Strategy Hot Takes

Date: 4.23.21

The New Yorker: TikTok and the Vibes Revival

“Vibe” is a placeholder for an abstract quality that you can’t pin down — an ambience. It’s the reason that you like or dislike something or someone (good vibes vs. bad). It’s an intuition with no obvious explanation (“just a vibe I get”). In the social-media era, though, “vibe” has come to mean something more like a moment of audiovisual eloquence, a “sympathetic resonance” between a person and her environment. It’s a concise assemblage of image, sound, and movement.

Social media used to be focused on personality and narrative — the more context you had on a celebrity, their lives behind the scenes, the better. TikTok has changed that. Bypassing the importance of context, TikTok is focused on a single moment in time, no context, just vibes. These “audiovisual” vibes take users out of their own environment and into the creation of the TikToker’s making in short 10 second respites.

Tech Crunch: Netflix launches its shuffle feature, now called ‘Play Something,’ to users worldwide

“Netflix today is officially launching a feature that will make it easier to find something to watch when you’re stuck browsing and unable to make a decision. As they continue to compete with more and more streaming services, Netflix needs a way to addict its current user base to what’s available in its existing catalog before they churn out.”

Are you stuck with decision fatigue, feeling like you’ve watched all there is to watch on Netflix? Introducing, Play Something. This shuffle button will have Netflix play another show or movie it thinks you’ll like, based on your interests and prior viewing behavior. In other words, it won’t play random content, but will instead bring up either a movie or show you’re already watching, a series or movie on your list, an unfinished series or movie you may want to revisit, or a brand new series or film that Netflix’s personalization algorithms suggest.

Tech Crunch: Mailchimp moves into e-commerce

“Since Mailchimp already offers websites, domains and other adjacent services, adding these new features feels like a natural next step, whether that’s selling directly from a Mailchimp store or taking appointment bookings for a service business. ‘our goal is still to have the best email marketing in the world. We know our customers and partners demand consistency and continuity as much as they demand new features and functionality, so we’re refining and nurturing existing tools, too.’ said Mailchimp CEO Ben Chestnut.”

Over the course of the last few years, Mailchimp morphed from a basic newsletter platform to a fully fledged marketing company, and it is now launching its own online stores for small and medium businesses, as well as a new appointment booking service.

Media’s Take: Their evolution gets you thinking about the insights that led to the business decision to continue to diversify beyond email. Does it foreshadow a decline in the success of email marketing? Are they just looking to get bigger? Or does their email expertise position them to succeed in these new areas? For now, we don’t see any indications that email marketing is losing its potency anytime soon.

Ad Age: The unequal application of the law has long led, ironically, to injustice.

“The unequal application of the law has long led, ironically, to injustice. Without context or exception, laws become rigid cages that trap anyone unlucky enough to get caught. Showing up late to an appointment is a violation. Crossing state lines for any reason — even to see a dying loved one — is a violation.”

This new spot from Droga5 for the Reform Alliance highlighting the ordinary, everyday events that become illegal — technically — when someone is released from jail and put on probation. After release from prison, parole is supposed to be a probationary period when people prove that they have reformed. Instead, the strict, unyielding rules placed upon their movements, activities and friendships turn it into another kind of jail time.

Banner Health: A Shot at Humanity

This healthcare spot focused on vaccine awareness hits on a key insight — this vaccine isn’t just a shot — its a shot at freedom and connection one again.

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