top of page
  • kathleen.goodwin

monday memo 125: dinner parties, barbie & aliens

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

Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make April 10th, 2023, a bit better.


1. Artist of the Week: Kirthanaa Naidu By day, Kirthanaa Naidu is a digital coordinator for Amnesty International UK. By night, she puts together beautiful tablescapes for brands and plans supper clubs inspired by her Malaysian heritage. During the pandemic, she started cooking for her flatmates more often and spent time making the table look as spectacular as the food served on it. Then she started to post her table arrangements on Instagram. The rest is history. Bon appétit.


2. What we're listening to: Last Day - Apple Podcasts This is a show about the moments that change us, fundamentally and forever. Each week, host Stephanie Wittels Wachs (Lemonada’s co-founder and award-winning queen of darkness and light) is sitting down with a new guest to explore happy/sad stories of survival, resilience, and transformation. Some “last days” are hopeful. Some are tragic. But at the heart of every “last day” is also a new beginning.


3. What we're watching: Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields - Hulu Follows actor, model, and icon Brooke Shields as she becomes a woman who discovers her power after being sexualized as a young girl. She shows the dangers and triumphs of gaining agency in a hostile world. This documentary is a powerful portrait of a woman who has always been more than just a pretty face.


4. Trend & Advertising Highlight: This Barbie is a Marketing Genius. He's just Ken. Last week, the official posters were released for the highly anticipated Barbie film. Mattel, Barbie’s parent company, has long been on the offensive to protect its most famous asset. So, when they announced they were releasing a Barbie film in partnership with Warner Brothers, many were excited to see how the brand could be fully realized. This first campaign brings Barbie's girl power and versatility to center stage, with the tagline, “This Barbie is a _____. He’s just Ken.” Since her inception in 1959, according to Mattel, Barbie has had over 200 careers. The posters introduce us to a wide variety of Barbies who are diplomats, presidents, mermaids, and more. And the Kens…well they are just Ken. The bright colors and geometric shapes are reminiscent of doll boxes, allowing the viewer to feel as if they are wandering the shelves of their local toy store shopping for their next Barbie. If this first campaign is any indication of how creative and compelling the cobranding of this film will be, we can guarantee life in plastic, will be fantastic.


5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Illusion of Exploratory Depth The illusion of explanatory depth (IOED) describes our belief that we understand more about the world than we actually do. It's often not until we are asked to actually explain a concept that we come face to face with our limited understanding of it. For a fun example, let's say an alien has landed on Earth and asked us to explain houses. At first, we think this will be a breeze! But then the alien starts asking about how to build a house, the history of why people live in houses, etc. Suddenly, the questioning continues and you don't know enough to answer. The illusion of explanatory depth can cause you to make important decisions based on limited information, as you consistently believe you have much more information to work with than you actually do. Next time you learn about something new, ask yourself to explain the concept out loud or to someone else before you develop a strong opinion on it. Take questions from other people, or predict what their questions may be. Turns out that when your kid keeps asking "Why?" they were on to something.


TikToker Keith Lee has been using his platform to show his love to small business restaurants across the country.

6. Good News of the Week:

  • A food reviewer is using TikTok to help turn struggling eateries into massive success stories (GGG)

  • A 30-year-old urban ‘food forest’ in Arizona has become a model for climate action (Guardian)

  • Nasa names first female and African American astronauts on a lunar mission (Guardian)

  • He’s 14 with a size 23 foot. His family has struggled to find him shoes … until now (TODAY)


7. Bonus: New Logo Launch Parody - Twitter We think a new brand identity can change the world...but we also know the importance of being able to laugh at ourselves. When you work in branding, it's easy to feel like every decision will be revolutionary to the consumer. This sketch gave us a nice reality check and chuckle.


bottom of page