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Things that caught my eye this week

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hana Kimura was a reality TV star appearing in a Netflix Japan show. She got a lot of unfair online abuse which contributed to her taking her life. Kimura was just 22 years old. YouTube user Nibota does a really good download on what happened. It mirrors experiences reality shows around the world seem to provoke in online behaviour. Hana Kimura worked in the entertainment industry as a wrestler and her death is indescribably tragic. More Japan related posts here.

London collective Crowns & Owls shot this advert for Wieden & Kennedy Tokyo client Nike Korea. Entitled ‘You can’t stop us’ it symbolises ‘ the story of Shim Suk-hee; the gold medalist speed skater and national icon whose bravery in confronting her experience with systematic physical, sexual and mental abuse within 2019 South Korean sport’.

They actually built the tunnel inside South Korea’s largest indoor ice rink.

Nescafé Hong Kong has a new animated advert for canned coffee. It was directed by Yojiro Arai, formerly of Studio Ghibli worked with a a Japanese team for the best part of a year to provide the authentic backdrop of Hong Kong and you can see it in the details, from the estate agent windows to the money plant in an office lobby. (H/T via the Mad Man blog (HK)).

Lovely case study of an ad by luxury brand Loewe. This was a Christmas film without the cliches of John Lewis et al. It is an interesting mix of analogue skills which reflect the craftsmanship that luxury good brands like Loewe have in their DNA.

Jeremy Fleming, the current director of GCHQ gave a presentation for the online Cheltenham Science Festival. Unsurprisingly coronavirus offered an opportunity for hackers. It is interesting that he goes to talk about privacy and data protection on contract tracing apps. He doesn’t provide a concrete answer.

Its about 8 hours in
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Things that caught my eye this week

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Dove #washtocare advert focusing on cleansing. We’re so used to seeing Dove and have a strong beauty and softness association. But it is challenged in landing a cleanliness message. At least in comparison to other bar soaps. The coronavirus offered an opportunity for them to re-emphasise the cleaning aspect of the product with #washtocare.

One interesting aspect of this is that the ad doesn’t run to the 20+ seconds needed to comprehensively clean hands but a six-second format. Dove seem to have paired it with a paid influencer placement via a platform that pairs social media users with brands and gives the consumers a ‘challenge’ to complete. Unfortunately for a lot of the material, the Dove brand got lost in it, this post below was about the best one that I saw.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CAcF1-PF9c6/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

I suspect so they can put the budget into landing and repeating the messaging. More FMCG related content here.

Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe shows were only of interest to me for the Adam Curtis films that he featured in the shows. This film about the growth of paranoia in society seems to be very in tune with the current zeitgeist.

Unlike many other magazines, Monocle does a good job of showing the ‘sausage factory’ of how their magazine is made. There is a huge amount of pride in the effort they go to get a quality product out the door. This isn’t just from a design and content point of view, but in the tactile magazine experience. I couldn’t think of any other publication that would do a feature film about why they were moving printing press, paper stock, design and content tweaks.

Wired US would have a bit of editorial comment when they have banged it out of the park on design and typography – something that tragically hasn’t happened in years.

All of these changes for Monocle’s print edition has happened in the midst of early coronavirus Europe. The design tweaks aren’t jarring for the experience, with just enough changes to keep things fresh.

The change seemed to be partly driven by Brexit, but also an apparent desire to get a quality step change that they didn’t seem to think would be possible with UK printers. Tyler Brûlé’s comments on the German apprentice system, for instance, shows that taking back control won’t change the perception of relative quality in UK manufacturing versus Europe.

Canvas8 tries to read the tea leaves on likely changes in consumer behaviour due to the coronavirus lock-in period. Tom Doctoroff was the guest speaker in this episode and wrote the great book ‘What Chinese Want‘ which I reviewed a number of years ago.

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Adult entertainment transforms during pandemic – Axios – accelerated move towards interactive and custom adult entertainment production. But US legal issues are getting in the way – Is OnlyFans Deleting Sex Workers’ Accounts? – Rolling Stone 

Publishers and journalists on TikTok – Google Sheets – in case your dystopian life needs more dystopia

Decoding Xi Jinping’s Speech at the World Health Assembly – The DiplomatThe main target of Xi Jinping’s speech is the “global South” and, more specifically, the African continent. The terrain lost in Western democracies amid the pandemic will be hard to win back. However, in terms of global influence, the role of the global South and Africa is vital for China. There also, the image of China has been severely damaged. For the first time, African ambassadors to the PRC had to write a joint letter to protest how African residents were being treated in the PRC

Investigating China: COVID-19 and the CCP – The Diplomatcapitalizing on the growing crisis in the United States and Europe, the official media in China has been trumpeting China’s purported success in controlling the disease. China has also sent medical missions to countries such as Italy. Sending medical missions abroad had been a strategy the PRC used during the Cold War to promote a new international order: a “people’s revolutionary movement” against colonialism, imperialism, and hegemonism

The Chinese luxury market after COVID-19 | Daxue Consulting – interesting how the retailing experience is being adversely affected by COVID precautions

Mixed reactions to current brand comms | YouGovWith the large number of brands clearly defaulting to the ‘all in this together’ message, it’s worth asking: ‘How well does this actually align with their brand values and how they are responding to the current crisis?’ Our research shows that 43% of Brits agree that brands/companies’ current messages and advertising are inauthentic. This figure increases to 52% of males (vs 35% of females). Furthermore, half of respondents (50%) disagree that brands/companies are putting their employees and their customers first and before the company and its profits.

