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The100: Syllogistic reasoning, better briefs and the Burlap King

Machines need paths

With apologies to many out there hanging their proverbial hat on AI, we have read an argument that states AI Is No Match for the quirks of Human Intelligence

Insight problems generally cannot be solved by a step-by-step procedure, like an algorithm, or if they can, the process is extremely tedious. 

I agree. Whilst AI can bring a lot (of assistance) to the table, I believe that human analysis is what brings everything together. Connecting the random dots. To give the best possible chance of uncovering new, quality insights. 

In fact, in our Managing the Message event last week Vikki Ross showed us the results of an AI writing an ad for Burger King (see below). If you missed the event and want the recordings then do let me know. 

No more Gen-Z (Ok Boomer) 

The New Yorker has decided it’s time to stop talking about generations (hear, hear).

The difference between a baby boomer and a Gen X-er is about as meaningful as the difference between a Leo and a Virgo.

It’s something I also question in my improving empathy = improving innovation success deck that I have been presenting (call me). 


in 2015, American firms spent some seventy million dollars on generational consulting (which doesn’t seem that much, actually). “What generational differences exist in the workplace?” he asks. His answer: “Virtually none.”

Relevancy and staying power

Maybe when thinking of our audiences we need to think differently. Ana Andjelic says:

….at any given time, a brand has a much wider and more complex audience of cultural observers, fans, customers, commentators and collaborators. It needs to build a relationship with all of them.

SWOT is for tots

There has been a lot of chatter about the Better Briefs project in the marketing press over the past few weeks. 

Ritson argues that 2 massive problems bedevil the marketing industry – just 2?! – and they are marketing strategy and briefing. Both are linked. 

They (SWOT and Maslow) ensure that a sh*t marketing plan has 20 slides and 60 minutes of something, anything. But when you boil away all that filler and chaff, nothing of significance or strategy remains.

I can’t do the article justice here, so this one you’ll just have to read for yourself as Ritson is in his finest bolshie form, for example:

Dunning-Kruger is in full effect across our industry. Marketers are so bad at briefing they have no idea they are bad at it. In fact, it’s even worse than that. The Better Briefs data shows that, in that room of 40 marketers, in which 31 are strategically hopeless, 32 of them think they are rockstars when it comes to briefs.

(Side note, talking of real rockstars, the brilliant Russell Davies features on our 18th November webinar  ‘Everything I know about life, I learned from PowerPoint’. Register here.)

Kate Howe of MSQ partners, continues the Better Briefs discussion (separately), saying:

…the two things many brands aren’t generally brilliant at are:
a) identifying truly powerful relevant insights into clearly defined and deeply understood customer segments; and
b) originating brilliant big ideas.

Reasoning is not a dark art

After taking a pop at Behavioural Economics (and especially Dan Ariely – author of Predictably Irrational), Razib Khan embraces Steven Pinker’s thinking on Rationality: 

The point is that the most brilliant individual mind can fail at reasoning unless it approaches the enterprise with humility and the willingness to update beliefs and understanding.

Lunch, bars and mobile cinemas

Got time for a little trip around the world?

Firstly, school lunches. Suffice to say they didn’t include a picture from the UK for good reason but, apart from the US, sorry, all other countries have made me insanely jealous. 

Next, 5 of the world’s most remote bars, (h/t Dave Pell) , where, if you’re lucky, you might be able to try a Fog Beer; yes, that’s right, it’s made out of low-lying cloud. Hipster heaven. 

Now for cinema in Ghana, where they run mobile picture palaces complete with a generator, VHS player and TV. But posters aren’t that easy to come by so they paint their own. Genius (h/t Mark Whalley).

Finally, what lies beneath: it’s deep stuff. Pun intended. My stomach started to turn at the Japanese Spider Crab with a leg span of 3.8m. (Or try this if you prefer animation.)

And yes, okay, it’s still me. I delayed my sabbatical until 19th Nov so you have me for a few more issues yet. Apologies for any undue disappointment this may cause 😉