ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Citizens’ Voices: Insights from focus groups conducted in England for the project, At Home in One’s Past. – Demos – Demos went fishing to understand the effects of nostalgia across Europe (the UK was merely the first interviews that they did).  Instead got insights into motivations for Brexit. A lot of this lines up with what I wrote before the vote. What pops in this (subjective) qualitative feedback is:

  • The problems that the Labour Party faces with Corbyn and the general distrust of politicians in what should be ‘heartland’ seats
  • The continued credibility of Nigel Farage
  • The anti-German sentiment. The EU was seen as a German vehicle to win the war again by stealth – this has almost a Basil Fawlty quality to it. But at least some of the panelists believed it was true
  • How the political divisions around the societal change driven by Margaret Thatcher’s government reverberated into the Brexit vote

Three Thoughts on Day One at CES 2018 – not surprised that computing is moving to the edge as the network represents latency and potential unreliability – think about how cloud failure when it hit Nest devices and IoT obselescence

WSJ City | Mega Chip Deal Alarms Some Chinese Smartphone Makers – OPPO and Vivo can be viewed as one company as they both have common owners and sprang from BBK. They are brands aimed at different segments of the Chinese market

The One Number You Need to Grow | HBR – original HBR article which introduced NPS

The continental divide? Economic exposure to Brexit in regions and countries on both sides of The Channel – Chen – 2017 – Papers in Regional Science – Wiley Online Library – interesting research on impact of Brexit across EU

Poundland’s naughty elf campaign which riffed on British smut and the ‘Elf On A Shelf’ franchise affected consumer attitudes to the brand according to YouGov. The research is at odds with the overall positive response it got from Twitter (outside the London media-advertising industrial complex) – YouGov | Poundland’s X-rated ads generated publicity, but consumer perception has dropped

Huawei’s US market dreams ‘harmed again’ after AT&T walks away from smartphone pact | South China Morning Post  – “We have been harmed again,” Huawei’s consumer business unit chief executive officer Richard Yu said in a text message to the South China Morning Post – you can see from later articles how Huawei progressively got their act together in terms of media response though much of the coverage added a thin veneer of analysis whilst repeating the original WSJ article – China’s Huawei hit by last minute collapse of AT&T phone distribution deal | Reuters – the collapse of the deal with AT&T, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, will mean that Huawei will likely struggle to make a hit of its smartphones there as a U.S. mobile carrier would typically promote the products as well as provide subsidies and special package deals

Casio AL-1000 – the nixie tube display and ferrite core memory make it a thing of beauty to behold

Unilever under fire over Gaytime ice cream in Indonesia | PR | Campaign Asia – no idea where they got that idea, I imagine it could become a cult brand if launched elsewhere




Reuse, re-edit, remix and recycle | 重新使用,重新编辑,混合和回收 | 재사용, 재 편집, 리믹스 및 재활용

I have been working on a couple of briefs over time that have suddenly seen budgets cut quite dramatically. It’s often a struggle to pare the list of requirements back to a minimum viable campaign. One thing that tends not to happen too often is seeing assets reused and recycled effectively. I saw that being incorporated into thinking at Unilever making TV assets more easily localised in different countries including adapting end slides and one shot for culturally appropriate product uses.



But perhaps the best example I can recall was one that used to show repeatedly on cable TV when I was in the final year of my degree. I would have the TV on in the background, whilst I slowly but steadily cranked out my final year series of assignments and essays.

BreathAsure seemed to have given their London advertising agency very little to work with, but this cheeky voiceover turned the ad around and was an insiders nod to how awful the original American creative was. I am guessing that this probably would not have passed muster if it needed sign off by an American global marketing supremo.

In case you’re wondering what ever happened to BreathAsure, it seems that soon after this ad campaign originally ran Warner-Lambert took them to court in the US regarding their product claims.

