Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that have made my day this week:

I got this presentation on behavioural economics via Paul Armstrong’s Concentrate weekly newsletter

Burger King used to do some great marketing films like Whopper Freakout, but had gone away from it for a few years. Proud Whopper hopefully marks a return to making these thoughtful emotive films

We’ve been experimenting in the office with to.be Camera to try and do something different to Vine for a client event. It’s one-off creative toy, but I got quite fond of the atomic explosion effect. 

Cooper-Hewitt is the US equivalent of the Design Museum in London and has recently gone through a rebrand. Part of the rebrand was to giveaway at the corporate font and the files necessary of the technically competent (i.e. not me) to iterate on the design. Quartz have a really good summary on the rationale behind this giveaway.

Finally the marketing team pushing The Guardians Of The Galaxy came up with this nice spoof of a holiday tour company advert.

America looks to 2024 – research

Consumers in general aren’t the greatest predictors of the future but this research by pollsters PSB makes for interesting reading. An America that sees itself declining in economic and infrastructure terms over the next ten years, but sees the country taking a more progressive stance on moral issues.

The country poses opportunities for lobbyists with a disenfranchised electorate that has no expectations of their politicians achieving anything – leaving them free to pursue the agendas they are lobbied about.

It is an America resigned to low-or-no growth and children who expect to do worse than their parents – something unheralded in modern American history.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Banks in China make as much profit as those in the US, Europe, and Japan combined | Quartz – by comparison the European banking system is a minnow and has horrendous losses

Ikea built a website inside Instagram | The Verge – gimmicky idea that would work as a one-off

Democracy and auditing | China Accounting Blog – given that the big four are under pressure in China this might have been an effort to curry favour, but screwed themselves over in Hong Kong and other countries with this

Confectionery Trends and Innovations at the 2014 Convenience U CARWACS Show in Toronto – Euromonitor International – focus on sharing occasions is a marketing agency opportunity

The Rising Importance of Single Person Households Globally | Euromonitor International – interesting data points, I am waiting for food packaging to better represent this demographic

QuickOffice Will Be Discontinued | Google System – bad news for mobile workers

Do Screens Make Us Stupider? Time for a Rethink of Reading | Discover Magazine – the challenge is that books might be written for a reason around learning, but are published to make money, unless there can be a special cognitive edition that makes even more money…

Huawei’s Honor 6 cannibalizes sales of its Ascend P7 | WantChinaTimes – poor product management or a larger sign of the smartphone as a commodity?

 

The Facebook paper on mood research paper post

Over the weekend if you went on to quality (not Buzzfeed) news sites you would have probably seen something about a scientific paper that was published by researchers in the pay of Facebook on how emotion spreads through social networks.

There was a lot of copy written already about the experiment, so I recommend that you read The Atlantic‘s piece on it instead. There has been a lot written about whether it is moral, legal or ethical. As far as it being legal, Facebook’s highly paid legal counsel could provide a better steer on it than I could; and I suspect they would tell you it was completely legal.

As for the morals and ethics of it, I rather think that those are a mute point. Consumers emotional states have been tweaked for decades, the question of morality sailed with the rise of the mass market consumer product.
Guilty Viewing Pleasures: They Live
Whilst public relations as it is practiced now is more of a mechanistic craft; its father Edward Bernays viewed propaganda as a ‘modern instrument’ driven by scientific thinking including understanding of audience psychology to move people.

Advertisers utilised motivational research from the early 20th century on to create cognitive dissonance  with a consumer and then provide the product as a solution. The Atlantic carried an article on the psychology of advertising back in 1904. You are a better Mum if you wash your kids clothes with Persil, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk will put a smile on your face.

Political pollsters use voter psychographic profiling to induce a constituency result. We already live in the world of a malleable proletariat envisioned by by George Orwell in his novel 1984.

The people who are outraged by this need to get over it, log-in to Facebook less and realise that they are already sheep with a gallery of multinational shepherds herding them through their consumer lifecycle. What you can do is become more informed and read your environment in a more critical way.

