Five things on Friday #162

Things of note for the week ending Friday February 5th, 2016.

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Well, last week was a bit of a crapshoot wasn’t it? To those of you that read the newsletter of this lovely weekly listicle, my sincerest apologies for the double whammy last week. I had

1. THESE GIRLS

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Four girls, 3000 miles, and two world records.

No big deal.

Gee Purdy, second from the left (bright orange top – screaming with joy), works at Ogilvy. From the moment the company found out she (and her team) had an ambition to not only become the youngest but also the fastest all-woman crew to cross the Atlantic – BY ROWING – everyone got behind her.

This week, they smashed it.

And this write up, courtesy of Stylist, is actually really quite effing awesome. Read it to find out about the highs, lows, whales, dolphins and an overall two fingers up to all things sexism.

Gee – I’m proud to work under the same roof as you.

This is an incredible achievement.

Blaze new trails indeed.

2. THOSE TOPSY REPLACEMENTS
Topsy was such a good social media search engine that it was once even referenced in an episode of The Newsroom (yeah, Sorkin was all like ‘Yeah, Dev Patel’s character knows how to do this because X’) and now? Now it is dead. At the tail end of last year, Topsy searched its last Tweet.

And you can thank/blame Apple for that.

Idiots.

Anyway, if you’re now completely stuck on what to use when searching your favourite social media platform, Link Humans has compiled a handy list of [potential] replacements.

None of them are as good as Topsy but nearly all of them will get you mostly there.

Mostly.

___

3. THAT MAIL RAIL

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I have a list of fairly airy fairy rules when it comes to FToF. One of those rules is never really letting anyone completely hijack a ‘thing’. As in, if there’s something cool out there and it has found its way to me – then *I* will be the one to write about it.

I’m breaking that this time around – but for good reason. A couple of weeks ago – an AMAZING individual thought to invite me along to the press launch/announcement of the brand new Postal Museum opening in London next year (yes, 2017).

The main attraction of which is the actual ‘Mail Rail’ line that runs under London.

At the very last minute (literally, 12hrs before) I had to cancel.

Gutted.

(Thanks a lot [REDACTED])

The good news is: the smart people in charge of the PR for the Postal Museum gave me a plus one which meant my long-time partner in crime, Robbie Dale, was able to go along [albeit without his heterosexual life partner].

Fun facts about Mail Rail (via Robbie):

  • Mail Rail runs deep under London for 6.5 miles and was first used in 1927 to transport our mail seamlessly and silently throughout the city.
  • The Rosetta Stone was stored in its tunnels during the First World War along with art treasures from the National Portrait Gallery to protect them from Zeppelin air raids.
  • At its peak, Mail Rail employed over 200 staff and carried more than six million bags of mail below ground each year – that’s four million letters every day.
  • Mail Rail was preceded by an 1860s pneumatic rail system where cars loaded with mail were propelled through tunnels by air. Running between Euston Station and Eversholt. Street, operators sometimes had to turn down requests from men on their way home from the pub who were desperate for a ride.
  • Mail Rail at The Postal Museum will transport visitors back in time on a 15-minute ride through a section of the tunnels and reveal the fascinating story of innovation and ingenuity that kept us all in touch. 

Thanks Robbie!

Mr Dale is also a dab hand with a camera so if photos like this:

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…really excite you, then you should go check out Robbie’s Flickr album of the Mail Rail and then, once you’ve done that, go look up the Postal Museum and plan your visit (for 2017 – when it opens).

I know I’m going to.

4. THIS MIRROR

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Yep. It’s real.

Max Braun, product maker at Google, decided that he’d had enough of waiting around for the future to arrive so he just built it instead.

The above image is nabbed from this Medium post on the subject of how he did and, being only a 3 or 4 minute read, I can’t suggest enough that you go and check it out.

Super geeky. Super interesting.

Want one.

___

5. DIS GUY

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Actual bullet time footage (the stuff that put The Matrix on the map – or maybe the other way around), made with a single spinning iPhone, snapping photos of the subject as the handset twirls in the air. Like a selfie-stick, but on steroids (and with less ‘ugh’).

