monday memo 115: poolsides, clubs, and nepo babies
Welcome to the Monday Memo — your pop culture snapshot from Manifesto.
Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make January 9, 2023 a bit better.
1. Artist of the Week: Kate Mary Kate Mary is a Glasgow-based artist and designer working primarily with oil pastels and acrylics. She originally studied as an interior designer, and her background helps to inspire the subjects of her work. According to her website, "by combining memories of architectural details with botanical elements, Kate seeks to create vibrant versions of the world we live in." With all this dreary weather and post-holiday blues, we want to escape into her work!
2. What we're listening to: The Thursday Murder Club - Audible This week, we wanted to do something different and recommend a delightful mystery we read over the holiday season. The Thursday Murder Club follows four unlikely friends in a peaceful retirement village, who meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders. But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Think of it as a mix of Only Murders in the Building and an Agatha Christie mystery.
3. What we're watching: Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical (Netflix) An adaption of the Tony and Olivier award-winning musical, Matilda tells the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a sharp mind and a vivid imagination, dares to take a stand to change her story. This adaptation is a little more loyal to the original source material, but it still captures the whimsy and magic of the beloved 1996 film. This is worth the watch for the incredible choreography alone!
4. Trend & Advertising Highlight: New Year's Reso-LOSERS! As we reach mid-January, it's crazy to think many of us are well on our way with our new year's resolutions. This time of year, many people commit to lifestyle changed for the better, with gym memberships sign ups up rising 12% every January. Instead of welcoming this new crowd, cult-favorite gym Equinox opted to go...the opposite direction? In short, their new campaign basically told the public that they aren't interested in this eager crowd because fitness is a state of mind all year long. And, they would be accepting no new memberships on January 1st. Instead of standing out and adhering others to their brand, it felt like they just doubled down on their elitism and exclusivity (well, if that wasn't already clear with the almost $400 per month membership.) The problem is, this type of stunt is usually only well received by fellow marketing professionals, and not the general public. On the other hand, it gave Planet Fitness an opportunity to let everyone know that no matter where someone is on their health journey, the brand is ready to welcome them with open arms. On the heels of this tone-deaf Equinox spot, Planet Fitness has decided to offer $1 down and $10 per month until the end of January. While these two gyms no doubt attract different clientele, one sourly received ad campaign (or a strategically positive response) could mean a huge loss for brand loyalty.
5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Framing Effect It shocked us when we realized we had not featured this bias, because as media professionals we work with this bias everyday! The framing effect occurs when our decisions are influenced by how information is presented to us. Equivalent information can be more or less attractive depending on what features are highlighted. The most common example of this bias in action is in the grocery store aisle. Take the example above: when shopping for a new yogurt option for breakfast you see two similarly priced options. Option A says it only has "20%" of the fat content of other yogurts, but Option B says "80% fat free." A quick comparison between the two would show that they are telling us the same information, but Option B frames the information in a more appealing and positive way. While it is easy to look at this cognitive bias in a negative light, most uses in media can be debunked simply by pausing and thinking about the statement offering.
In especially good news, Damar Hamlin is awake and recovering in the hospital!
6. Good News of the Week:
There is now a record number of women serving in the U.S. Congress (Pew Research Center)
After Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin's on-field collapse, fans fundraise millions for his foundation (ABC)
Battery swapping spurs Kenya's electric motorbike drive (Reuters)
World's first vaccine for declining honeybee population approved by the USDA (GNN)
7. Bonus: What are "Nepo Babies?" At the Monday Memo, we love to keep you in the loop of all the pop culture lingo and so far the word of 2023 is "Nepo Baby." A "Nepo Baby" or nepotism baby is a semi-derogatory way to describe someone who has well-connected parents in their chosen field. While the term can be used for any industry, it is mostly used for children of famous actors, celebrities, and models. So, if you work for a family business, we do not recommend throwing this word around!