More information
Everything We Know About Facebook’s Secret Mood Manipulation Experiment | The Atlantic
Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks by Adam D. I. Kramera, Jamie E. Guillory and Jeffrey T. Hancock
The Oxford Handbook of Propaganda Studies (Oxford Handbooks) the Auerbach and Castronovo edited anthology gives you pretty much everything you need to know from Bernays onwards about psychology and audience manipulation
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The Psychology of Advertising by Walter D Scott | The Atlantic (1904) – no that’s not a typo
Frontline: The Persuaders | PBS
Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals | Jib Fowles

Links of the day | 在网上找到

[1406.2293] Gossip: Identifying Central Individuals in a Social Network – market research as a network analysis tool

An Online Course For FPGA And CPLD Development | Hackaday – Reddit as an old time free university – but without the hippy politics

Facebook tinkered with users’ feeds for a massive psychology experiment · The A.V. Club – and people will be surprised why? Good TV consumer product advertising is all about inducing anxiety with current states and promising some sort of emotional reward on purchase

APAC has highest software piracy rate – combination of being gadget driven and piracy is easy

P&G’s Always celebrates the “Like a Girl” way of doing things | PopSop – interesting bit of culture hacking

mirador – interesting application for analytics

Study: Social Media is Not a Trusted Media Source for PR Pros | Convince & Convert – interesting-ish piece I guess

Xiaomi founder Lin Bin reveals global ambition | Marketing Interactive – no real surprise, but interesting how they will expand the web services side of the Xiaomi experiences

WeChat + Vivienne Tam = International Model Search 2014!| WeChat – interesting campaign for mass affluence brand. Tam is also trying to encourage usage of WeChat amongst English language customers, so I suspect that this is partly funded by Tencent.

Google I/O: who is Google trying to disrupt?

Google I/O this week played out like a science fair trying to be an Apple keynote. It was interesting for me to watch to try and discern how this will affect commercial rivals.
Made it to Google I/O "extended". Now what do those guys in Mtn View have to share? #google
The most obvious casualty of this move is not Apple or Microsoft but the Java language that Android’s application language is very similar to. Java was touted in the mid-1990s as a write-once, run-anywhere development language and pops up in surprising places. A variant of Java ran most of the pre-iOS smartphone games. It provided a development environment for early web applications including those used in the enterprise. Java had developed a strong footprint in consumer electronics that Android is now looking to usurp. Oracle had worked hard to support Java for embedded devices ever since it released the first Java development kit for OSX a couple of years ago.

Microsoft has already failed in mobile devices, having spent billions of dollars to maintain a toe hold – this situation may change over time, but for now Microsoft isn’t a relevant player in mobile devices. So Microsoft would be more threatened by Google’s integration of its internet services into Android, than by Android itself. Gmail has become a development platform in its own right and Google is providing enterprise users with unlimited storage for $10 a month. Microsoft’s web services business has been growing rapidly to challenge the current market leader Amazon. Every part of that business from Azure cloud computing to hosted Exchange server functions are threatened by Google’s recent announcements.

Google’s announcement of a smart TV come games console would threaten neither Microsoft nor Sony will be particularly worried by Google’s plans for an Android-powered games console, at least for now. It is interesting that Google thinks there still a market for games console casual gaming rather than just for the zealots. This could be a winner if Nintendo became a developer and abandoned the Wii U – similarly to SEGA’s retreat from the games console market after the Dreamcast console.

The expansion of Android and related web services puts Amazon squarely in the frame as a competitor – however this is not a pushover for Google. Amazon has a strong position in digital goods and is the number one player in web services. In addition, Amazon (unlike Google) isn’t restricted in China, which will be one of the main makers of, and main markets for the products that Google is looking to put Android inside. Amazon has crashed and burned as a traditional e-tailer in China with just over 2% market share; web services and digital content could give the company a second wind. Outside China, Amazon already has the payment details of more high-spending consumers than Google, which gives Amazon the edge in the living room.

Whilst Google probably hasn’t set out to ‘kill’ players in the wearables sector, wearable hardware companies are likely to face rapid commoditisation as Android makes it easier to design wearable hardware. This hollowing out of the market will be similar to what happened to handsets before Samsung managed to prevail through the scale of its resources. The challenge will be if they can differentiate on superior industrial design and maintain a premium price, or move into providing web services that support compatible devices –  a direction where Nike seems to be moving with its Nike+ Fuel Lab.

