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The real reason the Oscars mucked-up


Looking to the past for new ideas, the fallout from the Unilever bid and Yahoo hacks, how to defeat fake news and the real reason the Oscars mucked-up the Best Film announcement (it's not what you might expect)

Big news this week comes from Nokia (remember them?) who have reinvented themselves with two big smartphone launches that virtually nobody covered. But a reinvented 3310, which set the benchmark for mobile phone reliability in the pre-smartphone era. It will go on sale soon and costs just £42 and has a one month (!) battery on standby because it doesn't have wireless internet, apps or a huge screen guzzling power:

To take a journey even further into the past, some may remember the ZX Spectrum computer, which graced many a bedroom. Enthusiasts may remember the 'Moonwalker' game, based on Michael Jackson's persona. It was terrible. But how on earth did the makers of the game manage to secure the Prince of Pop's sign-off?

Talking of reinventions, the former ECD of Grey Nils Leonard (remember him) has resurfaced in a somewhat surprising way, selling hyper-premium coffee but in recyclable pods.

Does advertising reflect the age its in, asks VCCP founder Chales Vallance? The same age where Uber-taxi monolith Uber may not work as it's supposed to. Research by the FT suggests that the service subsidises 59% of journeys and makes a working loss on its operations.

After Kraft/Heinz made its aborted bid for Unilever, one of its top shareholders, Warren Buffet, drops his Asda-owning Walmart stock.

Remember that Yahoo hack? The biggest in history? Well the impact has been reputational and financial, with $300m taken off Yahoo’s sale price.

China’s Twitter copy Weibo is now bigger than Twitter, and makes money too.

Shouldn’t data be expensive, precious? Not freely given away? In other words, has business been hoodwinked by Google?

Does loyalty exist? Accenture says not, consistently trumped by other factors. Warc neatly summarise the research here. For marketing to really work, it needs both salience and affinity says Millward Brown’s Josh Samuel.

Honda has a stong history in ads. This is their latest, featuring some climbing somewhere in Utah or somesuch:

Amazon special

Amazon, that powerhouse of the digital economy, has done the unexpected and produced a handful of new bookshops in addition to its Oscar success with Manchester By The Sea. Amazon is trying to solve the problem of discoverability in the real world, solved online thanks to its algorithms. Combining algorithms with local information is a real effort to make Amazon's retail ideas work.

Seattle is Amazon's base and it's also a live playground for its innovations and experiments.

With Amazon so dominant online, how do you compete? This retail consultant says one way is to stop bespoke retail answers and revert to taking it off the shelf from shopify.

Why go to all this effort? Zenith's head thinker Tom Goodwin says you have to make shopping practical or an experience. But not both.

An outing at one of Amazon's web services places meant outages and confusion in smart homes. One of the problems of our connected age?

As Amazon persists in experimenting with drones and those little trundly robots, could an actual robotic deliver person/robot be not too far away? Watch this - the first non-terrible robot we've yet seen:

The essence of viral is to make things funny, memorable, to paint a picture in the mind. Not TLRD (too long, didn’t read), says Dave Trott.

One master of viral is Jonah Peretti, founder of both Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, one person to watch closely. Buzzfeed doesn't carry any display and manages to make a profit out of content. Hardly anyone else manages this. Watch this interview between him and Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures:

Have you wondered how Facebook makes its money? Simple - it’s (mostly) all in the US. They certainly don't give Channel 4 much money for 2 billion views here. But could it nevertheless be a credible alternative to YouTube for music?

Now we have beacons everywhere, is the proximity marketing game only just beginning?

Trump’s manipulator Steve Bannon:

Is racism over? Not a chance says Diane Abbot, who has endured 30 years of racist abuse.

How Trump’s team ran a barrage of tests on his website pre-election to make it election-ready.

If you have ever wondered what it's like to dine with the President, wonder no more. He has his steak well done and eats it with ketchup while he's supposed to be at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. He tips big.

The last time a US President was a no-show at the White House Correspondents' Dinner was in 1981, although to be fair Ronald Reagan was recuperating from an assassination attempt at the time.

Is the internet there to ‘democratise’ everything to make the world accessible? Or is it there to provide new ways to fleece people? Free or fake markets?

But print’s declines have turned thanks to fake news, particularly in weekly topical magazines such as The Economist, Private Eye, The Week, Spectator and so on.

Why the Oscars mucked-up the Best Film announcement? Blame the LA Times, according to, er, the LA Times.

Is it still journalism’s golden age? Maybe, just as long as you don’t expect to be paid.

Droga 5's NYT ad:

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