'Good Reads' August

It’s been a busy and occasionally very hot month but that hasn’t slowed down our scroll across the web to bring you this next instalment of Good Reads. This month, we’ve got tab after tab of interesting content, from creative campaigns and strategy thought-pieces to big industry talking points and social media news.

CREATIVE

McDonald’s packaging: journey through time
Last month we looked at the evolution of websites. This month, it’s the turn of packaging through the years at everyone’s most regrettable late night takeaway outlet. It’s interesting that whilst a lot of this super-colourful stuff triggers waves of nostalgia, the brand’s stark, decade-long stock-imagery-on-white outdoor creative has yet to be challenged and changed by whichever creative team’s in place.

The Beat machine by BACARDI
For a rapidly greying strategist who still shamelessly includes Tipp-Ex’s interactive YouTube bear (c.2010) in presentations, I’m willing to put total reach and business impact to one side and celebrate the hell out of this effort by drinks brand BACARDI. Turn your sound on, press play and get beat-making (clip-jumping) with this rare example of creative tech at scale.

60 years of the Clio award
The prestigious, much craved-after awards has taken a journey through the past to showcase six decades of celebrated campaigns and creative industry figures.

STRATEGY AND PLANNING

To really get to Gen Z, look at the parents
Our recent research paper looking at the trends of travel consumers across different generations is packed full of interesting findings that challenge lots of widely held assumptions, in particular around Gen Z. The paper showed that rather than being an exaggerated version of their millennial brothers and sisters, Gen Z consumers are more like the older folk. Here, Bloomberg explores a similar theme, outlining the importance and impact of a target’s parents in understanding their wants and needs.

When naming strategies aren’t a strategy
Ever find yourself staring up at an ad on the tube in absolute disbelief and horror? Chances are, you’ve been taking in an advert selling the world’s sixteen-millionth alternative to PowWowNow or some other product or service that nobody wants – and more often than not, it’s of a terrible, strategy-less name.

Resisting marketing’s drift towards the business of value destruction
Block out fourteen minutes in your calendar, make a cup of tea and do yourself a favour by reading this overview and opinion piece on the recent IPA report ‘The Crisis in Creative Effectiveness’. Hell, fire up a dozen blank e-mails and fire it off to your client roster. There’s important, evidence-based stuff here and the health and future of their businesses and brands *dramatic pause* depend on it.

SOCIAL

How inspirational quotes became a whole social media industry
Behind every cheesy Facebook post by your empowering, sentimental aunty, sits a lucrative industry where firms and individuals are piling in the coins, coming up with the uplifting/cringeworthy/unfollow-worthy stuff. Wired investigates.

UK homelessness charity Shelter launches on TikTok
Kudos to Shelter for bypassing the eight month long ‘should we?’ discovery phase that many brands are still stuck in, and jumping into the deep end on TikTok to provide advice during the recent heatwave. In a week that’s seen decade-old third-sector telemarketing firm Listen go into administration, this is a shot-in-the-arm reminder for not-for-profit organisations to adapt to changing donor behaviours and experiment with new channels and forms of marketing to future-proof.

Fortnite and Roblox are changing social media as we know it
Check out the stats and graphs in this eye-opener, looking at how much kids are using chat functionality within games to communicate, over the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Content consumption on the likes of YouTube and Netflix barely gets a look-in either. Will the yougens grow out of games and follow their elders to more traditional social spaces? Will the games platforms sell-out and destroy themselves by introducing more advertising opportunities for brands? Only time will tell…

ADVERTISING

ASA gender ruling debate shows we must unite to unstereotype advertising
If you work in advertising and marketing in any fashion, you’ll surely have heard about the ASA’s recent ruling against Philadelphia and Buxton. It’s drummed up a huge amount of conversation, from people congratulating and celebrating the ASA to others getting very… Piers Morgan about the whole thing. Whatever your point of view, this piece by Unilever’s VP of Global Marketing lays out his rallying cry for advertisers to improve their efforts.

Is putting #knifefree ads in chicken shops ‘crude’ and offensive?
From the government department that brought you the ‘Go Home’ (back to your war-torn town, violent partner etc) posters comes an anti-knife crime campaign placed on the inside of chicken shop boxes… This writer (Tony, Strategy Partner) doesn’t think we need much more point-of-view on this beyond David Lammy’s reaction, but if you do, here you go.

TRAVEL

Woke you were here…?
Whilst Travel Republic’s recent campaign doesn’t entirely align with our Generation Travel 2019 research paper around peoples’ attitudes and actions when it comes to sustainable travel and food, it does return Judith Chalmers to our screens and remind us that what people say in interviews and on surveys might not always align with what they’re doing in reality.

WEBSITES

Every noise at once
Every once in a while a very simple idea makes for a brilliant website and hours of productivity lost. Here, you’re invited to explore more genres and sub-genres of music than you’ll ever be able to remember.

The 1619 Project
Every once in a while, a big publisher such as the New York Times breaks out of their typical webpage template and goes to town on a specific topic in amazing detail. This example scrolls up, down, left and right to provide you with quotes, photographs and stories documenting the history of slavery in America.

Where did the web’s personality go?
I remember making half a dozen colourful GeoCities web pages with raining Bart Simpson faces and excruciating MIDI background music. I’ve owned Tumblrs that could have triggered tearful breakdowns in the strongest of UX gurus. And I really hope this article’s optimism for a more exciting, less flat online world in two years pays off.

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