The closer integration of Samsung and Google’s development efforts was probably the most interesting movement at Google I/O. Google’s divide-and-conquer strategy works when you have a number of evenly competitive players, but Samsung rapidly built scale and used its vertical integration to its advantage driving Motorola and HTC to the edge. Sony consolidated its hold on Sony Ericsson and LG have been grimly hanging on against its rival chaebol. Samsung tried to expand control of its eco-system with new applications, services and two new OS over the years – Bada and Tizen. Samsung partnership announcements including the integration of KNOX, represented a degree of detente between Samsung and Google – at least for the moment. This alliance puts other Android handset manufacturers like LG, Sony and HTC at a further disadvantage. It is less clear what this will mean for those developers who Samsung has persuaded to support their Tizen platform. Will that work have been wasted?

The integration of KNOX will also affect the core enterprise business of BlackBerry, providing yet another reason for not purchasing BlackBerry devices or server software.

The further expansion into the home is Google trying to hammer the nails into the cross that consumer electronics companies like Sony, Sharp, JVC and Panasonic are already attached to. However, Google would need to build rapport with Chinese companies like TCL; yet companies TCL is less likely to want to get on the Google train for a few reasons:

  • China is one of the largest markets for home consumer electronics, yet Google can’t play
  • Many of these companies are vertically integrated and already have lower-tier handset manufacturer within the group who aren’t getting much love from Google already and some of these manufacturers are already playing with other Android-based distributions. They may even create forks from the open source distribution that is the basis of Google’s Android
  • A tighter relationship with a content provider will be more important than tying into Google – particularly as Google services face an increasing crackdown in China
  • A tight relationship with a payment provider will be more important than tying to Google – Tencent or Alibaba

Google needs to find a way to address these issues, or partner with another player like Tencent which would take a lot of corporate manoeuvring; any partner maybe careful (if not leery) after they can see how Google’s relationship with Apple went south. Google may not be the barbarian Microsoft of the 1990s, but the organisation is now so big and complex that it could easily crush a partner thoughtlessly.

More information
It’s A Java Embedded World | Dr Dobb’s – I guess I am showing my age, but if feels strange that it isn’t Dr Dobb’s Journal or DDJ anymore
China Top B2C Websites Market Share in Q1 2014 | China Internet Watch
Android TV hands-on: Google makes a new play for the living room | The Verge
Google announces Drive for Work with unlimited storage at $10 a month | The Verge
Google Opens Gmail, Making It More of a Platform for Developers | WSJ
Google previews Android apps running on Chromebooks | TNW
Razer’s making a gaming ‘micro-console’ with Android TV, available this fall | Engadget
Google Introduces Android TV, Its New Platform For Smart TV Apps And Navigation | TechCrunch
Google Unveils Ambitious Android Expansion at Conference | New York Times
Nike+ Developer Portal

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Sorry I have been a bit late on getting this published.

Umeng have put together a great presentation on consumer behaviour and mobile in China’s tier 3 cities

This beautifully shot version of Happy done by the people of Fukushima showing everyday Japanese life.

I particularly like the lucho libre masks and the winking Shibu shot. There is also a great outtakes / making of video

Red Fuse Hong Kong’s work with Colgate-Palmolive in Myanmar to educate children about oral health (and sell more toothpaste) was a Cannes Lion winner and an inspired way of rethinking how packaging was used. The mobile toll-free number was particularly interesting given how nascent mobile phone usage is in Myanmar.

