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The100: Inclusive design, the anti-trend trend and flying squirrels

Kicking off with a bang

Well, well, well. This is a perspective I haven’t heard before: Malcolm Gladwell on why you shouldn’t start your talk with a bang (does this count as one?!)

“I want them [the audience] to be in a different place than they were at the beginning […] So my worry is when you start with a bang, you compromise the movement. If, for example, I want their journey to be a journey towards amusement, if the first thing I do is tell them an incredibly funny joke, the journey’s over.”

The interviewer, Steven Bartlett, does a good job of adding a caveat to that. You’ve still got to get the audience’s attention at the start, or else you won’t have it at the end.

The anti-trend trend

Reddit’s head of global foresight, Matt Klein, has argued that trends have lost their meaning. Whilst they once referred to genuine societal change, they’re now used to explain ‘mermaid-core’ and ‘Permacrisis’. 

He might have a point there.

When considering whether to build a “trend” into your strategy, Matt suggests asking yourself:

  1. Does this actually have weight and sustained energy?
  2. Does this actually mean something to a real person, not an algorithm?
  3. Does this actually move a needle and is a sound investment of time, energy, and resources?

“Unpack a bit of that authenticity”

Nishma Robb leads brand and reputation marketing for Google UK. And she is absolutely superb when discussing how Google puts humanity into technology. From a section at 36:40 on telling a story well:

“That sense of surround sound, you need to be everywhere, and social media and social formats play into that, which are often a lot shorter. And they don’t allow the breadth of authentic storytelling. And the reality is, that’s when you do get into kind of stereotypes and tropes and tick boxes, because sometimes you need just the breadth and room to be able to unpack a little bit of that authenticity.”

Is your product inclusively designed?

On the thread of authentic storytelling, we’ve been looking at inclusive design. And the team put together this side by side comparison of cooking with an impairment vs. without. I think it’s a really lovely, powerful video …maybe I’m biased 😊.

Quiet, please

After reading this on the noise of marketing, I particularly enjoyed the latest set of adverts from Ikea. So subtle, so perfect. 

Event corner: Context is king

A key theme from our event on Lies & Lying in May was the role of context in our perception of what is and isn’t true. 

Sandie Dilger shared the 2007 Washington Post feature, Pearls Before Breakfast, where one of the world’s finest violin virtuosos played in a DC subway at rush hour. He earnt a measly $32.17 and was largely ignored. 

And whilst explaining the anatomy of a con, Alice Sherwood told us that the most important part is, indeed, context. As long as you look the part and are where you’re meant to be, you can get away with scary amounts.

And finally…

I adored these awfully good oxymorons from Simon Gore this week.

Without wishing to come across “things were better in the old days”, it appears things were, in fact, better in the old days. A thread on advertising then vs. now

And I’ll leave you with the flying squirrel who faked its own death. The internet, eh? What a place.