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Salience overloads advertising

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Salience is the buzz word of the moment in advertising circles.

What is salience?

According to Siri salience is a noun. It’s definition:

the property of being particularly noticeable or important.

Historically, when you tested an ad through the likes of Kantar. One of the attributes that an ad would be measured on is salience. Relatively recently salience has become a more important attribute in advertising from a marketing science point-of-view. But this shouldn’t be to the extent of eclipsing other attributes such as distinctive brand building.

Salience becomes pre-eminent

But now you see campaigns where salience is pre-eminent. I had only seen this in Asia in the past, where random endorsement choices looked to drive impact.

At one stage in the early noughties you could see Jackie Chan side-by-side with over 20 products including:

  • Canon cameras
  • Mitsubishi cars
  • An anti-hair loss shampoo that allegedly contained carcinogens
  • Zhongshan Subor – games consoles with a basic home computing capability. Subor ‘Learning Machines’ had educational programmes, games and provided Chinese children with an opportunity to try computer programming. Think of it as an analogue the Sinclair range of home computers in the UK
  • Fenhuang cola drink
Jackie Chan-branded Canon Rebel T2i / 550D
Jackie Chan branded Canon Rebel T2i / EOS 550D via M.I.C Gadget

A classic example of an ad that personifies salience is Burger King’s The Moldy Whopper.

The campaign is a one-off stunt designed to drive water-cooler talk. Some colleagues were at a breakfast event last week. The outtake that they took from the event was that the future of advertising is PR. Or to be more exact the publicity stunt.

I get it, creative directors are measured on memorable award-winning campaigns. They are less worried about effectiveness and brand lift. It’s sexy. And it moves things away from soul-crushing digital disruption-driven work. Big data, A-B testing that’s just aimed at sales conversion.

But publicity is just a short term effect, contrast this with effective advertising that can keep paying off for decades!

But when you’re doing stunt-after-stunt what does the brand stand for? I agree that a brand has to be distinctive, but to make a brand distinctive you need to reinforce it. Think about Coca-Cola; distinctive and instantly recognisable.

Don’t believe me, here’s what Mark Ritson said about it. Ritson uses ‘brand image’ as a way to discuss brand distinctiveness and visibility at a granular level in the ad:

The new global campaign from Burger King features a month old burger complete with the mould and decomposition that comes with it. Supposedly, this is a campaign aimed to promote the absence of preservatives. But is it good advertising? No. Showing a disgusting, mouldy version of your hero product to target consumers is – believe it or not – a really bad idea. So why are Burger King doing it? First, we see the ultimate exemplar of the focus on salience over image that is sweeping much of the advertising world. “It got me talking about it, so it is great marketing,” has been the response of many addled marketers to the new campaign. While it’s true that salience is a much bigger goal than we once thought, there is still a need to focus on brand image. All publicity is not good publicity. It’s also the latest in a long line of marketing stunts that Burger King has pulled. Hiding Bic Macs behind Whoppers in all their ads, asking consumers to order a Whopper online from a McDonalds, the list is long and stupid. It wins awards and gets marketers talking but it is eclipsed by KFC and McDonald’s less flashy, more enduring and more effective tactics. Same store sales growth over the last two years tells its own story. This is flashy, ineffective fare.

Mark Ritson on LinkedIn

Or Phil Barden who wrote Decoded:

From a behavioural science point of view this is a bizarre use of marketing money; Firstly, our attention and perception are implicit (‘system 1’) processes that are stimulus-bound. System 1 can’t imagine, it responds to stimuli. Kahneman uses the phrase ‘what you see is all there is’ and it is the stimulus (what you see) that will be decoded using our associative memories. The brain metaphorically asks the questions, ‘what is it, what does it represent, what’s in it for me’? The answers to these questions are ‘rotten food’ and ‘nothing’ because rotten food is a threat to survival. This triggers ‘avoid’ behaviour. Secondly, this image is highly likely to trigger ‘reactance’ which is emotional arousal with negative valence ie it’s unpleasant. Thirdly, memory structures are built on the basis on ‘what fires together wires together’. In this case, Burger King and rotten food. Fourthly, the category is hedonic; it’s all about enjoyment. Rotten food and enjoyment have no implicit intuitive association. The only saving grace for BK may be that their logo is such low contrast and the food is so salient that the brand may not be attributed to the image.

