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  • kathleen.goodwin

monday memo 124: ocean blvd, therapy & pepsi

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

Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make April 3rd, 2023, a bit better.


1. Artist of the Week: Thai Mainhard Thai Mainhard’s abstract paintings combine expressive mark-making with dense blocks of color to create complex and emotive compositions that navigate the space between chaos and calm. “My approach to art is raw and intuitive," says Mainhard. "Each mark relies on a feeling and eternalizes it in mediums, bridging the gap from the brain to the heart to ultimately make us feel connected to our spirit."


2. What we're listening to: "Did you know that there is a tunnel under Ocean Blvd" by Lana Del Rey The singer and songwriter’s ninth album, “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd,” asks big, earnest questions and isn’t afraid to get messy. Perhaps The New York Times said it best: "Throughout 'Ocean Blvd,' an artist who arrived on the scene sounding like a nihilist is now searching and sincerely self-scrutinizing, sending earnest questions into a possible void." Come along for the ride.


3. What we're watching: Shrinking - Apple TV+ Shrinking follows a grieving therapist (Jason Segel) who starts to tell his clients exactly what he thinks. Ignoring his training and ethics, he finds himself making huge changes to people's lives - including his own. From the creators of Ted Lasso, this show is the perfect balance of vulnerability and comedy. Plus, Harrison Ford is in it.


4. Trend & Advertising Highlight: Pepsi Gets a New Look Another week, another new logo. Last week Pepsi unveiled a new logo and branding that will roll out in North America this fall and globally next year. When you take a look at Pepsi logos of yore, you may be thinking…this new logo is not very different. Well, that’s the point. Before the rebrand, the folks at PepsiCo walked through an exercise where they asked people to draw the Pepsi logo from memory. Most people drew a circle with red, white, and blue stripes. As well, most people put the brand name inside the circle. But that’s not how the current logo actually looks. The brand name is off to the side, a bit meek next to the iconic globe. So Pepsi is making a change. “We couldn’t ignore that kind of insight,” Mauro Porcini, PepsiCo’s chief design officer, told CNN. “Instead of rejecting it, we decided to embrace it.” This feels like a perfect case study for how to successfully evolve an iconic brand. The insights behind this decision are rooted in consumer insights, and the changes are subtle enough to maintain recognition and different enough to move the brand forward. As well, this is part of a larger trend of many brands pulling inspiration from the "flat" logo qualities of the1960s to read better in the digital space. All and all, we think this new brand evolution is a refreshing direction for Pepsi. But let's be clear...we are still a Diet Coke office.


5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: In-group Bias In-group Bias (also known as in-group favoritism) is the tendency for people to give preferential treatment to others who belong to the same group that they do. This bias shows up even when people are put into groups randomly, making group membership effectively meaningless. This bias is alive in small ways like departments at work or a shared love of a sports team, but it can become extreme. When taken too far, you might even feel justified in committing immoral or dishonest actions, so long as they benefit our group. A great example of this on a large scale is the show, Survivor. Many people have blind loyalty to their tribe, in a way that will make them backstab or blindside other players, even if it opens them up to the risk of being sent home. This obviously has darker social and political examples, but the best thing we can do to avoid this bias is to capitalize on our own self-interest and continually engage with people who are different than us.


CHARLES EVANS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SCHOOL ON WHEELS. With year-round operations in six counties, prior to the pandemic, the organization reached more than 3,000 homeless children a year, and it recruited and trained more than 2,000 tutors annually. 6. Good News of the Week:

  • The FDA just approved Narcan, a nasal spray that reverses opioid overdoses, for over-the-counter sales (PBS)

  • Recently arrived Ukrainians in Minneapolis head to Mississippi to help tornado victims (MPR)

  • An independent bookstore in Nashville is offering solace and a safe space for their grieving community (GGG)

  • This School on Wheels Delivers Tutoring — And Hope — For Homeless Students (GGG)

  • April Fools': Explore 6 of history's most infamous scams and hoaxes (NAT GEO)


This week's bonus is another viral TikTok sensation. In "labour," Paloma laments the multitude of roles women take on every day. The catchy tune has the ability to capture the beauty of female rage and will make you rethink the idea that "women should have it all." Because if you know any women in your life, you know they do it all and more.


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