Zero touch spaces – Wunderman Thompson Intelligence – I am actually liking these Logan’s Run style personal space bubbles. I also understand Wunderman Thomson’s concerns over zero touch spaces being close, but still isolated. I think of zero touch spaces as a physical manifestation of what we do mentally through cocooning with gadgets such as iPods, smartphones (and apps) and noise-cancelling headphones. Before that there was social networks (rather than real world networking), sat navs, etc. Both the zero touch spaces and cocooning puts distance between us and the world around us.
Government minister Liz Truss. get pwned on Brexit, international trade and the WTO by Adam S Posen of the Peterson Institute of International Economics. The discussion is so one-sided, it is like watching a naked drunkard getting mauled by a polite but hungry polar bear. Truss’ ministerial portfolio is international trade. It’s exceptionally grim to watch if you’re based in the UK.
Ad Aged: Talmudic, Biblical, Keynesian and Advertising. – I have taken a different path. I always have and I always will. I try to do what I think is right and smart and good—and mostly difficult, not what is popular, obvious and pandering. Never trust anything from anyone who spends a good portion of their time practicing expressions in front of the mirror – some savage burns in this post
How a Chinese agent used LinkedIn to hunt for targets – BBC News – The use of LinkedIn is brazen, but not surprising, said Matthew Brazil, the co-author of Chinese Communist Espionage: An Intelligence Primer. “I think lots of worldwide intelligence agencies probably use it to seek out sources of information,” he said. “Because it’s in everybody’s interest who is on LinkedIn to put their whole career on there for everybody to see – it’s an unusually valuable tool in that regard.” He said that commissioning consultant reports is a way for agents to get “a hook” into a potentially valuable source who might later be convinced to supply classified information. I’d be surprised if LinkedIn wasn’t used in this way.
You Won’t Find These Masks at 7-Eleven – The New York Times – Although the pandemic will end at some point, he added, “people will still be using masks because they’re afraid.” While it’s unclear how well some of these more ambitious masks will fare with consumers, one innovation has been a clear hit: face coverings with high-tech fabrics that are said to provide superior comfort or protection. As summer temperatures rise, masks made of materials intended to keep wearers cool are in demand. People who have been wearing reusable cloth masks — including those sent by the Japanese government to every household in the country — are finding them ill suited for the heat and humidity of summer in central Japan, much less Singapore or Hong Kong. – That humidity also has issues for skin conditions beneath the masks offering beauty product opportunities. More design-related posts here.
Parfums Givenchy Debuts Makeup in Animal Crossing – WWD – we’re seeing more of these brand activity for a few reasons. Lockdown gave the game increased cultural relevance. The game has a significant amount of female users. Like the original Atari games it isn’t too childish or gender-specific. Animal Crossing’s creator tools allowed consumers to bring brands to the platform.
China’s two-child policy means more babies named after mum | Today Online – Giving the mother’s surname to a child is gaining traction in Chinese cities, defying deeply entrenched family traditions in the country. The country’s one-child rule, which ran from 1979 to 2016, meant daughters have also been tasked with safeguarding their parents’ wealth and bloodline — previously this had been the preserve of male heirs. This caused a shift in some family’s attitudes but it was the law change to allow couples to have two children that has ignited the trend for kids to be given the maternal name. Now, some parents are giving the father’s family name to the first born and the mother’s to the second child.
New York’s Problems Are America’s Problems Now – “Most cities are the same animal at a different scale,” Esteban Moro, a physicist who studies cities and measured New Yorkers’ interactions during the shutdown, told me. Bigger city, smaller city—it doesn’t make much of a difference, Moro says. You’ll meet about 5,000 people a year.
Pressured by China, E.U. Softens Report on Covid-19 Disinformation – The New York Times – Beijing’s efforts to curtail mentions of the virus’s origins in China, in part by blaming the United States for spreading the disease internationally. It noted that Beijing had criticized France as slow to respond to the pandemic and had pushed false accusations that French politicians used racist slurs against the head of the World Health Organization
Step Chickens and the Rise of TikTok ‘Cults’ – The New York Times – Cults on TikTok aren’t the ideological ones most people are familiar with. Instead, they are open fandoms revolving around a single creator. Much like the “stans” of pop figures and franchises, members of TikTok cults stream songs, buy merch, create news update accounts and fervently defend their leaders in the comment sections of posts. The biggest difference is that TikTok’s cult leaders are not independently famous. They’re upstart creators building a fan base on social media. Ms. Ong represents a relatively new kind of influencer, one who has seized a time of great isolation and idleness to capture the interest of a rapt user base. “I made this video where I was speaking into my phone camera like, ‘Hey guys I think we should start a religion,’” she said in a phone interview on Friday. “Then, I was like, ‘Let’s start a cult.’”
The power of niche | Campaign magazine – Dave Trott on GOOP – The New York Times said: “The weirder GOOP went, the more its readers rejoiced. Every time there was a negative story about her or her company all it did was bring more people to the site.” Paltrow told a class of Harvard students: “What I do is create a cultural firestorm, and I can monetise those eyeballs.” – cultural firestorm or memorable cultural industrial accident? I agree with Trott to a point. But I can’t work out if GOOP is doing ‘good’ outrage like Benetton managed to do with its ad campaigns, or ‘bad’ outrage like Michael O’Leary at Ryanair. Secondly, you might buy GOOP earrings but would you tell anyone where you bought them? Would they be judging you because you’re a GOOP customer. The problem GOOP has is that it’s not causing outrage with the old or conservative per se. It’s more likely to be customer’s peers thinking that as a GOOP customer you buy into bunkum of Palthrow. Brand neighbourhoods are still important and GOOP nestles comfortably in crank corner with David Icke and Uri Geller. More on beauty related stories here.