Phil Barden on LinkedIn

Many of Barden’s points are very specific to the mouldy burger creative. But points like attention and perception are implicit processes that are stimulus bound works against salience. It triggers related memories, which is distinctive brand building allows you to tap into. The importance of hedonic enjoyment plays against a lot of shock tactics used to get salience.

I am not saying that marketing campaigns shouldn’t have salience. Some of the best ads of all time use salience like Coca-Cola’s ‘Hilltop’ advert.

But that they shouldn’t be salient at the expense of other attributes of brand building. A side serving of salience adds cut through to consistent distinctive brand building. But balance in different attributes for an ad is needed.

For more on how to achieve a balance in attributes, I can recommend Building Distinctive Brand Assets by Jenni Romaniuk. The book is based on research by the Ehrensberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science.

More on advertising here.

品质 | quality | 품질 商业 | business | 상업 在线 | online | 온라인으로 市场营销 | marketing | 마케팅 思想 | ideas | 생각 术语定义 | jargon watch | 용어의 정의 消费者行为 | consumer behaviour | 소비자 행동 零售业 | retailing | 소매업

Jargon watch: treasure hunt

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Treasure hunt as defined by NPD is the process of consumers bargain hunting. It might be discounted pricing on items or looking for substitute pre-owned products.


Discounted items used to be seen in the retail trade as the preserve of older consumers alongside couponing. But as empirical experience going along to discount outlets show bargain hunters reach across social classes, income levels and age groups. Discounted products accounted for 3 percent growth in retail, even while retail declined by 1 percent overall in the last quarter.

As for pre-owned goods, whilst NPD thinks that this is a millennial trait – vintage clothing stores, crate digging for records and and eBay are evidence that this trait isn’t new.

Admittedly the motivation that they are ascribing to vintage shopping by millennials and gen-z adds environmental aspects to vintage consumption. (Though is probably quality aspects as well as apparel globalisation and fast fashion have gone hand-in-hand in the demand for heirloom design).

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Pentagon wants open-source 5G plan in campaign against Huawei – ok in theory only

It Seemed Like a Popular Chat App. It’s Secretly a Spy Tool. – The New York Times – Emirati’s do with Totok what the Chinese have been doing for years with WeChat TOMS/Skype etc. Totok is apparently popular in Qatar as it allows VoIP without a VPN – so expat workers use it to connect with their families at home.

Totok messenger

Made in America – On US staffed hacking team in UAE. Interesting investigation by Reuters

The decade of the drop: why do we still stand in line? | How To Spend It – experience. It’s diametrically opposite to one stop shopping

Apple Captures 66% of the Smartphone Industry’s Profits in Q3 leaving all of their Competitors Combined in the Dust – Patently Appleit is becoming a challenge for Chinese smartphone brands to increase their smartphone ASPs and margins due to a combination of longer consumer holding periods and Apple lowering pricing on some key SKUs, which has limited the headroom that Chinese vendors had used to increase their ASPs – in the long term Huawei having to be vertically integrated all the way up the stack could be to their benefit

Nike’s Jordan brand just had its first billion-dollar quarter — Quartz – interesting that it has taken over 30 years to get to a billion dollar quarter, yet Jordan is at least ten years past its cultural peak

In Focus: Pet Shop Boys 6th December 2019 | Listen on NTS – amazing delve into their career

Reality TV stars auditioned to ‘promote’ poison diet drink on Instagram – BBC News – Oh my gosh, this is as good as watching re-runs of Brass Eye

