I’m going so fingers crossed I’ll see you there.

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2. YOU GOT NO FEMALE SPEAKERS? 

Rubbish!

Here’s 50 from The Dots and The Drum.

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3. ARTWORK PERSONALISATION AT NETFLIX

This is super interesting. Netflix has lifted the lid on how it ensures when recommendations are made, you get the right artwork that pushes you over the line.

There are many roads to Good Will Hunting but your jumping in point(s) may look very different, for example.


Covering off the what, the how, and the testing of both (and more) this is a really compelling and enjoyable read.

Good job, Netflix.

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4. THE STRANGE BRANDS IN YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED

It begins:

“It all started with an Instagram ad for a coat, the West Louis (TM) Business-Man Windproof Long Coat to be specific. It looked like a decent camel coat, not fancy but fine. And I’d been looking for one just that color, so when the ad touting the coat popped up and the price was in the double-digits, I figured: hey, a deal!”

“Several weeks later, the coat showed up in a black plastic bag emblazoned with the markings of China Post, that nation’s postal service. I tore it open and pulled out the coat. The material has the softness of a Las Vegas carpet and the rich sheen of a velour jumpsuit. The fabric is so synthetic, it could probably be refined into bunker fuel for a ship. It was, technically, the item I ordered, only shabbier than I expected in every aspect.”

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of such a story but it is the first time I’d read about it happening via The Atlantic.

And of course, The Atlantic keeps digging.

Savvy salesfolk picking goods from supplier they’ll never know, to ship products they’ll never touch, to consumers they’ll never meet.

It’s a huge market apparently.

Go see.

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5. THE FACEBOOK NEWSFEED APOCALYPSE

Even if you only barely touch the digital marketing industry, you must – I’m hoping – be aware of the most recent announcement from old Zuckerface himself regarding Facebook’s next evolutionary step in what it will and will not shove into its users’ eyeballs.

The full update is available for your perusal (of course) however the main things to take away are:

  1. If you’re a crap publisher/content creator who specialises in creating cruddy content that does stuff like ‘Like if you agree, comment if you don’t’ – your days are numbered.
  2. If you’re a crap publisher/content creator who makes/publishes stuff that people just don’t enjoy, talk about, or interact with – your days are numbered.
  3. Organic reach is actually over (it’s OK, we’ve only been saying this since 2014).
  4. Facebook is still hawking LIVE – this is hilarious.
  5. If you keep tabs on your month-on-month numbers and you see a dip this year. It ain’t you, it’s Facebook.

The whole thing is worth a read and you should really read up on it – even if it isn’t something you touch day to day (LIES), at least have a basic understanding of how the platform that you spend your life consuming actually works.

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PRE-BONUS ESSENTIAL READING: 

Only the essentials. 

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THE BONUS SECTION OF BONUS-SHAPED BONUSES: 

B O N U S. I said B O N U S.

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YAY! YOU MADE IT! CHECK YOU OUT! YOU SEXY MOFO. DAYAM. WOO. 

And here we are, once more, at the end of another Five things on Friday. This time, on an actual Friday.

Trebles all round.

I’m going to end this week’s edition with the best three words I learnt in 2017. Those three words are: ‘And that’s OK’. Try it next time someone is telling you that so and so is angry about this, or someone else is having an ansty opinion about that, or even if someone close to you is having a hard time and getting upset… Y’know what, you’re upset – and that’s OK. That person is angry, and that’s OK. That person wants to say something that means something to themselves – and that’s OK. Accept it. Live in it. Breathe it in, breathe with it – and let it out. You might not like it at first…

And that’s OK.

Until next time, fam.

Whatley out, x. 

Five things on Friday #244

Things of note for the week ending January 7th, 2018.

Howdy.

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.

ONWARDS!

For now, here’s a taster of what you would find within.

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1. RUSSELL HOWARD + JOHN OLIVER 


I had no idea these two were mates.

And, because they are, this chat between the two is really great watching.

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2. OOO AHH, OGILVY TRENDS WEBINAR

Remember that Ogilvy Key Digitial Trends document I was wanging on about last year? Well, with around 90k views and counting, my esteemed friend and ex-colleague, Marshall Manson and I are getting together on Jan 11th for a couple of free webinars that YOU dear reader can join (hopefully covering enough timezones that mean no matter where you are, there’ll be an option for you).