Richard Feynman – The Character of Physical Law – 5 -The Distinction of Past and Future lecturing at Cornell University. Feynman was a great physicist but he was greater at making physics accessible to a wider range of people through his lectures and writing. Take a lunch time to enjoy this video

Yet another new trailer for the Guardians of The Galaxy, we get to see Rocket’s character slightly more developed in this version and he seems brilliant in a Spaghetti Western anti-hero kind of way, if Eli Wallach (God rest his soul) had been a wise-cracking raccoon bandit.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Inside AdWords: More Insights about Quality Score and the AdWords Auction – interesting update

Hospitals Spy on Your Purchases to Spot Bad Habits – Bloomberg – this presents and interesting privacy dilemma and they aren’t even using social data yet

Tumblr Promoted Posts and Yahoo Ads: What You Could Be Missing | Simply Measured – some interesting case studies on Tumblr, would be interested in seeing how brands got ROI

Making Flexible Wood Using a Laser Cutter | Hackaday – really interesting project

Artifact: Oakley Eyeshades | Uncrate – love these, its a pity Luxxotica have ruined innovation at Oakley

Android TV hands-on: Google makes a new play for the living room | The Verge – if at first you don’t succeed try, try again. What hasn’t been shown so far is a use case beyond an Apple TV type service – a remade version of the DVD player. If companies can come up with a killer app in lean back media then things may change

Google Drops Profile Photos, Google+ Circle Count From Authorship In Search Results | SearchEngineLand – makes the organic links look less clickable, presumably there will be some rationale about improving ad click through instead

42% of all luxury hotel reviews authored by Chinese travellers. | Resonance China – this is insane

How the Sweetener Industry Sugar-Coats Science | Mother Jones – this is starting to look like the tobacco lobby

Why Cooper Hewitt is giving away its new bespoke typeface | Quartz – a must-download font

How brands hijacked Luis Suarez’s World Cup bite | Marketing Interactive – nice summary of the news jacking activity on social media

2014 Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet | Constant Contact Blogs – this is really useful

The vacuum tube strikes back: NASA’s tiny 460GHz vacuum transistor that could one day replace silicon FETs | ExtremeTech – looking forward to having that McIntosh Labs sound from my iPhone in years to come

Technorati Quietly Killed its Blog Index in May | TheNextWeb – not terribly surprising, but definitely marks the end of an era

The case that might cripple Facebook – The Washington Post – and a lot of other US web services

Twitter, SMG release first results from Social TV Lab | blog.smvgroup.com – really?

Microsoft Makes Bet Quantum Computing Is Next Breakthrough – NYTimes.com – as Moore’s law is running out of head space and mobile computing has matured

Fighting Back–the Right Way | In from the cold – interesting PR response example

The porn industry is putting skin back in the game | Quartz - looks rather like the music industry: merchandise, custom products (like the way iTunes atomised the album), experiential – drinking venues and live performance – live cams

[The Futures Company:] Ageing in Asia: Myth #3 – interesting changes in divorce statistics

Pushing the reset button on heavy web pages

I am continually gobsmacked by site with ludicrously long page load times because the web page is so big, often 50MB+. This takes an appreciable time to load even with a good broadband connection. On a wireless connected tablet, a mobile connection or in high latency fixed networks like China, consumers are incentivised to click away.

Taking a mobile first approach, encourages lean web design. On a fast network, these pages will load almost instantaneously.

More information
Not addressing the “Chinese Firewall” can haunt luxury commerce | Luxury Daily
18 pivotal web design trends for 2014 | Econsultancy
A Guide to Understanding Page-Speed Tests | WebMonkey

Links of the day | 在网上找到

New sensors will scoop up data in Chicago – chicagotribune.com – interesting smarter city initiative but one has to wonder about what privacy advocates will think?

IBM Discovers Wonder Polymers | GEEK – this looks really interesting

Foul!!! Sony Orders Google to Censor The World Cup | TorrentFreak – Sony apparently oversteps marks with DMCA takedown claims

Terror Organizations’ Search Optimization Problem Is Our Problem Too | Motherboard – interested to see if this was a deliberate Google decision or whether it’s search algorithm really struggled with the changing context around ISIS? If so, then there maybe a couple of guys in a dorm room somewhere ready to disrupt Searchzilla

Muji opens flagship store on Tmall | WantChinaTimes – shows continued power of Alibaba

Here’s What The Amazon Fire Phone’s Crazy 3D Head Tracking Looks Like | TechCrunch – really nice (useful) implementation of animated GIFs over video. The interesting thing about the Amazon approach is that stereoscopic vision isn’t required to appreciate it

Bioischanged – handy for keeping track of influencers

As Weather Channel Blows Yahoo Off Apple’s Upcoming iOS 8, App Storms Ahead for Mayer | Re/code – adds a stick to beat management team with, needs to be careful about stocks default app

Connection planning: rebooted

Marketing as with most business disciplines oscillates in terms of its fads. For instance, brands like Coca-Cola are looking to move away from regional marketing management infrastructure to doing more from the centre with the local countries.