Pig Irons at the ‘Plex | Margins – essay on consulting firms well worth reading

Gildo Zegna: tailoring masculinity for changing tastes | Financial Timesluxury goods industry is feeling the heat of technological disruption, social upheaval and identity politics. Furthermore, within the high end fashion industry few items of clothing are facing more pressure from falling consumer demand than the one that made the Zegna family rich: the traditional men’s suit. “The big challenge we face is a rethinking of masculinity,” he says. – I think streetwear is interesting because of the reassurance it provides on masculinity. The basics of streetwear go back to the mid-century sports basics. The hooded top, jeans, t-shirts, plaid shirts, Letterman jacket, track jacket etc

Facebook awaits EU opinion in privacy case | Financial Times – interesting how wide the impact of this case could be in terms of things like credit card transaction data etc. (paywall) – Introducing a new database category – the predictive database – hmmm

A Surveillance Net Blankets China’s Cities, Giving Police Vast Powers – The New York TimesChinese authorities are knitting together old and state-of-the-art technologies — phone scanners, facial-recognition cameras, face and fingerprint databases and many others — into sweeping tools for authoritarian control, according to police and private databases examined by The New York Times. Once combined and fully operational, the tools can help police grab the identities of people as they walk down the street, find out who they are meeting with and identify who does and doesn’t belong to the Communist Party. The United States and other countries use some of the same techniques to track terrorists or drug lords. Chinese cities want to use them to track everybody.

Is LVMH’s Digital Transformation Working? | Luxury Society“Over the last few years our market has become highly fragmented,” it added. “Customer journeys and purchasing habits have become more complex. Now, in addition to magazines and other traditional media, our customers – especially young people – use a range of digital options to stay informed, communicate with friends and shop. Brand awareness and customer engagement are built on these many different touchpoints.”

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Mediatel: Newsline: Vodafone’s ‘matured’ digital strategy reappraises adspend“Many advertisers, including Vodafone, have come to realise that a lot of the social platforms are high frequency but very, very low attention,” she said. “When you are launching a new brand or proposition you can’t communicate it in one and half seconds.” – stating the bleeding obvious dressed up as industry thought leadership. You could have realised that a decade ago. Social is poor for brand building, but what are Vodafone going to do with it?

Vodafone taxi

Dubai Ports World and a New Form of Imperialismreport examines Gulf expansionism through a case study of the Emirates-based company Dubai Ports World (DP World). This multinational is one of the world’s leading global port operators and logistics giants—and a source of power for the United Arab Emirates. A close look at its operations in the Horn of Africa reveals the ways that a government can exert control through a modern state-chartered company. A closer look at the operations of DP World also casts light on a key driver of disastrous state fragmentation in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea. DP World functions like a modern-day version of the British East India Company, serving as both a foreign policy tool and a profit engine – which makes Chinese run ports and Belt and Road projects even scarier

Project MUSE – China and World Order: Mutual Gain or Exploitation?signs are that an assertive realpolitik is China’s leitmotif. Frankopan’s New Silk Roads lays out the wide scope of China’s ambitions and hints at some of their genuinely internationalist dimensions, but it also documents the case for viewing China’s role as a wolf in sheep’s clothing—at least as rapacious as European and other imperialists in previous centuries. The latter view is supported by Burnay’s Chinese Perspectives on the International Rule of Law and the anthology Building a Normative Order in the South China Sea. Still other studies show that China’s cyber networks are establishing foundations for Chinese dominion over foreign resources and potential dependencies that, in time, can be pressured to do more than kowtow

China and Hollywood: Is the romance over? – SupChinathe upcoming sequel to Top Gun, a 1986 American action drama film, made headlines following the release of its first trailer, where two patches that had originally shown the Taiwanese flag appear to have been swapped out. Produced by Paramount Pictures, the movie has Chinese tech giant Tencent as its investor and primary promoter in the Chinese market.

