ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Three and Superdrug launch new UK MVNO | total telecom – so one business owned by CK Hutchison Holdings launches an MVNO with another to drive loyalty card adoption

THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT needs THE WRONG AND THE SHIT OF IT – BBH – interesting essay. The challenge is where do you get ‘crap’ campaign data from and how well will it be documented?

Meet Kakao: How Korea’s Largest Mobile Giant Is Embracing Blockchain – CoinDesk – some smart critical thinking

The Canard About Falling Incomes – WSJ – not an argument that I agree with, but Kessler argues that increasing digital features (like ABS on cars) compensate for the hollowing out of the middle classes (paywall)

Tesla Model 3 Gets CR Recommendation After Braking Update – Consumer Reports – Teslas inspire a ‘true believer’ type following. I am leery of their ‘always in beta’ car software approach because its a car. So I am more concerned rather than delighted the that company managed to bring its braking distance closer to standard using an other-the-air software update

Right Media, Creators of the First Ad Exchange | NYMag.com – the rise and fall of Right Media

Chinese firms pile in to sponsor World Cup 2018 amid Fifa fallout-Sino-US“Chinese companies get two things from sponsoring the World Cup. The first is access to western audiences that they will sooner or later be trying to win over, as their companies expand. The other is a cosmopolitan veneer to their brands, which they hope will resonate with their sizeable domestic markets.” – interesting that BBK’s youth brand Vivo rather than Huawei is the smartphone sponsor

Grace Dent: ‘The processed food debate is MSG-sprinkled class war’ | Life and style | The Guardian – I would align it more with a Neo Victorian patrician attitude towards the working class

Cross border insights finder – handy Facebook ad tool

‘I make £45k a month buying clothes for other people’ – The FT catches up with diagou 15 years after everyone else. China’s changes in luxury tax, increased travel of consumers, restrictions on capital flight, clampdown on corruption and e-tailing has had its toll on diagou

Smart bulbs turn dumb: Lights out for Philips as Hue API goes dark • The Register – I get the benefits of technology but why does heating, lighting or other smart home controls have to be mediated through the cloud?

Holiday Rentals, Homes, Experiences & Places – Airbnb – AirBnB launches stories which seems to be a continuation of its magazines

What is a smartphone? | ASSA – really nice essay on smartphones and consumer behaviour

Shenzhen’s tech innovation hothouse overheats – it’s been going on for the decade or so that I have travelled there. The unaffordability, maker spaces which are a real estate ruse to suck government grants and a grinding life pace. Financial services and design have already moved in. Your in less need of maker spaces when workshops can build working prototypes for you

The long and the BBH of it

This started with a blog post that talks about the IPA’s The Long And The Short Of It (TLATSOI) role in the planning and strategy process of the ad industry.


The Long And The Short Of It Needs The Wrong And The Shit Of It. Feel free to go and have a read and come back.


The IPA’s original research had flaws in the methodology:

  • Focusing purely on successes brings in biases due to the research being taken out of context. Context provided by the ‘complete’ population of good, mediocre and awful campaigns rather than award winners
  • There aren’t any lessons on how not to truly mess up
TLATSOI isn’t a LinkedIn article

Its easy to throw shots over the table when someone has done a lot of work. TLATSOI isn’t an article on the ‘five morning habits of Warren Buffet’ to make you successful.

Les Binet and Peter Field analysed 996 campaigns entered in the IPA Effectiveness awards (1980 – 2010). That would have taken them a considerable amount of time to do. They then managed to write it all up and distill it down into a very slim volume on my bookshelf.

The work is an achievement and Binet & Field deserve our gratitude and respect. Secondly, other marketing disciplines don’t have their version of TLATSOI. We couldn’t critique TLATSOI if it didn’t exist.

Let’s say we want to stand on their shoulders and build something more comprehensive than TLATSOI. Just what would it take?