8am – 9am GMTregister here.
4pm – 5pm GMTregister here.

If you want to join the webinar, you must must must register. To manage expectations and stuff, what you’ll see is the same old deck linked above (except in a higher res and the occasional gif) with the added bonus of being able to hear Marshall and I chat about the thinking behind it all. Oh, and you can ask questions using the webinar interface as well as on the hashtag, #OgilvyTrends2018.

See you there!

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3. YOU SHOULD ALL BUY THE POLPO COOKBOOK

A couple of weeks before Christmas the lovely folk at Google invited me and a few other agency people to a lunch at Polpo at the Ape & Bird. The goody bag at the end of said meal contained this beauty:

It has sat on my kitchen side for the best part of a month until, this weekend – in fact, yesterday – I decided to open it and start seeing what I could make.

AND HOLY HELL WOW WHAT AMAZINGNESS LIES WITHIN.

LOOK!

More photos.

The main thing to take away from this is that the dishes made (also made a chili prawn thing but I ate them all before I remembered to take any photos – oops) were just so darn easy. Literally spent less than 20mins on the pea/prawn thing. AND IT WAS SO GOOD.

Anyway, I managed to get through this whole thing without telling you how much I am a fan of Polpo (and have been for years) and that Russell Norman is a top bloke too.

So yeah – buy the book.

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4. THE SECTION OF MY 2017 BESTS

When I started drafting this section I had a great vision of writing a huge list of all my 2017 bests.

My plan was to start off with the always fantastic Hype Machine Zeitgeist playlist (maybe put this on before clicking the next link) but then I tweeted most of it. So instead of doing that, here’s that list, but with added context:

BEST MOVIE – BLADERUNNER 2049

I saw this at the IMAX in Stockholm with a couple of pals and it just completely and utterly blew me away. I think it’s probably going to be the only Blu-ray I buy this year purely because, when I watch it again, I want it to be as pure and as perfect as it was when I first saw it. And pumped through the surround sound so loud that the neighbours complain.

This film was BEAUTIFUL to look at, INCREDIBLE to listen to, and SUBLIME to experience. If you disagree, tell me. But don’t expect a reasoned response back.

BEST VIDEO GAME – HELLBLADESENUA’S SACRIFICE

I’ve covered this in previous editions (for most detail, see item 2 on issue #241). Hellblade is a PHENOMENAL game, with a strong female lead, great design choices, and above all, a deft grasp and representation of the mental illness its protagonist suffers from.

Honourable mentions to Horizon Zero Dawn (wow) and a late contender, Mario Odyssey (just pure fun).

BEST SONG – BEAR CLAWS, THE ACADEMIC

This song first came into my head after I featured it in a FToF a while back for having a super music video that took advantage of the delay feature on Facebook Live. You remember it. Anyway, it became my most played song on Spotify. Meaning, by default, it was my best song.

BEST STREAMED THING ON TV

1. THE OA
2. 13 REASONS WHYY
3. STAR TREK: DISCOVERY

A bunch of people I told about The OA told me it was pretentious guff and that I had no idea what the hell I was talking about. To those people, I say you know nothing. I thought it was courageous, unique, and compelling.

13 Reasons Why I saw at an interesting time in my life and it utterly destroyed me at the end. Please watch it.

Star Trek: Discovery isn’t really Star Trek but nor is it not Star Trek like Nu-Trek, it’s something different – and it’s actually great.

BEST REAL THING ON TV – WOULD I LIE TO YOU

Consistently the funniest thing on TV, Would I Lie To You (or ‘WILTY’) never fails to amuse. It is quintessentially British and relies on wit, wordplay, and absurdity to keep it moving. Three things that I adore.

If you’re not watching it, you’re missing out.

BEST NEWSLETTER – WEB CURIOS

Matt Muir is a great wordsmith. Counter that with a healthy disdain for all things ‘advermarketingpr’, as he calls it, and you have about 1/6 of what makes up one of the best things I read every week.

A very well deserved second place to Jed Hallam and the ESSENTIAL music newsletter, Love Will Save The Day. I listen most weeks and I am never disappointed.

I could link you but if you read this often you’re probably subscribed already and if you’re not, well, you know how to use Google.

….

