Oprah time: The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google by Scott Galloway

Galloway is known as the founder of L2 and as a perceptive commentator on the digital economy (well as perceptive as anyone is with a bank of researchers behind them). He admits freely in his book that his fame was due to years of effort, advertising spend, researchers, script writers, video editors and studio time.

The Four

The Four is Scott Galloway channelling Malcolm Gladwell; explaining for the average man:

  • How Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple make their money?
  • How the digital economy is affecting the overall economy?
  • What are the negative aspects of their effect on the digital economy?

Galloway does a really good job of surfing the media and policy wonk groundswell against Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple.

As a digital marketer the book won’t tell you won’t know already know.  I found it a bit disappointing given the role that Galloway and L2 play in the industry.  Secondly, Galloway has already covered all the territory repeatedly in his media appearances and opinion editorials over the past year. He has left little unsaid that would be considered an exclusive for the book

As a digital marketer, if you want your family and loved ones to understand what you do for the living and the major issues that are shaping your job Galloway’s book is a good option.

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

China’s tech industry is catching up with Silicon Valley | The Economist – basically Silicon Valley doesn’t look good

Publicis Groupe creates new agency for auto client | Communicate Online – Publicis takes a leave out of WPP’s book with a single purpose agency

WSJ City | Kraft Heinz looking to acquire more businesses – Kraft Heinz, which is run by executives from Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital, has earned a reputation for its efficiency. As a result, profitability has soared. But sales of its products have declined, ramping up pressure for the company to do another deal so it can start the cost-cutting process again. Rejected Again? A year ago, Kraft Heinz made a $143 billion bid for Unilever, but the negotiations fell apart after Unilever said it wasn’t a good cultural fit. – Looking at this 3G Capital the results imply offers short term profits at the expense of brand value and longer term growth

I like: Josh Tenebaum MIT lecture on building machines that see, learn and think like us

One of the better presentations on the current state of machine learning that I have seen. There is the interesting academic / commercial divide in terms of likely outcomes. Industry isn’t going to create that general purpose artificial intelligence that everyone is writing about. The academic research is very far way as well. In many respects the over promise and under-delivery would be familiar to AI research pioneer Marvin Minsky. Minsky lived through a number of AI booms and AI ‘winters’ when the hype was deflated.

Despite Tenebaum’s reality check on the industry we still see commercial AI concept films created to sell clients on the future promise of a general purpose AI. Agencies and technology companies doing this are only hastening the rise of another AI winter.

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Porsche Is 3D Printing Hard-To-Find Parts For The 959 And Other Classics | Jalopnik – not exactly 3D printing but it is additive manufacturing

Under Armour’s (UA) international business grew in 2017, especially in China — Quartz – it will depend on how Under Armour can leverage their NBA stars in China. They also need to get clear space in design between themselves and rivals

European businesses expect UK soft Brexit, Survey suggests | FT  – 2,500 senior executives in the UK, France, Germany and Spain found that a majority of companies believe that Britain’s future relationship with the EU will maintain principles such as the free movement of people and oversight by the European Court of Justice. (paywall) – they should be more cautious

Many Siris · Bryan Irace – I think its a focus on context rather than fragmentation

Saudi Cleric Says Women Should Not Be Forced to Wear Abaya Robes in Public | The Fashion Law – potentially huge for fashion retailers in Saudi and a possible sign of the state moving towards a greater degree of liberalism – in the loosest possible sense. Saudi needs that flexibility to move beyond oil and getting its young people into work

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

This is a special version of it this week. Happy Chinese New Year! or 新年快乐


Whilst Christmas is the big ad time in the UK market and the Super Bowl dominates American advertising – the Sinosphere is dominated by lunar new year. You see Chinese new year adverts (in the Motherland obviously), Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. They are generally exceptionally sentimental and mawkish, but beautifully shot. It is a time for for family get togethers and when childhood memories are made. Things that symbolise Chinese new year include special food, getting given money in red envelopes and wearing new outfits for the first day of the new year.

Here are some examples I have found of this years ads.


A film director goes back in time to see his younger self and tries to give him advice. I found this interesting given the Chinese government’s ban on time travel in dramas.


This was done for Apple China by Peter Chan and reposted on Apple Singapore’s social channels. They’ve done a really good job of capturing the gruelling journey home that many Chinese make every year.  Shenzhen’s main railway station is anarchy at this time of year.If this one doesn’t wring your tear ducts out you’re one heartless bastard.

Digi Telecommunications

A mobile carrier in Malaysia. the largest shareholder is Telenor. This one has a slight twist in the tail. I was expecting it to be a family matriarch – but it touches on wider connections and childhood memories. Education is much more highly prized in Chinese culture than British or Irish culture.

Maybank – Malaysia’s largest bank

Nothing quite like a bit of TVB style family melodrama to be squeezed into this four and a half minute film. A family in financial hardship gets pulled apart as the daughter grow up and ambition put a rift in the tight family unit.


My favourite one is this ad by AirAsia, who managed to weave in a deft bit of storytelling through the camera PoV and reference the symbolism of the Chinese horoscope for this year through the main character Ah Boy.