What consumers need + more

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What Consumers Need to Hear from You During the COVID Crisis – Harvard Business School Working Knowledge“NEARLY A QUARTER OF BRANDS HAVE GONE DARK, PAUSING ALL OF THEIR PAID MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE FIRST AND SECOND QUARTER OF THE YEAR.” – their emphasis not mine. On the face of it that article is a good guide on what consumers need to hear most times; but I would have preferred to see that there was empirical research behind this. It relies on ‘common sense’ and smart people’s guess work / opinion to try and figure out what consumers need to hear from brands. What is undeniable is not that what consumers need to hear, but that consumers need to hear something. Media without advertising support will go under. Brands going silent are losing salience and brand consideration. Consumption still goes on. We communicate now, to influence post-COVID markets, that isn’t about what consumers need, but what brands need. More on related topics here.

In the Battle Against the Machines, She’s Holding Her Ground – The New York Times – machine learning stuggles with things like multiple voices

Chinese factories go to extremes to fend off second wave of coronavirus cases – The Washington Post – paywall. Interesting the kind of precautions Foxconn et al are taking to stop re-infection from decimating its workforce and shutting down their manufacturing lines

Coronavirus Surveillance Helps, But the Programs Are Hard to Stop – Bloomberg – Two people taunted on social media for having an affair because the data showed they were at the same hotel at the same time turned out to have been there for a church gathering.

UN’s partnership with Tencent at odds with its push for global unity – this is very dark, particularly when you take into account the hand China has played with compromising the WHO

Thevintageknob.org • View topic – The web of japanese contractors – fascinating investigation into the complex web of sub contractors who supported the Japanese hi-fi industry

TikTok Told Moderators: Suppress Posts by the “Ugly” and Poor – I presume this helped change the algorithms as well? It is a mirror of wider society

Zoom admits user data ‘mistakenly’ routed through China | Financial Times – security has become a hot mess for Zoom

What is Gen Z spending its money on? — Quartz – is it really that different?

US prez Trump’s administration reportedly nears new rules banning ‘dual-use’ tech sales to China • The Register – ok this is going to get interesting

Suspense – Single Episodes : Old Time Radio Researchers Group : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive“On September 30, 1962 a major milestone in radio drama came to an end with the final episode of the long running series, SUSPENSE. Ironically, the episode was titled “Devil Stone” and was the last dramatic radio play from a series that had its roots in the golden age of radio. What began as a “new series frankly dedicated to your horrification and entertainment” took on a life of its own mostly due to the talents of some outstanding producers and adaptations and original stories from the cream of mystery writers of the time. The golden age of radio was truly the golden age of SUSPENSE as show after show broadcast outstanding plays which were “calculated to intrigue…stir [the] nerves.” 911 radio plays from the 40s, 50s and 60s! SO MUCH STYLE! Honestly, I’ve listened to a few of these now and they are wonderful; great stories, great acting, and proper time travel – wonderful, and a perfect bedtime story if you’re in the market for such a thing. – via Matt Muir

The life and timepieces of Ralph Lauren | How To Spend It – I love Lauren’s attitude to watches

Gen Z. The Myth. The Reality. | GeometryI sometimes read out a excerpt from an article in Time Magazine to my colleagues when discussing Gen Z:“Deeply committed to the redemption of social imperfections, they have taken on a vast commitment towards a kinder, more equitable society; they are markedly saner and more unselfish than their elders.”Everyone nods respectfully, seeing images of Greta Thunberg in their mind.There’s One Phrase for the Aspirations of Gen Z that I Think is Oracular in an Interesting Way. The twist: it’s from a 1965 issue of the magazine. And they’re actually talking about Baby Boomers.

Why Don’t We Just Ban Targeted Advertising? | WIRED – The most interesting thing is what this article misses – the questionable effectiveness of targeted advertising as opposed to smart mass advertising in the marketing mix a la Byron Sharp

Porn platform poses as a snack delivery app on iOS – Porn is illegal in China, so one porn platform is hiding in plain sight | Abacus – interesting, how did this get through testing? Did they have a working snack delivery service up and running for testing; to get this through iOS testing in particular?

Michel Lamunière: “Print is going to thrive in luxury and fashion” | Luxury SocietyI agree that print is being challenged in categories like news and general women’s lifestyle ­– I don’t see much of a future for those kinds of media. But with luxury, I think that, and I believe, that there will be less players in the future, and that the ones who do it right will really be able to continue to grow. So the product itself needs to be absolutely beautiful. There’s no room for average layouts and content. The content needs to be exclusive, unique, and super engaging

Axios China – China’s v-shaped coronavirus recovery looks too good to be true – interesting PMI data that looks ‘too perfect’

Can Taiwan Benefit From China’s Ouster of US Journalists? | The Diplomat – great opportunity for Taiwan

Coronavirus gives China more reason to employ biometric tech – Nikkei Asian Review – (paywall)

The Karen meme — TikTok escapism in a time of crisis | Financial TimesKarens are moms — pushy ones. They share corny inspirational quotes on Facebook, buy merchandise inscribed with “Live Laugh Love” and love to ruin teenage fun. What really marks out a Karen, however, is their capacity to complain and get their own way. If you ever worked in a shop or restaurant when you were younger, you will remember who the Karens were — they were the ones who asked to speak to your manager. – I must admit I am with the kids on this