ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Aston Martin Will Make Old Cars Electric So They Don’t Get Banned From Cities – Slashdot – surprised more companies like Porsche aren’t doing this

Exclusive: Amazon’s Alexa begins crowdsourcing answers to common quest – reminds me of the original thinking behind Yahoo! Knowledge Search (what begat Yahoo! Answers) when I first heard Jeff Weiner articulate it

Mark Ritson: The story of digital media disruption has run its course – Marketing WeekIt’s hard to get emotional or feel any of the romance of news media from a home page, but the paper edition carries with it the great cultural power of journalism. Print editions will become the ‘couture’ offering of the news brands – loss-making but important assets for building and retaining authority and influence over the market

WSJ City | Britain’s stock link to China falls flat – many larger foreign institutions can already access mainland-listed Chinese stocks via trading accounts in Hong Kong. – Not terribly surprising. The big problem is how much hope had been pinned on it from a Brexit point of view

Unilever’s rules for influencer marketing | WARCthat its influencer efforts focus not just on a product, but on attempts to covey a brand’s purpose – as shown by Dove, the personal care line, focusing on “real beauty”. “We are using influencer marketing for Dove across the whole spectrum. In some cases, we use influencers to talk about the features and benefits of the products,” Di Como said. “But, more and more, we are using them to talk about the idea to buy into – to talk about the brand value, of why the brand exists, and the purpose of the brand.” “There is an obsession that the only KPIs out there are ‘reach’ or ‘number of followers’,” said Di Como. “We need to talk about what the real impact is on brand equity – the real impact on the values of the brand.” – which is interesting as I heard that there were efforts to move away from brand tracking surveys and instead interpolate the equivalent data from social listening

Apple Offers New iPhone Promo Deals, Trade-Ins to Boost Sales – Bloomberg – I think the market in general for smartphones is over-baked

Bose Global Press Room – Bose Announces Frames — A Revolutionary New Wearable – this looks interesting, if they get it to work and you have enough connectivity to the cloud

46 insurgent brands shake up China’s FMCG market – Kantarthe redefinition of consumers, merchandise and stores known collectively as“New Retail.” China’s consumers have growing expectations for tailored and specific offerings, which creates many niche opportunities for insurgent brands to capture. The traditional scale advantages of incumbents, such as large sales forces and large retail shelf space, have in some ways turned into disadvantages by digital disruption. For example, the e-commerce channel can reach millions of consumers without a single sales rep, and online platform advertising can reach millions of consumers with much lower budgets than traditional brands typically spend

Volvo & Ericsson – Scroogled? – Radio Free Mobile – interesting article looking at Google’s move into automotive systems

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五) | 금요일에 다섯 가지

I’ve made a conscious decision to ignore

  • Sabrina Meng Wanzhou‘s forthcoming extradition to the US
  • Starwood’s database of really private data allegedly being pwnd by Chinese intelligence
  • Brexit – which at the moment looks like an Austin Allegro hitting a brick wall at a moderate speed, collapsing like a crisp packet and killing its union jack clad occupants

On to things that made up my week:

Back in the day, consumer products brands used to do a lot of advertising to build brand equity. It is interesting that marketing thinking is starting to sway back to that being a good idea again. Reality check, it never was a bad idea, but marketers focused too much on short term effectiveness in isolation. Agencies were fine with this due to the profits available on digital media sales.

An example of the power in brand advertising was work by McCann Worldgroup in Hong Kong for Nescafe Black. Which paid homage to a well known hair dye advert from the 1980s. Bigen hair dye went big on reach and repetition during the 1980s; its recall and memorability helps Nescafe’s ad work 30 years later. Actor Kenneth Tsang is probably not disappointed by the ongoing work either.

This video on Amazon sponsored brands ad format reminds me a lot of the arbitrage opportunities that used to be common in early search advertising. It goes to underscore how much Amazon has taken away from Google et al in terms of product and shopping related searches.

MIT released a video on how self driving cars can work on country roads (without the complex prebuilt LIDAR maps associated with current driverless cars efforts)

Neopets was one of them child oriented social environments with games of a similar vintage to Habbo Hotel and Disney’s Club Penguin. It also has an odd startup story behind it. Watch the video and be amazed

Wu-Tang Clan celebrate the 25th anniversary of their break out album 36 Chambers  with an appearance on NPR’s Tiny Desk concert.

