Five things on Friday #332
Things of note for the week ending Sunday, July 17th 2022.
Any newsletter worth its salt openes with the above image this week. IF YOU HAVE BEEN LIVING UNDER A ROCK then you may have missed NASA release the first batch of images from the JWST (James Webb Space Telescope).
Don’t just sit there, GO LOOK AT THEM.
(and then watch this)
Hope you’ve had a good week. I had a couple of days holiday. The Mrs had a birthday on Monday and a long-planned shoot in Cambridge on Tuesday so we used it as an excuse to get away from it all for a bit (stayed here, and ate here - both excellent) and generally enjoy mooching around Cambridge. The Hockney Exhibition at The Fitzwilliam Museum was a highlight. It was fun. You should go.
What else can I tell you?
The metaverse talk from last week’s edition is currently sat at just over 1800 views on YouTube. For a 30min presentation about such a ridiculous topic, I’d say that’s some good numbers.
As a result, Diva has had a few speaker requests come in (I think five or six at the last count) from agencies, tech platforms, and other equally globally recognised brands.
We are saying yes to as many as we can.
If you’re after similar, then do please hit reply to this email and get in touch (or use the contact details on the last slide of the talk). We’d love to hear from you.
Right then, shall we crack on?
ONWARDS! TO THE THINGS!
1. ‘WE KNOW METAVERSE’
No. You don’t.
Readers of last week’s edition of FTOF of FTOF might remember this:
“In the BIMA talk mentioned above, I go into a fair bit of detail as to why the recent McKinsey Metaverse report is balderdash (it’s honestly a joke). I’m looking forward to doing the same with this twaddle from Momentum Worldwide …but funnily enough, they haven’t shared the methodology (I’ve asked).”
“67% are unaware of the term 'Metaverse' or have heard it but don't know what it is”
“The metaverse is a place where people are finding true emotional value.”
“63% had no idea they had been in the metaverse all this time”
Well, you will be wholly unsurprised that Momentum never got back to me.
On page six of the report, it identifies two audiences in their data set of 4500 people. TWO. Accidentals and Intentionals.
And guess what.
THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT GAMING.
It’s right there!
“The Accidentals are exactly what their name implies: they arrived in the metaverse space accidentally or unintentionally.”
YES. ACCIDENTALLY OR UNINTENTIONALLY BECAUSE YOU SUDDENLY CALLED GAMES “THE METAVERSE”.
“This is a group that predominately plays Fortnite, Minecraft and Roblox.”
AS WE HAVE ESTABLISHED ALREADY, THESE ARE VIDEO GAMES.
“They are less likely to associate themselves with the metaverse and are simply enjoying the platforms for the relaxation and fun.”
OF COURSE THEY ARE LESS LIKELY TO ‘ASSOCIATE THEMSELVES WITH THE METAVERSE’ - THEY’RE GAMERS.
Goodness me. What is it with the obsession of calling anything remotely to do with gaming, tHe MeTaVeRsE?! It’s maddening (RT this, please).
“Yeah but James, what about the intentionals?”
I couldn’t give a monkey’s to be honest because at no point in the report whatsover does it mention of the percentage split of these two audiences.
The only other thing I’m going to pull out from the report is the teeny tiny bit of explaining it does around the ‘methodology’
“The global study collected more than 4,500 consumer responses and over 100 ethnographic interviews across seven countries: Canada, Japan, MENA, Mexico, Spain, the UK and the US. This approach takes a step away from the means and methods of the metaverse and instead steps toward the meaning and motivators for being there, all while never referencing the word “metaverse” until the very end of the survey journey.”
So I’m guessing the survey probably asked people what games they play, why they play them, do they buy in-game items, why do they play games etc… and then back filled a load of metaverse juice all over the answers at the end, right?
I mentioned this whole thing to my CEO. Her instant response?
“Because for years gaming has been treated as a social pariah and rather than advocating for gaming, which flies in the face of so many stories we’ve been told about gaming culture and the negative affect gaming has on society, it’s easier for big business to rebadge it as something altogether different than to admit that they were wrong, and worse still, woefully behind the curve… - enter ‘the metaverse’”
And that’s where I think we’ll leave it.
