Five things on Friday #249

Things of note for the week ending Sunday, February 11th, 2018.

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TO THE THINGS

1. PARAMOUNT + NETFLIX

Last week, during the Superb Owl, there was a ton of new movie trailers (as well as one great ad – for TIDE) one of those trailers was for a film called ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’.

What happened next is old news now. The trailer dropped and, minutes after the big game finished, the film was available to watch on Netflix.

‘AMAZING!’ screamed some.
‘IT’S A REVELATION IN MOVIE MARKETING!!’ screamed others.

But then, when the dust settled, it appeared that with very little spend from Paramount (at best, they went 50/50 on the movie’s ad spot with Netflix) they managed to get millions of people excited about a very bad second-rate movie.

That’s the interesting part to me. I get that JJ Abrams’ ‘thing’ is mystery and surprise (hell, he even did a TED talk on it) so I get that this could be seen as just another JJ marketing move. But I don’t think so. Paramount has not had a HUGE hit at the box office in years. Last year, it’s best-performing movie was TRANSFORMERS (episode 17, Primes of the round table or something) – and that barely scraped the top 20.

Taking that into account, and also looking at the recent news about a similar ‘straight-to-Netflix’ deal re: the forthcoming sci-fi movie, ANNIHILATION, it looks a little like Paramount is playing it super safe. It’s one big hit this year is probably going to be MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT.

Outside of that? Who knows. It’s a shame. Some of the best MARVEL films started out at Paramount. I hope this isn’t the beginning of the end for them. I also hope that this isn’t the start of a trend where ‘straight to video’ movies just get sold as ‘straight to Netflix’ – that is not a good luck for any/all involved.

2. THE CHARMED LIFE OF ALEX MOORE

My friend Molly Flatt has a book out.

I am awfully proud of her.

And the book is pretty damn good (so far) too.

I’m fortunate enough to have been sent a proof copy. You can pre-order yours now (out in May).

Do so.

3. DIGITAL OUT OF HOME AD SCREENS AS BITCOIN MINERS. 

Terence Eden has seen them.

This is 2018.

4. TWITTER ACTUALLY TURNED A PROFITAbsolute scenes.

You can read the whole letter to its shareholders here. Interestingly, aside from kinda waving vaguely at the President of the USA, I can’t really see anything here that screams ‘We know exactly what we’re doing!’

I’m being unfair.

I’m pleased for Twitter. Truly. 12yrs to get this far. And it is indispensable. I just hope this isn’t a blip. Time will tell.

More here.

5. THE BANANA TRICK

I’ve never stolen anything from self-checkout (although when I was a kid, I stole my fair share of sweets from the pick’n’mix at Woolworths (WE ALL DID IT)) but apparently, this is a THING. With its own nomenclature and everything.

The Atlantic has more.

PRE-BONUS ESSENTIAL READING: 

Only the essentials. 

  • Uma Thurman’s interview with the NYT dropped hours after I published last week’s edition. I’m hoping you’ve all read and/or seen it by now. If not, fix that.
  • I considered linking to the Quentin Tarantino piece that came after this one but no, f*** him.
  • Related – Jill Messick, caught up with all of this, took her own life last week. This is all so awful.
  • Steve Wynn has FINALLY stepped down.
  • CP + B fires its CCO. Doesn’t say why…
  • Droga 5 loses its ECD in a similar way.
THE BONUS SECTION OF BONUS-SHAPED BONUSES: 

They shoulda told us about da bonus…

YOU HAVE REACHED THE END. 

Thank you for reading.

It has been a long and hard weekend. I am very much looking forward to a Monday night of peaceful sleep.

We shall see.

Whatley out, x. 

Ps. This week’s was late.

Nextweek’s may not appear at all.

I’m in Rome Wednesday – Monday and may not take my laptop with me.

If we don’t speak, have a lovely couple of weeks and I’ll be in touch upon my return.

Ciao, Bella x.  

Five things on Friday #228

Things of note for the week ending Saturday July 1st, 2017.

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//// ⭐️ //// ⭐️ ——— ⭐️ \\\\ ⭐️ \\\\

1. GEN XENNIALS

I don’t REALLY have to repeat how much it makes my gut reach whenever I read some of the latest guff around generational ‘cohorts’ now do I?

For those of you that didn’t throw up the moment you read the above thing title, keep reading!

The ‘micro-generation’ of people born between 1977 and 1983 (and the reason that this, ahem, research is appearing in this edition MAY WELL BE because I fall into said category) now have their own name.

GENERATION XENNIAL.

— passes the sick bag —

AHEM.

It says here:

Look. I get it. That is definitely me. And the full definition makes a lot of sense.

But it’s still a massive wang-a-thon

I’ve said it before, if you want a decent take on all things cohort, you could do a lot worse than read this excellent piece by Jed Hallam – Millennial is a useless term‘ 

Xennials. I mean, really.