I felt however that rebooking at what has gone wrong in many respects with connection planning seemed to be particularly resonant, particularly when developments like programmatic media-buying, whilst having a number of merits propagate the assumption that media is merely a container for marketing messages.

How should connection marketing be rebooted? As a process, with a set of values  rather than a separate discipline and job title. Learning from our own and other people’s prior mistakes and making new ones.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

UK shoppers are turning German when they walk into a supermarket | Quartz – Aldi finally getting some respect. I would go there if there was a branch close to where I lived

Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends in China — China Internet Watch – interesting bits particularly around changing business models

AnandTech | Manual Camera Controls in iOS 8 – offers interesting application opportunities. How long before we see a Contax camera app for example?

Here’s Why Amazon Is Actually Smart To Make Its Smartphone Expensive (AMZN) | BusinessInsider – interesting analysis of Amazon’s Fire phone

In Europe, knowing your neighbor doesn’t necessarily make you happier – Quartz – interesting consumer data, that asks questions about what community actually means

Bihar’s largest radio station is not a radio station at all | Quartz – Hindustan Unilever uses mobile airtime to broadcast 15 minute radio segments to consumers

The A to Z of mobile marketing: 26 trends to inspire you | Econsultancy – I find the idea of heavy pages horrifying

Are links dead for Yandex? | Econsultancy – interesting article on Yandex SEO

Should Brands get Involved in Political Issues? – Euromonitor International – interesting that this is coming out of marketing rather than CSR

WATCH: Hong Kong ad depicts domestic worker in ‘blackface’: Shanghaiist – interesting how social media is lengthening this story

No more fillings as dentists reveal new tooth decay treatment | theguardian.com – sounds really simple but is cool idea

Growing Up Grows Up | CEB Insights – more democratic collaborative households

Financial Times Testing Time-Spent Ads – Business Insider – interesting move. Will engagement on a page mean that one is more likely to click on ads below the fold or will content just be ignored, would need more detail on click through rates or even conversion rates if possible

Indian chat app Hike adds private mode and 100MB file sending, as it hits 20m users – looks like a me too product

HP Machine: Memristor pioneer explains his discovery- The Inquirer – this looks like a really interesting discovery by HP

Qualcomm for ARM? Intel for MediaTek? Pondering Chip M&A – Barrons.com – interesting discussion on tax inversion

Nokia ‘paid millions to software blackmailers six years ago’ | Reuters – Finnish telecoms equipment company Nokia paid several million euros to criminals who threatened to reveal the source code for part of an operating system used in its smartphones some six years ago – did this make the move away from Symbian even more attractive?

EU, South Korea to Ally on Faster Mobile Access – WSJ – it is a smart move. Impressive that Huawei is investing 600 million dollars through 2018 on next-generation networks

Chinese gov’t reveals Microsoft’s secret list of Android-killer patents | Ars Technica – interesting document which gives a fuller idea of Microsoft’s portfolio. admittedly much of it couldn’t be used against many Rockstar members like Sony and Apple – and some of them could be used in a wider attack on Google services

Links of the day | 在网上找到

As Weather Channel Blows Yahoo Off Apple’s Upcoming iOS 8, App Storms Ahead for Mayer | Re/code – adds a stick to beat management team with, needs to be careful about stocks default app

WPP CEO Sorrell Says Regional Offices Can Be ‘Inhibitors’ | Advertising Age - interesting tension happening here; part of the reason that there isn’t a power to yes is because the power structures aren’t designed right. A second issue is also that the centre is all asking for the wrong things. Often HQ has the power to say no; not the power to say yes where they haven’t come up with the idea. All of this means that agency side pan-regional roles will be under threat

Global Textile Trends Round-Up: The Implications of Fabric Innovation – Nanotechnology – interesting article by Euromonitor

UK shoppers are turning German when they walk into a supermarket | Quartz – Aldi finally getting some respect. I would go there if there was a branch close to where I lived

Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends in China — China Internet Watch – interesting bits particularly around changing business models

AnandTech | Manual Camera Controls in iOS 8 - offers interesting application opportunities. How long before we see a Contax camera app for example?