On that note, I am tired. It is late. And I need to get this finished. The rest of the list is here – any questions, email me.

Ha.
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5. THIS WEEK, IN INDUSTRY LAND

Here’s a bunch of links to do with the work I do. All are interesting. Some more so than others.

  • Diageo halts Snapchat advertising over age concerns‘ – was the headline. But, to be fair, the real headline should read ‘Diageo halts Snapchat advertising after realising it couldn’t get away with it for much longer as the ASA had started paying attention and we all know Snapchat is a) for the kids and b) fairly light when it comes to audience data.
  • BBH on EXCELLENT form here: ‘Have we lost the ability to make what we make interesting?
  • On a related note, the Chinese shoe company hair-on-Instagram trick is as genius as it is telling of the disease that has gripped digital marketing.
  • Speaking of awful digital marketing, this piece ‘Towards a bra-free Instagram experience‘ is gut-wrenching. Glad the campaign for real beauty is had such a long-lasting impact, you guys. Side note: when I get time, I’m adding ALL of this is Instagram Ads Are Awful.
  • The ASA is investigating the tea-bagging tweet from Poundland. There’s a line I never thought I’d write. I started forming an opinion about this when it first happened, and then I thought ‘Y’know what, they’re in it for the angry tweets – I can’t be bothered’. Reading that headline, above, though, did remind me that the ASA is mainly utterly useless when it comes to social media advertising. Will it be April when we find out that the ASA thinks the tweet should be deleted, do you think? Sigh.
  • Not quite industry-related but still something that I think belongs in this section: Mark Zuckerberg has said that his ‘thing’ for 2018 is to ‘fix’ Facebook. There are a few things here. First: if Facebook needs fixing – and if Mark Zuckerberg SAYS that Facebook needs fixing – then Facebook is BROKEN. This is a BIG DEAL. Second, previous ‘things’ from MZ have been stuff like ‘meet more people’ and ‘build an AI assistant for my home’. Like, a side-project or something. One can’t help but wonder ‘Dude, if your SIDE PROJECT is fixing Facebook, then what in the actual hell is your day to day?!’. AMIRITE?
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PRE-BONUS ESSENTIAL READING: 

Only the essentials. 

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THE BONUS SECTION OF BONUS-SHAPED BONUSES: 

Bo-nus, ba-ba-ba-ba-bo-nus.

Last thing: in the final edition of last year, I told you about a play that my friends Emma and David were trying to crowdfund. Well, with no thanks to me (I forgot to link the damn thing) they’ve funded! So please do support them and go see the show. It’s on until the end of Jan. So y’know, do a nice thing.  

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YOU ARE NOW AT THE END AND MAY SOON CLOSE YOUR EYES TO SLIP INTO THE EXISTENTIAL DREAD OF CONSIDERING WHAT 2018 MIGHT BRING TO YOUR LIFE. 

Thanks for reading, gang. A bit of a hodge-potch this week (it’s my first week back on the horse – give me a break).

Hi to all the newbies etc. I hope you all have a productive and awesome week.

See you next Friday. Ish.

Whatley out x.

Five things on Friday #243

Things of note for the week ending December 15th, 2017

Hello!

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.

ONWARDS!

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1. #OGILVYTRENDS2018

And about time too.


Hello. Here be the fifth edition of the annual Key Digital Trends document from yours truly and my dear friend, Marshall Manson.

You can read the whole thing on Slideshare right here but the resolution is borked* so I’d probably download button when you get there and read the whole PDF in high-res thereafter.

A couple of things that are fresh in my mind and related to the above. The AR trend up front? Since we published the Star Wars stickers have rolled out on Pixel 2 – and they’re amazing. And then Snap launched Lens Studio – a tool to allow you build your own AR integrations. So yeah, we’re super confident on that one.

Finally, last year Marshall snuck in a tribute to my newborn (slide 81). This year, as it’s Marshall’s last year with us at Ogilvy, he snuck in a valedictory note – with some very kind and supremely humbling words about yours truly.

Marshall, I know you’re only a recent subscriber to this newsletter but I would like to take this moment, sir, to say thank you.

For your guidance, your mentorship, and your friendship – I learn from you every day.