— — — — —

2. WETHERSPOONS DELETED ITS ENTIRE EMAIL DATABASE – ON PURPOSE

I AM SO HERE FOR THIS.


WIRED* is reporting that UK pub chain (and oft-favourite haunt of student-Whatley) J.D. Wetherspoons has deleted its entire email mailing list and says it will stop sending newsletters via email completely.

JDW’s CEO, John Hutson, wrote to its subscribers last week and said –

“Many companies use email to promote themselves, but we don’t want to take this approach – which many consider intrusive. Our database of customers’ email addresses, including yours, will be deleted.”

BECAUSE WHO WANTS MORE EMAIL, AMIRITE? 

This is nothing short of superb.

Like I said, WIRED has the full story.

Worth a read.



*Incidentally, I subscribed to WIRED magazine this week. £28 for 24 issues. That’s £1.10 per issue. Not bad

— — — — —

3. THE SECRET HISTORY OF PIXAR’S CARS UNIVERSE

Buckle up.

Shit’s about to get weird.

 (this is probably my favourite thing this week)

Earlier this week, I read the following:

—–

“One of the beauties and dangers of the internet’s ability to dilate fandoms so that they never begin and never end is that people get to spend too much time thinking about stuff. For instance, Cars 3 — the latest kid-friendly Pixar film — is out today, but it will likely not address the fact that a car genocide happened in which Car Hitler exterminated 6 million Car Jews during Car World War II. It is very easy to prove that Car Hitler is real, using canonical Cars lore.

The general line of thought is something like this: The Cars-verse includes a World War II–era Jeep named Sarge, who explicitly references events like the Battle of the Bulge. In the direct-to-DVD film Planes (made by Disney but not Pixar), there is an actual WWII flashback in which the plane Skipper recalls losing his entire squadron in the Pacific Theater. Assuming that Car WWII occurred, and that it contains the same contours as the actual WWII, we can assume that there were Car Axis powers, and thus a Car Hitler.”

The problem with this stuff is the more you read it, the more you just want to keep scrolling…

Which you’re going to do once you click through and read the whole damn mind-bending thing.

— — — — —

4. A SECTION ABOUT MOVIES + STUFF

There’s a whole bunch of film-based news/knowledge/trailers that I’ve missed while away so I’m bunging it all under one section (save running a whole FToF dedicated to movies – but that might still happen one day – maybe).

Ready?

In no real order whatsoever:

______________

And that’s that section done. While we’re here though, let’s throw in another bit. Being off work for as long as I have, I’ve been catching up with a number of box sets I’ve had my eye on:

  1. 13 REASONS WHY (Netflix). Hard watching. But very good.
  2. AMERICAN GODS (Amazon Prime). Made by the same team that brought us the HANNIBAL TV series (still my favourite TV show of all time ever – not kidding), AG has some stellar performances but overall suffers from assuming too much knowledge on behalf of its audience. EXPLAIN MORE STUFF PLEASE AMERICAN GODS. THANKS.
  3. PREACHER (Amazon Prime). I started this AGES AGO but with S2 arriving I figured I’d revisit. It is gruesome, weird, messed up, and (unlike AMERICAN GODS) includes a decent plot. I enjoyed it.
  4. HOUSE OF CARDS (Netflix). Do I really need to talk about this?
  5. Over to you, dear reader…​
— — — — —

5. OMG – COMPETITIVE PUNNING

This week, on ‘RANDOM THINGS I HAVE WATCHED ON THE INTERNET’, this video utterly killed me.

Go. Watch it. Then come back.

So yeah, found that video via this AMAZING article on Fast Company that explains how Joe Berkowitz spent a year exploring the culture in and around COMPETITIVE PUNNING.

“The best pun I heard during the course of writing the book was: ‘I went to go shopping for cherries and microphones the other day: bought a bing, bought a boom,’” Joe told me. “The worst pun I heard was: ‘If steaks can’t satisfy you, can ribs?’ where the words ‘Can ribs’ were somehow supposed to form a pun on ‘Cribs.’ This was 15 minutes into a pun duel about furniture and all the good puns were taken, but still: wow,” Joe recalled.

If you only watched the video at the start of this section then I will be happy but this whole thing, in general, is so mentally brilliant, I can’t impress it upon you enough to go read, explore, and enjoy/cringe/laugh.

Go go go!

— — — — —

BONUSES THIS WEEK ARE AS FOLLOWS: 

HERE BE THE BONUS SECTION. AKA: ‘THE SELECTION OF LINKS THAT JAMES FOUND INTERESTING ENOUGH TO SHARE BUT NOT INTERESTING ENOUGH TO ADD A WHOLE PARAGRAPH OR FIVE OF THOUGHT ABOUT’

DON’T SHY AWAY, MIND. THERE BE GOLD IN DESE HILLS.