This is the ‘centriphone’ and it is amazing.

There’s video at the source too.

Go check it out.

Tres cool.

_________

Bonuses this week are as follows:

 

And that’s me.

 

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Five things on Friday #161

Things of note for the week ending Friday January 29th, 2016.

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First off, apologies to those of you who wanted to read The London Escalator Experiment last week. Muggins forgot to link it. Well, in case you didn’t get around to JUST GOOGLING IT, you can find the article right here (and it’s still awesome reading).

Shall we crack on with the new stuff?

OK then!

1. #NOFILTERFEB

I like this.

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“MAKING THINGS LOOK EFFORTLESS TAKES EFFORT”

As the website says:

“It’s easy to forget sometimes that social media is a collection of hand picked moments. What we see has usually gone through a few edits to look the way it does. It isn’t always the full picture and it shouldn’t be a benchmark we set for our own lives.

#NoFilterFeb is a challenge to detox your Instagram of all the filters that have become a default go to.

By dedicating a whole month to being filter free we’re hoping to bring a bit of perspective back into news feeds and use it as a reminder that the world doesn’t always need a touch up.”

There are a TON of reasons why this is an awesome idea.

Most of them stem from the whole OH MY GOD THIS FILTERED PERCEPTION OF LIFE THAT WE ALL PROJECT OUTWARDS IS A HUGE LIE AND IS CAUSING HUGE EXISTENTIAL CRISES OF DEPRESSION ALL AROUND US thing.

Y’know, this stuff:

taunted

Actual. Cultural. Impact.

For reals.

This February, go properly no filter.

Go #NoFilterFeb.

Oh and unlike dry January, this exercise might actually be good for you.

——-

2. A FULL DAY OF MUSIC VOL. 3

CHOONz

It’s that time again.

Eight hours of fairly decent music compiled (by me and my mate Sarah) into a one hit Spotify playlist for all your aural needs.

Get it.

(or read about it)

You’re welcome.

3. THE F*** OFF FUND

This was doing the rounds a couple of weeks ago and I finally got around to reading it last week. It’s painful reading. But – especially if you have children – print it off and save it somewhere.

Powerful stuff.

4. CRY HAVOC

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My friend (and some time film quiz enemy) Tiny Master sent me the PDF of issue one of the above comic book a couple of weeks ago and it’s pretty awesome.

So we’re clear: this is the book The Guardian called “a joy to read”, the Nerdist called “flawless,” and Alan Moore described as “an electrifying account of black ops, black dogs and weaponised folklore unlike anything you’ve ever seen – best in show.”

It’s about a lesbian werewolf who goes to war and to say much more about it would probably mean SPOILERS.

Looking for a new read? Go pick up CRY HAVOC.

It’s really, really quite good.

(and I’m hooked).

Side note: Tiny Master also called me an actual ‘cross-discipline connoisseur of culture’ (to be fair, it was followed by a ‘oh sod off’ but still) and that’s a WIN from me no matter what.

Read more about Cry Havoc over on its dedicated Tumblr page.

5. WORF EMAIL

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A Twitter account set up for the sole purpose of sharing the entirely fictional emails from the Starship Enterprise’s Chief of Security?

OK. I AM IN.

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SOLID.

GOLD.

Go get.

——–

Bonuses this week are as follows:

Thanks y’all.

Imma go hit my weekend now.

BYEEEEEEEE.

WEEEEEE

 

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Five things on Friday #160

Things of note for week ending Friday 22nd January, 2016.

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Well, that was a CRAZY BUSY WEEK wasn’t it?

It’s 17:48 in a Friday evening and I’ve got approximately 42mins before I’m due in the bar to celebrate my FOUR YEAR ANNIVERSARY of working for the big O.

Shall we?

1. THE BIG SHORT

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Earlier this week, those lovely people at Paramount invited yours truly to a special screening of this quite frankly fantastic film that you should all make time to see.

As the poster above states, THE BIG SHORT is based on a true story (and the film quite neatly points out which bits are completely true and which bits perhaps aren’t – it’s very well done); covering the financial crisis and specifically highlighting a group of people that both a) spotted it coming and then b) betted on it actually happening – it’s an incredible tale. Some parts of which you will hold your head in your hands in complete and utter disbelief.

