Friday Reading #94

Okay we’re going to call it, spring is here. The roof terrace might have been opened a tad prematurely, it might have a shadow cast upon it at the stroke of 1pm (thanks Centrepoint), but now it’s time has come. After a brief experiment with later arrival times, the arrival of sunnier climes heralds the return to the morning slot for Friday Reading – you’re all going to be at the pub or park over lunchtime now anyway.


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Reality is not what it seems, according to a new article
from WIRED exploring the worlds of perception, objective reality and brain
processes. Optical illusions are always interesting, but we rarely stop to
consider what is actually occurring in our heads – our brains are constantly
processing new information, utilizing past experiences to make logical
assumptions and make sense of a situation as quickly as possible. What becomes
even more interesting is the concept of questioning these automatic assumptions,
and forcing our brains to operate in a different way
– the article even defines
‘genius’ as just questioning the right assumption in a bold, novel way.

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Nike’s #Breaking2 stunt, which saw athlete Eliud Kipchoge attempt to run a marathon in under 2 hours, ended in a near miss of just 26 seconds short – but still over two and a half minutes faster than the world record. The stunt, which was broadcast live on Facebook and Twitter, was a huge marketing as well as sporting success for Nike. The athletes that took part were wearing a specially designed shoe called the Zoom Vapourfly Elite which will go on sale to casual runners now backed by earned coverage. A definite standout for Nike which will set the bar for other brands – Adidas is now determined to break the sub2 record and is designing their own specialist shoe for their version of the attempt.

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Free food has the ability to get people to care about almost
anything, which is what Nikon have utilised in an attempt to get people to have
their eyes checked and market their range of glasses. The ‘Vision Food Truck’
was created to trick people into getting their eyes tested by only letting them
order what they could actually read from the menu
. The menu consisted of single
ingredients and starts with bread, lettuce and pickles at the top all the way
down to the best parts of a burger; cheese & the meat patty at the bottom;
but obviously only those that can read the ingredients get a full burger. For
those who couldn’t make it to the bottom they were directed to take an eye test
– clever.

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From a tweet to the muti-million dollar blockbuster, the
internet loves a good bit of ratings. Whether thumbs up, thumbs down, out of 5
or 100, hearts or crying faces there are a huge range of systems that can work
with or against the internet’s desire to aggregate – you might be interested in
a four out of five movie, but might pass on a book with an 80% score. The
Ringer has helpfully rated all the big ratings systems
, showing the
explicit and implicit ways content across the range of human industry is
quantitatively understood. That said, probably best to actually read the review
to be honest…

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Content marketing might feel all a bit 12 months ago in the rapid fire modern communications landscape, and to be honest this article is a few years old, but its thinking still rings true and relevant today. Faris Yakob makes the point which Naked were founded on and what Goodstuff continues to ring the bell for – “everything communicates”. Or as he puts it in an article for Campaign, all content is advertising something – be it native plugging a brand, or editorial seeking to push the agenda of the author, newspaper it’s written in, or it’s billionaire owner. Rather than getting worked up over the separation of Church and State, perhaps it’s best to accept that they never were really separated anyway.

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Out of Home is a channel we love very much, open to a range of brilliant creative possibilities – but most are a bit…2D. Taking inspiration from entertaining greenscreen maladies, T-Mobile in Europe have created a campaign which uses the brand’s signature pink as a canvas for augmented reality. They have created an app which allows you to turn any magenta surface into a screen, via your smartphone. Working with their in house music and lifestyle programme, and appropriately, virtual band Gorillaz to kick off the campaign – pink posters are appearing all over Europe as a canvas for viewers. It’s an interesting idea, and certainly a lateral way to look at how an established media channel could be used.

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