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Things that caught my eye this week

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Upcycling a Tokyo Metro train into a coffee vending machine. Suntory Coffee collaborated with Tokyo Metro on a one-off vending machine based on parts of a decommissioned train. The level of detail that they put in is amazing. Trains have a big part of modern Japanese city life. Japan has more railways and more train travel than most other countries. It was part of a concerted post war strategy that saw the creation of the bullet train and a wide range of commuter railway lines. It stands in stark contrast to a post-Beecham report train system in the UK. More Japan-related posts here.

via Sora News 24
Chipotle
Chipotle by Mike Mozart

Chipotle hosts virtual lunch hangouts amid pandemic | Contagious – Chipotle tapped into the widespread use of Zoom to develop virtual lunches. They might do food but they also realise that work lunch has social aspects. As far as I know this was the first consumer marketing campaign on Zoom and shows what an agile marketing team can do. It would be interesting to see if there is any marketing effectiveness data around the campaign in the future.

Adidas GMR tech combines sport and gaming | Contagious – interesting combination of wearable, gaming and locative technologies. It also shows the potential of what Nike Plus could achieve with this arguably wider existing customer base.

Lil Mariko’s ‘Where’s my Juul?’ blew up for a second time. The first time was due to the anxiety of jonesing for that nicotine fix. The second time is because it perfectly expresses cabin fever. Mariko Zhang is the full package in this video. The song slips somewhere between EDM and BabyMetal.

Channeling cabin fever

The guys over at Zak have launched a new video series of interviews and episode one covers young people around the world coping with lockdown.

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Consumers don’t believe use of personal data leads to more relevant ads, report finds | Campaign AsiaThe report also found that consumers still trust TV ads over their digital counterparts. On average, consumers are twice as likely to say TV ads provide a more positive impression of brands than common digital formats. The top concern about digital platforms amongst those polled was fake news on social media (53 percent), followed by cyberbullying, online predators, child endangerment online and children’s data privacy. “While consumers embrace the technology, there remains a multitude of concerns regarding advertising on the technology. These concerns are a significant reason why TV actually still remains the medium most likely to provide a positive impression of brands,” Juhl said. – So why would you recommend digital for brand building activity??? Supports Gartner’s position that businesses will move away from personal data. More on personal data targeted online ads and ad blocking here.

Street Media
Television via Flickr account Naked Faris

People call for boycott of filmmaker Sam Morales after alleged catfishing of trans woman | Rappler – interesting online scandal in the Philippines at the moment with apparent complex catfishing of gay men and trans-women

Facebook eyes multibillion-dollar stake in Reliance Jio | Financial Times – if the board game Risk was about global telecoms infrastructure instead of military conquest, the truism ‘never fight a land war in Asia’ would change to ‘never buy a carrier in India’. I can’t see how Facebook is going to do any better with its holding than Vodafone etc

Singtel-backed OTT service Hooq enters liquidation | Advertising | Campaign Asia“Global and local content providers are increasingly going direct, the cost of content remains high, and emerging-market consumers’ willingness to pay has increased only gradually amid an increasing array of choices,” a Singtel statement said. “Because of these changes, a viable business model for an independent, OTT distribution platform has become increasingly challenged. As a result, HOOQ has not been able to grow sufficiently to provide sustainable returns nor cover escalating content costs and the continuous operating costs of an independent OTT distribution platform.” – it will be interesting to see how people like MUBI and NowTV do moving forwards

Recession pushes Hong Kong shoppers to sell their luxury goods | Financial Times – interesting article however the speculation on mainland Chinese trading in secondhand luxury might be impeded a bit. A mix of fakes and and a desire for new things. They would need to have strong trustworthy authentication. And might want to vent that market abroad as well as Japanese players like Brand-Off have managed

Inside China’s controversial mission to reinvent the internet | Financial Times – this sounds like a right mess. We’ll soon have a splinternet

How to Beat Science and Influence People: Policymakers and Propaganda in Epistemic Networks | The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science | Oxford Academicweak or subtle interventions are often most effective for the would-be propagandist. In particular, outright scientific fraud—intentional publication of incorrect, fabricated, or purposely misleading results—is not only unnecessary to influence public opinion on topics of scientific inquiry, it is also riskier and often less effective than other forms of manipulation. Biased production, which does not involve fabricating results, is a successful strategy for misleading the public. And in many cases, biased production is itself less effective than selective sharing – HT Ian Wood

What Does the Symmetry of Your Logo Say About Your Brand? – asymmetric conveys excitement. I was left with so many questions, like what about rotational symmetry in a logo?

