The Drip Edition 15
The time has come.
The time when all of our friends, family, acquaintances and colleagues all feel obliged to ruminate on the year that has past, and look forward to the year ahead.
It is the time to engage in our favourite banalities, such as:
“I can’t believe it’s the end of the year already!”
“How has time gone by so quickly?”
And my old favourite:
“It feels like literally just yesterday the year was starting!”
And it’s true! It does feel like the year only just began, and now it’s already over, and we’re heading into 2020 and time has flown and I don’t feel nearly prepared enough.
Over this long weekend I took some time to reflect on the year that has past, and think of the year ahead from a work and personal perspective, looking at how I can be better (because I think many of you who work with me know I can definitely be better!).
Some lessons I have learned from this past year (the hard way, by not doing practicing them enough):
- Don’t assume everyone is on the same page as you and is heading towards the same goal as you. Everyone has their own path, and it’s important to find out what that path is, especially those you work closely with or lead.
- Don’t assume, period. It is so easy to do. “Oh, I assumed you were XYZ” are words destined to end in failure.
- Rather overcommunicate than under-communicate. It might be annoying, but it gives people comfort.
- It’s much harder to be kind and care than it is to give up and not care at all, but it is important to at least try, because that’s where our culture is built
- Try to engage with people even when you don’t need something from them. It’s easy to catch up with people only when you have a meeting or an agenda, but working with people across three cities is hard, and if we don’t like one another, we’re going to find it hard to help one another.
The other thing I’ve been thinking about is what the year ahead will look like in advertising. And the short answer is: I have no idea.
The long answer is more nuanced. I think of course that experiences will drive more advertising, but whether that is the right direction, and whether these experiences are based on human insight, I am not so sure. In some research recently, I stumbled upon some interesting thoughts about generation Z and their love of experiences, but also the notion that they don’t actually have as much money as they need, and so they are more cautious and thoughtful as to how they spend their money. They want to think of the future. How can we help them?
Some other things/ questions I have rolling around in my head:
Where will technology lead advertising?
How does climate change impact the world we occupy – advertising is all about creating (good and bad – packaging; billboards; digital data; television). Can we lessen our impact on the earth without diluting our messaging?
How will we circle back to more traditional ways of doing things?
How can we think more and act less (impulsively)?
So those are the things on my mind.
For now, here is some awesome content rounded up from the year of advertising, pop culture and life.
Growing Awareness Of Climate Change:
One of the most terrifying and also relieving things about 2019 is the fact that more and more people are talking about climate change in a way that acknowledges that – shock, horror – human beings DO HAVE AN IMPACT on the environment. I am SHOOK. We have finally arrived at Nirvana. Everyone take a seat, the show is about to begin.
I suppose the biggest question is – will we learn from this? It is literally the most urgent threat of our time. And we can actually do something about it, but human nature – the very thing that lead us here (short term mindset) may be the very thing that holds us back. Ignorance about what causes climate change is another. Unwillingness to sacrifice anything (don’t have a third child people – this is a big one!); giving up meat everyday; using less plastic; not flying everywhere all the time (hello Skype!) and walking to the shops rather than driving. Little changes that could lead to us not cooking ourselves to death. Ok preach over, thanks for coming bye.
Elon musk brain link tech:
Oh, Elon. You beautiful, egomaniacal lunatic.
I will say this for Musk – he is unwaveringly arrogant, and oftentimes for the greater good. Whatever he may be, he chooses to go the path of most resistance in search of a better way of doing things.
His most recent bat-shit idea is Neuralink. This is a secretive company developing brain-machine interface. The goal is to eventually begin implanting devices in paralyzed humans, allowing them to control phones or computers. AMAZING!
The first big advance is flexible “threads,” which are less likely to damage the brain than the materials currently used in brain-machine interfaces. These threads also create the possibility of transferring a higher volume of data, according to a white paper credited to “Elon Musk & Neuralink.” The abstract notes that the system could include “as many as 3,072 electrodes per array distributed across 96 threads.”
Read all about it here.