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

AT&T Backs Off Deal to Sell Smartphones From China’s Huawei – WSJ – if true it represents a spectacular loss of face for Huawei. There would be likely internal repercussions in Shenzhen as it dents the company’s reputation as a brand on the rise, its aspiration to be seen as a globally recognised premium brand and the oft talked about objective of cracking the US handset market beyond burner phones

GoPro quits the drone business – The Verge – because DJI

A Concise History of the Smartwatch – Bloomberg – quite a nice bit of analysis

TCCC Unity on the App Store – Coca-Cola did an iPhone app to explain the ethos behind its bespoke fonts (presumably beyond not having to pay licence fees and hubris)…

First Amazon Alexa-Enabled Digital Glasses to Debut at CES – Bloomberg – don’t sound particularly promising

Your Car May Soon Start Serving You Ads | Slashdot – it begs a question about the economics of car software

Create & Share Your Own Marvel Comics | Coming Soon – Sign Up Now!  – Horrible caveats to usage but could be interesting for notices around the office – memes etc

Imaginary Soundscape – Qosmo, inc. – machine learning guesstimated soundscapes

Click-to-WhatsApp messaging buttons are now rolling out in Facebook ads | TechCrunch – makes total sense in markets like Hong Kong where so much brand and business communications happens on WhatsApp

Japanese convenience stores showing “hardening of society” with touch-screen age verification? – Japan is a high trust society lying would be a really big deal

Pony Ma, the global strategist with deep pockets | FT – interesting profile of Pony Ma, CEO of Tencent

Tucker Sno-Cats Are the Latest Toys of the Superrich – Bloomberg – interesting design approach focusing on floating over the snow

Things I’d like to see in 2018

There are a number of people who have done great trends / predictions for 2018. I thought that I would focus on what I would like to see.

Smartphones are stuck in a period of innovation stuckness. It is becoming increasingly difficult to justify upgrades to your handset. This has had knock-on effects to mobile networks. In markets where subsidised handsets are the norm like the UK we’re seeing that SIM-only contracts are becoming the norm.

Apple is trying to innovate its way out of this problem with its work on augmented reality interaction. Consumer media consumption will take a good while to catch up.

Smartphone cameras are as good as consumers need (at the moment). Displays are now good enough that improvements look indistinguishable. They are also large enough for you to watch Amazon Prime or Netflix during a commute. Mobile wallets are merely a back-up in case one leaves your wallet at home.

Whilst the app names have changed, much of the smartphone usage now is for the same things I used a Nokia or Palm smartphone ten years ago:

  • Alarm clock
  • Web surfing
  • Entertainment
  • Media playback
  • Communications

I hope that we start to see smartphones going back to the future and looking at different form factors. My iPhone would be much more useful as a productive device if it was available in a similar form factor to the old Nokia communicator. Different form factors of devices for different users. Gamers would benefit from better controls a la the Nokia nGage.

Interfaces can make better use of haptic feedback, and be designed to take advantage of more hardware-optimised devices.

Innovation isn’t only the responsibility of app developers and phone makers. What about a modern 4G version of ‘Enhanced Full Rate’ on GSM (GSM-EFR) ‘hi-fi voice calls’. UK operator One2One launched GSM-EFR on 2G networks in the late 1990s as part of their Precept tariffs, but I haven’t seen any other carrier try to do a similar thing since. Why not? I suspect part of the problem is that ‘innovation’ in your average mobile network provider now is testing vendor products in a lab to ensure they work properly on their network.

The web has developed a digital equivalent of clogged arteries. Part of this is down to buffer bloat and a lack of lean web design approach. Unfortunately the mobile web has not brought a clean slate approach but hacked together adaptations. A bigger issue is the layers of advertising technology trackers, analytics and assorted chunks of Javascript. Ad tech hammers page load time and responsiveness.

Share of time spent viewing video content in selected countries using ad blockers

We’ve seen Apple and Mozilla try to redesign their browser technology to slow down or stimmy ad technology. Consumers are adopting ad blockers to try and improve their own web experience.

There needs to be a collective reset button. I am not sure if we see a resurgence of the paid web or a kinder lighter footprint in advertising technology. Otherwise we have an unending conflict between the media industry and the rest of us.

The debate around machine learning in 2017 highlighted a Black Mirroresque dystopia awaiting us. The good news is that we tend to overestimate technology’s impact in the short term. In the long term the impact tends to meet our expectations all be in a more banal way.

Part of the current problem around machine learning is that Silicon Valley seems to only consider technology rather than the consequences of potential use cases. This needs to change, unfortunately the people in charge of technology companies are the least capable people to achieve it. We need a kinder more holistic roadmap. Legislation and regulation will be far too late to the party. We won’t be able to stop technological progress, but we can influence the way its used.

Lying in bed ill over the Christmas period, I read that crypto currency mining currently required as much energy as Bahrain. By the end of 2018, it will require as much energy as Italy. That is insane.