The “New” Private Security Industry, the Private Policing of Cyberspace and the Regulatory Questions – Mark Button,the growth of the “new” private security industry and private policing arrangements, policing cyberspace. It argues there has been a significant change in policing which is equivalent to the “quiet revolution” associated with private policing that Shearing and Stenning observed in the 1970s and 1980s, marking the “second quiet revolution.” The article then explores some of the regulatory questions that arise from these changes, which have been largely ignored to date by scholars of policing and policy-makers

Privacy, People, and Markets | Ethics & International Affairs | Cambridge CoreMost current work on privacy understands it according to an economic model: individuals trade personal information for access to desired services and websites. This sounds good in theory. In practice, it has meant that online access to almost anything requires handing over vast amounts of personal information to the service provider with little control over what happens to it next. The two books considered in this essay both work against that economic model. In Privacy as Trust, Ari Ezra Waldman argues for a new model of privacy that starts not with putatively autonomous individuals but with an awareness that managing information flows is part of how people create and navigate social boundaries with one another. Jennifer Rothman’s Right of Publicity confronts the explosive growth of publicity rights—the rights of individuals to control and profit from commercial use of their name and public image—and, in so doing, she exposes the poverty of treating information disclosure merely as a matter of economic calculation

‘Influencing is heading into the void’: Natasha Stagg and Kate Durbin on the future of social mediaauthor Natasha Stagg joins Kate Durbin to discuss the Kardashians’ quest for immortality, ‘it girls’, and maintaining identity in the content economy

Data and Digital Intelligence CommonsThe digital economy can be understood as comprising intelligent systems running whole sectors, employing data based digital intelligence to re-organise and coordinate them. Within such a macro understanding, it is possible to apply the framework of Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) developed by Elinor Ostrom to examine the management of data and digital intelligence resources at the community level in a given sector, like transport, under the dominant model. Such an analysis reveals very suboptimal results on almost all the key IAD evaluation parameters; from efficiency and equity to accountability and sustainability

Social factory as prosaic state space: Redefining labour in China’s mass innovation/mass entrepreneurship campaign – June Wang, Yujing Tan,Redefining labour in China’s mass innovation/mass entrepreneurship campaign

Steering capital: the growing private authority of index providers in the age of passive asset management: Review of International Political Economy: Vol 0, No 0with the shift towards passive investing, the three big index providers have become actors that exercise growing private authority in capital markets as they steer investments through the indices they create and maintain. Index providers define the criteria according to which companies or countries are included into an index. Thereby, they influence investment decisions and corporate governance norms as well as strategies of those companies and states (that seek to be) included into their indices. We argue that rather than technical expertise, the main source of authority are their powerful brands that are trusted by the international investment community and which are entrenched via network externalities

Noncompete agreements | Economic Policy InstituteOur survey results show that somewhere between 27.8% and 46.5% of the private-sector workforce—between 36 million and 60 million workers—are subject to noncompete clauses. High and low level employees are being covered by noncompetes. Given the ubiquity of noncompetes, the real harm they inflict on workers and competition, and the fact they are part of a growing trend of employers requiring their workers to sign a variety of contracts that take away their rights, the authors believe that they should be abolished – having been hobbled by one, I couldn’t agree more

Telegraphic Revolution: Speed, Space and Time in the Nineteenth Century* | German History | Oxford Academicthe impact of the ‘communications revolution’ upon experiences of time and space during the nineteenth century. Focusing upon the first three decades of telegraphic communication, it unpacks the assumptions underlying linear narratives of ‘acceleration’ and ‘time-space compression’ to understand the roots of Germany’s fraught relationship to modernity. In doing so, it highlights the importance of the changes which took place between the 1848 revolutions and the early years of the Kaiserreich and which laid the foundations for the peculiarities of the Wilhelmine Era. During this period, it argues, the perceived impact of telegraphic communication, the ‘expansion’ or ‘contraction’ of space and time, varied from one person and place to another, reflecting the technology’s progressive and uneven expansion across Germany. Access to new networks of communication was dependent upon, and in turn influenced, the changing status of individuals, towns and the countryside experiencing the forces of industrialization, market capitalism and globalizationmore on the central idea behind this