Working with what you have

Binet and Field worked with what they have. If you’ve ever written an award entry you’ll know pulling it together is a pain in the arse. 996 award entries represents thousands of weeks of non-billable agency time. This was also strained through their empirical experience in the business, which adds a ‘welcome’ bias.

Now imagine if that kind of rigor in terms of documentation and analysis was put into mediocre campaigns. The kind of campaign where the client logo barely makes into the agency credentials deck.

Without a major agency (nudge, nudge, wink, wink BBH) providing all their warts-and-all data, the initative won’t start.

It will be hard to get what is needed. Agency functions aren’t geared up to deliver the information. A technological solution would take a good while to put in place; and like all IT projects would have a 70% failure rate.

In an industry where careers are made and talent attracted on ‘hits’; theres a big chunk of realpolitik to address.

How would you keep a lid on the dirty laundry?

We live in a connected world. To the point that there are now likely to be four certainties. Birth, death, taxes and data breaches. Imagine a data dump, some Excel skills and what was a bit of snark would do to an agency’s reputation? The stain of an ad agency equivalent of the movie industry Gold Raspberries would likely bury careers.

What do we measure?

My friend Rob Blackie started some of the thinking on effectiveness data SLA tiers

A = Tests the objective directly using a Randomised Control Test (RCT) in a real world environment (e.g. measured at point of sale).
B = RCT tests of proximate objective (e.g. brand), direct measurement of impacts without correction for population bias or confounding factors (e.g. a sunny week drives a lot of ice cream consumption). Or case studies (independent), quality survey data on changes in behaviour, testing in an artificial environment. For instance a Nielsen Brand Lift study
C = Case studies (non-independent), data sources that may contain significant bias compared to the underlying population. For instance: Award entries.
D = Indicative data such as PR coverage, social media Likes and similar.
E = Anecdotes. Extra points for quality, and reproducibility across different suppliers / evaluators.

There are challenges capturing long-term branding factors such as advertising ‘ad stock’ or ‘carryover‘. That then takes you into fundemental questions:

How long is the minimum viable time of campaign duration to be considered for assessment?

How long should we be measuring long term branding effects? How do you measure ‘clientside’ quality issues:

  • Resourcing / budgets
  • Product
  • Ambience in the case of client-owned channels
  • Adequate quality briefs. Are the objectives written well? Are they relevant to the business
  • Mission creep or changing company agendas

All of this means that getting to the greater volume of poor campaigns as well as the best is easier said than done. The best way to kick it off would be having large agencies to work together on putting together data sets.

