Things that made my day this week

Things that made my day this week.

Rhythm of Love Wall – YouTube – I respect the craftsmanship but do find the concept a little creepy, this was for 7-Eleven in Taiwan.

Great interview with the founder and manager of Tokyo’s famous Robot Restaurant

LOUIS XIII Cognac presents « 100 Years » by Pharrell Williams (English) – YouTube – advertising does CSR

Sweating bullets: notes about the creation of PowerPoint by Robert Gaskins – (PDF)

Joanna Wiebe Old School Copywriting for New School Businesses

Most popular blog posts of 2017

I looked at my most trafficked articles from January to June 2017 here.

What did June to December look like?

1Is your PR plan good enough?A series of six posts and a work book on developing and assessing how thorough a communications plan is
2Thinking about MarcelReflections on the challenges and opportunities posed by Publicis Groupe’s bid to build machine learning into the core of the business
3My decade of the iPhoneReflecting on the impact that the iPhone had on my smartphone usage. Probably not as much as you would have thought
4Out and about: Blade Runner 20149Review of Gosling and Ford’s reboot of the Blade Runner story 30 years after the original
5That Trivago posterThe meme created by blanket out of home advertising throughout London in September
6The Bell Pottinger PostI was a bit surprised to see Bell Pottinger go into administration after I wrote this post. Even the London finances were bearing up, the key challenge seems to have been NO interested from any agency approached in acquiring the London office.
7Living with the Apple WatchA reflection live with the Apple Watch 2. My first Apple Watch went on eBay within 48 hours of its arrival and my initial trials with it. How will the Mk II version cope?
8Can too much design thinking be a bad thing?There is a lot of mediocre thinking shrouded in design methodologies out there. But this post wasn’t about that. Instead I wanted to consider the process itself. Was there be constraints on the process itself?
9Technology is way ahead of interface designsGood user experience, ergonomics and the latest technology don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand
10Three takeaways from Cannes and VidconBlind trust in influencers as a marketing tool. The unhealthy state of the online advertising eco-system and transfer of value from agencies and media to two platforms

What did 2017 look like overall?

1Living with the Casio GWF -D1000 Frogman watch


Casio took their Frogman watch and improved it even further. Some of the technology is interesting mainly because they’ve managed to run it all off a diminutive solar panel. The bigger changes for me was moving world time from the ‘home screen’ and reengineering how the strap is fastened to the case in a much more robust manner
2Louis Vuitton, Supreme and the tangled relationship between streetwear and luxury brandsLouis Vuitton has been dragged into the 21st century by its creative director. A collaboration with Supreme seems logical in retrospect for so many reasons


3Is your PR plan good enough?


A series of six posts and a work book on developing and assessing how thorough a communications plan is
4Thinking about Marcel


Reflections on the challenges and opportunities posed by Publicis Groupe’s bid to build machine learning into the core of the business
5Richard Edelman is wrong, PR isn’t at a crossroads…Richard Edelman commented on the trend for large marketing groups to consolidate PR agencies and integrate PR offerings into a larger marketing services stack. This mirrors changes that Edelman’s own company has gone through as multiple disciplines close in on a marketing singularity
6It’s time that we talk about micro-influencers


Looking past the hype of micro-influencers to work out how it fits with brand planning scenarios
7Oprah Time: Blood and Faith – the purging of muslim Spain (1492 – 1614) by Matthew Carr


I picked this book up on a trip to Madrid. Carr’s books looked at Spain’s history with the muslim world in an unsympathetic light. The issues of conservative populism and racism also feel very contemporary given political sentiment across Europe
8Magic Lantern Festival, Chiswick House Gardens


Chiswick hosted a lunar new year oriented lantern festival similar to what you’d seen in Hong Kong and across China
9Have we reached peak streetwear?