We joke that the growing success of this trends presentation (50k views in three days – say whaaaat?) has become a rod for our backs (how do we top it next year?!) but, and I say this with my hand on my heart, it is singularly the thing I look forward to tackling most – year in, and year out. The challenge of it, the writing of it, the debating of it. Five years of these and I think grumpy-cat-gate is the closest we’ve come to having an actual argument. Ha.

Thank you, my friend. Good luck with your new gig, and happy new year.

*we’ve raised it with Slideshare and apparently it’s a known bug and they’re looking into it.

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2. HOW TO PARTY IN YOUR 30s

Annie Mac.

Confession: I don’t think I’ve really got Annie Mac (until very recently).

I listen to Radio 1 when I’m in the car. I hear Nick Grimshaw. He’s alright. Clara Amfo – amazing (Clara did a thing for Ogilvy a while back and was just fantastic). Alice Levine, hilarious. But Annie Mac? No, never got it.

But, and I can’t remember why, I happened to be listening to her actual show (that might’ve had something to do with it) and it was great. The music, her enthusiasm and knowledge – anyway, at that point I realised that I’d only ever really heard her appear on other shows. The depth never really came across…

Anyway – Refinery 29 interviewed her. And it’s ace.

So read it.

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3. FOR ITEM THREE THIS WEEK, I WILL COMPRESS WHAT SHOULD’VE BEEN LAST WEEK’S FTOF

Aka – stuff you would’ve read about last week and it would’ve been cool but instead you’re reading about this week and it’s now just a bit passé.

READY?

LET’S GO!

That was the quite the download…

And breathe.

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4. HERO. 

For the uninitiated, Twitch is a [mainly] video game streaming site where gamers can stream their gaming antics and, if popular enough, make money from the advertising served against. There have been a few cases of nefarious usage before however this one, while not completely above board, is so super awesome I just had to include it.

LOOK.

Amazing streamer, AJ Lester, streamed an entire UFC match while pretending to play it. Hero. Bashing buttons, shouting – it was hilarious. I say ‘was’ because I don’t think you can watch it anymore BUT do, definitely do, go read about it.

Legend.

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5. GOODBYE, EVERY FRAME A PAINTING

I first referenced Tony Zhou’s work in FTOF #177. The ongoing Vimeo series, Every Frame a Painting.

If you know it, then you’ll be sad to know that Zhou has brought the work to a close.

If you’re new to it, then I envy you (you have a lot of catching up to do).

The former, go read.
The latter, go watch.

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PRE-BONUS ESSENTIAL READING: 

Only the essentials. 

________________________

THE BONUS SECTION OF BONUS-SHAPED BONUSES: 

Bo-bo-bo-bo-bo-nus.

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SO LONG 2017, AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH. 

Team, you are all brilliant.

I’m signing off now, for the rest of the year. All being well, your next edition of Five things on Friday will arrive on (or around) January 5th, 2018.

If you’ve been here for a while then you may have detected that 2017 hasn’t been the easiest year for me. However, again – if you’ve been here a while – one would hope that you’ve detected a lift in my spirits. And they are indeed, lifted.

Those of you I owe email replies to, expect them over the coming days (if you’ve never replied to this email before – then why not do that today?) and if you’re new here, reply and say hi. Because why not?

Merry Christmas.

Happy New Year.

Sincerely, reader, I hope your year has been kind to you. As a dear friend said to me once, everything will be OK in the end. And if it’s not OK, it’s not the end.

Whatley out, x.

Five things on Friday on Saturday #242

Things of note for the week ending Saturday December 2nd, 2017

IMPORTANT NOTICE: 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.

SUBSCRIBE TODAY.

Shall we?

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1. VOYAGER 1 IS ALIVE

This is CRAZY awesome.

Voyager 1, the farthest man-made object from Earth (current location: interstellar space), just fired up its thrusters for the first time in THIRTY-SEVEN YEARS.

The results of the request took 19hrs and 35mins to transmit back to Earth (quite the long distance call) but the damn thing still works. Incredible.

Please, go and read more – via the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, at NASA.

This is actually rocket science.

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2. HOW TO SURVIVE THE MEDIA APOCALYPSE

HINT: it ain’t ‘pivot to video’.

Try pivoting to readers instead. That’s what this piece from The Atlanticproposes as its solution to the ongoing demolition of the media landscape. You know when Buzzfeed have to make lay-offs, things aren’t looking great all around.