Apart from speculation and buying products on the dark web what is the killer app for crypto currencies? Why is worth the energy overhead? Steve Jobs focused on computing power per watt as part of his vision for laptops and moving the Mac range to Intel. Part of the move to the cloud was about making computing more efficient for businesses and providing computing power over the network for consumers on ‘low power’ mobile devices. Yet almost a decade and a half later, the hottest thing in technology is a grossly energy inefficient process.

We are starting to see regulators in Korea and China step in to regulate the market and energy supply to miners, but western economies need to look at this. And I haven’t even got on to the ICO (intial coin offering) as Ponzi scheme…

If you substitute the words ‘fax machine’ or ‘call centre’ for app would Uber, Deliveroo etc be considered as technology companies? I suspect that the answer is no.  A company may use a lot of technology – it happens a lot these days. But that doesn’t make Capita, Mastercard or Goldman Sachs a technology company, lets  apply a bit of critical thinking. I wouldn’t mind, but this same mistake was made in the late 1990s during the dot com boom.

Many companies including Enron were ‘repackaged’ by management, venture capitalists, investment banks and consultancies (cough, cough McKinsey) as asset-light technology driven businesses aka ‘an internet company’. It didn’t work out well last time. It won’t this time either.

More information
Enhanced full rate (GSM) – Wikipedia
Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index | Digiconomist
Setback for Uber as European court advised to treat it as transport firm | Reuters
Other trends reports
Fjord: 2018 Fjord Trends
iProspect: Future Focus 2018: The New Machine Rules
Isobar: Augmented Humanity: Isobar Trends Report 2018
J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group: The Future 100
Ogilvy & Mather: Key Digital Trends for 2018 – Whatley and Manson are doing webinar presentations this week if you want to catch them
Campaign Asia did a nice precise of them all
Past prediction stuff that I’ve done
2016: crystal ball gazing, how did I do? | renaissance chambara
2016: just where is it all going? | renaissance chambara
2015: crystal ball gazing, how did I do? | renaissance chambara
2015: just where is it all going? | renaissance chambara
2014: crystal ball gazing, how did I do? | renaissance chambara
2014: just where is it all going? | renaissance chambara 
Crystal ball-gazing: 2013 how did I do? | renaissance chambara
2013: just where is it all going? | renaissance chambara
Crystal ball-gazing: 2012 how did I do? | renaissance chambara
2012: just where is digital going? | renaissance chambara
Things I’d like to see in 2012 | renaissance chambara
Crystal ball-gazing: 2011 how did I do?
2010: How did I do? | renaissance chambara
2010: just where is digital going? | renaissance chambara
Predictions for 2009 | renaissance chambara













ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

And we return to Munich’s migration back to Windo- it’s going to cost what now?! €100m! • The Register – interesting to see this war still being fought in the background by Microsoft

Who Is Making Amazon Echo? (1) – Nikkei Technology Online – interesting teardown data and insights into manufacturing

Boolean Query Writing: Everything You Need to Know | Brandwatch – I’ve been using Boolean for years, but many people haven’t come across it. Brandwatch have done a great guide

Massive Intel Vulnerabilities Just Landed — And Every PC User On The Planet May Need To Update – I can see the conspiracy theories starting about how this is a ‘feature’ requested by the deep state / military intelligence industrial complex – and they might be true

BBC StoryWorks unveils new tool which measures impact of branded content | Marketing Interactive – “In addition, the product showed that the creative execution succeeded in driving a clear uplift in subconscious association between Huawei and key brand attributes such as being innovative, inspiring, environmentally responsible, and high quality. Following exposure, audiences also had a high desire to engage with the Huawei brand; brand awareness rose by 216%, brand association went up by 23% and purchase intent increased by 19%”

Maps | Mapbox – for building navigation services including turn by turn directions

Trump urges Justice Department to ‘act’ on Comey, suggests Huma Abedin should face jail time – The Washington Post – interesting poor information security – saving classified passwords in her Yahoo! account

How the Chinese vs Western battle of internet giants will unfold | Analysis | Campaign Asia – over the next 12 months the Western big three will find themselves head to head with the Chinese internet giants, across ecommerce, brand partnerships and most notably AI. What’s not certain is who will come out on top and whether BAT can adapt to succeed in a different environment- at least in non-Chinese Asian markets

ASA bans Captain Morgan Snapchat lens as it questions efficacy of app’s age verification policy | The Drum – surprising for a company that should know the Portman rules inside out