Oprah time: The Dark Net by Jamie Bartlett

The Dark Net had been sitting on my shelf for a while. Jamie Bartlett works at Demos, has written for The Telegraph and writes books looking at the intersection between radical politics and technology.

The Dark Net provides an overview of how politics and social forces have adapted to the internet. Bartlett is largely non-judgemental. In some respects it seemed to a series of essays that followed the Mondo ethos of documentary media.

It felt like some of the content was put in to spice book up, which is the reason why I thought it was similar to Cavara, Prosperi and Jacopetti’s film Mondo Cane 50 years earlier.

Libertarianism was beneficial to the early web:

  • Privacy infrastructure including strong cryptography
  • Fighting surveillance legislation

The Dark Net shows how the libertarianism that spawned the early web has:

  • Weaponised social interactions
  • Driven extreme marketplaces
  • Drove the development and adoption of cryptocurrency
  • Facilitated reinforcing communities to encourage suicide, racial hatred and eating disorders

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Buy it now: the Dieter Rams handbag – DisneyRollerGirl – this reminds me of the kind of thing that would appeal to Chinese millennial luxury buyers. They’ve increased their luxury consumption sophistication in leaps and bounds

Perspectives on Encryption and Surveillance – Lawfare – great set of essays on the interface of cryptography, privacy and the law

Autonomous Vehicle Navigation in Rural Environments without Detailed Prior Maps by Ort, Paul and Rus – interesting work being done by MIT and Toyota

Starwood Reservation Database Security Incident – name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest (“SPG”) account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences. For some, the information also includes payment card numbers and payment card expiration dates, but the payment card numbers were encrypted using Advanced Encryption Standard encryption (AES-128). There are two components needed to decrypt the payment card numbers, and at this point, Marriott has not been able to rule out the possibility that both were taken – oh Lordy!

Time to step away from the ‘bright, shiny things’? Towards a sustainable model of journalism innovation in an era of perpetual change | Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism – to be fair the same is true across marketing and advertising and client boards that have been seduced by the same management consultancy bullshit about disruption for far too long

China unveils first satellite that offers free Wi-Fi to entire world | Video | SupChina – Oh really?

South Korea Charges 11 With Selling Samsung Technology to China – Bloomberg – Samsung spent about 150 billion won over a period of six years to develop the OLED technology that is now considered highly-classified national knowledge (paywall) – US is the least of Chinese worries if they can get other countries China has been stealing stuff from to take action like Germany, France, Italy, Japan and South Korea

Why is Huawei Out in the Cold? | China Media Project – ignore the mock surprise at Jack Ma being a communist party member and reflect on the  interesting analysis of the Chinese Communist Party’s reform and opening 40th anniversary celebration

How Amazon Now Shapes What Our Stuff Looks Like | Gizmodo – how e-tailing is affecting FMCG packaging design

The Next Great (Digital) Extinction | WIRED – how counterculture met digital and failed to meet its full potential

Jane Wong explains why she uncovers hidden app features that tech giants like Facebook want to keep secret | South China Morning Post – great read, particularly her comments on WeChat

How Cheap Labor Drives China’s A.I. Ambitions – The New York Times – manually writing rules is more like prior efforts at AI than the kind of machine learning advocated at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that the Chinese won’t have their successes

Luxury goods group Kering steps up digital strategy with new Apple deals – Reuters – interesting apparent role for Apple in this

In China’s hinterland, car market growth engine sputters – Reuters – a mix of consumer credit squeeze, move out of legacy industries, healthcare costs and inflation affecting car buyers in lower tier cities

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五) | 금요일에 다섯 가지

Things that made my day this week:

Naomi Wu on the nascent open source culture developing in China. It isn’t just about China taking anymore but contributing.

Ari Saal Forman’s Menthol 10s took a swipe at corporate culture and big tobacco.

The ambiguous nature of the male host business in Japan is highlighted in this interview. The client interview section is insane, an 18 year old having $100,000 to spend on drinks in a nightclub – for some people the bubble economy years of late 1980s Japan has never gone away.

A people’s history of computing in the US.

It’s the time of the year when 2019 consumer trends are trotted out.  JWT(WundermanThompson) have 100 trends. Trendwatching thankfully have just five.