“2017 has been a uniquely miserable year in the media business, in which venerable publications and fledging sites, divided by audience age and editorial style, have been united in misery. At Vanity Fair, the editorial budget faces a 30 percent cut. At The New York Times, advertising revenue is down $20millionannually after nine months. Oath, the offspring of Yahoo and AOL’s union, is shedding more than 500 positions as it strains to fit inside of its Verizon conglomerate. Meanwhile, almost every digital publisher seems to be struggling, selling, or soliciting, whether it’s the media company IAC exploring offers to offload The Daily Beast, Fusion Media Group offering a minority stake in The Onion and former Gawker Media sites, or Mashable selling for a fifth of its former valuation. So many media companies in 2017 have reoriented their budgets around the production of videos that the so-called “pivot to video” has becamean industry joke. Today, the pivot seems less like a business strategy and more like end-of-life estate planning.”

There are three main trends covered. Too many publishers, not enough cash, and the ‘Trump-effect’.

You should read this piece.

It’ll make you sound smart at dinner later.  

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3. MESSAGES FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE ARE CHANGING HOW WE GRIEVE

This week’s edition of ‘The future is effing weird, you guys’.

I’ve read this article twice and can’t find one section suitable to lift and shift into this for your consumption.

My advice: just read the damn thing.

As someone who regularly emails his children to inboxes that they won’t know exist for many years to come, this has really made me think about the impact those messages might have should my light go out before they read them.

Also, you may need tissues. 

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4. VANITY FAIR ON THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSEThis is a phenomenally great interview and overview of the Marvel Studios goliath that now dominates our cinema screens every four or five months.

Because I’m a geek for this stuff, I’m often (well, not often these days – people have heard it all) found to be exclaiming to people that IRON MAN was never EVER ‘the coolest superhero ever’. Think about it. Think back. Before the movie, your average person in the street would struggle to name him. ‘What? Is he a robot? Why is red and yellow? Looks rubbish’ – they would’ve said to you. 2008’s IRON MAN movie was SUCH a huge risk. To think that the culmination of all of that is just around the corner – some 22 films would’ve gone into a huge story-telling arc, based upon the success of that one gamble.

This doesn’t happen often. And one person pretty much made the whole thing happen. Vanity Fair went to talk to him: Kevin Feige.

PS. In case you’ve been under a rock this week: the INFINITY WAR trailer dropped. Worth watching for the 58th time, I’d say.

PPS. This is the best photo ever of the leading women of the MCU.

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5. UNUSED FLAKE AD IS MENTAL

I downloaded this earlier this week because I thought there was no way in this world that it would stay up but – as I type this to you now – it is miraculously still live.

Six or seven years ago, Cadbury’s (or should I say, Cadbury’s ad agency) commissioned the AMAZING Jonathan Glazer (you’d know his work: Under the Skin, Sexy Beast – the Guiness ad with the surfer) to make an ad for FLAKE.

The OUTSTANDING output was this 2mins of mental brilliance.

FOR SOME REASON, Cadbury’s said no. Can’t think why… 

Can you imagine that turning up as an ad in the middle of Corrie?

Brilliant.

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PRE-BONUS ESSENTIAL READING: 

Only the essentials.

The full list of all sexual misconduct accusations made against Donald Trump

It’s the only one here for a reason. Read it. 

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THE BONUS SECTION OF BONUS-SHAPED BONUSES: 

Big up your bonus self.

Until next time…

Whatley out.

Five things on Friday #241

Things of note for the week ending Saturday, November 25th, 2017.

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.

ONWARDS!

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1. OK GO, BACK AT IT AGAIN

With a cool new vid.

Touch/click/hit to play in YouTube.

1 band. 567 printers. And a lot of [recycled] paper.

Not as great as previous efforts but still – so very OK GO.

Worth a watch.

via.

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2. HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE

The above-named game is my GAME OF THE YEAR bar none. You play a Viking woman who suffers from psychosis, fighting her way to save her husband’s soul from hell itself.

It is a PHENOMENAL game.

Here’s why.

First: it LOOKS amazing.

All in-game shots, taken with photo-mode, on the PS4 Pro. 

Second: the design choice regarding your save.

