BY TOBY BROWN, HEAD OF CONTENT.
Data meets art, outdoor gets creative (just in time for the rain) and terrifying experiments on live humans using The Big Bang Theory, here's what to watch this week.
1. Outdoor has been on fire this week.
I’ll rephrase that.
Personal favourite is Thorpe Park’s “live” zombies billboard, which showered passers by in 50KG of offal and fake blood in East London and reminds me of Cadillac’s, a now-defunct nightclub in Bath.
Runner-up goes to Paramount, Oath and MEC (now to be called Wavemaker post-merger with Maxus – as it’s “easy to spell and pronounce”. Well done team), who unveiled a great Augmented Reality interactive outdoor installation for the terrifying-looking film Mother at Kings Cross.
IKEA also get kudos for whacking their bright yellow sofas at bus stops in Perth and Melbourne, because who doesn’t love a sit-down?
It’s not all fun and blood-soaked games though. Some far-right hackers took over a digital billboard in Cardiff to broadcast offensive messages.
Pity, as in the right hands it could have been hilarious.
2. Welcome to the store where you can only pay in data.
Part art installation, part thought-experiment, part promotion, a shop has opened in Old Street (come on, where else), where customers pay for goods in data – the more valuable the product, the less control the consumer has over what data they give up – photos, messaging history, old diaries (not dairies).
Ben Eine, the artist behind it says "I want people to be worried about the information they're giving away, and realise that they're giving this information away all day, every day. Information has value, and we should know what that value is. "
In Russia (come on, where else) Burger King have launched a virtual currency to rival Bitcoin, the WhopperCoin.
A WhopperCoin is earned for every rouble spent instore, saved in a digital wallet and can be traded online.
So there you go.
In other “be careful with you data” news, Equifax has suffered a huge data breach, losing 143m records. Ooops. At least they weren’t WhopperCoins.
3. Facebook takes on TV
Continuing its trudge towards total domination, Facebook have revamped their video offering, turning it into a TV-style social experience.
Called Watch, the channel will host original programming and is an attempt to divert money from traditional TV spend and launches in the US before rolling out to Facebook’s 2 billion users.
Mark Ritson explores why the move is a classic bait and switch tactic from a company that used to generate $153m a year – and now does that every 48 hours.
4. Brands should just have a laugh, yeah?
In these tough times humour works harder than ever.
Proper scientists have studied how consumers are more receptive, approachable and responsive when they’ve been made to laugh – and this was using The Big Bang Theory, so imagine what the results might be if they used anything actually funny.
5. UK Ad market is on Amber Alert
A state of the nation column from Campaign’s Head of Media, Gideon Spanier, examining why a host of issues are negatively impacting the UK ad industry, from Donald Trump repeatedly trying to headbutt the big red button to widespread digital disruption.
I’m sure it’s nothing The Great British Bakeoff won’t solve.
6. Amazon Find arrives
Amazon is launching an ad campaign for its clothing line, Find, looking to disrupt high street fashion chains.
The campaign is designed to boost Amazon’s style credentials following a soft launch in April, and points to Amazons ambitions in fashion retail.
Amazon has already invested in Europe’s biggest photography studio to improve the quality of its imagery, alongside its launch of the try-before-you-buy Amazon Wardrobe.
7. John Lewis de-genders kids clothing
In a move that’s stoked both praise and criticism, John Lewis has removed “Boys and Girls” labelling from its children clothes. Designed to avoid gender stereotypes, the plan has provoked ire from the “political correctness gone mad” lobby, none of whom ever shop there anyway.
It’s fair enough, I’d be furious if my little girl ever wore a T shirt with a spanner on it. She’d be out on her ear before she knew what happened.