ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

“Become the leader in our industry” is not a strategy | Quartz – how many times have I seen this on briefs….

New Balance is finding trendsetters with AI and giving them shoes | Fast Company – interesting seeding campaign

The economy is booming, your salary is not: Blame the decline of unions | FastCompany – interesting that this appearing in Fast Company whereas in the past these ideas would have been considered the work of a left wing crank

US airlines are struggling to make money from China’s travel boom-Sino-US – looks like an ideal opportunity for Trump’s trade war

Don’t Pretend Facebook and Twitter’s CEOs Can’t Fix This Mess | WIRED – the interesting this is that this is written by Ellen Pao; who went through hell when she did this at Reddit. Good read. It could be a slippery slope however, what happens when whats fine in the US isn’t fine in Europe, or the middle east or Asia?

KAWS’s Dark Take on Mickey Mouse | Anatomy of an Artwork | Sotheby’s – I have been a big fan of KAWS work – in particular the stuff done under the OriginalFake name. Great collection of stuff here going on auction in Hong Kong

Saudi Arabia banned from advertising reform agenda on British TV | World news | The Guardian – how would this affect other country ads. Could Mexican Tourism Board ads be seen to be masking the issue of narco-violence? This feels like a slippery slope in many respects

If you have a Yahoo account your emails have probably been scanned to figure out what you buy — and they may have been read by employees of the company – so lots of viagra and other spam email products in the vast majority of seldom opened accounts

Luxury’s Unofficial Poster Boys | The Daily | Gartner L2 – You don’t need a brand ambassador to reap the rewards of influencers. In China, TFBoys’ wholesome act has become a cultural and marketing juggernaut, though not always via official partnerships.

The ugly truth about why I left BBDO China after just a year | Advertising | Campaign Asia – not terribly surprised, even in a tier one city like Beijing

The convergence of AI and nanotechnology — Nano Magazine – machine learning work on image processing has improved microscopy. Machine learning is also being used in chemical modelling which is an important part of modern chemistry

Facebook, Twitter and violence are linked | The Japan Times – correlation certainly, though less convinced about causality. Technology certainly facilitates, communication and organisation but there are other substitute real world comms platforms like BBM, email etc

One yen camera: we bought an extremely cheap camera off Yahoo! Auctions and tested it out【Pics】 | SoraNews24 – really interesting article on his experiences, particularly how the smartphone camera metaphor threw him off on his first shots

FACT CHECK: Did Vladimir Putin Rescue an Injured Donald Trump from the Viet Cong During the Vietnam War? – No. But its hilarious to think that this even got on to the internet

Vietnamese website taunts Chinese drama fans with South China Sea quiz | Reuters – clever trolling, though it does remind me of the way Saudis were trying to undermine Qatari sports channels through rampant piracy

The truth about ‘Snapchat dysmorphia’ | Dazed – is Snapchat really driving cosmetic surgery?

Norte :: Itaú – Kidsbook Collection – great use of Canvas mobile content format

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

Things that made my day this week:

I spent the weekend travelling back to Ireland for a family funeral. Despite the occasion it was good to see some members of the family whom I haven’t seen since I was a teenager. It also cause me to reflect on some things, it inspired my post ‘Ramblings on consumption‘ and you might see similarly inspired future posts. From a social point of view I have also been getting online practice of the card game Twenty Five; which has the same impact in rural Irish society that mahjong has for Chinese communities. If any of you want a game let me know.

Interesting case study on Chevrolet’s celebration of Children’s Day in China. I have put the video below so that you  can see the project, its a nice piece of work. Secondly it is worth reflecting on how this project fits into the changing media landscape. This exemplifies the cross over between brand advertising and corporate communications work that is now happening around the world. Brand advertising is leading this charge into PR’s heartland and taking some of PR’s largest budgets. In a separate note The Holmes Report found that the industry’s top inhouse PR leaders have had their budgets halved over the past six years.

Enjoy the case study

Winston Sterzel on shooting with China Central Television (CCTV) – think of it as PBS or the domestic BBC television service with Chinese characteristics.