WeTransfer – The Future Of Media
WeTransfer the best content marketing platform on the planet. No word of a lie. I have yet to read one of the articles on there and not be wowed by the utter complexity and depth with which they approach their topics, both diverse and rich in nature. Each one is thoughtful, well-researched, useful and wise. If the journalism industry is wondering where it should head for in the future, they need look no further than the pioneer of brilliant content, WeTransfer. For far too long humans have suffered through the platitudes expressed in the media, taking the superficial nonsense as wisdom. I wrote a little while ago of why we should all stop watching and reading the news – it is full of rubbish cited as “objective reporting” when all it does is seek to frustrate and outrage us, making us panic. Thoughtful articles on interesting topics that take months to produce and aim to cover all sides is possibly where the media should be heading to, rather than creating a polarised society with daily coverage of the trending topic of the day, only to move on in seconds.
Creative Report On How To Develop Ideas
So, on that praise. Here are some of their recent pieces of genius. My favourite one is this ideas report. It provides four insights into how to go about generating more ideas.
“When it comes to pursuing a new idea, it seems sharing isn’t always caring. The creative process is often perceived as collaborative, yet only 18% of creatives will consult their ideas with friends, family or colleagues. Meanwhile over a third of people choose to go with their gut. It’s the answer that came out on top with under-18s as well as with artists, musicians, filmmakers and dancers. People working in design, marketing and tech, on the other hand, prefer to put in the research to decide what’s worthy.
I don’t think there’s any formula for a good idea, either. I think a lot of them happen when you’re not expecting them. I don’t have one specific way of coming up with ideas, but I do tend to get sparks that excite me when I’m walking with a clear mind. I think that when you’re in a brainstorm the “yes, and…” mentality is better than the “no, but…” because we need to build on ideas as opposed to tearing them down. It’s much easier to tear down ideas than spend the time to build them into something great.”
More From WeTransfer: Ben McMahon Selfie
Benjamin McMahon photographs famous people for a living. For five years now, he’s asked each person at the end of a shoot if they wouldn’t mind taking a quick self-portrait in a mirror using his Leica. Most of them agreed, and Ben now has over 100 photographs of celebrities being vulnerable, silly, or self-aware. Liv Siddall speaks to him about his charming study into how the world’s most photographed people actually want to be seen.
The Beyond Meat of Leather
Everyone has Beyond Meat on the mind at the moment. The meat-substitute has taken the world by storm, offering an animal-friendly alternative to meat (though not healthier, and certainly not planet-friendly given that they are transporting their goods all around the world). This start-up is set to do what Beyond Meat has done, and that is become a viable alternative to the leather-goods industry – an industry that contributes heavily to degradation of the environment not to mention the fashion industry’s already poor history of creating waste accounting for 8% of greenhouse gas emissions globally, and 20% of industrial water pollution.This little startup wants to change that.
Consumer Research On Coca-Cola’s Rebrand
Consumers do NOT like the new Coca-Cola packaging it seems. Well, at least enough for them to take notice, but not enough for them to do anything about it. A little while ago Coca-Cola made the decision to bring more cohesion to its brand by changing the packaging, so everything looks the same. A confusing logic, given that people were confused about the products and what each one was for, not the packaging. Now it seems they are confused about both. Good times. But, like any good brand, they are listening, but probably won’t do anything about it. Great.
The CEO says it is important to take note of ‘weak signals’ to avoid fiascos like the new coke saga of 1985, yet in the same breath then goes on to say that they probably won’t change it and the new packaging is here to stay. Talk about being aware of your own faults and not really wanting to change them. oh well, I still drink coke, so who knows.
100 Best Things in the World:
And finally, 100 things to make your end of year better. Everything on this list is awesome, and you should read it. From movies to mindful wine; from flying cars to fashion trends, this list is pretty extensive and diverse, and everyone will surely find something to run with and use as conversation gambits over the dinner table at your next festive party. My favourites are: the Gucci cod-piece (no need to say any more on this); YouTube Channel Colours and the rise of non-alcoholic spirits.
And with that – I. AM. OUT.
See you in 2020 peeps.
So long. Farewell. GOODBYE.