DEEP BREATH.

HERE WE GO.

What’d I miss?

— — — — —

And I think that just about wraps it up.

WHAT A WEEK. 

I’ll try not to leave it so long next time.

Whatley out. 

Five things on Friday #157

Things of note for the week ending January 1st, 2016.

FtoF2016

Happy New Year, friends.

Shall we?

1. DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY OF AWESOME

drone drone

Some of these are just wonderful. The above, so simple. The below, breathtaking. I found them via Quartz however that site pulled them from Dronestagram, a place dedicated to the ever-growing art form of drone photography.

christ drone

These two are from the recent batch of winners in Dronestagram’s recent aerial photography contest – just two! The rest are worth seeing too.

A few things here:

  • Did you get a drone for Christmas? Get yourself off to Dronestagram!
  • Back in November, as we celebrated Bonfire Night in a park in South London, we counted no less than four drones hovering above the crowd taking in the firework display. In short: the drones are comingu
  • Rules and regulations on drone usage are slim-to-none (in the UK at least) but if you do have one, please use safely and with respect and care for your fellow humans.

My best friend got a drone for Christmas, I’m going to hassle him for some snaps after I hit publish on this. Woop woop.

Speaking of liking photos…

2. WHAT DO THE TOP INSTAGRAM POSTS OF 2015 SAY ABOUT US

MEOW

The Next Web has pulled together a decent review of the 2015 top ten [most liked] photos from Instagram. But instead of just republishing the images and going ‘Oh hey look, come see!’, the author has actually done some work (HURRAH!) and pulled in the point of view of a consultant clinical psychologist to help in said review.

Definitely a good read and – I really hate to be that guy but – the last paragraph is so on point.

Go read.

3. NINE LESSONS

Brain Pickings is a favourite site of mine. I’ve pulled from it a number of times for FTOF and I/you can visit any day of the week and find something super interesting to read.

I found something from October’s published articles that reflected upon its nine year history.

It is a wonderful read. I mean really.

No images, no quotes – just a proper recommendation to read this article.

Off you pop then.

4. DOCTOR STRANGE

Irrespective of your thoughts on the most recent SHERLOCK (it was all going so well right up until… well, you know) Benedict Cumberbatch is a bloody good actor.

This year, we have two big MARVEL films head our way. The first one, CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR [trailer] arrives in April. The second one, arriving in October, is DOCTOR STRANGE.

This guy.

DrStrangeAvengers-580x299

And in the film itself?

This guy.

Mystical-Strange-005-EW

Benedict Cumberbatch is the perfect casting for this gig. Doctor Stephen Strange has already been mentioned in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and his nemesis was also glimpsed in ANT-MAN (oh you missed that did you?) – so yeah, he’s coming in October and EW has the scoop on how he’s going to look in the film.

And in case you needed it, here’s the UK MARVEL movie release dates for

  • Captain America: Civil War – April 2016
  • Doctor Strange – October 2016
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – April 2017
  • Spider-Man – July 2017
  • Thor: Ragnorak – November 2017
  • Black Panther – February 2018
  • Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 2018
  • Ant-Man and The Wasp – July 2018
  • Captain Marvel – March 2019
  • Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 2019
  • Inhumans – July 2019

Busy then.

5. 1, 2, 3 – JUMP!

2016 is a leap year. Here are 20 crazy facts about February 29th.

It’s late, and if I don’t hit publish soon this newsletter will be too.

_________

Bonuses this week are things that I’ve found/loved personally this week:

See you in a week, friends.

And in the name of all things amazing – a very Happy New Year to you.

Until next time,

JW.

 

Stuff I wrote this week

Not here. In other places.

Hey, look down there

1. The ASA needs to sharpen its teeth when it comes to paid for social media
Over on The Drum, I’ve written a fairly lengthy piece on why, with a UK on the brink of Internet censorship, the Advertising Standards Authority needs to get better (and faster) at policing paid-for social media.

With the government’s renewed interest in internet censorship, the marketing and advertising industry would do well to take notice of what’s going on around it. We only need to look back at the Leveson Inquiry as well the current furore about the Press Complaints Commission’s lack of interest in signing up to new restrictions to see that Westminster will not simply sit back and watch should we not live up to the standards that we enforce upon ourselves.

If we don’t police ourselves properly, the government will – and they will be far, far more draconian in their approach than we could ever dream.

It’s an interesting issue and if you have the time, I’d love to get your opinion.

More.

2. Ads are arriving on Instagram: 3 things you should know
Did you see the news yesterday? Instagram took another significant step towards rolling out ads on its platform and pulled back the curtain on how they’ll look as well as how they’ll work.

There are three things you should definitely know about this announcement and fortunately for you, that’s exactly what I’ve written for Social@Ogilvy.