It is hilarious, heartbreaking, sickening, and ultimately makes you feel good about being left to feel empty and helpless (no, really) and I can’t endorse that you see this film enough.

The four main leads…

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-Ryan Gosling, Steve Carrell, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale-

…are brilliant but special mentions to Gosling and Carrell for individual brilliance (that you’ll only recognise when you of course, go and see it).

So if you don’t have plans this weekend or next week in fact, go and see THE BIG SHORT.

The part with Margot Robbie made me laugh so loud people looked at me.

2. BRANDS PREFER NATIVE

This is interesting.

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YouTube links now equate to less than 25% of all video content shared by brands on Facebook.

The above grab is from this article over on eMarketer. Published earlier this month, it points to one of the outputs of ‘The Video Royale’ – a trend that Marshall Manson and I highlighted at this time last year.

In short: at the turn of 2015 we challenged/advised brands, both within our agency network and without, to – in the face of the incoming Video platform wars – be prepared to ’embrace native video publishing’. By that we meant uploading raw video content direct to the platform you’re sharing it on and not simply sharing the link to your YouTube page…

Go and look at the chart above again. Go on, I’ll wait here.

..

I’m not saying that these numbers are a result of said call to arms however it is quite reassuring to see that this is the way the trend is [predictably] going.

etc

3. GERVAIS

Another thing I found this week was this TIME article talking about the difference between British and American humour. Written by one Mr Ricky Gervais, it is an excellent read.

But the bonus part of the article that really put me in a chipper mood were the accompanying collection of video interviews embedded within..

THEY ARE SO GOOD.

Go for the writing, stay for the videos.

4. GAMESMASTER

This is great.

GAMESMASTER

Were you a young gamer in the 90s? Do you remember seeing Patrick Moore rehashed as some batsh*t crazy master of gaming (above)?!

Then you’ll love this: ‘GAMESMASTER: The Inside Story

Containing such AMAZING nuggets as exactly how Mr Moore was paid…

Cynics might assume Moore was only in it for the money, but they’d be wrong. McAllister still remembers the salary negotiation: “Patrick said, ‘Ah, yes. Well, I did something before and they asked me what my fee should be, and I told them, and we drank it.’ That was his approach – a bottle of whisky.” Moore was never on the set of the live show. His sections were filmed separately over a couple of days and then he and the production team would go out to lunch.

Brilliant.

It’s a long read but if you ever had a cheeky chuckle at one of Dominik Diamond’s double entendres then it’s 100% worth it.

5. THE LONDON ESCALATOR EXPERIMENT

One of my favourite reads of the week was this wonderful Guardian piece about when and why Transport for London stopped people walking UP escalators.

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Monsters.

If you’re unfamiliar with this ridiculous idea, allow me to enlighten you:

“It’s British lore: on escalators, you stand on the right and walk on the left. So why did the London Underground ask grumpy commuters to stand on both sides? And could it help avert a looming congestion crisis?”

You start reading and you think they’re bonkers but, by the end, you (like me) could very well be convinced…

Cray cray.

..

.

Related anecdote:

The tube to work is funny now. I now have to get off at a nothing station. Southwark. I mean. Who gets off at Southwark?! All the Wharf-bounders get grumpy. ‘You used to be one of us’, they stare silently. They all have to move when I’m getting off now and they get proper narky about it

Silly people.

And yet I grin.

Upon departure I look ’em in the eyes and say, with an assertive clarity only matched by its cheerfulness, ‘Excuse me, team!’ – and I giggle.

Starts my day off brilliantly.

Try it!

Bonuses this week are as follows:

Have an awesome weekend y’all!

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Whatley out.

 

 

 

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Five things on Friday #159

Things of note for the week ending Friday January 15th, 2016.

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1. WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR

Reminiscent of the late Oliver Sacks’ take on his last days of life, ‘Sabbath’ (see item one back in FOTF #138), Paul Kalanithi’s take on the meaning of life from the perspective of someone who, after having planned the rest of it, is told he barely has any left…

“At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live.

