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monday memo 119: jewelry, dogs & surfing

Welcome to the Monday Memo — your pop culture snapshot from Manifesto.

Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make February 13th, 2023, a bit better.


1. Artist of the Week: Sierra Otto In honor of Valentines Day, we wanted to feature a very specific kind of art—jewelry. Sierra Otto is the artist behind Sierra Winter Jewelry, a bespoke jewelry shop in Kansas City, MO. Sierra grew up on a ranch in the Flint Hills of Kansas. From an early age, she loved to draw and collect stones on the prairie. She received a BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design from the University of Kansas and worked as a jewelry designer for Silpada Designs before launching her eponymous line in 2015.


2. What we're listening to: If We Ever Broke Up by Mae Stephens Late last year Mae Stephens shared a snippet of her song on TikTok, and since then the video has racked up 10 million views. "If We Ever Broke Up” packs the perfect kiss-off to an ex, with Stephens imagining in the lyrics what she would have done to an old partner if she was still with them now. “If we ever broke up, I’d never be sad,” she sings on the funky alt-pop bop. “If we ever broke up, I’d call your dad/And tell him all the sh—t things you said.”


3. What we're watching: Cunk on Earth - Netflix This hysterical mockumentary follows Philomena Cunk (Diane Morgan) as she asks some of the world's smartest minds some of the world's stupidest questions. Will it be historically accurate? Probably not. Well beyond Drunk History, we can't think of another show that made history so hysterical.


4. Trend & Advertising Highlight: Dog Days at the Super Bowl Is it just us, or were the Super Bowl commercials this year just nothing to write home about? Instead of focusing on the duds, we want to talk about our favorite. If we have learned anything from Budweiser advertisements, it's about the power of the puppy. While the beer giant sat out of this year's game, The Farmer's Dog, a brand specializing in fresh and customizable dog food, was happy to step in to get our tears flowing. The spot, titled "Forever," followed the story of a girl and her puppy throughout both their lives. The ad starts with a girl promising her puppy, "I will always take care of you." The rest of the commercial shows the pet parent following through with that promise, taking the canine on walks, vacations, and adventures as they both grow older. The reason it works so well is in its simplicity, focusing first on the relationship between the girl and her dog, and showing how their product is both proof and an extension of this love. As well, it was fun to see how the brand made such a splash in their first Super Bowl spot.


5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: The Sunk Cost Fallacy The Sunk Cost Fallacy describes our tendency to follow through on an endeavor if we have already invested time, effort, or money into it, whether or not the current costs outweigh the benefits. Think of your first car. Let's say you got it when you were 16 and it carried you through high school and into college. Even when you first got the car it was basically as old as you, but you have invested a lot of money over the years to keep it running. But, when it dies one day on the side of the highway, you get the dreaded call from the shop: all the repairs cost more than the car is worth. Your rational brain says it's time for a new car, but due to the sunk cost fallacy you may be seriously considering paying for the repairs. We want to be rational decision makers, but the reality is so much more influences our decisions. When we have previously invested in a choice, we are likely to feel guilty or regretful if we do not follow through on that decision.The sunk cost fallacy is a vicious cycle because we continue to invest money, time and effort into endeavors that we have already invested in. The more we invest, the more we feel committed to continuing the endeavor, and the more resources we are likely to put in to follow through on our decision. The best we can do to avoid this is to ensure we are focusing on current and future costs and benefits instead of past commitments.


Ruby has been learning to surf to help with her recovery from burns she sustained at the age of four.(ABC Perth: Jackson Worthington)

6. Good News of the Week:

  • Researchers are creating winter road salts that aren’t terrible for the planet (GGG)

  • Bay Area nonprofit brings solar lanterns to Ukraine as Russian missiles pummel power grid (ABC 7)

  • The international community is using satellites to help earthquake rescue efforts in Syria and Turkey (GGG)

  • Surfing program at Perth Children's Hospital helps kids on road to recovery (ABC AU)


7. Bonus: WHO HAS THE REMOTE? While it may not have the narrative richness of The Farmer's Dog, we wanted to shout out the clever spot from Tubi that no doubt had your Super Bowl party in an uproar. The 15-second spot make us believe we were returning to the big game, and then switched to a smart tv home screen. In the video’s caption on YouTube, Tubi wrote, “No, you didn’t sit on the remote. But on Super Bowl Sunday, we fooled audiences into thinking they did.” We admit, you got us.


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