Here’s Why Amazon Is Actually Smart To Make Its Smartphone Expensive (AMZN) | BusinessInsider – interesting analysis of Amazon’s Fire phone

In Europe, knowing your neighbor doesn’t necessarily make you happier – Quartz – interesting consumer data, that asks questions about what community actually means

Bihar’s largest radio station is not a radio station at all | Quartz – Hindustan Unilever uses mobile airtime to broadcast 15 minute radio segments to consumers

How to manage all your financial affairs from a $20 mobile phone | Quartz – another article on MPesa

Blippar buys augmented reality firm Layar – interesting consolidation

The A to Z of mobile marketing: 26 trends to inspire you | Econsultancy – I find the idea of heavy pages horrifying

Are links dead for Yandex? | Econsultancy – interesting article on Yandex SEO

Should Brands get Involved in Political Issues? – Euromonitor International – interesting that this is coming out of marketing rather than CSR

WATCH: Hong Kong ad depicts domestic worker in ‘blackface’: Shanghaiist – interesting how social media is lengthening this story

No more fillings as dentists reveal new tooth decay treatment | theguardian.com – sounds really simple but is cool idea

Growing Up Grows Up | CEB Insights – more democratic collaborative households

Financial Times Testing Time-Spent Ads – Business Insider – interesting move. Will engagement on a page mean that one is more likely to click on ads below the fold or will content just be ignored, would need more detail on click through rates or even conversion rates if possible

leet speak (FBI) | Muckrock – I love this FBI guide to online acronyms

Indian chat app Hike adds private mode and 100MB file sending, as it hits 20m users – looks like a me too product

HP Machine: Memristor pioneer explains his discovery- The Inquirer – this looks like a really interesting discovery by HP

Qualcomm for ARM? Intel for MediaTek? Pondering Chip M&A – Barrons.com – interesting discussion on tax inversion

Nokia ‘paid millions to software blackmailers six years ago’ | Reuters – Finnish telecoms equipment company Nokia paid several million euros to criminals who threatened to reveal the source code for part of an operating system used in its smartphones some six years ago – did this make the move away from Symbian even more attractive?

Colgate is betting that you care as much about your pet’s mouth as your kid’s | Quartz – interesting trend

EU, South Korea to Ally on Faster Mobile Access – WSJ – it is a smart move. Impressive that Huawei is investing 600 million dollars through 2018 on next-generation networks.

BlackBerry Launches BBM Protected For Confidential Instant Messaging | TechCrunch – does this mean normal BBM will become less secure?

Chinese gov’t reveals Microsoft’s secret list of Android-killer patents | Ars Technica – interesting document which gives a fuller idea of Microsoft’s portfolio. admittedly much of it couldn’t be used against many Rockstar members like Sony and Apple – and some of them could be used in a wider attack on Google services

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Here are five things that have made my day this week:

Sir Martin Sorrell was interviewed before the Cannes Lions festival by LinkedIn. He is always good for an overview of what’s happening in the industry.

As ever, the guys at Thoughtful China have come up with some quality content. In this episode David Wolf talks about how Chinese brands are looking to go global. It’s brands but not as you know them

The Asia Society posted this presentation by MTV World General Manager and Senior Vice President Nusrat Durrani on cross-pollination of popular culture

Beauty products brand Kiehl’s outreach to men could school a lot of luxury brands. Just check out this mini-film which highlights the use of space age materials in its products with a small spacecraft sent to the edge of space

Lastly, Sanrio’s Hello Kitty celebrated her 40th birthday in a collaboration with Bandai to create a Hello Kitty Chogokin mecha