#WWDC2018: all-thriller, no-filler version

I’ve reorganised this to try and provide a bit more coherence as Apple took things in a slightly different order to try and create ‘surprise and delight‘. Cross-platform they’ve evolved Continuity and Siri to try and make them more useful (if, not smarter). A slow progression to a more programmatic world.
I’ve made some notes in green that are designed to flag points of interest to marketers and advertising folk. 
App Store
  • 10 years old (and the app store search is still not where it should be)
  • World’s largest app marketplace
  • 500 million weekly visitors (might be due to moving away from iTunes for app updates)
  • $100,000,000 developer revenues to date
  • 350,000 apps coded in it (no measure of the variable quality though)
iOS 12
  • Focus on system optimisation
  • Faster app and function launches
  • They haven’t dropped any devices previously supported by iOS 11; a nod to longer device lives
AR Kit – v 2
  • Adobe Creative Cloud support
  • USDZ format support throughout the system including News app
  • Multi-player AR experiences (demoed with Lego). Attribute digital assets to a physical object – interesting execution
Measure – digital tape measure
  • Facilitated by MEMs, presumably the software technology comes out of AR work. Handy hack, I could have used this when I was eBaying stuff. I could see it being nice for things like home furnishings retailers and clothing e-commerce
Search suggestions – tries to predict what you want
  • Searches EXIF data for locations, events etc
  • For you function is a bit like Facebook memories
  • Photo sharing – recommended what to share and who to share them with. If its going to another iPhone user it prompts the recipient to share photos that they may have taken. Implications for social photo sharing apps
  • Full resolution over Messages
  • Shortcuts to any app. It reminds me a little bit of Apple Script. Allows you to build multi-app behaviours – drag-and-drop
  • Suggestions based on app usage, calendar, locations
  • Possible implications for app usage – content opportunities to suggest ‘Shortcut workflows’ to build. Poses a bit of a thread for IFTTT’s smarthome ambitions
Default iOS apps
  • Better charts
  • Native iPad and Mac version
  • Integration of Apple news in Stocks
Voice Memos
  • iPad and Mac native version
  • iCloud support
iBooks renamed to Apple Books
  • Redesigned
Car Play
  • Supports third party navigation apps presumably to try and reduce iPhone to Android migration
Efforts to limit mobile distraction
  • Do Not Disturb – improved view without notifications during bed time
  • Can be triggered from calendar or location (meetings, going to the cinema)
Notifications – huge pain point addressed, particularly with people used to Android devices
  • Notifications ‘tuning’ – so that you can only see the notifications from apps you care about
  • Grouped notifications: app, topic and thread
  • Tracks device usage for the user
Child app usage
  • Child locks on mobile device usage
  • Group FaceTime supporting up to 32 participants. Shows the speaker by making their tile bigger. Challenges to Skype, WhatsApp
  • Integration into Messages, so you can go from group message to Group FaceTime

watchOS 5

  • Walkie Talkie – push-to-talk app – watch-to-watch. Surely it would make sense on iOS and macOS as well?
  • Web content on watchOS via WebKit
  • AppleTV 4K to support Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision certified
  • AppleTV as cable set-top box for (Salt in Switzerland, Canal+ in France, Charter Spectrum). OTT on iPhone and iPad as well. If cable companies move to just being media content aggregators, how will this affect DOCSIS and FTTH roll out?
  • Zero-sign on for content when part of a cable TV offering
  • 3rd party remotes will work with AppleTV
macOS – Mojave
  • Dark Mode – dark skin of OS. Nice level of integration and easier to work with during the evening, but not exactly ground-breaking
  • Desktop stacks – arrange by date, kind or tag
  • Contextual quick actions in Finder – can include Automator actions
  • Screen capture for video should make presentations a lot easier
  • Dev tools to make it easier to move iOS apps to the Mac framework – used this time on Apple default apps, Apple will roll out to developers in 2019
  • Beefing up security including app permissions to cover your mail database, camera and microphone use
  • Shutting down tracking on likes, shares and comments. Strong focus on attacking ‘Fingerprinting’ – making it harder to track – Macs will be harder to distinguish from one and other (its also in iOS 12). Only providing basic web fonts as data, no data on legacy plug-ins and cutting back on app set-ups
  • Favicons in tabs (this annoyed the bejesus out of me, its a small thing but I am glad to see it)

App Store

  • Revamped App store allows more content to market your app and improve usage / engagements. Opportunities for in-appstore content marketing (demo videos, ongoing articles with tips etc)
  • Ratings and review API (which will likely be a bit annoying). This will provide an incremental benefit for app marketers
  • Microsoft Office and BBEdit will be in the Mac app store – huge boost for the credibility of the Mac App Store
Machine learning
  • CreateML – trying to make machine learning training easier for apps
  • CoreML 2 – Improved machine learning performance using batch predictions

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

5 Facts of China’s Post-00s Generation’s Consumption Habits | Jing Daily – big challenge for foreign brands and agencies flogging influencer programmes

Teens prefer YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram to Facebook, 2018 Pew survey finds. – not a real issue given Facebook owns Instagram

The White House official Trump says doesn’t exist | South China Morning Post – China’s Ministry of State Security seems to have royally riled a senior Trump advisor when he worked as a journalist

Chinese Æsop: – good reference of Chinese fables and myths

SinoTech: Whiplash in U.S.-China Tech Trade Relations, with More Conflict on Horizon – Lawfare