The Crypto Price-Innovation Cycle – Andreessen Horowitz – crypto winters tend to indicate that like AI approaches before it, its not ready for adoption as a technology / use case. Success hasn’t really been in banking or logistics, where’s the adult entertainment play (which drove a lot of other technologies from 16mm cinema film to VHS and web video)

Norske offiserer og soldater avslørt av mobilen – Norge – Norwegian military personnel location data found to be for sale

Why Luxury Brands Are Raising Prices in a Pandemic | BoF Professional, This Week in Fashion | BoFTop-tier brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton are hiking prices in what looks like a bid to pad margins, cushion the impact of lower sales volumes and capitalise on the China rebound.

Electric Vehicles Continue The Same Wasteful Mistakes That Limit Longevity | Hackaday – interesting meditation on software, hardware, design, complexity and quality. Or why a Tesla isn’t as great as Elon makes out

Thailand’s travel industry readies for relaunch | Financial Times – really interesting design hacks being deployed by the Thai tourism industry. It would be great if this positively moves the needle on Thailand’s reputation as a destination for miserly backpackers and adult entertainment

Millennials stand out for their technology use | Pew Research Center – Millennials stand out for their technology use, but older generations also embrace digital life

China’s ‘OK Boomer’: Generations Clash Over the Nation’s Future – The New York TimesChina’s boomers, who were born in the 1960s and 1970s, are as lucky as the American baby boomers born after World War II. China was opening up after nearly 30 years of political turmoil and economic mismanagement under Mao Zedong. Jobs were plentiful. Housing was cheap. And while the party kept an iron grip on political power, society began to open up to new ideas. Before they were blocked beginning about a decade ago, we could use Google and Wikipedia and read The New York Times’s website. The future seemed bright. China is a very different country now, especially for Chinese people born after 1990, or China’s Generation Z. Its economy in recent months shrank for the first time since the Mao era as the country grappled with the coronavirus. One estimate put the unemployment rate at 20 percent. At the same time, housing in major cities is as out of reach for members of Generation Z as it is for their contemporaries in New York and San Francisco.

Merkel cites ‘hard evidence’ Russian hackers targeted her | AFP.com“I can honestly say that it pains me. Every day I try to build a better relationship with Russia and on the other hand there is such hard evidence that Russian forces are doing this,” she told parliament. Calling such cyber attacks “more than uncomfortable,” Merkel raised the spectre of sanctions if such rogue activity did not stop. Germany’s intelligence service has repeatedly called out attempts by Russian hackers to spy on lawmakers or leading politicians.

Troy Hunt: The Unattributable “db8151dd” Data Breach – interesting, looking at the headers, it looks like a wider scrape from multiple sources. It connects multiple social platform profile IDs alongside real world address data. Possibly a large CRM breach???

Exclusive: As China Hoarded Medical Supplies, the CIA Believes It Tried to Stop the WHO from Sounding the Alarm on the Pandemic CIA believes China tried to prevent WHO from sounding the alarm on the coronavirus outbreak in January—a time when Beijing was stockpiling medical supplies from around the world. A CIA report, the contents of which were confirmed to Newsweek by two U.S. intelligence officials, said China threatened the WHO that the country would stop cooperating with the agency’s coronavirus investigation if the organization declared a global health emergency. It was the second such report from a Western intelligence service and is likely to further inflame tensions between the United States and China over a pandemic that has killed 280,000 people worldwide—more than a quarter of them American. – even if this isn’t true, its pushing China US relations into a dark place

How to arrange the perfect bookshelf – probably the most cynical depressing thing I’ve read in a while

Wendy Carlos on her production process that pioneered electronic music as we now know it.

Amazon releases Kendra to solve enterprise search with AI and machine learning | TechCrunch – interesting that Amazon is not offering Kendra in a box like Google did its enterprise search appliance. I suspect this about moving file servers on to the cloud rather than Amazon into the enterprise

The VR winter — Benedict Evans – we haven’t worked out what you would do with a great VR device beyond games (or some very niche industrial application), and it’s not clear that we will. We’ve had five years of experimental projects and all sorts of content has been tried, and nothing other than games has really worked. Hell, even adult entertainment has worked as a driver