A follow-on post from my jog down memory lane about luxury and streetwear. I started thinking about it in terms of a market in its own right
10My decade of the iPhone


Reflecting on the impact that the iPhone had on my smartphone usage. Probably not as much as you would have thought




ICMYI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Luxury Brands Win Right to Block Sale of Goods on Amazon in Europe – WSJ“The quality of luxury goods is not simply the result of their material characteristics, but also of the allure and prestigious image which bestows on them an aura of luxury,” the ECJ said. “That aura is an essential aspect of those goods in that it thus enables consumers to distinguish them from other similar goods.”

Ad Holding Companies to Rapidly Increase Spending With Amazon – WSJ – likely to hurt Google’s product search business hardest rather than Facebook brand advertising

2017 was the year digital ad spending finally beat TV – Recode – its about growth of digital rather than death of TV

China hopes cold war nuclear energy tech will power warships, drones | South China Morning Post – I’d much prefer a Thorium powered DeLorean to a lithium powered Tesla

Don’t Buy Anyone an Echo | Gizmodo – interesting to see this from a gadget blog

ICMYI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Paywall Will Be Wired’s ‘Hedge Against the Future’ – WSJ – I’ve been a Wired subscriber for a long time, not sure how well this move is going to do (paywall)

OptionPlan | Index Ventures – interesting data across startups in the US and EU

Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index Reveals 48 Percent Growth in Parcel Volume since 2014 | Business Wire

ICMYI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Facebook Is Shutting Down Its API That Marketers Lean on for Research – Adweek – big for proprietary agency tools, social media tools and ad platforms

Spicing up Hong Kong’s Café scene | Marketing Interactive – great write-up of Café de Coral

China’s central bank believes bitcoin will die | Quartz – I am more on the bearish side along with the Bank of China. A key function of bitcoin for China was aiding capital flight out of the country

Unilever moves global comms planning to Mindshare from PHD | Media | Campaign Asia – huge win for Mindshare and a move away at the global level between planning guidance and media buying. It would be analogous to investment managers to go back to taking advice from sell-side analysts. I guess part of the problem is trying to get global guidance to be implemented at a country level

Flotogram v1.1 Preview on Vimeo – interesting app that blurs the boundaries between AR and photography

Google’s AI Built its own AI That Outperforms Any Made by Humans – one thing humans jump to is the implications of a more general purpose rather than narrow focus machine learning tool

China’s Tariff Cuts Won’t Hurt Daigou Business For Now | Jing Daily  – China plans to reduce tariffs on 187 consumer goods, including cosmetics, apparel, health supplements, food, and pharmaceuticals. The new policy will go into effect on December 1. The average tax rate will drop to 7.7 percent from 17.3 percent.

China’s Toutiao Tried to Buy Reddit — The InformationOne reason was general skittishness among Reddit’s investors about selling to a Chinese internet company whose user and revenue numbers were tough to assess – and there is the burn

Chinese Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Eyes 2018 Stock Market Listing — The Information – interesting move given Xiaomi’s challenges with other Chinese smartphone companies

Futuristic Warfare Arena Ghost in the Shell: Arise Stealth Hounds – VR ZONE SHINJUKU – I’d love to have a go at this

Are we witnessing the end of the jumbo jet? | Quartz – interesting mix of game theory and economics involved

Apple: Chinese Buying Huawei et. al. but Sticking with iPhone, Says Morgan Stanley – Barron’s – The Jigaung data also highlights that in the 4 weeks ending October 22nd, more “switchers” left their Chinese branded smartphone for an iPhone than iPhone users left for a Chinese branded smartphone, across all local vendors. In fact, Apple’s net switching rate, or the net amount of switchers gained/lost as a percentage of all brand switchers increased to 7.6% in the latest 4 week period, up from 6.7% in the prior 4 week period ending October 8th. Comparatively, Vivo was the only Chinese smartphone vendor to gain “net switchers”, albeit at a significantly lower rate. We expect this trend to only accelerate as future data sets will include the period after the iPhone X first began shipping.

Amazon (AMZN) is so good at keeping prices low, it’s changed how economists think about inflation — Quartz