Jazz Wars in the ’70s | The Village Voicejazz in the ’70s boiled down to a debate between the non­compromising eclectics and the compromising eclectics, a debate that escalated into a class war. Monied groups with major record label affiliations played concert halls; a middle class of dependable mainstream-modern attractions monopolized the established jazz clubs; the new and avant were accom­modated briefly by the loft scene, and then by a network of new clubs and theatres. Numerous exceptions to this pic­ture don’t alter its veracity. Jazz radio became fusion radio, while the record in­dustry, puffing away at the jazz-is-back myth with one overproduced confection after another – this explains Kenny G

Beyond scandal? Blockchain technologies and the legitimacy of post-2008 finance | Finance and SocietyHarnessing the concepts of ‘moral economy’ and ‘scandal’, we identify both possibilities and limits for blockchain applications to legitimate a range of monetary and investment activities. However, we also find that a persistent individualisation of responsibility for failures and shortcomings with ‘live’ blockchain experimentation has undermined the potentially legitimating aspects of this technology. Combining a reliance on technological fixes with a persistent individualist moral economy, we conclude, works against efforts to confront head-on the tensions underpinning the on-going legitimacy crises facing finance – sociological reasons why much of fintech wouldn’t work even if the tech could

Swiping right: face perception in the age of Tinder – ScienceDirectjudgments of physical attractiveness are assumed to drive the “swiping” decisions that lead to matches, we propose that there is an additional evaluative dimension driving behind these decisions: judgments of moral character. With the aim of adding empirical support for this proposition, we critically review the most striking findings about first impressions extracted from faces, moral character in person perception, creepiness, and the uncanny valley, as they apply to Tinder behavior

What’s love got to do with it? Passion and inequality in white‐collar work – Rao – – Sociology Compass – Wiley Online Librarywe argue that the passion schema has become a critical marker in the labor market for sorting individuals into occupations, hiring and promotion within organizations, and assigning value to people’s labor. Emergent research suggests that because the expression and perception of passion remain ambiguously defined in the workplace and varies by context, it is pivotal in reproducing social inequalities. In this review, we focus on how privileging passion in the workplace and interpreting it as a measure of aptitude impacts social inequalities by race, gender, and social class

CMA lifts the lid on digital giants – GOV.UK – interesting points: Each year, about 15% of queries on Google have never been searched for before. Other search engines like Bing will not have the same access to these queries, putting Google in a powerful position of being able to better train its algorithms and provide more accurate search results than its rivals. The CMA has also found that the default settings people are faced with online have a profound effect on choice and the shape of competition. Last year in the UK, Google was willing to pay around £1 billion – 16% of all its search revenues – where it was the default search engine on mobile devices such as Apple phones. – Looking at the the 15% of queries that are new to Google every year, is this cultural evolution, new brands and products or a combination of both?

Explainer: Behind the climb in Chinese companies’ defaults on bond payments – Reuters state and private companies have missed payments on more than 100 billion yuan ($14.2 billion) of bonds in the year to end-October, not far off the 111 billion yuan for all of 2018, according to S&P Global. Reuters calculations show six state-owned firms and 42 private companies defaulted on payments this year.

Marketers warn they could be ‘priced out’ of Facebook advertising | Advertising | Campaign Asia – overheating in developed markets? Really interesting when you read Mediatel: Newsline: Starcom: TV is now twice the price… but not twice as good“There’s still nothing better than [a 30 second ad],” Dan Plant said on a panel at Future of TV Advertising Global. “Unfortunately it costs twice as much now – and it hasn’t got twice as good at what it was doing. You pay twice as much to achieve the same thing.” – is this really taking into account the long term brand building role of (good) TV advertising? Also the inflation doesn’t seem to be nearly as bad as Facebook for instance

China’s social credit system: The Chinese citizens perspective | UCL ASSAThe question of who to trust, and social trust more broadly is one that is pertinent to every modern society, not just China. Although the idea of someone being ‘trustworthy’ (chengxin) has long existed in the Chinese traditional moral system, it is widely believed this was fundamentally damaged in the past 50 years, starting with Mao’s Cultural Revolution (1966-76), now seen as a period characterised by the ‘breakdown of public morality’.  A turbulent period characterised by families turning on each other and being forced to denounce any friends or family members deemed counter-revolutionary, the Cultural Revolution has also had the effect of eroding the concept of chengxin and therefore also mutual trust over time

Unilever warns it will miss 2019 sales growth target | Financial Timeseconomic slowdown in south Asia — one of its biggest markets — and “difficult” trading conditions in west Africa. It also said trading in developed markets remained “challenging” and that while there were signs of improvement in North America, a recovery there would take time.

