What’s hot?

So firstly, I think we can all agree that what’s hot this Friday is the WEATHER. Hotter than the sun right now.

But that’s not all. This is also the week we said goodbye to a childhood icon, but hello to a hot new lippy. We’ve also seen more changes to how social platforms want us to interact with them, but also how we engage with them.

Enjoy and wear SPF.

The success story you need to take with a pinch of salt: Boycott Twitter

It’s funny to think how our relationship with social media has changed over the past two years. We can probably measure the shift between now and the Cambridge Analytica scandal in early 2018. Back then, the social platforms held all the power. Yes, Facebook was in the spotlight, but we didn’t abandon it. Research showed that whilst people stopped trusting Facebook in 2018, they didn’t close down their accounts, take the Instagram app off phones, or stop WhatsApping. Because the social platforms were in control.

But, it simply doesn’t work like that anymore. Both brands and consumers are seizing back control. First came #StopHateForProfit, and on Monday and Tuesday we saw #NoSafeSpaceforJewHate.

This week’s boycott was due to Twitter’s inaction over anti-Semitic tweets from Wiley. The posts were up for hours, spreading like wildfire, and Twitter’s failure to control the situation was the final straw for many – hence the two-day virtual walkout.

The boycott is overall being viewed as a success. Not only Twitter, but also Facebook and Instagram, have suspended Wiley’s accounts. Which is obviously a great thing. But, the true measure of whether Twitter has learned its lesson will be whether we see more hate speech sprouting up on the platform. Understandably, un-moderated platforms aren’t difficult places to search for harmful content (though AI should help us with this), but when the words come from a verified account and secure hundreds and thousands of engagements, social media platforms should notice.

So, we’re not celebrating the success of this boycott just yet as there is still a lot of work to do. We’ll be keeping an eye and hoping for the best. In this case, no news is good news.

The one you need to watch: Reels

We’ve mentioned Reels before (head to this blog for the details), a quasi-TikTok created by Instagram to keep its competitors’ hands off its users. Turns out, Instagram is really ready to put up a fight.

Reels is supposed to launch in August, and Instagram wants to make sure it goes off with a bang. We all know that a social platform is nothing without content (maybe that’s where Bebo went wrong), which is why Instagram is allegedly approaching famous TikTokers with shedloads of cash to start using Reels.

It’s an appealing proposition – a more famous platform, all the upfront cash, potential for ad revenue, a larger user base, Trump’s not threatening to ban it, etc., etc., etc.

But, it has its risks. Facebook already tried this game once with the ill-fated Lasso video platform,. Instagram is obviously a much better platform for this form of content, but is the risk worth the reward for TikTokers? Are they willing to give up the platform that made them, for the one that paid them?

The competition you need to enter: Bucket Red No 11

We always love the campaigns we see from KFC for two reasons: They’re simple and bold. The latest campaign is not only based on the simplest of marketing tactics, but will also offer you a bold lip.

It all starts with the editorial calendar. Did you know that National Lipstick Day falls on the same day as National Wing Day? Maybe not. But KFC did.  Our favourite fast food chain has launched the Bucket Red No 11, a lipstick inspired in colour by the iconic red bucket and with the taste of a signature KFC.

The catch? There are only 400 products in the world. That kind of rarity surely makes these very high value? The sort of item sold at Sotheby’s in 50 years? To put into context, that means there are 2,500x more Birkin bags out there than Bucket Red No 11.

Move over Chanel No. 5 and Ruby Woo. There’s a new icon on the block.

The report you need to read: Influencers and Fashion Week

A report from Business of Fashion has confirmed something we always suspected, but never knew for sure: that when it comes to Fashion Week, we just don’t care if influencers aren’t involved.

Without a star-studded audience sat in the front row of Milan and Paris Fashion Week’s, designers saw huge decreases in mentions of their brands compared to last year. All the designers were still live-streaming, storying and posting – the only thing missing were the influencers.

This finding opens a debate about what it is we like about Fashion Week. If it was the models, the styles and the clothes, surely we would still be searching for the AW collection, following our favourite brands, or sharing the latest looks?

More likely, it seems, we were just interested in the lifestyle. The front rows, freebies and after-parties, seeing who is sat with who and wondering why.

Overall, Fashion week has reminded marketers what’s so great about influencers: They bring the fans.

In memoriam

At the age of 50, we say goodbye to an old friend.

Someone who we associate with Christmastime, childhood, joy, and excitement.

Someone who helped us pick the gifts we wanted most, then helpfully pointed our parents in the right direction.

Someone who taught us that toys actually cost money, and “Wow, a Bratz doll costs way more than Sylvanian Families. I can get an entire rabbit family for just one Cloe? Please. Easy choice.”

Yes. This is a goodbye to the Argos catalogue.

The phrase “print is dead” has been batted around for a while, but working in PR, we know that simply isn’t true. We continue to enjoy flicking through magazines, spreading a large newspaper or having something on hand to read on the tube. But for catalogues, maybe it is. Argos has digitized and grown, created an app, and made click-and-collect ever easier. When we weren’t paying attention, Argos grew up – and took our childhoods with it.

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