Heathrow Express’ advert featuring The Krankies was an interesting choice of creative. It’s very consistent with their brand and mildly subversive.

GUCCI – Why are you scared of me WeChat campaign features a robot built by Hiroshi Ishiguro, director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University clad from head to toe in Gucci. When is the last time you saw a Chanel talking about:

  • What it means to be human
  • Ray Kurzweil’s concept of the singularity, where machine intelligence exceeds human intelligence?

It then reflects on the benefits that technology have brought to date:

Because of technology, we have turned fairy tales into animations and created memories of countless human childhoods.Because of technology, home entertainment equipment brings joy to the family, which has inspired many children’s future dreams and aspirations. Even two strangers, when they talk about the common memories they used to have because of the popularity of technology, can seem to understand each other in an instant.

The implication being that new forms of shared memories may bond robotics in spite of negative factors like the ‘uncanny valley’.

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

Things that have made my day this week:

Listening to the late, great Ronnie Drew telling the story of Cú Chulainn. Cú Chulainn is one of the most famous figures in Irish folklore and Drew’s ravaged voice adds much to the telling.

Nice bit of pop songwriting with Twin Shadow

I’ve been listening to Audio Books on YouTube as higher brow background noise Free Audio Books for Intellectual Exercise – YouTube – YouTube

Buffer is now allowing for direct scheduling of Instagram posts. Its a bit of a kludge. I tried it this week and it worked really well.

You can write the post on the desktop version of Buffer, but you have to do a number of things:

  • Have mobile notifications set up on the Buffer iPhone app and Instagram
  • Set your Instagram account up with a business account (this includes pairing with a brand page on Facebook)

As far as I can tell the Buffer mobile app then publishes to your Instagram mobile app at the scheduled time. But that’s the kind of BS you have to go through with Instagram’s restrictive APIs that it has to try and ensure it is the source platform for all graphic posts.

My next step is to see if this kludge will help me auto-post from Flickr to Instagram…

Matt Farah goes over the oligarch-like relationship of the Swiss watch industry – Episode 10: The Watchmaking Family Tree – YouTube

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Naughty List – Secured.fyi – Alpha – great simple checklist for n00bs. The answer per platform needs more nuance

Justice Dept. Revives Push to Mandate a Way to Unlock Phones – The New York Times – Clipper Chip style bullshit that is bad for consumers and governments since it will be broken and used by criminals and state actors

Sex Workers Say Porn on Google Drive Is Suddenly Disappearing – Motherboard – don’t assume that the contents of your Google Drive hasn’t been thoroughly examined by Google. Adult entertainment is merely the canary in the coal mine for privacy.

Is Facebook Really Scarier Than Google? | Nautilus – worthwhile reading about the effect of Google – of course they both have an impact otherwise you wouldn’t advertise on it. The question needs to be does the utility justify the impact? I think search has a better case than a social network, but both have merits

The unparalleled joy of writing with a fountain pen – and five beautiful pens to inspire you – Country Life – Among the obituaries of a former Conservative Minister a few years ago, there was one delightful snippet. A line in The Daily Telegraph described how, when she received the letter from Mrs Thatcher appointing her to the Lords, Lady Blatch initially believed it to be a hoax, because the letter was signed in Biro and she had been ‘brought up to believe that nobody who matters uses a Biro’.

Why Nothing Is Going To Happen To Facebook Or Mark Zuckerberg | Buzzfeed – consumers don’t care enough

China’s Huawei Technologies reshuffles board for first time since 2012 – I presume the reason why Mr Ren is getting back behind the wheel is that overall and smartphone revenue figures for 2017 was Huawei’s slowest growth in four years. I am not convinced that  premium products will be the way forward when they are locked out of the North American retail system. I am also not sure why the management team at Huawei Mobile Devices hasn’t been refreshed

Cloak and Data: The Real Story Behind Cambridge Analytica’s Rise and Fall – Mother Jones – probably the best account yet by the media

Restricted By YouTube, Gun Enthusiasts Are Taking Their Videos To Pornhub | NPR – Pornhub is starting to turn into a libertarian YouTube

Has Marketing Gone Too Digital? | Mediapost – a good read, send it to your clients and your agency folk