Apple faces shareholder vote on human rights policies | Financial Times – shit, meet fan….

China’s TV, Film Industry Shrinks Amid Ongoing Censorship | RFAAround 65 percent of 9, 841 actors and celebrities in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan hadn’t been on television lately, while the high-profile roles are generally shared among less than one percent of the profession, the report said.Around 95 percent have had more than a year without being offered work, it said. – It’s RFA so you have to take a certain amount of it with a pinch of salt but the numbers fit with what I’ve heard. The Chinese film industry has put its eggs in fewer and fewer baskets

中国 | china | 중국 传播媒体 | media | 미디어 初 | hygiene | 기본 品质 | quality | 품질 商业 | business | 상업 在线 | online | 온라인으로 媒体与艺术 | culture | 미디어와 예술 市场营销 | marketing | 마케팅 法 | legal | 법률학 爱尔兰 | ireland | 아일랜드 经济 | economics | 경제학 艺术与设计 | design | 예술과 디자인 豪华 | luxury | 사치 零售业 | retailing | 소매업 香港 | hong kong | 홍콩

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Tesla Model 3 Survey: What Owners Think About the Electric Car – interesting read, Toyota and VW Group will eat them alive as their electric car programme take off. I am not going into the dumb nature of Li-ion versus hydrogen powered vehicles…

Stacked Cars In City Junkyard Will Be Used For Scrap, August 1973

‘Caveat Emptor:’ State Dept. Mocks Russian, PRC Weapon Sales In ‘Buy American’ Pitch « Breaking Defensefour Chinese-made Harbin Z-9 helicopters purchased by Cameroon in 2015, one of which crashed soon after purchase. Similarly, Kenya bought a handful of Chinese-made Norinco VN4 armored personnel carriers, “vehicles that China’s own sales representative declined to sit inside during a test firing,” he claimed. “Since going ahead with the purchase regardless, sadly dozens of Kenyan personnel have been reportedly killed in those vehicles,” Cooper said, adding “caveat emptor!”  He also slammed Chinese CH-4 armed drones, which various countries in the Middle East have found “to be inoperable within months, and are now turning around to get rid of them… We have seen countries around the world leap at the chance to obtain high-tech, low-cost defensive capabilities only to see their significant investments crumble and rust in their hands” – buy China and pay twice, interesting to see this in the defence sector. Is the export quality worse than the products for the PLA? Or is China falling down on maintenance and services packages (customer service)? I think the Russian argument is harder to make given their decades of experience building simple, but effective defence products

Ireland Inc.: The corporatization of affective life in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland – Diane Negra, Anthony P McIntyre,how a post-Celtic Tiger Irish government aligned with elite interests has doubled down on its commitment to corporate citizenship. Despite the depredations of this era being directly attributable to the irrational exuberance of the Celtic Tiger period and lapses in financial regulation, Ireland post-2008 is marked by a radical forgetfulness and defined by ‘Shock Doctrine’ regulatory policies that have installed corporatism at the heart of everyday life. Key features of this landscape include ongoing governmental facilitation of tax avoidance by multinational corporations, the hollowing out of public services, the normalization of under-employment and a burgeoning housing crisis. We show here how the popular images and narratives of the period index a shift toward corporate impregnability and a public culture in which individuals absorb greater risk and take up positions of heightened precarity

