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…
Elon Musk is famous for his futuristic gambles, but Silicon Valley's latest rush to embrace artificial intelligence…www.vanityfair.com
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:
Elon Musk is one of the most accomplished tech leaders in the world. You'd think this guy never sleeps. But it turns…www.inc.com
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:
Tesla's market value has overtaken that of Ford after shares in the electric car maker added more than 7%. At the close…www.bbc.co.uk
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:
BBC’s iPlayer on-demand service set a new record for average daily number of content requests in February. But…www.emarketer.com
The Guardian down: In King’s Cross however, there’s the shadow of a threat that The Guardian’s always evaded before.
The owner of The Guardian and The Observer newspapers is to make compulsory redundancies for the first time in its…www.telegraph.co.uk
Independent up: Elsewhere on the dispersed Fleet Street, things are looking brighter at the Independent a year on from its digital move:
Online traffic shot up from 56 million monthly unique page views in February 2016 to 96 million in February 2017 (a…www.campaignlive.co.uk
Times up: And The Times has seen the benefit of a change of editorial approach.
British newspaper The Times has seen subscriptions sales jump 200 percent in the last year, since it pivoted from…digiday.com
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 is considering adding a paid membership option for businesses and power users. The micro-blogging service…www.bbc.co.uk
Twitter bounce: On Twitter, its ever-present CEO is on fighting form:
Twitter is being blasted for fake users and terror-aiding, and its co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is under attack for…www.standard.co.uk
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…
Sex Pistols' frontman John Lydon has defended himself against racism claims after he told the US to support President…www.standard.co.uk
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:
It's been a bad week for Google, with major brands pulling millions of dollars in advertising amid rows over extremist…www.theguardian.com
As competitors inevitably swoop to find an advantage…
An opportunity lies in every crisis, as the oft-used saying goes, and the modern world of advertising technology is no…www.adweek.com
It’s a reminder of the cyclical nature of media:
At its Brandcast event, YouTube said it now reaches more viewers on mobile alone in the target demo of 18-49 than any…variety.com
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:
GLOBAL: Global internet advertising expenditure will grow 13% to reach US$205bn in 2017, overtaking television spending…www.warc.com
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:
Just Eat’s marketing budget is a “whopping figure”, according to chief marketing officer Barnaby Dawe, who believes it…www.marketingweek.com
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…
Let’s start with a statistic. In 2013, Hotel Transylvania shifted 1,029,614 copies on Blu-ray disc in the US alone. A…www.denofgeek.com
… E-sports rise.
Competitive gaming, or e-sports, is expected to cross $1 billion in revenue by the end of 2018, according to SuperData…www.fool.com
Hailing frequency: Sticking with tech but heading for the roads, Uber lost a driver.
Uber Technologies President Jeff Jones is quitting after less than a year, amid multiple controversies engulfing the…adage.com
Reuters 18 hrs ago By Gina Cherelus Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] suspended its pilot program for driverless cars on…www.msn.com
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.
In pictures, the new Samsung Galaxy S8 doesn't look that different from the Galaxy S7 Edge that preceded it. The chin…www.theguardian.com
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.
BrewDog threatened legal action to prevent a bar from using the term "punk" in its name, it has emerged, a day after…www.theguardian.com
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:
Such a change could amount to almost £200m in payments a year, The Telegraph reports. It would apply if a landline or…www.campaignlive.co.uk
Grab a coffee — other retailers are available. More from Starbucks on the fascinating concept of conversational commerce:
Starbucks says its heavy focus on technology is allowing it to embrace conversational commerce "very rapidly", allowing…www.marketingweek.com
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.
Scientists say they have made a significant leap towards mass-producing red blood cells suitable for donation. Red…www.bbc.co.uk
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?
Fancy yourself the next Mary Berry? You're in luck. Just like last year, Maltesers is encouraging consumers to get…www.marketingweek.com
Font of all wisdom: In what might be this week’s perfect segue, is all the Comic Sans bashing fair?
I was working for Microsoft’s typography team, which had a lot of dealings with people from applications like Publisher…t.co
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…
The brand has dropped Dave, the dancer in the "Epic dance off" and "Epic squad" spots, and introduced the baddie…www.campaignlive.co.uk
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:
Top Cat and the Flintstones have been bumped out of the limelight in Halifax's latest TV adverts by Lady Penelope and…www.cityam.com
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.
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.
The start of the UK's Easter school holidays saw the arrival on Friday of Smurfs: The Lost Village, plus preview…www.theguardian.com
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.
If you go down to Piccadilly today, you're sure of a big surprise. When an iconic and time-honoured landmark like the…www.campaignlive.co.uk
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:
Was Martin McGuinness an unrepentant terrorist or a revered peacemaker? It depends on which side of the Irish Sea you…inews.co.uk
A global challenge: Juxtapose that with this interesting snapshot of big brands that sell differently in different regions: That HAVE to sell differently.
"Comforting, warming, fortifying since 1906," is written on the promotional mug Horlicks launched in the UK last year…www.bbc.co.uk
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:
LONDON — In the aftermath of Wednesday’s terror attack in Westminster, which left four dead and dozens injured, British…uk.businessinsider.com
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,
Well, how did we do? We knew this attack was coming and we can be pretty certain more will follow because the security…www.theguardian.com
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:
A JOURNALIST claims BBC Newsnight was “aiding and abetting terrorism” through its extensive coverage of the Westminster…www.thesun.co.uk
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.
Hundreds of tiny studio flats, many smaller than a budget hotel room, are to be squeezed into an eleven-storey block in…www.theguardian.com
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:
Cards Against Humanity’s ‘Potato’ stunt is one of several examples of how brands are looking to protest against Trump…www.marketingweek.com
On my side: Water regulation has… Happened! Open Water Market is live and well and ready to shake-up the commercial water buying market:
Deregulation doesn't just mean benefits for the length of one contract - we've developed Open Water Market to make sure…openenergymarket.com
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!