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Whamageddon starts Dec 1! 🎄

Last week I was OOO chaperoning my son’s 6th-grade class trip to Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center, including running a 30-foot tall ropes course station for three hours. I don’t love heights and had to do the entire course to help facilitate the experience for the kids. It’s safe to say I learned a lot about myself in the experience, and I’m pretty damn proud of it.

Then I headed out a little unplugged, kid-free retreat. I turned my phone off, read some books, took my wife out to dinner a bunch, and did a lot of just sitting, looking out the window, and jotting things down in my notebook. Of course, I also got food poisoning and my wife got in a car accident (she’s okay!) so things got cut a little short. But it was more than worth taking the time and stepping away from the phone for a few days – with only 55 missed text messages to show for it.

We’ve now spent some time with each side of the family, enjoyed a nontraditional Japanese hibachi feast, and I snagged a rare Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade NFT. It’s been a pretty great little autumn break, and I hope you’re finding some time to recharge and reconnect yourself.

Here are the social signals I’m tracking this week…

🎄 It’s Whamageddon Season!

Experience" Last Christmas by Wham! in glorious 4K. It's impressive.  Seriously!

Whamageddon is a game played every year where players try to go from December 1 to Christmas Day without hearing “Last Christmas” by Wham! If you hear the song between those days, you are out of the game and have to post “#Whamageddon” on social media to indicate that you lost. The game starts next Wednesday, and by knowing about this game, you are now playing whether you planned to or not. Good luck!

🐤 The Good Tweets

🎙 My Interview on The Business Conversation Podcast

This week I was interviewed by Garrio Harrison for The Business Conversation podcast, where we chatted about using social signals to use learnings from the past to shed light on the patterns of today, ultimately shaping what tomorrow becomes. And lots more! Listen here.

📚 Weekend Reads

🔥 Quick Hits:

See you on the internet!
Greg

Bathroom shrines and spatial commerce

Happy Friday! It snowed here in Minneapolis last night, and I’m here for it. ☃️

It’s been a big couple of weeks for client launches — Arby’s Curly & Crinkle Fry VodkaMonkey Shoulder’s Halloween activationKey Bank’s Follow Your Lead GoFundMe programBlue Kazoo’s female artist series, and somehow I finally got the last boxes unpacked from moving eight months ago.

But the momentum doesn’t stop just because we’re busy, so let’s get into the social signals worth noting this week…

🚽 Bathroom Shrines Are Back

Years ago, social feeds were flooded with improvised shrines dedicated to real people or fictional characters in public bathrooms that resemble memorials for the dead. The practice was inspired by a series in 2018 showcasing a Danny DeVito shrine hidden in a “secret” room connected to a college bathroom. Thanks to TikTok, bathroom shrines are back! Shrines for Hatsune Miku, John Cena, Harry Styles, Shrek, Adam Sandler and more are again trending on social. #BathroomShrine is at 500k views and #Shrine is at 55M views. All hail satirical shrines designed for social sharing!

👵 It’s Like Uber For Your Grandpa’s Care

Senior citizens fight loneliness with talking robots and 'on-demand  grandchildren' app | Daily Mail Online

The gig economy is coming to in-home care, and a company called Papa is leading the way. Papa provides social support and everyday assistance—to help with elder care, child care, and self-care. The company raised $240 million to-date and has contracted with more than 65 health plans to send “Papa Pals” into people’s homes. Beyond seniors, Papa also works with Medicaid plans for low-income families and with employers as a benefit for family caregivers. For Papa Pals, they get paid hourly and set their own schedules.

Key quote: “If we can provide companionship and help eliminate some of the loneliness that people are feeling, but, at the same time, pair that with really understanding the home environment … I think these are meaningful levers that can be pulled pretty inexpensively to help improve the quality of life for individuals.” Learn more or download here.

🤖 Patents of the Week

Although patent filings aren’t a guarantee that new technology will come to fruition, they give us a hint of where we may be headed. This week Nvidia wants your car to know what you’re looking at so it can be more responsive using sensor data and a spatial map. For example, “if the driver looked towards the entertainment system and said “turn it up”, the car’s system will be able to determine that the driver is referring specifically to the volume on the entertainment system.” If you think that seems obtrusive, Ford has a patent where you only have to THINK about turning up the volume and it will happen! If you’re into nerding out on patents, check out Neer Sharma’s Patent Drop.

🔭 Spatial Commerce, unlocked via LiDAR

You may recall how excited I was about LiDAR coming standard to iPhones earlier this year“[Apple’s LiDAR] coming to mainstream phones will create even more opportunities for marketers to build magical experiences in the years to come.” Beyond increased social filter experiences like TikTok and Snap, brands are starting to build on this new technology in some really visionary and additive ways.

This week Lowe’s Innovation Labs introduced the concept of spatial commerce with the announcement of a forthcoming app update that will scan your room, automatically generate a floor plan, room measurements, 3D product visualizations, and personalized estimates. Furthermore, consumers can bring their “saved rooms” to the physical store via phone, or use VR and AR technology to see real-time customization options in their actual spaces. Watch the video here.

📚 Weekend Reads:

The Good Tweets

💥 Quick Hits

See you on the internet!
Greg