Each week, Padilla’s Insights + Strategy team stands at the intersection of people, culture and brands to bring you five stories that you can read in five minutes.
1. Contemplate two Monets and call me in the morning.
The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal will now accept doctors’ prescriptions enabling patients and their families to visit the art museum for free. Why should you care? While innovations in health care tend to focus on the advancements of AI and what other technologies will bring, philosophical advancements are just as important. Nathalie Bondil, director general and chief curator, says it best, “I am convinced that in the 21st century, culture will be what physical activity was for health in the 20th century. Cultural experiences will benefit health and wellness, just as engaging in sports contributes to fitness.” Tech is critical, but unlikely a panacea. The most innovative brands of the future, no matter the industry, will be masters in helping people find balance between their digital and analog worlds. [Lonely Planet]
2. Upending the mundane safety video.
Air New Zealand recently launched a new safety video featuring cross-generational rap and local artists. Why should you care? Over the past few years, Air New Zealand has built a reputation for having “legendary” safety videos. What’s different about this video is, rather than leaning on foreign celebrities, they feature New Zealanders. They chose this direction to “make New Zealanders proud,” but also to “expose the world to their unique Kiwi culture.” That’s the best part. In showing that unique culture, they found a way to authentically weave the diversity in New Zealand, not just in terms of race or ethnicity, but in terms of culture, history, hobbies, lifestyles, clothing choices and generations, beautifully into their video. [Adweek]
3. Fake news to fight fake news.
The Columbia Journalism Review launched a one-day newsstand in New York featuring mock publications with actual unsubstantiated headlines and overtly false information found in publications on the internet. Why should you care? It’s no secret that “fake news” has changed the communications industry. The Columbia Journalism Review, a nonprofit serving professional journalists, created this newsstand to educate another audience, the general public. Their goal was to teach the public how to read the news analytically so they can better identify inaccurate, false and misleading reporting. An important endeavor, but the problem may not be education, but identity. We are seeing identity being used more and more as a filter to judge the expertise and agenda of a source to then determine the credibility of the facts they present. This is a different challenge and perhaps more difficult to navigate. The communications industry should not stop demonstrating that true facts have neither biases nor motives, but must find a way to do so for a public that increasingly believes only those facts and sources which validate their personal worldview. [AdAge]
4. Story arcs in a text, brought to you by blinking ellipses.
Facebook Messenger and Hooked (an app) are creating a new genre, “chat fiction” where people can watch stories unfold via dialogue presented as a conversation over text. Why should you care? This is a new form of content delivery and another example of how social media companies are redefining storytelling. Last week, James Patterson released a version of his upcoming book, The Chef, via Facebook messenger. While some may be skeptical about enjoying a pared down version of a novel through chat, the subtle genius in this format is that it creates empathy through the familiarity of a format and intimacy through witnessing a two-way dialogue unfold. Engaging format aside, Facebook and others are looking at “Easter eggs” or related sponsored links to infuse advertising into a genre previously delivered through a format previously inaccessible to them, books. [Popular Science]
5. That thing that happened on Tuesday.
After this week’s midterm elections, a record number of women will be heading to Congress in January 2019. Why should you care? Women were elected by both parties marking a diverse number of firsts throughout the country. We aren’t going to dive into anything political here, but it is important to understand the impact of the elections. The outcome of the midterms provides further evidence of a cultural shift where female voices are being featured on larger stages and in front of bigger and more receptive audiences. Women will now make up 20% of Congress, which is a greater percentage of the number of CEOs who are female (5%). Though movements like #metoo may have inspired some of the women to run for office, the greatest impact of the elections won’t come from adding their voices to one particular issue or movement. Instead, it will come from having seats at tables and in rooms where their different voices and ideas will add new perspectives to committee debates, national discussions and the legislation that governs our lives. How this will manifest, it’s hard to say, but it will certainly have an impact. [Forbes]
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