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The100: Behavioural economics, aspiration windows and The Codfather

The aspiration gap

Yup. They’ve done it again.

Reach Solutions, whose previous white papers Gut Instinct and The Empathy Delusion made many a marketeer mop their brow, are back making us feel uncomfortable with The Aspiration Window: 

Given what we now know about the analytical thinking styles of people working in advertising and marketing and our empathy delusions, can we even understand the aspirations of the mainstream?

No, is the simple answer 🙂

Turns out we’re more focused on extrinsic goals such as money, image and fame. And we also vastly overestimate how important those same goals are to the rest of the population.

Dude, where’s my self-driving car?

Are we starting to see some rein pulling of the AI horse? The Economist has been exploring how, after years of hype, many feel AI is failing to deliver.

Enthusiasm is stalling, partly due to AI being hard to adopt (costly/the necessary data isn’t always available) and, ultimately, lacking the cognitive abilities our grey matter takes for granted, resulting in “an artificial idiot savant”.

And then there’s this:

“A survey of European ai startups by MMC, a venture-capital fund, found that 40% did not seem to be using any AI at all.”

Sprouts for all

Behavioural science junkies rejoice! The 2020 Behavioural Economics guide is out. Bookmark away, if only for the application ‘how to sell sprouts’.

In all seriousness, there are 11 different applications in this guide, written by the great and the good of BE. Worth keeping for a rainy day if you don’t have the time now.

And if you do want to sell sprouts, harnessing timing and context should do the job.

Stealing with zeal

The likes of Messrs Ritson, Sharp, Binet & Field have taught us a great deal about marketing. But alas, if everyone else is also reading their musings, how do you sharpen your edge?

With that question in mind, Shane O’Leary decided to explore the 10 lessons on marketing strategy from the shadowlands… Investing.

I especially like number 10:

A majority of life’s errors are caused by forgetting what one is really trying to do.


If you did want to fill your boots with advice from marketing’s Serene Highnesses, Les Binet has made four brilliant short films on survival, adaptation and recovery during this period:

  1. Learning from history
  2. Marketing in a pandemic
  3. From Pandemic to recession
  4. The role for advertising

And BBH has taken a brief look at how brands ‘pivoted’ after the 2008 financial crisis.

When you get relegated to a thumbnail

Thanks to those folk who responded to my request for your thoughts on virtual conferences.

As if by magic, Matt Webb published a piece on how we could reimagine conference talks for video calls. He makes some really great points which, if you do any form of presenting online, are worthy of your finite time.

The Codfather

This really is a wonderful thread on innovative shop names and puns, including gems such as Balti Towers and Jason Donnervan.

In further brilliance, a quarantined travel photographer has created miniature outdoor scenes using food as props.

Indoor Travel by Erin Sullivan -
Indoor Travel by Erin Sullivan –

And finally, I leave with a far better Henry Ford quote than the one you’re probably used to:

If you believe that you can, or believe that you can’t, you are right.

I like that.