One firm, two countries, one workplace model? The case of Foxconn’s internationalisation – Rutvica Andrijasevic, Devi Sacchetto, Ngai Pun,insight into the employment relations in China-based multinational companies internationalising to Europe, a still relatively unexplored topic. We investigate the transfer of work and employment practices from Foxconn’s manufacturing headquarters in mainland China to its subsidiaries in Czechia and the factors that influence the firm’s internationalisation of production – (PDF)

M&S launches ‘buy now, pay later’ service | Business | The Guardian – sub prime retailing in the making

Glossy 101: How fashion brands are rethinking influencer marketing – Glossywhen brands work with micro-influencers, they’re paying less to work with people who tend to have a more engaged audience. A report from The Wall Street Journal estimated the micro tier charges between $400 and $2,000 per post, while higher tiers will charge anywhere between $10,000 and $150,000. It should be a win-win. However, by adding more people to the mix, brands are setting themselves up for a lot more work

The Boss on Board: Mafia Infiltrations, Firm Performance, and Local Economic Growth | naked capitalism – explains a lot

Sprout Social its at IPO | Pitchbook – it will be interesting to see how they get on given the negative investor sentiment around the likes of Hootsuite

China’s e-commerce giants are looking for gold in rural areas as growth in big cities slows down | South China Morning Post – over 26% of China’s online population are from rural areas

BT unveils biggest brand campaign in 20 yearscreated by Saatchi & Saatchi, the ad begins with a schoolgirl reciting Charles Dickens’ classic opening from A Tale of Two Cities as she walks through the dreary British streets. Set to Blinded by Your Grace, Pt 2 by Stormzy, it goes on to showcase Britain’s technological advances over the past few decades, from CCTV and Tube advancements to the emergence of broadband – is it just me or this or is this exceptionally dark. CCTV!

Cathay Pacific Calls On PR Firm Edelman To Help Plot Revival | Holmes Report – thankless task for Edelman, short of a takeover by Air China nothing is going to stop the China government pressure. It might slow it down but it won’t stop it. Swire needs to extract itself from China

Measuring the effectiveness of creativity in marketing | Marketing Weekthe ad industry will be forced to refocus on creativity. Yet marketers (and their counterparts in finance) have become used to the measurability of performance marketing. If the industry can’t prove the effectiveness of creativity, brands will continue to up spend on short-term sales activations rather than brand building. The majority of markets are trying to add some science to the art. An exclusive survey of more than 400 brand marketers conducted by Marketing Week finds 61.8% measure the effectiveness of their creative (compared to 76.5% who measure the effectiveness of media)

Don’t Let Metrics Critics Undermine Your Business | MIT Sloan Reviewthose lucky employees who haven’t been automated into professional obsolescence instead find themselves enduring what economic historian Jerry Z. Muller calls the “tyranny of metrics.” Numbers rule their workplace lives, and there’s no escape. “The problem is not measurement,” Muller declares, “but excessive measurement and inappropriate measurement — not metrics, but metric fixation.” “Don’t Let Metrics Undermine Your Business,” warns Harvard Business Review’s September-October 2019 cover story: “Strategy is abstract by definition, but metrics give strategy form, allowing our minds to grasp it more readily. … The mental tendency to replace strategy with metrics can destroy company value.”

Reliance on Louis Koo’s Box Office Power Highlights Challenges in Hong Kong Industry | – to be honest this has been coming for years. There are few Hong Kong male stars below the age of 50. It saddens me having grown up on Hong Kong cinema and knowing the richness of creativity in the city

Hey – it could’ve been Regina Ip! | Big Lychee, Various Sectors – it seems Hong Kong officials use Reuters as their preferred conduit for leaks (or ‘scoops’ as media folk call them), while their Mainland counterparts prefer the Financial Times. The latter today reveals (paywall, etc, possibly) that Beijing will eject Chief Executive Carrie Lam, maybe in March, after things have ‘stabilized’ ha ha

New WeChat regulation on incentivized sharing and external links – new WeChat regulation on incentivized sharing and external links

Six Chinese men jailed for a hit job that was subcontracted five times – InkstonePi Yijun, a criminal justice professor at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, said the case reflected strong distaste towards litigation in Chinese culture. “People are not willing to go through the legal channel,” Pi told Inkstone. “Whenever they encounter disputes, they try to solve it privately, mediating through personal connections or taking the law into their own hands.” – Caveat Emptor

Steve Jobs’ speech that made Silicon Valley obsessed with pirates — Quartz – ‘machine for thinking’

AI Weekly: In China, you can no longer buy a smartphone without a face scan | VentureBeat – there’ll be a good market in stolen phones then

SpaceX submits paperwork for 30,000 more Starlink satellites – – Iridium 2?

