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The100: Zero consumers, survey design and George Washington

Death by monetisation 

The social internet is dead.

“[…] the internet, as we have known it, has evolved from a quaint, quirky place to a social utopia, and then to an algorithmic reality. In this reality, the primary task of these platforms is not about idealism or even entertainment — it is about extracting as much revenue as possible from human vanity, avarice, and narcissism.”

There are some great anecdotes on the argument-machine that is X (nee Twitter): a sick fish, virtue signalling algorithms, and fake news. 

I’m actually coming to the end of my time on X, and I hardly use other social media channels apart from LinkedIn, which anyway is currently rumbling towards dullness at a rate of knots. So what’s next?

How do you win at nothing?

The zero consumer is the future consumer.

Defined as omnichannel shoppers, zero consumers scrimp and splurge at the same time, they’re not loyal to brands, and they care about health and sustainability (even though they aren’t always willing to pay for it).

1 day in May

I’ve previously mentioned we’re putting on an event in May 2024 about Understanding people not like you (if you’re interested in coming, it’s free, just let me know). 

We’ve already got a growing list of stunning speakers lined up, some of whom have published some rather interesting things this week, including:

Steven Lacey (speaking in May) 

…who worked with ad agency Leo Burnett to produce the Pop Pulse report: British life in limbo

Andrew Tenzer (speaking in May) 

…who argues that young people lack the historical perspective needed to understand culture

“Looking back and forward with a critical perspective is vital to our much-vaunted quest for human understanding. Are we really qualified to talk about culture when our knowledge is incomplete and our worldviews so narrow?”

Lord Ritson (not speaking in May; I tried, I really tried) 

…who published a banger on bad survey design where he says: 

The sooner we wake up to bad research design and the impact it is having on a false global consciousness, the sooner we will appreciate the remarkable absence of consumer agency in saving the planet.”

For those speaking in May, these tips on how to give a better-than-average talk are both fun and useful: go shorter, go simpler, but make them “onioney”.

Client x agency mind meld

Shane O’Leary wrote a guide on moving from agency (ad agency in this case) to client side

Amongst many gems, after moving client side, he said wanted to be a mixture of “pain in the a** client who pushes agencies to do good work” and “empathetic client who understands how agencies really work” …said in jest, but he has a point, and that point is mutual respect.

Honesty, time & respect featured heavily in my work on the client / agency relationship. You can read the core findings from what I uncovered here (if GDocs doesn’t work for you – just email me and I’ll send you the PDF). 

And I loved this from a friend of Watch Me Think, Sinae Hudson, who posted 3 sentences that send shivers down the insight manager’s spine. The contributions to this are amazing, well worth a read with a nice strong cuppa. 

And finally…

Helen Lewis (speaking in May) wrote this lovely tribute to Matthew Perry. For any Friends fans out there, get reading…

Aside from English and Spanish, what are the most spoken languages in every US state? German as it happens. 

And let me leave you with this absolute masterpiece of a sketch from SNL: imagining George Washington’s dream for America. Absolute gold.