15 September 2023

Media: Found - September 23

A regular digest of what we’ve been watching/ listening to, articles we’ve read and other items on our radar:

Tessa-Laws-2
Tessa-Laws-2

Tessa Laws

Chief Executive Officer

A screen-free (mostly) travelog

A screen-free (mostly) travelog

My summer was very special. I work a few jobs – CEO of Media Foundry being one of them – and for the first time in my life felt a real need for a holiday. Not a kick-back-do-nothing holiday but an adventure to take me away from my screen.
My family claim I am the first amongst them to become ATS – Addicted To Screen – they once surprised me with a camping trip for my birthday and ensured a desk, laptop and generator were waiting for me.
I left home first for our voyage, by car, to Italy, where my husband joined a few days later. We played our first week by ear – booking rooms to stay the day before (we had quite a stringent budget, well he did), finding delicious restaurants along the way where we could eat for 10 Euros, stopping at streams, rivers and the sea whenever possible. Shout outs to Conde Nast Traveller, Telegraph Travel, The Fork, Culture Trip and booking.com – none of which let me down, all of which provide excellent ideas when navigating (literally) unknown terrain.
I drive a very old (2004) ULEZ-embracing Mercedes station wagon. She is strong and loyal and the thought of scrapping her is unbearable, so I tend to move her around to places where she is welcome. We glided through Europe for almost four weeks collecting children en route and dropping them off again.
I caught up every day with emails or news (honest, miss) – and I was efficient – but the fact that I changed my surroundings, my head was on map reading and my eyes were overwhelmed by nature made such a difference to my creativity. We journeyed through Italy, Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovakia and France. I am not going to lie, it was not all plain sailing (or rather driving) we did have the odd challenge – missed ferries, wrong petrol, mistaking fried frogs for courgette flowers – but it was better than any therapy. It was a complete reset. It has fired me up for autumn, for work, for life and for my desk. Back at it.
Grace-Tucker-R
Grace-Tucker-R

Grace Tucker

Account Director

Mercury rising

Mercury rising

I’ve always been a fan of the Mercury Prize – more so than the BRITs. The Mercury’s feel like the cool younger cousin – still not quite as preened and proper as the pomp and ceremony of the BRIT Awards. With alumni like PJ Harvey, Primal Scream, Portishead, Pulp and Dave, what’s not to love? But even though winners have always dripped cool, this year saw something entirely different (and still of course very much in vogue).
I’ve always been a fan of the Mercury Prize – more so than the BRITs. The Mercury’s feel like the cool younger cousin – still not quite as preened and proper as the pomp and ceremony of the BRIT Awards. With alumni like PJ Harvey, Primal Scream, Portishead, Pulp and Dave, what’s not to love? But even though winners have always dripped cool, this year saw something entirely different (and still of course very much in vogue).

This year, for the first time in Mercury’s history, jazz group Ezra Collective took home the prize. (Click to view video below).

Despite comments (from the BBC) that the Mercury Prize needs to ‘diversify away from London’, it seems to me that their (well-deserved) win shines a light on the ever-changing music industry, and what this says about popular culture. Yes, the group might hail from London to the despair of the BBC, but their music is a blend of jazz, funk, rap, reggae and Afrobeat – and what’s more London than cultural synthesis? Don’t get me wrong, I like the Arctic Monkeys (another Mercury’s winner) as much as the next person, but I’m glad to see a broader approach to genre take hold.
At a time when contracts have (finally) begun to be changed to take streaming into account, ostensibly for the benefit of the artists, it looks as though the tides might be turning across the industry – about time too.

Click here to read the FT article on Deezer streaming.

Braden-MacDonald
Braden-MacDonald

Braden MacDonald

Senior Account Executive

Is something rotten in the state of digital Out-of-Home?

Is something rotten in the state of digital Out-of-Home?

And by digital OOH, I don’t mean those lovely glossy big roadside screens. I mean the sudden recent trends for videos of faked outdoor advertising.

And by digital OOH, I don’t mean those lovely glossy big roadside screens. I mean the sudden recent trends for videos of faked outdoor advertising.

You still can’t jump on LinkedIn without seeing a post of the Maybelline Tube train mascara brush video (CLICK HERE TO READ MORE). Media Leader themselves called out Gymbox’s recently ‘launched’ outdoor ads (CLICK HERE TO READ MORE) – created on a computer and with executions which are not strictly kosher, per TFL. And most recently, the L’Oreal lipstick blazing (CLICK HERE TO READ MORE) a suspiciously glossy-looking trail through the streets of Paris from the back of an oh-so-French 2CV. Fun? Yes. Sharable? Absolutely solid gold viral, sweetie. However, also causing some consternation among the ‘traditional’ 6-sheet crew.

Why? Well, Marmite’s playful executions with outdoor (CLICK HERE TO READ MORE) and some other wonderful OOH creatives notwithstanding, what the outdoor sector has been leaning on heavily to make its case is the issue of trust.

The medium which people know they can believe, has a credible impact, is part and parcel of most people’s lives out and about. This blurring of the lines between what is and is not possible to achieve – and frankly, most of us in marketing should really have looked beyond the lashes on that tube train to realise it would never, ever be signed off, but we were blinded by its charm – may well be setting expectations for the medium (and for clients) that billboards just can’t match.
Given the ongoing flow of advertising spend to the digital space, if you don’t inhabit the world of outdoor ads you could well be asking – does this concern about digital deepfake activations not being strictly possible REALLY actually matter? Of course, to those bosses of the billboard, the answer – and their revenues – will be a resounding yes. One to watch, certainly – those digital ‘outdoor’ ads are going to keep coming, for as long as they catch the attention.
Photography of personnel: Raquel Diniz
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