Ren Zhengfei: HongMeng is capable but will not replace Android | Gizchina – translation – we aspire to displace Android and become more profitable but our OS isn’t up to snuff for westerners

Andy Kessler: WSJ: Tech Treadmill Wears Firms OutMax Hopper’s “Rattling SABRE—New Ways to Compete on Information,” and finally in 2013 we got Rita Gunther McGrath’s “The End of Competitive Advantage.” Each of these takes describes a different stage in the life cycle of corporate tech. Hopper was, as Harvard professor James Cash noted, “the first person who really defined the marketing leverage that could come from using technology.” In the late 1950s Hopper helped build Sabre, an automated flight-reservation system, and in 1981 he helped design the first major frequent-flier program to give American Airlines a competitive “AAdvantage.” Yet by 1990 he worried that the game was over, suggesting that technology was “table stakes for competition.” Hopper noted that “SABRE’s real importance to American Airlines was that it prevented an erosion of market share.” That insight comes to mind watching the Streaming War of 2019. Netflix and Amazon have a huge lead in streaming video. But eventually everyone uses the same technology. Tim Cook wants in, so Apple TV+ launches Nov. 1 with (probably overpaid) Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. Robert Iger wants in, and Disney paid (probably too much) for control of BAMTech, the streaming-video technology developed by Major League Baseball, which it is deploying for streaming services Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu + Live TV. AT&T wants in and paid (again likely too much) for Time Warner to create HBO Max. NBCUniversal wants in too. See the trend? Google ought to rename its streaming service YouTube TV Max+

Are Publicis’ problems reflective of a wider market malaise? | Advertising | Campaign AsiaBy placing Publicis on top of Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett and Bartle Bogle Hegarty, they have destroyed those storied brands. By putting Publicis Sapient on top of LBi, Digitas, Rosetta and Razorfish, they have killed their digital brands too. As a result, now they are saying they have to transform the transformers – I agree that brands have been affected, but I’d also argue that the flight away from craft to disruption has also been probelmatic

Martin Sorrell: Group M alone is worth as much as WPP’s stock market value | Campaign Asia – in the face of Facebook, Google and Amazon advertising in the west and Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent advertising in China is Group M really worth the whole of WPP alone? There is also the aspect that Group M has been crying disruption, disruption and screwing its own business

Qatar, facing unbearable heat, has begun to air-condition the outdoors – Washington Post – this sounds mad

Google discontinues Daydream View VR headset and drops Daydream support from Pixel 4 – The Verge – people don’t like wearing their phone

Facebook opens search ads to all advertisers – Search Engine Land – this is going to make things interesting

U.S. lawmakers urge Apple to restore HKMap app used in Hong Kong – Reuters – Apple and quisling Tim Cook getting squeezed by US politicians

Louis Vuitton Has a Factory in Texas Now, Marking its Third in the U.S. — The Fashion Law LVMH – which is trudging ahead and abroad and “increasingly letting industrial logic and geopolitics govern supply-chain decisions,” per Dalton, while competitors, “such as Gucci, Hermès and Chanel have kept most [of their] production in Italy and France” – this is just business. And considering that LVMH’s Fashion & Leather Goods division, alone, brought in $15.8 billion in sales in the first 9 months of the year– with the group as a whole reporting revenues of $42.14 billion for the same period

Teaching Democrats to Speak Evangelical | The New Yorker – interesting how the Democratic Party are having to go back to basics on learning community relations in US politics