I hope you find it useful.

3. The Voicemail: Episode 071
Fellow mobile geeks might already know that I record a weekly podcast about mobile technology happenings called The Voicemail. This week’s episode is especially good as, instead of my usual co-host, Stefan Constantinescu, joining me from Finland, Mr Michael Hell jumps in from Austria! The reason why this is exciting, for me at least, is that not only is Michael extremely well-versed in all things mobile, but he is also responsible for The Voicemail actually getting off the ground – so it was really awesome to get him on the show at last.

If mobile is your thing, or even if just fancy knowing a little bit more about the recent Apple iPad announcements / the new Nokia devices revealed this week, then why not give us a listen (we’re on iTunes too).

Have a great weekend.

 

Microsoft and Nokia: No Surprises

This post was first published on Medium (and Marketing) and is reposted here with permission –

What happened?

In a move that has been on the cards since February 2013 (or 2011, depending on who you talk to) Microsoft finally stumped up the cash and bought Nokia’s device business.

ms1

This should not come as a surprise.

There is much to be said about this sale, ‘I can’t believe this has happened!’ should not be one of them.

Continue reading “Microsoft and Nokia: No Surprises”

Want a Lumia 920 on Vodafone?

UPDATE: AS OF DECEMBER 19th – IT’S COMING

It ain’t gonna happen…

 

Lumia and Vodafone? NO.

The Nokia Lumia 920 is the latest (and greatest?) Nokia flagship phone. It was announced on September 5th, 2012 and sources are placing its release at around the middle of November somewhere.

I like the look of it and, since knowing mobile tech the way I do, I gave it the fairly highly-regarded label of ‘My Next Phone‘.

But there’s a problem. This morning this happened –

Dan Bowsher is one of the super-smart social media chaps at Vodafone and, as managing editor of the Vodafone UK blog, it’s kind of his job to be on the button with stuff like this – so I appreciate the heads up, Dan, thank you.

The ironic thing is, the same episode of The Voicemail that Dan is talking about is also the exact same one where I name-check Vodafone as being one service that I could not live without.

But now, I am in a quandary –

I’ve been a Vodafone customer for nigh on 16yrs. I honestly can’t think what kind of data they have on record or how much customer equity I’ve built up over that time.

And they’re not going to range the one phone that I really, really want.

My options are as follows

  1. Buy the Lumia 920 SIM-free (not ideal).
  2. Leave Vodafone and join a network like EE (who are not only ranging the Lumia 920 but also launching with the first 4G network)?
  3. Ignore the Lumia 920 and perhaps consider a different handset – like the new HTC Windows phones or in fact, an iPhone 5 (which is genuinely a serious option)?

 

Opinions please.

UPDATE: Vodafone have published a blog post confirming the above Windows Phone 8 device strategy 

 

 

 

Bare Jing

Writing up my diaries, it seems that China really did get the better of me and my Moleskine. What lies below is the last full entry, after here it’s just random scattered notes that I’ll do my best to put into some kind of coherent timeline. Wish me luck…

I. Love. It. Here. Already.

Moleskine Entry April 24th 2011

  1. Bejing (and China in general actually) is beautiful. Stunning even. I am more at peace now than I think I have ever been. I am calm and immensely happy.
  2. We have been busy.

We arrived on April 22nd. It was raining. Hard, Asian, Bladerunner-esque city rain.
It was perfect.

I had video to show you, but it never saved – this makes me sad, but I think the definition above does it justice.

China!

After checking into our hotel and getting our debrief, we ventured out for some food.

OH MY GOD THE FOOD.

Oh my God it was so good

THIS WAS AMAZING

Plus, naturally, my first experience of Chinglish.

Chinglish... YES!

Eight ate, total? £40. You can see why we love it here.

After our appetites were full sated, we ventured out to the bizarre food market to try out the the strange delicacies therein.

Starfish @ The Night Market

How about some lobster?

I ate a scorpion. Nuff said.

The lights, the buzz, the constant chatter of bartering; the atmosphere is enchanting. With my new found friends in tow, we continued.

Our guide had mentioned a lake far north of the city surrounded by bars. It was a fair old walk but we found it, eventually.

Gorgeous lanterns

Walk far enough around and you’ll make your way past the over-priced tourist spots and find more appeasing, friendly bars who create new prices on the spot (and, when asked nicely, will let you play your phone’s Spotify playlist through in-house sound system).

It was ace.

Which leads us nicely to yesterday; April 23rd:  Mao Money, Mao Problems

Today we did as much as we could. We’ve planned to do the wall tomorrow and as such, the others don’t have much time left to do the tourist bit. Our honcho this time ’round is a bit more hands off, choosing to show/tell us things and then let us find our own way.

Things we did:

— – — – Whatley out

Silent Tee Protest