When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity – the brain – and finally into a patient and a new father.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when when life is catastrophically interrupted? What does it mean to have a child as your own life fades away?

Paul Kalanithi died while working on this profoundly moving book, yet his words live on as a guide to us all. When Breath Becomes Air is a life-affirming reflection on facing our mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.”

I’ve just ordered this.

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You should too.

H/T Brain Pickings (where more excerpts and analysis can be found).

This one is for the people we’ve lost this week.

For Bowie, for Rickman, and for Grandma Pyper.

And breathe.

*******

2. SOMETHING PRETTY
And now… something to lift you up.

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Emily Blincoe is a photographer based out of Austin and, after discovering her Instagram account the other day while browsing Design Taxi, I felt compelled to share it.

So I am.

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Go check it out.

PS. I am also on Instagram. Nowhere near as good as the above, obvs. But y’know, just in case you fancy STALKING ME THERE TOO – you can.

*******

3. OGILVY @ SEA CONTAINERS

If you’ve been living under a rock (and by that I mean ‘not following me on any of my social media accounts‘) this week, then you may have missed the fact that Ogilvy & Mather Group UK has kicked off its move over to the amazing SEA CONTAINERS building on the south bank.

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The ad agency, O&M (the bit I (predominantly) work for) were first in and next week we’re joined by Ogilvy PR and a few others… by the end of next month, the full group (plus MEC – splitters), will be spread across the 12 amazing floors…

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…with floor 13 reserved for the very awesome things like the amphitheatre – expect to hear about our first talks / events there very soon.

And it’s lush.

The views are ridiculous and while it still has that everso FRESH feel to it right now, we’re doing a very good job to making it look as lived in as possible. A special shout out goes to Helen Lawrence and the Twitter UK gang for being the first partner to formally welcome us to our new digs.

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Inspired hashtaggery.

So yeah, two things on this

First – if you’re near and fancy a tour, let me know (Twitter normally works). I’ll show you around. We’ll be at capacity within a few weeks and all the fancier bells and whistles (top floor restaurant etc) will be open shortly after. But for now, I’d be glad to show you around.

Second – as obvious as it sounds, we are no longer at Canary Wharf! This is important because I very occasionally get sent things to feature in Five Things on Friday (pancakes, Batman origami, and craft beer – to name just three examples from last year) so you’re one of those people, Ogilvy has a new address:

Ogilvy & Mather Advertising London
Sea Containers
Upper Ground
London
Se1 9RQ

So y’know, send me your stuff.

*******

4. RETROBLASTING

Found this this week. And it’s ace.

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No, not the (rather fantastic) Dungeons & Dragons cartoon from the 1980s (oh no) but this really quite excellent review of said TV show by the super smart team over at RETROBLASTING.

If you enjoyed the cartoon show depicted above, you’ll love this video.

Go watch.

*******

5. THE MARKETING ACADEMY

‘The Marketing Academy is a non-profit and voluntary organisation who develop leadership capability in talented marketers from the Marketing, Advertising and Communications industries through mentoring coaching and experiential learning. All of The Marketing Academy programmes are provided free of charge.’

In short: it turns the marketing talent of today into the leaders of tomorrow.

I did it way back in 2010 and since then every year, the MA Scholarship takes around 30 new people to put through this incredible course.

If you know anyone who you think would benefit from this training then do please put them forward..

Nominations are NOW OPEN.

*******

Bonuses this week are as follows:

  • The Dragnet is the story of how a man accused of a million dollar fraud uncovered a never before seen, secret surveillance device. This is a great read.
  • London Crossrail is coming. As a result, we should rename all the stations yeah?
  • Lynx is about to kick off a long overdue reposition of its [highly outdated] brand. It starts here (and is a very good thing).

And I’m out.

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Five things on Friday #158

Things of note for the week ending Friday 8th January, 2016.

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1. AVATAR & CULTURE

This article has been doing the rounds this week.

