Dear Distinguished Subscribers,

Welcome to the 49th Edition of Stuffed.

It’s the final week of the Olympics and what a captivating event it’s been. With over 18,000 athletes being hosted in the Tokyo Olympic village and an estimated 68.8 million of us in the UK, tuning in to live coverage, the Tokyo Olympics has captured the Globe’s attention. Conversations surrounding the mental wellbeing of athletes have been centre stage at this year’s games, reminding us all to take care of our own mental health as we emerge from a global pandemic.

On that note, onto this week’s Stuffed. In this edition, we look at how Discovery has “won gold” in their coverage of the Olympics, the Getty sets its sights on a younger audience and Hendricks gin jazz up local bus shelters.

If you haven’t already done so, you can subscribe to Stuffed here.

Happy reading and stay safe everyone.

From your friends at Goodstuff.

STUFFED WITH CULTURE

Ever wondered how social networks seem to know exactly what you’re interested in? The Wall Street Journal has done some investigations into TikTok, with intriguing results. By setting up a series of “bot” accounts with predetermined interests, their findings appear to dispel some myths about how their content suggestions work and indicate that the platform takes as little as two hours to learn what a user likes before throwing them down a rabbit hole. As ever, it’s powerful stuff. 

Avid Team GB fans may have been left disappointed by the BBC’s coverage of the Olympics, with the Beeb being limited to showing just two live events at a time across both TV and iPlayer. A pan-European deal with the US media giant Discovery means that unlimited coverage now sits behind the paywall, preventing millions of sports fans from watching potential new heroes. But it’s been an absolute bonanza for Discovery, who’ve seen record numbers of subscribers and more than 275m viewers across their platforms to date. 

Hollywood, Bollywood, and now… Brollywood!? (sorry) – the owners of LA’s Sunset Studios have announced that they are planning to build a £700m complex for Film and TV production in Hertfordshire. It’s a big vote of confidence in the UK’s film industry, and hopefully a welcome shot in the arm for a channel that has fallen on hard times in the wake of the pandemic, with cinemas recently reopening after being closing for an extended period. 

STUFFED WITH CREATIVITY

Getty museum attracts kids with beards

The Getty Museum and BIEN are showing Tiffany up in attracting a younger audience. Rather than trying to make, say, the ancient Mesopotamians interesting (or dissing existing visitors), they’ve gone interested, not era, first. Their 2 Minute Time machine video series covers topics like beards and graffiti across the ages.

LNER’s haunting bedroom highlights track dangers

To shine a spotlight on the dangers of rail track trespassing, LNER built a pop-up installation of an average, messy, child’s bedroom – left empty. The unusual and arresting sight brings home the consequences of rail trespassing and is being displayed at stations on problem routes.

Grey London get the beers in to encourage vaccination

To support independent pubs who’ve had a tough couple of years, Grey London instigated this simple campaign to help out the trade and encourage pub-goers to get vaccinated. Beer mats that riff off beer brand logos and typography were supplied to publicans across London and the South East.

Co-op’s recycling push is without competition

Lucky General’s campaign to launch Co-op’s enhanced and extended recycling capabilities has landed on their competitors’ doorsteps. Some uncomfortably close out-of-home encourages customers to bring rivals’ plastic waste to their new recycling units – taking the ethical high ground, and doubtless a few customers.

STUFFED WITH COMMS

Youtube & Spotify test mid-tier subscriptions

It was announced this week that both YouTube and Spotify are trialing mid-tier subscriptions that combine elements of both free and premium products to users, in an attempt to target “value-conscious” members whilst introducing more users to their platforms. 

YouTube’s proposal is “Premium Lite” allowing users ad-free viewing, but without the premium subscription benefits such as offline downloads and ad-free music. Similarly, there are unconfirmed rumours known as “Spotify Plus” which removes the limit on track skipping, however, do still keep ads on the platform. 

Although these are extremely new proposals with Spotify’s not even being announced yet, it begs the question on user habits of the future, and whether a cheaper subscription will swing more users to pay. Or whether the familiar (and free!) nature of these platforms will be enough to keep people using free features.  

Hendrick’s gin create a scented bus stop takeover

Hendrick’s Gin will be giving commuters a “peculiar” surprise with its bus stop takeovers in cities across the UK. 

As the nation begins to open up, the OOH campaign encourages commuters to escape from the conventional, by stepping into the peculiar and embracing the delectable. 

Each bus shelter features a living roof made up of roses and cucumbers and a unique scent will be dispensed to bring to life Hendrick’s Gin’s peculiar infusion of rose and cucumber. A doorbell engraved with “Press for the peculiar” triggers olde-fashioned music and a Victorian gentleman-style monologue. On the floor are vinyls of clouds. 

An enlarged upturned 3D recreation of the Hendrick’s Gin bottle has been encased within a six-sheet panel. The bottle continuously pours real liquid, without ever overflowing, into a glass of Hendrick’s Gin Cucumber Lemonade, the brand’s hero summer serve. 

Secret messages have been hidden within the artwork and within the panels of the shelters is a QR code that leads to the gin brand’s summer-themed landing page that features tips and recipes. 

Thanks for tuning in to the 49th edition of Stuffed, we’ll see you next week.