This guest blog is written by Hannah Fisher, a planner at iris Worldwide
One of the things I observe on a regular basis is how incredibly important friendship is to many of the adults I know. It's not uncommon for our friends to be closer to us than our family, to see more of our personal highs and lows.
But friendship isn't something marketers tend to examine very often in their day-to-day work. If you browse through the research portals we subscribe to, most mentions of 'friends' or 'friendship' are solely about social media behaviours and campaigns. I would argue that our industry doesn't understand the nature of friendship as deeply as it should.
Recently, we undertook a project with a lovely market research agency to understand the evolving aspects of the industry and the agency's place in it. Readers of Paid Attention may remember that it contains a chapter entitled "Why all market research is wrong" but also that I didn't say market research wasn't useful. Rather, I said that people rarely know why they do what they do and don't predict their own behaviour well, so claimed responses shouldn't be taken at face value.
Niki Nakayama is the chef and owner of a Japanese restaurant called n/naka in LA. She's a technically brilliant chef and her food has been lauded as some of the best in America. But what makes n/naka stand out is not just its food but the experience around it.
The design of the experience starts with the concept of kaiseki, a Japanese tradition that harks back to the thirteenth century and is based on local ingredients. The power of this lies in its pacing, flow and sequence of composition, texture, temperature and colour.
It's back to school week and my Facebook feed has filled up with photos of my friends' kids in their new uniforms, lunchboxes packed, posing for the traditional first day back at school photo.
It got me thinking about what kids have in their lunchboxes in comparison to what I remember taking, so I did a bit of research on what Warc had on the subject of snacking – and here are some of the things I learnt from the Warc.com database:
It being holiday season, I decided to do some reading in the transport & tourism section on Warc.
Brands are embracing an emphasis on context: Uber, for instance, has found out how to talk to drivers in Hong Kong, literally, and get them talking. Similarly, the UK's tourism agency took to Weibo with great success among its affluent target audience.
Though the sun is out, consumers are still glued to their mobiles: Booking.com has found almost a third of their bookings take place on smartphones. Indonesian marketers, in particular, have heeded this trend, with mobile adspend increasing 200% this year. Here are some of the things I learned this week.
When someone says that, what are they asking? They're asking for permission to enquire about something you may not be comfortable talking about because it's private. It's not something you would normally share publicly, hence the need for permission. (Especially if you are British.)
What makes something personal? Uniquely yours, concerning your private life (is that still a thing?), your emotions, desires, hopes, dreams, relationships, secrets. This is an interesting inversion, since the root of the word - persona - literally means 'mask': the kind worn in Graeco-Roman drama.
Doping casts a shadow over the Olympics. Excitement about record breaking performances will be tempered by doubts about whether they were chemically fuelled. But this uncertainty about who is cheating led Matthew Dunn, a psychologist at the University of Sydney, to create an ingenious experiment.
In 2011, Dunn asked 974 elite athletes to estimate the prevalence of drug taking in their sport. He found recent drug users estimated 45% of their competitors also cheated, whereas non-users put the figure at just 12%. The athletes couldn't help but project their behaviour onto others.
This guest post is written by Timo Tuominen, senior software consultant at digital innovation consultancy Futurice.
Sectors ranging from banking to retail are drawing lessons from the success of Pokémon GO, a global media and marketing phenomenon. Closer to home, this location-based, augmented reality mobile game provides four clear learnings for the burgeoning gamification app and pure gaming sectors.
This is the title of a new discussion paper recently published by The Alliance for Useful Evidence. The principle underlying the paper is that simply providing access to evidence does not mean that it will be used.
"Avoid politics and religion" is normally good advice when talking to clients or colleagues, but in the fall-out from the EU referendum, I feel impelled to break that rule. Yet, despite a rash of resignations and three party leadership contests, it's not the political effect that most interests me; it's actually the impact on our culture and values.