Stories From This Week

16th May 2020

From WARC. ‘Increased local consumption of goods and services, an expansion of e-commerce to include a new wave of digital shoppers, as well as a new era of value-consciousness, are three major consumer trends that are likely to continue as the world emerges from lockdown, a new global study has revealed. ‘Localism’ is forecast to be a major post-pandemic trend.’

From The Royal SocietyDELVE group publishes evidence paper on the use of face masks in tackling Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

@neilperkin’s Post Of The Month competition is a fine, long-standing initiative that has highlighted some interesting writing across the last 12 years. In the most recent contest, my piece Mindfuness in the time of the virus, narrowly lost out to the lovely, A letter to my daughterby Patricia McDonald. I did manage to top the poll back in Jan 2015, with my post  – ‘How We Read Today’. To date, the most well received article I have written.

Detailed and accessible data, from Information is Beautiful. The coronavirus data-pack updated and interactive.

How vaccines eradicated common diseases. From Statista.

Tim Harford on Why we fail to prepare for disasters. ‘This, then, is why you and I did not see this coming: we couldn’t grasp the scale of the threat; we took complacent cues from each other, rather than digesting the logic of the reports from China and Italy; we retained a sunny optimism that no matter how bad things got, we personally would escape harm; we could not grasp what an exponentially growing epidemic really means; and our wishful thinking pushed us to look for reasons to ignore the danger.’

Sharp and sobering piece from the smart people at NESTA. Four coronavirus futures – Where might we be headed and to what kind of new normality? Including –  ‘the return to normal’; ‘permanent emergency’; ‘the post coronavirus settlement’ and ‘the big brothers’…

Another nice Lockdown Learning session from Contagious this week. The subject was Digital Reboot, and you can see the session here. I especially loved the Black & Abroad case study, that rehashed the derogatory ‘Go Back to Africa’ phrase to instead encourage black clients to travel more, especially to the African continent, in an award-winning campaign.

Staying in after the lockdown? Here is the % of UK respondents likely to avoid the following locations for a while, even after Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

From Eat,Sleep,Work,Repeat. Office culture is crumbling before our eyes. ‘Cities are markets for talent, we’re about to dismantle them’.

Rising retail categories from Think with Google. Top trends include – sneeze guards, party streamers, insect repellents, cocktail sets and picnic baskets.

LifeLock’s marketing stunt went terribly, laughably wrong. This is what not to do in marketing.

From WARC – A playbook for strategy in a recession. ‘There are lessons that can be learned from past recessions, but the one the world is now entering is likely to look rather different.’

Up for re-election this November, AOC is making house calls in ‘Animal Crossing...and in the same zone, Animal Crossing is home to 2020’s hottest late-night talk show.

From The New Yorker – The first great original play of quarantine. Richard Nelson’s “What Do We Need to Talk About?” takes place on Zoom, which, for once, isn’t an irritating technical compromise but an integral plot point.

Curious silence from media agencies on last week’s ISBA study on the supply chain of the UK’s online advertising market. The study reported that half a brand’s adspend never reaches the publisher; researchers were also unable to trace 15% of the money spent by advertisers, an area the report called the “unknown delta”. AdContrarian is predictably scathing on the subject – Our Invincible Ignorance.

The First US Space Force recruitment video asks you to “plan for what’s possible while it’s still impossible.” – ‘maybe your purpose on this planet isn’t on this planet.’..and in (somewhat) related news, Tom Cruise will work with NASA on the first movie filmed in space. 

Online game ‘Distance Disco’ brings people together during the coronavirus pandemic. ‘Find the person dancing to your song.’

From Pitchfork. How you throw a music festival on Minecraft.

‘Did somebody say Just Eat?’ : re-done Snoop Doggy style. Nice mix of graphics and filming style plus 3D elements, involving a number of creative teams working remotely.