W’round up — 5 April 2017

The Raven’s arrived — marketing, media, tech and related stories that have sparkled in the roost, and sparked my interest over the past two weeks: A week off last week thanks to the deathly alliance of hayfever and BREXIT.

THIS WEEK: London stirs as Brexit bites, papers and advertisers have two-faces laid bare, everyone worries about how much Elon sleeps, Uber stalls, Rotten mixes things up, the Mail loses it and Skeletor returns a little more happy than the hopefuls of Eden

Suggested intro song this week: The Eve of War, Jeff Wayne. Full cut of course.

Cue creatively purple header…

Interesting snippets from the last two weeks on Planet Earth, starting with the one of tech’s great crusaders…

Sleeping for success: Musk worried about AI, Hawking worried about aliens — we all need to find something to worry about. Meanwhile, some people were worried for the Tesla CEO:

Aren’t we over this ? Isn’t this old news? Who says humans need eight hours sleep a night? (note: I read this very early the other morning, promptly fell asleep and slept through my alarm). Then more recently, came news that should keep everyone awake:

BBC Up: On the home front, there are mixed fortunes in UK media. On the home media front, BBC iPlayer is rocking it — scoring its biggest ever month in February:

The Guardian down: In King’s Cross however, there’s the shadow of a threat that The Guardian’s always evaded before.

Independent up: Elsewhere on the dispersed Fleet Street, things are looking brighter at the Independent a year on from its digital move:

Times up: And The Times has seen the benefit of a change of editorial approach.

Rise of the membership tier: Things are a’changing on non-traditional channels too. As Medium have introduced their paid founder membership, could Twitter opt for their own member ship tier?

Twitter bounce: On Twitter, its ever-present CEO is on fighting form:

Adi-EU: A week ago the UK handed in its cancellation letter to the European Union. It’s the story of the decade at least… In the preceding week, beer started disappearing from the shelves of Tesco and retail sales showed sign of strain. In the week since there has been war-rattling.

Rotten timing: In-between, the former Mr Rotten seemed rather level in his recent, typically vocal media appearances. But he took the brunt from two sides somehow increasingly incapable of brooking opposition. This escalated…

Viral problems: Troubles continued in the universe of tech giants. A week on, as further brands pull the plug, Youtube isn’t looking so nimble on either side of the Atlantic. As McDonald’s pulled its show on the network, advertising revenue has taken a hit:

As competitors inevitably swoop to find an advantage…

It’s a reminder of the cyclical nature of media:

The slippery slope remains: Although there’s a long way to go… And the writing still appears to be written on a giant wall of screens for the more traditional media:

Prioritising marketing: There was some reassuring news from a techco that seems to have its priorities right. Amazing how many get this wrong… Although Just Eat’s tech there is always a time when marketing time is more important than tech spend:

More shelf space: Although how you watch while eating is changing, mere years after Blockbuster’s collapse. On the home media sign, worrying news for the old fashioned shiny-disk type like me. While DVD and Blu-Ray sales continue to fall…

… E-sports rise.

Hailing frequency: Sticking with tech but heading for the roads, Uber lost a driver.


Samsung returns: The UK may have enveloped up an invocation of Article 50 last week, but it wasn’t all trepidation. Samsung was out to make a definitive statement. The S8’s arrived and it’s got fans.

The problem with punk and pubs: Last week, Brewdog ran into backlash that may have been coming as reports emerged that it attempted to stop a pub named Lone Wolf sharing a name with its spirit brand. In the social media storm, the innovative and highly successful brewer blamed trigger happy lawyers, but other stories started to surface that made a key point: Punk is not only unownable, but by its very nature, doesn’t hang around for very long.

Making internet work: The chance of a world leading broadband service took a step closer in the UK, and this isn’t just an excuse to include Ryan Reynolds:

Grab a coffee — other retailers are available. More from Starbucks on the fascinating concept of conversational commerce:

In the red: On technical innovation, this might not be one for the squeamish, but it looks like we’ll be able to “grow litres of blood” — exciting. And at the very least, transformative for vampire literature.