Today’s gamers are used to running, jumping, shooting, dying, respawning, trying again… And Hellblade has the same feature. Except, when you die in the game, a darkness appears on your arm. Every time you die, the darkness increases. Should the darkness grow enough and reach Senua’s brain, allprogress is lost.

The game never tells you how many deaths it will take for this to happen. The game never tells you how close you are to losing everything. The game never tells you a damn thing.

AND SUDDENLY: DEATH. MATTERS. IN. A. VIDEOGAME. 

Honestly, as I was nearing the end of the game and lost two live in quick succession I had tingles and cold sweats all over. Thrilling and brilliant.

Third: the game itself was a gamble by its creators, Ninja Theory. They wanted to create a new AAA title, sell it at a non-AAA price, and keep it independent in the process – owning the IP and not having to bow to the whims of any profit-driven publishers (looking at you EA/Star Wars Battlefront). And the gamble paid off.

If this is of interest, you can read more about that here.

Finally: the way the game handles the mental illness of the lead character is so deftly handled – with its care and intensity – is to be applauded. To understand this, as well as a few other bits mentioned above, you should definitely take 10mins out of your day and watch this video from the team at Ninja Theory(feat: the actress playing Senua, as well as details around the money the game for mental health awareness day a month or so back).

Like I said: it’s my GOTY. It’s on PS4 and Steam. And it’s about £25.

This game is important.

PLAY. IT. 

Bonus: my mate Phil’s one line review had me in fits. 

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3. DID YOU RETWEET THE ‘STORY’ ABOUT TORY MPs VOTING ON ANIMALS NOT BEING ABLE TO FEEL PAIN OR EMOTION? THIS BIT IS FOR YOU. 

First and foremost: it was untrue.

Here’s how you were led astray.

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4. 35 THINGS LEARNED FROM THE LOGAN DVD COMMENTARY

This is either up your street or it isn’t.

I thought Logan was an ace film. I also happen to have a penchant for a decent DVD commentary. However, not really buying DVDs anymore nor having the actual time to watch them (twice), means I just read the cliff notes. This is one of those notes and, as you may have guessed, it is right up my straße.

READ ME.

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5. AUTHENTIC BRANDS JUST SELL YOU STUFF

This is a[nother] good read from fellow planner and, going by his current rate of two for two, decent writer of things, Neil Simpson.

Challenging the over-use of the A-word, it challenges brands to be a bit more open about what it means to a) be authentic and b) admit to themselves that their sole purpose to exist is to sell things (not make the world a better place by x, y, and z – for example).

I liked it – you might too.

Interestingly, it also reminded me of the BITELondon conference I went to a week or so ago. The closing keynote speaker was Alain de Botton (on excellent form) and, during the Q&A, I asked him about how, in the route to re-shaping and reforming capitalism (the theme of his talk – and book, which I have next to me) do brands settle the conflict between just being around to SELL STUFF but also DO GOOD via an over-hyped brand purpose. This question itself was driven by something I had seen about some lofty brand purpose BS from a toilet cleaner about how it believed the world would be a better place if everything was sparkling clean – (toilet cleaner isn’t going to help war-torn Syria, so stfu). I digress. AdB tabled the suggestion that there was nothing wrong with brands being modest in their reasons for existence.

And that part I wrote down.

I really like the idea of a ‘modest brand purpose’. It keeps things pointy, clean, and simple. I am yet to employ the thinking on any brands I work on (yet – it’s not often you get to [re]write a brand purpose) however I think it’s a thought that should fly. Why not clip the wings of a brand purpose? You can’t boil the ocean with seven words in the middle of a ven diagram, but I’m damn sure you can boil an egg.

Food for thought.

Cheers Neil.

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PRE-BONUS ESSENTIAL READING: 

Only the essentials. 

__________________________

THE BONUS SECTION OF BONUS-SHAPED BONUSES: 

Wicked ah wicked, bonus is massive –

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YOU ARE NOW NEARING THE END. 

Tip of the week: a year or so ago I decided to try and see SUICIDE SQUAD at the cinema. I felt that, as a writer and general fan of all/most comic-based stuffz, I owed it to myself (and others) to see it and share my opinion on it.

I will not be doing the same re: JUSTICE LEAGUE.

You shouldn’t either.

That is all.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND Y’ALL xxxxxx

Whatley out.