Madison Avenue Insights | The Next Big Thing in Media & Advertising: Simplification – great read by Michael Farmer, but will they look with a clear eye at the current digital marketing being done from a brand marketing perspective?

“Krisenmarketing”: Warum Werbungtreibende nun ihre Etats nicht einfrieren sollten › Meedia – yes its in German but it comes out fine in Google Translate: Financial, insurance or telecommunications companies in particular should instead rely on customer-centered communication and pick people up instead. They would have to show existing customers that they are there for them during the crisis and offer solutions. For example, Deutsche Telekom is doing exemplary with its campaign “We connect Germany” and the specific services. Banks could also help with liquidity shortages.

London has the highest productivity levels in UK PwC – without productivity improvements levelling up isn’t going to work. Interesting that London performed this high, yet was lower on females in employment with a higher female unemployment rate

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Facebook executives ‘knew for years’ about misleading ad metric | Financial TimesThe lawsuit claims that Facebook represents the potential reach metric as a measure of how many people a given marketer could reach with an advertisement. However, it actually indicates the total number of accounts that the marketer could reach — a figure that could include fake and duplicated accounts, according to the allegations. – Facebook’s misleading ad metric isn’t news in its own right. What’s interesting is that the FT article goes on to claim that potential audience size in some states were bigger than publicly available data and seemed nonsensical in comparison to say census data

UK lays out plans for legal e-scooters, medical drones and more transportation innovation in test cities | TechCrunch – if electric scooters is going to be anything like what I saw in Paris, it’ll be carnage

Xenophobia amid the coronavirus pandemic is hurting Chinese immigrant neighborhoods – Voxanti-Asian xenophobia and racism have become a bigger issue around the world as a result of Covid-19. As Nylah Burton reported for Vox, in major cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, and Toronto, East Asians have been targeted — from racist comments made by TSA agents to verbal street harassment. Meanwhile, Chinese restaurants across the globe say they are struggling for business because of widespread misconceptions about the “cleanliness” of their food – exceptionally dark reading

Time Out rebrands to Time In as coronavirus ‘social distancing’ takes effect | The Drum – circumstance encouraged Time Out to rebrand, but the strong equity they have in their brand allowed them do so successfully, like Pizza Hut’s Pasta Hut or the Google Doodle

Madison Avenue Insights | Creative agencies: winning the battle but losing the warCreative agencies have mastered the requirements of integrated campaigns, from TV to online video, websites, Facebook, Instagram, ad banners and e-mail marketing. It’s a pity, then, that this victory is being undermined by agency price-cutting strategies that leave agencies understaffed and underpaid. Senior agency executives need to create winning business practices – they’re losing the business war. – great read by Michael Farmer. I suspect the piece that’s missing is the devastation wrought by procurement

Russian influence operations using netizens in Ghana to target African Americans – GrapfikaThe operation used authentic activists and users, fronted by an ostensible human rights NGO, to covertly propagate an influence campaign. It is not the first time such an attempt has been made, but the tactic is of concern. The unwitting individuals co-opted into the operation bear the risk of reputational or legal jeopardy; indeed, CNN reported that the Ghanaian operation was raided by law enforcement as a result of their online activities. For the human rights community, the risk is that genuine NGOs may be misidentified as being involved in influence operations by accident or malice, and there is also the danger of tarnishing the reputation of important work and organizations across the field – its a fascinating read – a mix of information ops, subterfuge and offshoring. The west African link is interesting

The Public Interest and Personal Privacy in a Time of Crisis (Part II) – Google Docs – part two of an essay by a Chinese academic- l linked to part one in this post

Between Privacy and Convenience: Facial Recognition Technology in the Eyes of Citizens in China, Germany, the UK and the US by Genia Kostka, Léa Steinacker, Miriam Meckel :: SSRN 

Lao Dongyan, “Artificial Intelligence” – Reading the China Dream – piece on biometric recognition

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Things that caught my eye this week

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Really interesting extension by Nordic Choice Hotels. How do you build loyalty and revenue from customers when they aren’t at their hotels? Nordic Choice Hotels, is building on a concept pilot project it has named Hotellkänslan (Hotel Feeling).

