Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

Friday 10th February ’17

I guess, not a huge surprise. Content is quite often not ‘King’. From @marketingweek – ‘60% of content created by brands is just clutter.’ According to the source study by @havas, ‘meaningful brands’ are the exception. These brands outperform the stock market by 206%, see a 48% increase in share of wallet and 137% greater returns on KPIs. The study defines ‘meaningful brands’ as those that have an impact on consumers’ personal, collective and functional benefits.

On the face of it, Elon Musk’s plan to colonise Mars seems exciting and inspiring.  This interesting piece from Andrew Russell and Lee Vinsel takes an alternative view – ‘Musk’s plan to colonise Mars is a sign of an older and recurring social problem. What happens when the rich and powerful isolate themselves from everyday concerns? Musk wants to innovate and leave Earth, rather than to take care of it, or fix it, and stay.

Things go full circle. In the mid-’90s, the internet was synonymous with chatrooms. Now teenagers are flocking to an app that feels a lot like AOL Instant Messenger — only this time with video. Here is a brand guide to Houseparty, the teen app du jour.

Like to know who is lying on Twitter? By scanning 66 million tweets linked to nearly 1,400 real-world events, researchers have built a language model that identifies words and phrases that lead to strong or weak perceived levels of credibility on Twitter. What to watch out for? ‘Tweets with booster words, such as ‘undeniable’ and positive emotion terms, such as ‘eager’ and ‘terrific,’ were viewed as highly credible, (whilst) words indicating positive sentiment but mocking the impracticality of the event, such as ‘ha,’ ‘grins’ or ‘joking,’ were seen as less credible. So were hedge words – including ‘certain level’ and ‘suspects’.

Wonderful. Airbnb wants to house 100,000 displaced people in 5 years. 

Suggestions from Richard Huntingdon of Saatchi and Saatchi, on what Planners should be doing in 2017. These include -‘telling the robots who’s boss’ and ‘getting out of the echo chamber’. He says – ‘If the two most effective campaigns of 2016, for Leave and Donald Trump, dispensed with facts, truth, logic and reason, we must rapidly figure out what this means for effective brand communications’.

In the 80s, some of music’s biggest stars – from Bob Dylan to Johnny Cash, David Bowie to Tom Waits – found themselves in deep creative ruts. How did they get back on track? The solution was a combination of  – finding patient and enthusiastic new collaborators, exploring new influences and working methods, cutting existing ties and (even for these legends) persuading themselves that greatness was still within their reach. 

Another potential application for VR. Surgeons and their patients are finding that virtual reality can relieve the pain and stress of operations – and it’s safer and cheaper than sedatives. Could Virtual Reality be virtually painless?

Wonderful. Looks like there really is an app for everything. Scientists from @MIT have created a gadget that is worn like a wristwatch and uses artificial intelligence to assess a conversation’s tone. ‘It can differentiate between happy, sad and neutral, but some versions could also tell whether your delivery is boring or awkward’.

Always good to catch-up on the commercials aired in the Super Bowl. Entertainment Tonight  ranks 16 adverts and proclaims the top 3 as 1) Audi, #Drive Progress 2) Buick,starring Cam Newton and Amanda Kerr and 3) T-Mobile, featuring Justin Bieber and Terrell Owens.