Cigarettes are the vice America needs | FT Alphaville – Cigarette smoking is essentially the anti-Facebook. While Facebook is a fundamentally misanthropic venture that pretends to be a community, smoking is a community activity for people who pretend to be misanthropes.  The activity itself is fundamentally pro-social! It gives people reasons to interact with strangers (“got a light?”). And since it was banned indoors — undeniably a good choice — it gives people a reason to go outside and make idle small talk, all while pursuing a common activity. And unlike alcohol, cigarettes alone don’t often lead to property damage or missed days of work (paywall)

China’s young consumers are snubbing foreign brands amid growing national pride, says Credit Suisse | SCMP – this should share the shit out of MNCs

Google has reportedly acquired Lytro, the Leader in Light Field Imaging Technology for Photography and VR Content – interesting, Apple had a patent licence from them

Interpublic Upgrades U.S. Ad Spending Growth To 5.5% This Year – which looks much more like what I would expect the advertising market to be with the Winter Olympics and forthcoming World Cup and an ok global economy

Building for the modern web is really, really hard | O’Reilly – average website clocks in at 4MB with 100s of elements including 3rd, 4th and 5th party based interactions – which also explains page load times – and slow AF ad related technology such as trackers

Mobike to charge bad riders more | Techinasia – a la eBay, Uber etc

Study: Smart Speakers are Changing the Way We Select Products – interesting how this is impacting retail. FMCG brands in particular should be really concerned as this is far beyond what supermarkets could do with dodgy shelving layouts and look-a-like private label brands

The Valley of Death: the students vying to be millionaires | Telegraph – In 2015 Oxford, the UK’s number one university for research, produced four spin-outs. Not per professor. That was for the whole university. The situation was not better elsewhere. Data on British university spin-outs is not in any publicly available league table. But it exists, via what’s called the HE-BCI survey (it stands for Higher Education – Business and Community Interaction). For 2015-16, Cambridge University recorded a total of two spinouts in the HE-BCI survey. Imperial College London, another of this country’s most vaunted research universities, listed three. Of 160 institutions, 59 officially produced no spinouts at all.

Does it Really Matter if James Jebbia is Not a “Fashion Designer”? The Fashion Law – Supreme is an anti-consumerism consumer brand. Its now going into luxury baskets, it doesn’t have much room left in the hype beast space though

Alex Stamos, Facebook Data Security Chief, To Leave Amid Outcry – The New York Times – Some of the company’s executives are weighing their own legacies and reputations as Facebook’s image has taken a beating. Several believe the company would have been better off saying little about Russian interference and note that other companies, such as Twitter, which have stayed relatively quiet on the issue, have not had to deal with as much criticism

Our mission to buy a fake Rolex on Facebook reveals how the company is playing host to countless criminal enterprises | Business Insider – only a matter of time for this story to be written. You also have a similar problem on Instagram

Millennials: you will not be quite so special in the ‘futr’ | FT – could it be that millennials, the most scrutinised, criticised and debated generation of our time, were not that special any more? “Millennials are still important as a customer,” Ms Ganatra told me later. But there is now a “millennial mindset” that has nothing to do with age, she said. In other words, millennials may have been the first generation to have grown up in a digital world but the rest of us are catching on fast. People of all ages are now so used to shopping with a click or talking to a chatbot that retailers need to think about the needs and desires of all their customers, not just those born between 1981 and 1996 – or an artificial construct in terms of their digital uniqueness


Instagram: we need to talk about fakes

I’ve noticed these kind of accounts popping up on Instagram over the past few months.


Interesting shots probably re-grammed from the brands marketing materials or a magazine shoot. Going through to the site….


Great site design. Only the URL and the prices give it away as fake goods. For those who aren’t as sophisticated Facebook now has its classifieds section. Think Gumtree but inside Facebook.

Here’s a second example, this time replicas of BAPE’s iconic shark head hooded top.


This time they are selling the products through Amazon merchants accounts



Instagram has a lot of heat from brands, but this could turn very quickly when they realise that Instagram can be a facilitator of fake products sales. Look at how Alibaba and eBay have been vilified in the past.