November 19, 2016 / by James Whatley">James Whatley / 5things / No Comments

Here – Several things on Saturday (FtoF #203)

Things of note for the week ending Saturday November 19th, 2016




The Google Daydream launched this month and while we’re nowhere near any kind of widespread consumer penetration on what Daydream is or does (I mean, it’s £69 Google – where’s your big Christmas push?) it’s still yet another stone in the foundations of a solid VR marketplace.

I’ve played with one and it’s alright: comfy to use, intuitive remote control, etc… but ostensibly it’s just a better Samsung Gear VR. Which in turn is a smarter Google Cardboard. And yet the one the thing they all have in common is that they all need a mobile phone to act as the main viewscreen. If you didn’t know already: we all have a VR screen in our pocket.

If all this is new to you (and even if it isn’t) and inline with the Daydream launch, Polygon has put together an excellent overview of the Mobile VR landscape, what it means, and what it looks like for the future.






I was up late last night reading this wonderful long read from The New Yorker. Covering time with President Obama in the days before and after the recent US election, this is yet another insight into what it takes to be the leader of the free world and, in reality, another example of how much we will lose after he’s gone.






See: ‘Ogilvy bets big on bots as messaging apps surge in popularity

By ‘launched a thing’, we mean ‘went public with an offering we’ve been working on since the summer’. There are three bots that we’ve built that we can talk about since then:

  • Roombot – a bot for Ogilvy London. We have 85 meeting rooms across 13 floors at Sea Containers and they’re not named that intuitively. So therefore you could spend the first ten minutes of any meeting yelling ‘Where the hell is Voyage?’ or ‘What level is Cluster on?’. Roombot solves that.
  • Stoptober Bot (now finished!) – a project for Public Health England to help people stop smoking. We’re looking at the data now and are hoping to publish the results later this month.
  • Mondrian Assistant – our neighbours downstairs at Sea Containers, The Mondrian, have come with us on the journey and our open beta has just gone live. Right now you can browse the main areas of the Mondrian’s facilities and make reservations for drinks and/or dinner. We’re working up new features and will monitor/change/grow depending on user interaction. Again, more to follow.

We have a ton of other work in the pipeline and I’m really excited about the future. When I was given my new role of ‘Planning Partner – Innovation’ back in the summer, my boss gave me one simple four word brief ‘New stuff made useful’. This is the first project we’ve launched under that banner and so far the take up – of the teams internally and the clients themselves – has been fantastic.

Will Godfrey (my partner on this project) and I will be writing some more in-depth pieces on this for Ogilvy soon. Will link them in a future edition when they go live.






VICE has a new and totally official oral history of SPACED with new interviews with some of the key players. If you spent ANY of your school/college/uni life watching this BRILLIANT show then you need to read this.


Jessica Hynes (Daisy): I was living in my boyfriend’s squat at the time. Simon had a degree from Bristol University and could spell; I had an electric typewriter and some f****** Tipp-Ex. I’ve still got the very first thing that was ever put to paper for Spaced, which was a Marsha monologue – that was the very beginning.








“I took my son to Paris Fashion Week, and all I got was a profound understanding of who he is, what he wants to do with his life, and how it feels to watch a grown man stride down a runway wearing shaggy yellow Muppet pants.”

I’ve had this story open in a tab to read for several weeks and finally got around to it this past week (due to being struck down by a colossal illness but that’s not for now). It is a beautiful read.

Please read it.





Bonuses this week are as follows:




And finally, it’s my birthday on Monday.

Send me something nice.



Whatley out.

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