Believe it or not, my ambition with this kind of stuff is not to knock things down and kick things over. I just want you all to know what you can uncover when you simply ask better questions.
The headlines that came off the back of this Momentum/4A report were all about diveristy and inclusion and how the metaverse will make people happier etc… but not one headline actually looked at the report and said ‘hang on, the metaverse doesn’t exist - do you mean gaming?’
Just ask better questions, yeah? Please.
2. WHAT IS A BRAND?
“When a word starts to mean everything, it risks coming to mean nothing.”
Brand strategist (and co-author of the must-own book, ‘Which wine when’), Claire Strickett has written this excellent examination and primer to answer the ‘simple’ question: ‘'What is a brand?’
Brand as signifier of origin.
Brand as reputation.
Brand as business.
To quote Strickett, “we owe it to the word “brand” to use it with the care, respect and above all, the clarity it deserves”.
This dedication to craft and rigorous application thereof is something we can all learn from.
3. THIS WEEK IN… GAMING
I’m barely into thing three and Substack is giving me the ol’ ‘Near email length limit’ warning. Rubbish!
I’ll be brief.
This interview/profile with Dr Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie, is great. I’ve known Jo for AGES and had the great fortune of sitting next to her at the MCV awards a short while back. A brilliant woman. Please read.
That said, here’s how Street Fighter shaped the console wars (what a game).
Last week I told you that NEON WHITE is fantastic. This week I’m telling you it’s down to £15.99 on the Nintendo Switch. GO GET IT.
4. IT’S OK TO OPT OUT OF THE CRYPTO ‘REVOLUTION’
5. YOUR EVENT IS BROKEN
This work is the brainchild of creative duo Katherine O’Connor and Alicia Hessey, students from the University of Lincoln, who responded to a brief from the DICE team as part of their second-year project.
The ‘Your Event Is Broken Without Diversity’ campaign will run in partnership with ISOLATED Talks® (an initiative from creative agency ...Gasp!) and will run across national digital billboards donated by Clear Channel (and it turns out many others).
The creative itself hinges on the visual of a broken screen on each digital billboard, reflecting the idea that any event that only amplifies the voices of certain groups – such as white, middle-class men – is essentially silencing every other voice. The lack of representation reflects a broken system, propped up by corporate gaslighting that prefers to discuss change rather than enact it.
And I love it.
I can’t believe this thing we built continues to not only grow and grow but also impact real world and digital events the world over. Events are getting better at DE&I thanks to DICE - and thanks to all the people mentioned above, even more people will now know about it.
IT IS HOT. BUT NOT TOO HOT FOR BONUSES.
COME GET SOME.
Kicking off the bonus section with a late entry/brief plug for the DICE certified, State of Social 2022 event in Perth. The lovely Meg Coffey asked me if I could speak at it this year and I can’t as I’m away with the family. But just because I can’t be there. doesn’t mean you can’t (virtual tickets are available).
As Meg puts it:
Because Australia is never a bad idea. Check out State of Social ‘22 in Perth this August.
Two days of killer keynotes, discussions and breakout brainstorms analysing the latest digital trends, techniques and real-world case studies to help you plan, create and convert, no matter what the world throws at you.
I can’t go but you should. It’s even DICE certified.
OK, now back to the bonuses.
CBT is… sexy now? I’ve done it. Twice. So, y’know 💅
Nope. In more ways than one.
I say again, Decentraland has less than 1000 DAUs.
‘Emmanuel don’t do it’ (this is the best).
YOU ARE REACHING THE END OF THE NEWSLETTER. TAKE CARE OUT THERE.
It’s about to hit midday on Sunday as the UK is headed into the most dangerous heatwave in recent history. It’s not going to get cooler, friends. So if you’re in the UK, please buy that fan, stock up on bottled water, buy the bags of ice, and just keep out the danger zones.
Look after yourself, and each other.
Whatley out x
PS. Ms Marvel is the best damn thing Disney has ever done. WATCH IT.