South Korea’s Government Explores Move From Windows To Linux Desktop | Slashdot – The reason for this is simple. It’s to reduce software licensing costs and the government’s reliance on Windows. As Choi Jang-hyuk, the head of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, said, “We will resolve our dependency on a single company while reducing the budget by introducing an open-source operating system.” – back in the day South Korean online security depended on support for ActiveX, how far things have moved on
Slick Inbox – interesting idea. BUT RSS, VIP section in mail.app are all competitors
How Your Laptop Ruined Your Life | The Atlantic – Earlier this week, a woman managed to find a seat next to me on the train, took out her laptop, and started plugging away at a spreadsheet. The sight filled me with dread, as it does every time I spot a fellow commuter writing code or finessing a PowerPoint while I listen to podcasts. I suddenly became much more aware of the hard, thin edge of my own work computer, digging into my thigh through my tote bag. – Whatever happened to thinking time?
What Happens When a High-Tech Apparel Brand Shares the Same Name as the Company that Backed the Controversial Iowa Caucus App? — The Fashion Law – Not nearly as under-the-radar as ACRONYM, the political organization, ACRONYM, the apparel company, is, nonetheless, situated more behind-the-scenes than the majority of its peers. As writer Adam Wray detailed in 2013, “You’d be forgiven for not knowing much about ACRONYM.” Despite having significant clout when it comes to technologically-advanced apparel and amassing a list of famous fans (think: Kanye West, John Mayer, Jason Statham, best-selling author William Gibson, and mixed martial arts champ Max Holloway, just to name a few), “the company never advertises and with no public relations strategy to speak of, its founders are tough to reach.” Hugh and his co-founder slash business partner Michaela Sachenbacher “prefer to let their designs” – which are heavy on the GORE-TEX technology and utilitarian-focused hacks, and too expensive for most – “speak for themselves.” Yet, “whether you know it or not, [ACRONYM has] been pacing the vanguard of technically-focused fashion for nearly two decades.” – having worked in an office with the unfortunate name of ISIS House, an acronym that it shared with a terrorist organisation I can understand some of the pain for Errolson Hugh and company
精進カップラーメン | zen-foods – vegan friendly instant noodles, I’d be surprised if these don’t start appearing in Whole Foods soon
‘A bit impersonal’: The rise of influencer marketing agencies rankles influencers – Digiday – “When I reach out to brands directly, they tell me to apply for their programs through their affiliated network, which means I lose whatever personal connections I might’ve had and the ability to negotiate,” Groffman said. A company he had worked with for years recently referred him to its influencer network, he added. “Influencer marketing has finally matured as an industry,” explained Kristy Sammis, executive director of the Influencer Marketing Association, in an email. “Brands are now willing to allocate significant budget to strategic influencer programs. This means they need scale, benchmarks, and guarantees. That’s simply not possible with one-on-one influencer relationships.” Currently, influencers lack a standardized set of rates, yet a myriad factors can go into setting a price. That said, a $10 cost per thousand impressions is a baseline for influencers working on Instagram and Instagram Stories, according to Village Marketing founder Vickie Segar. She added that for every 100,000 followers, that rate grants an influencer $1,000 a post. Plus, companies and influencers might additionally negotiate usage rights and exclusivity, which could increase the fee. Terms vary by company, but payment can take from 30 days to 120 days – it’s probably because brands don’t want to have to filter out chancers and assholes themselves. Secondly, algorithms mean influencers are no longer an effective form of reach
The Era of Antisocial Social Media | HBR – saying that after years spent constructing carefully curated online identities and accumulating heaps of online “friends,” they want to be themselves and make real friends based on shared interests. They’re also craving privacy, safety, and a respite from the throngs of people on social platforms — throngs that now usually include their parents. To reach these younger audiences on social, marketers are going to have to re-think their approach. The first step is to understand the distinct characteristics of these more closed, and often more private and interactive online spaces. Since I believe that naming a trend helps provide a framework for understanding it, I have dubbed these spaces “digital campfires.” – to misquote Satre Hell is other people. From a brand perspective digital campfires are more attractive than the digital dumpster fires that channels like Twitter and YouTube often descend into
When China’s Long Game Short Circuits | Echowall – many of the examples of long-term policymaking in China collapse under closer scrutiny, whether in the area of environmental protection, infrastructure or population policy. For example, China’s solar power growth has been driven by government subsidies, resulting in market distortion, huge debt and waste. In the construction of infrastructure, such as the high-speed rail system and local airports, there is lack of coordination and long-term planning – not terribly surprising
Inside Huawei’s first 5G phone: Teardown reveals rush to innovate – Nikkei Asian Review – interesting analysis of the design approach. The design is surprisingly messy. This implies a few things. Huawei had to rush as it was behind. The phone isn’t as ‘premium’ as Huawei would like to believe, its the smartphone equivalent of having Irish travellers tarmac your drive. Huawei is leaving money on the table by not optimising their designs.