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This week’s update was written to Dr. John’s 2012 album “Lock Down” and in particular the track “Getaway,” which is a perfect song in every way thanks to production, guitar and backing vocals from Dan Auerbach (Black Keys).
Last night our teams at Fallon won Best in Social, Best in Experiential, Best in Cultural Moment, and a bunch of Gold/Silver/Bronze awards in our local advertising awards and national ADDY Awards qualifier. I’m super proud of the work and all of the creativity and marketing smarts highlighted in the Twin Cities market here. And in a global pandemic, no less.
“You got an award for advertising? It’s almost like it’s your job. You guys give each other awards for doing your job?” — my 14 year-old’s take last night. It’s good to keep things humble, right?
Alright, here’s what I’m tracking this week…
You’re Probably Reading This Email While on a Video Call: New research shows more than half of workers are multitasking while on video calls. Most are just trying to do their jobs more efficiently- answering emails and multi-tasking to get things done. However, 45% are snacking and 8% are playing video games while Zooming. Here’s the breakdown of the survey by state. You’ll note North Dakota is blank, but that’s not because they’re psychopaths who pay perfect attention. There simply weren’t enough responses to reach a sample size.
Using Deepfakes to (Literally) Make Your Great Great Grandpa Smile: Genealogy portal MyHeritage launched a deepfake technology tool that can animate the faces in photographs of your deceased relatives, sometimes with really weird effects. It’s called DeepNostalgia, and it will work with any photo. Creepy or cool? Both? Try it here.
Microsoft Introduces Something Worth Noting – Mesh: This is not a boring product launch, stunt, or a fad. This week Microsoft introduced Mesh, a new mixed-reality platform that allows users on mobile, desktop, virtual reality, and augmented reality headsets to all meet together, work, and collaborate. Over time, the company said it expects customers will be able to choose from a growing set of Microsoft Mesh-enabled applications built by external developers and partners, and also to benefit from planned integration with Microsoft products like Microsoft Teams.
The Creator Economy is Upon Us: Not everyone agrees there is a difference between influencers and creators, but increasingly we’re seeing conversation (and platform monetization tools) to help “creators” who make massively popular content on the social web make a living beyond sponsored posts. In the creator economy, creators sell their creativity and skill sets, not their audience.
Key quote: “Creators, unlike influencers, make their money from their fans. While such a premise sounds unremarkable enough, it upends many of the incentives that the influencing industry held dear. Creators are beholden to their customers, not advertisers. Where advertising prizes scale, subscriptions reward inimitability. Where the former cherishes appearances, the latter honors realism. Where one incentivizes quantity, the other encourages quality.”
Rethinking Fake Art and Provenance in the Era of NFTs: Made You Look on Netflix explores how one of the most respected art galleries in New York City became the center of the largest art fraud in American history. The concept of faked hand-written provenance may be looked back on as quaint in the emerging era of NFT and blockchain verification. For example, this week Grimes sold $6M in digital art as NFTs, which are fully verifiable in origin.
Rediscovering the Joy of New Places (from home): If you miss traveling and the thrill of new places, check out City Guesser. The gamified website experience plops you into a random city and forces you to guess where you are at! Although not new, City Guesser and the original GeoGuessr are earning new popularity thanks to TikTok and social challenges.
- Microsoft Teams will soon let you pretend to be a news reporter during meetings.
- TikTok announced a number of initiatives to celebrate Women’s History Month, including #WhenWomenWin. Register for Facebook’s content series here.
- Feta cheese is selling out everywhere thanks to the baked feta pasta trend on TikTok.
- Twitter Spaces, the Clubhouse-like clone, is increasing its beta and adding Android functionality. Even if you don’t have Spaces, you can join audio chats if folks you follow on Twitter start them. Keep an eye on the Fleets area in the mobile app.
- SXSW is launching a huge VR experience for the virtual conference the week of March 15. Charge those headsets!
- Netflix launched a vertical story-style tab called “Fast Laughs” on the mobile app featuring clips and jokes from their library of comedies and stand-up specials.
- Google plans to stop targeting ads based on your browsing history.
- Instagram launched Live Rooms, which allows up to four people to broadcast live together at the same time.
- LinkedIn will be adding options to add gender pronouns to your profile.
- Pinterest announced several new ad tools, including ‘Pinterest Premiere’, which will enable advertisers to purchase exclusive video placement in the home feed for a specific demographic, interest or category for a designated time frame.
- Twitch released its first-ever transparency report, detailing efforts to safeguard the 26 million people who visit its site daily. For example, people reported a 70% decrease harassment via Twitch direct messages. But there’s still work to do.
- Tool of the Week: MakeWordArt.com lets you make Microsoft 95-era WordArt.
- Snapchat Filter of the Week: Handy Hands puts tiny hands on each of your fingers. Finally.
- TikTokker of the Week: @thekinzlerbros use super strong magnets to “fish” treasures out of rivers – pulling up old tools, bicycles and even guns.
Psstt….. If you still need a Clubhouse or Dispo invite, send me your #. Don’t forget they are iOS only for now.
See you on the internet!