Hello from NYC, where we've been busy not going to Cannes, which, according to Digiday, is way cooler than actually going to Cannes. We were sad to miss the Scrooge McDuck-style pool filled with bitcoin though:
While everyone else is bathing in cryptocurrency, we're hard at work trying to learn how to pronounce xxtentacion's name so our interns don't think we're total dorks. Speaking of which -- we're welcoming ANOTHER new 'tern this week. Her name is Langa Chinyoka, she's a rising sophomore at at Scripps College, and she's pretty unimpressed with Kanye's new record. She's gonna be helping out with some client projects, running our social media accounts, and pitching in on this newsletter -- so if you notice major improvements, you'll know why.
Focus on your own damn story
George Tannenbaum is a copy writer and ECD at Ogilvy, but he also writes a great blog called Adaged that we swear we don't read solely because it's on Blogspot (though we're not above such things tbh). Anyway it's great and you should read it all the time, but we've been particularly into a post he wrote recently that talks about how, in our clumsy attempts at fixing a broken business model, the ad industry has lost sight of the one thing it does really well -- great storytelling through creative work.
It's been on our mind a lot as we think about how brands and marketingfolk are always trying to "leverage" something--taking a trend that's popular and trying to latch onto it in search of relevance, virality, and the appearance of wokeness. Tannenbaum talks about "digital transformations" as a high profile culprit, but it's just as easily seen in things like, well, a Bitcoin Villa in Cannes. When you think about it, all the best brands are the ones that understand what their own story is, and focus on telling it well. You don't see Nike shilling for crypto, or American Express getting into Twitter beef with Square, or Apple telling you "hit like if you love summer". At the end of the day, a brand is little more than a series of stories told by, and about, a given company. If you can't decide what that story is, how is anyone else supposed to?
Even more great content
1) Steve Albini won a major poker tournament wearing a t-shirt that said "Cocaine Piss".
2) Our clients at GumGum were also not in Cannes -- but that didn't prevent them from renting a bunch of yachts.
3) In the department of important facts for third grade boys we learned that your body has a second brain and it's in your butt. There's some twerking joke to be found here but we're too uncreative (and too afraid) to make it.
4) We added a Philly-centric label to our office cheese dispenser:
5) And finally, we were lucky enough to attend NewsWhip's excellent Whip Smart conference last week, where we not only learned the correct usage of "whom", but also that The Rock is more trusted online than the Queen of England, but less trusted in person than NewsWhip President Brett Lofgren:
What we're listening to
Since we're not not listening to Kanye, we've had to find some new music so people don't think we ONLY listen to 90s rock. Enter new intern Langa, who recommended we listen to Brockhampton, who we guess is like a boy band version of Wu-Tang mixed with Blue Man Group? They're kinda good! Even if they make us feel hella old.