Dry January is at an end, and we took that a little literally at Goodstuff HQ with the actual running water drying up. Unfortunate accident, or intentional subterfuge by participants in our postponed AGP (Annual Goodstuff Pong) Championship making some extra practice time remains to be seen.

………

Some good stuff we’ve found this week:

Two weeks ago Gillette reignited the conflict around brand purpose, but perhaps a more natural fit was The Body Shop’s announcement that their shops are going to become activist hubs. It’s a neat activation that straddles both a connection to the brand’s heritage but also a commercial requirement to stimulate high street sales.

With single use plastics high on the public agenda, there was a fascinating launch at Davos this week. Loop are a new shopping service with several huge FMCG brands on board who deliver your shopping in reusable packaging such as glass or stainless steel. Fantastic for the environment but a growing challenge for delivering brand experience in utilitarian packaging. It launches in London later this year.

Speaking of growing pains of brand experience, Amazon have used their Super Bowl spot to parody the more ludicrous beliefs in voice search. Super Bowl ads, like Christmas or Spurs choking, seem to occur earlier every year, but it’s fun to see a tech giant make light of itself. And anything with Harrison Ford interacting with a Boston Terrier has our seal of approval.

The spot also features Ilana Glazer and Abby Jacobson, the creators of iconic comedy Broad City. The show’s final season (*sob*) premiere has continued its tradition of blurring the lines between social media and entertainment by being shot entirely as a social “story”, but for legal & creative reasons definitely isn’t on Instagram.

Facebook announced limits on sharing on WhatsApp and Messenger in a bid to curb the spread of fake news this week. While it may feel like the most modern of phenomena, the British Library’s digitisation project has a fascinating documentation how the ways in which people consumed news changed and exploded across the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. By 1900 over 2,000 newspapers were being published, showing people’s thirst for information and eagerness to consume it regardless of provenance is no modern issue.

If you feel like you’re being watched, you may be right. Shoshana Zuboff’s new book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism proposes a chilling vision of our present and near future. Her interview in the Observer outlines her thoughts on the potential for automated dystopia, but be warned, you might not feel comfortable reading it on your phone.

Which makes the story of internet connected objects reporting on you, even from the bin, take on a slightly more sinister tone. The product of poor manufacturing, or a conspiracy to make sure we’re putting the correct items in the recycling?

Finally, brand loyalty is one of the ultimate goals for every marketeer. So look on in envy at Maggi noodles in India. Not only retaining significant market share despite being banned for two months after being declared unfit for public consumption, consumers still asked to be served them during the ban.

 

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