Fund-raising: Comic relief may have been dogged by some on the night criticism, but raised a staggering amount. Who did what where for Red Nose Day?

Font of all wisdom: In what might be this week’s perfect segue, is all the Comic Sans bashing fair?

Collect a memory: In Cheryl and Liam’s fantastic news the other day the new father included a superb and prescient phrase in his Gram, one that sticks: “It’s a moment that I will never forget for the rest of my life and my favourite memory I have so far.” — Yes, we’re in the age of collecting memories.

Advert of the week: Advertising, and thank the Elders that MoneySupermarket has changed tack. Their new — and rather brilliantly realised comes from Eternia, and somehow manages to engender some good feeling after their last campaign…

We can only hope that come the end, the skull-faced no-gooder turned to his new friends and called them a “pathetic pail of pitiful pinheads”. The campaign recalls the now sadly defunct Skeletor is Love on Twitter. #Alltogethernow —

More strings to the bow: Meanwhile, Halifax have stepped up their game, or at least gone 3d. Don’t worry, they haven’t included Supermarionation’s most notorious (and I must stress, alleged — ed) tax exiles of Tracy Island. And hopefully there won’t be any more outtakes:

Cast off castaways: Aside from Article 50, perhaps the most astounding news of the week met the castaways who really thought they could be the new Ben Fogle.

I can only imagine the shock of the failed winners as much as we can hope in futility that they’ll be some kind of avenue for them to sell their story.

And while I can’t let this EU thing go, it’s worth noting that just as the UK lost a union, and discussed losing yet another one, it gained a new pound coin. A valuable reminder there that the world seldom grinds to a complete halt.

And even trollies won’t.

Just one seat? Film news, and an article in which the UK box office of Shia LaBeouf’s new film is described as “disappointing”. Yes, worth saying again: DISAPPOINTING.

Piccadilly chrysalis: Hands up who’d forgotten about probably London’s greatest landmark? We’ve not got long to wait… Perfectly aligned with Blade Runner’s re-emergence.

The McGuinness reaction: Aside from Brexit, and indeed the First Minister and Prime Minister’s legs, two issues have divided the British press in the past couple of weeks. The response to Response to Martin McGuinness prompted examination of an intriguing and historical, regional two-facedness:

A global challenge: Juxtapose that with this interesting snapshot of big brands that sell differently in different regions: That HAVE to sell differently.

False-false news: The week was dominated in the cowardly attack on London, although this must be seen as part and parcel of atrocities inflicted across the world. Attention soon fell onto the media response. In the grip of ‘False News’ confusion, this takes the biscuit for missing the point:

As Nick Robinson suggested on the day, the sentiment is surely more important than whether one or two men employed by TfL wrote it. We’re in for a whole load of trouble if we think false news and our reaction to it must be binary. The freedom to believe exactly whatever we want and then choose to admit to it or not afterwards is exactly what we’re standing up for!

On the front pages: Front pages’ response to the London attack was seized on for reflecting a divided country,

In the aftermath, somehow, with judicious use of commas but little sense, the Daily Mail decided to take on the big boys, simultaneously and rather uncomfortably jumping on a band wagon to start a super wacky race of its own and increase its list of greatest enemies (BBC? TfL, Sadiq?). A day+ of piss taking insured.

And few points in the coverage were as cutting as Simon Jenkin’s appraisal of the BBC in the heat of the coverage. This prompted its own rippling pool of response from friends and enemies:

Box rooms: Satire may be dead, but so is dystopia if these flats are anything to go by. High Rise just wouldn’t have looked so good set here, on page or screen.

Never-ending potato: And to end on an uplifting note for marketers everywhere. Two months on, Cards against Humanity continue to confound — that was a Helluva potato:

On my side: Water regulation has… Happened! Open Water Market is live and well and ready to shake-up the commercial water buying market:

It’s been a busy quarter: See you in the next one. And until the next time… Keep up-to-date by following @mattketing.

See you next Raven Delivery!

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