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Obviously driven by the fact that AVATAR has just been knocked from its ‘highest grossing movie in US history’ status (by that STAR WARS film you might’ve heard about) the piece takes a look at the history of the film and explores some of the other perhaps not immediately noticeable impacts it left on movie-goers…

But that’s not why I’m sharing.

When I saw the link (originally posted on a friend’s Facebook wall) it immediately got my head racing to a million different places.

For example: I wondered if you could perhaps construct quite a decent analysis about the lack of branding in AVATAR.

When you think about the cultural impact/footprints of other major films, in our recent (and not so recent) history, the sociological science behind what makes a ‘pop culture footprint’ would no doubt include the art of branding.

My immediate frame of reference for this is Tim Burton’s 1989 BATMAN (no surprise there). The branding of that is ripe for pop cultural footprintery (and arguably set the marketing approach of all superhero movies since).

When compared to the greats, AVATAR is bereft of [this kind of] branding. However the author of the piece referenced above should’ve probably gone into more about his definition of what constitutes a cultural footprint.

I’m just kicking stuff around here so not really sure where I’m taking this but I just wanted to explore the thought/thinking about what actually contributes to leaving a cultural footprint.

For what it’s worth, I think it’s unfair/completely wrong to say that AVATAR left NO cultural impact – that’s wholly untrue. Can you walk into a fancy dress store and buy a N’avi outfit? Yup. Are there huge Avatar parties every weekend? I don’t know. BUT THERE MIGHT BE.

However, aside from an unbelievable realisation of a whole other planet through the use of computers, there are no major stand out points that could impact culture [as significantly as say, I don’t know… STAR WARS].

And that contributes to it too.

Anyway, it’s a good piece and it got me thinking. It might get you thinking too.

Go read it.

***********

2. GET RICH OR DIE VLOGGING

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It was all so painfully awkward. That night, Brittany Ashley, a lesbian stoner in red lipstick, was at Eveleigh, a popular farm-to-table spot in West Hollywood. The restaurant was hosting Buzzfeed’s Golden Globes party. For the past two years, Ashley has been one of the most visible actresses on the company’s four YouTube channels, which altogether have about 17 million subscribers. She stars in bawdy videos with titles like “How To Win The Breakup” or “Masturbation: Guys Vs. Girls,” many of which rack up millions of views.

The awkward part was that Ashley wasn’t there to celebrate with Buzzfeed. She was there to serve them.

Being super rich with theoretical dollars ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. A tough read but so telling of the world we created for ourselves now live in, this story, from Fusion, talks about how difficult it can be when you’re trying to make it as an up-and-coming Internet superstar. Even if you only have a passing interest in digital influencers and the whole premise of internet-celebrity in general, then you should absolutely read this article.

***********

3. ’52 things I learnt in 2015′

As written by Tom Whitwell. There are a great bunch of random facts in this cheeky [and easily digestible] Medium post. Go read it.

***********

4. SUPERHERO AND SURVIVOR

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I don’t know if you have or have not made/found the time to take in Netflix’s second Marvel series (DAREDEVIL was the first – and it was awesome – S2 coming soon) JESSICA JONES yet however if you have, I would recommend reading this really quite excellent praise piece, via The F Word, entitled ‘Superhero and survivor‘.

Jessica Jones is just that – a superhero and a survivor; and nothing I’ve read on the subject nails it better than this.

Off you pop.

Ps. If you’ve not watched JJ yet a) go do so and b) don’t read the above yet, it’s kinda spoilery.

5. DISAPPEAR

Got an iPhone? Really dislike the default iOS apps that you just can’t get rid of? Well, here’s a tip to make them just… disappear!

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Oh and btw: no jail-breaking required.

***********

_____________

Bonuses this week are as follows –

  • Goodbye Motorola (I do not think this is a superb idea)
  • I’ve been sick this week and have caught up on a TON of stuff. For one: Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. I think I’ve talked about it before. It’s great. It really is!
  • No offence (which my brain tells me I’ve shared already but I can’t figure out if it’s just my drafts playing up this week -which they have been. A lot)

Have a great weekend y’all.

This one’s for Theo.

Whatley out, x.

 

 

 

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