The project, launched in October 2019, has seen two dozen members of the hotel’s Nordic Choice Club loyalty programme who live nearby to the Clarion Hotel Amaranten in Stockholm presented with housekeeping services in their homes. The hotel chain has two million members in total.

Christian Lundén, director of future business at Nordic Choice Hotels, has stated in the campaign video that the brand is thinking about what would be best for its guests in relation to loyalty. ‘If our most frequent guests are visiting us maybe 60 days a year,’ he says, ‘That’s a great frequent guest – what happens with the other 305 days? How can we become a bigger part of our guest’s life in their own town and not just when they are travelling?’

Contagious

An overly emotional but stepwise analysis of where Microsoft’s Xbox went wrong versus Sony’s PlayStation.

Gene Kelly was usually associated with the golden age of Hollywood. With amazing song and dance routine. Kelly also had a seldom seen serious actor side to his work. His best performance came during the second world war. Kelly was the main protagonist in a film on PTSD.

Apple has spent over 30 years doing product placement in film and television. Apple Japan put together a film showing Apple laptops in anime. This takes a different slant on product placement programmes that Apple used, but didn’t go public on. More Japan-related posts here.

Knix aims to celebrate the bodies of women over the age of 50. With this film they make Dove’s work seem crass and money grasping. Dove didn’t embrace race as part of body positivism in the same way that Knix have.

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传播媒体 | media | 미디어 创造力 | innovation | 독창성 初 | hygiene | 기본 工艺学 | technology | 기술 日本 | japan | 일본 艺术与设计 | design | 예술과 디자인 铭记 | branding | 브랜드 마케팅

Things that caught my eye last week

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Whilst the world is becoming ever more digital, the book publishing industry has remained print focused due to customer demand. This is a great segment from CNBC that goes into it in more depth.

Dina Amin’s stop-motion assembly and disassembly video of everyday objects caught my eye. I would be surprised if this doesn’t show up in future ad agency work concepts.

What’s inside by Dina Amin.

Even my lack of expertise in gaming means that I have heard of Crash Bandicoot. What’s interesting in this video is how the development of Crash Bandicoot for the original PlayStation is similar to getting software to work on early PCs. Crash Bandicoot was one of a handful of titles that drove PlayStation popularity.

How Crash Bandicoot hacked the original PlayStation from Ars Technical’s

I did some initial work on dental health campaigns in APAC. It fell apart due to politics within my own agency, making us unable to collaborate with our colleagues at Red Fuse. Our agency was appointed for social media marketing work; but we couldn’t get anything out the door. During that time I came across some really smart people working in this space. This is why work like this: Colgate Ice Cream and Candy – The Inspiration Room made me smile. Great insight, simple execution in collaboration with confectionery companies ensuring a win-win outcome.

Greg Girard’s street photography from Tokyo in the 1970s feels like postcards from the future – check out these previews from a forthcoming book of his work: Rare 1970s Street Photography from Tokyo Published in New Photo Book. You can see more Japan related posts here.  

I’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future, but will be working hard to try and keep this blog as free of coronavirus-related content as I can.

I am not a virologist, so my expertise doesn’t matter. I do know about the media and social platforms. You will see contradictory information, confusion and uncertainty. A classic example is the way hoarding toilet paper became a self-perpetuating meme.

While I am working from home, I don’t imagine that it will be too much of a trial as the office environment itself has become ever more digital. I am going to use the time that I’d have spent commuting to improve my reading. I have a stack of unread books that won’t read themselves. I may even explore the ideas from them here with you my reader(s).