With profound thanks for everything that somehow did go well this year,
and best wishes to you and yours in 2021, here are the top four posts
from the year we won't forget for your winter reading pleasure!
"Hey Alexa, what just happened here?"
Two Super Bowl commercials caused quite a stir last week. “Before Alexa” from Amazon features celebrity presenters Ellen and Portia within a humorous look back in time while Google’s“Loretta” conveys the compelling, emotionally rich story of a widower remembering the love of his life.
Both were widely, even wildly, well-received.
As of this writing, “Before Alexa” leads “Loretta” in YouTube views 61MM to 44MM, which taken together exceeds the entire Nielsen reported audience of 102MM for the broadcast of Super Bowl LIV itself. Not a bad night's work...Read more here
Google Celebrates Black History
To anyone who missed it, with a shout out to Lee Morris, here’s Google’s new spot honoring Black excellence, “The Most Searched: A Celebration of Black History Makers”. Warmly received on its debut during the 62nd Grammy Awards, it's the centerpiece of Google’s salute to Black History Month and celebrates “the Black history makers who’ve helped shape and influence American culture.”
Using Google Trends, which the company began compiling in 2004, the spot employs search data to weave a dramatic tapestry of twenty-four historic and moving African American heroes, heroines, and milestones, including Maya Angelou, Kendrick Lamar, Malcom X, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr....Read more here
Lifting the Veil on Surveillance Capitalism?
I’ve been speaking variously with clients and colleagues about surveillance capitalism since I stumbled upon it three years ago in Ken Auletta’s fascinating Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else.
Originally introduced by Harvard professor emerita Shoshana Zuboff, and developed through her 2018 book, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, surveillance capitalism is “the accumulation of data to predict future behavior.”
“The game,” Zuboff writes, “is no longer about sending you a mail-order catalogue or even about targeting online advertising. The game is selling access to the real-time flow of your daily life - your reality - in order to directly influence and modify your behavior for profit.” ...Read more here
3 Ways to Win Reopening
Clearly things have changed and there’s no playbook on how to succeed in the future.
I believe the key to commercial success in America’s reopening is a renewed focus on the customer; understanding how they’ve changed, what their new expectations of you and your competitors are - and re-engaging with them on that basis as they sort and reorganize their everyday lives.
This suggests taking three decisive steps:
1. Rolling up our sleeves to innovate and embrace all the change that makes doing business with you simpler, more convenient, more honest, and safer than ever before.
Thinking from the outside-in and renewing your respect for the customer by placing her at the center of the enterprise
Understanding what she values most about you now, today, not yesterday, and addressing her with appropriate respect and reassurance...Read more here