The Creepy Rise of Real Companies Spawning Fictional Design | WIRED

Whether it’s Brexit or Bremain, the UK is in long-term economic decline | South China Morning Post – Either way, the outlook is grim. With or without Brexit, Britain is still an ailing industrial nation. So any short-term relief about Bremain must be blunted by the reality that Britain is stuck in the grip of longer-term economic decline. The shock Brexit vote two years ago simply accelerated the process. The jolt to confidence has ripped a big hole in investment and spending, and started unravelling many of the lifelines propping up the economy. Britain may never fully recover – Hong Kong op-ed on Brexit says a lot about how foreigners are viewing it

China’s yuan gets support from Africa central banks to replace US dollar reserve — Quartz – given China’s acquisition of raw materials from Africa, Chinese government loans and large amount of Chinese goods imported having the yuan as a reserve currency makes sense

Canceling Roseanne wasn’t the only possible decision, but it was the right one. | Slate – I was trying to articulate what has always been so tricky about the reboot, which was the utility of its immorality. Trump voters could watch Roseanne and feel seen, heard, and flattered. It allowed them to imagine themselves, like Roseanne Conner, as smart, tough, funny, and not racist.* And as false and mendacious as this fantasy is, it was, also, perhaps efficacious for our schisming America, a pressure release valve for Trump voters, while also being a relatively nontoxic way for progressives to observe said Trump voters. It was a way for us to see each other without actually having to speak, a way to exist in the same space without having to fight. – I was going to blog about Roseanne but this Slate op-ed nailed it

Tech bubble is larger than in 2000, and the end is coming | CNBC – I’d argue that there has been diminishing innovation and longer term benefits in terms of returns

Яндекс.Станция — мультимедиа-платформа с Алисой внутри – Yandex Station – an Amazon Echo / Alexa analogue for Russia only.

China Flexes its Market Muscle by Demanding Samsung and SK Hynix cut Memory Chip Prices for Huawei & others or else – Patently Apple – Chinese PC makers have been struggling under component cost pressure as Samsung and SK control over 75 percent of global demand as of the first quarter of 2018. China says it wants to ensure “fair competition” in the market, so that no single supplier becomes too dominant and manipulates prices.

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五) | 금요일에 다섯 가지

Things that made my day this week.

The top thing would be catching up with old friends. ‘Old is gold’ as they say. I got to go to the Bicester Village outlet centre (as guide rather than shopper) and the contrast between the restaurants just outside the village was an eye-opener to my foreign guests. My key take away on their reaction: China isn’t going to be jumping up and down to invest in a post-Brexit UK. Bicester Village’s owner has already hedged its bets; it has twin outlet villages in Barcelona, Dublin, Madrid, Milan, Paris Shuzhou and Shanghai – all competing for global luxury buyer spending. They are either in nicer climes or more convenient for East Asian shoppers. They’ve been changing the way Chinese consumers buy luxury and Bicester may not reap the full rewards now.

This documentary on genre defying Chinese group Re-Tros and their first European tour in support of Depeche Mode. People often use the descriptor post-punk. They’re style definitely has a jazz or progressive rock-style improvisation feel to it. The 1980s descriptor ‘electronic body music’ applied to the likes of Front 242 seems to be as good a descriptor as any.

In what has become an internet tradition, Mary Meeker presents her annual trends presentation

And here are the slides


If Mary Meeker hadn’t convinced you about the robust state of innovation in the Chinese technology eco-system then this presentation by George S Yip may do the trick.

I started using the Usenet for the first time in years for a research project. I wanted to go back and understand longer term trends. The Usenet archives were a handy primer. The Usenet served a similar purpose to the likes of Reddit. I wanted a native application and this was the best Usenet client that I found. NZBVortex | Simply the best Usenet client for Mac. Many old favourites were no longer in development or supported by the latest version of macOS.