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  • kathleen.goodwin

monday memo 126: neon, jury duty & road rage

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

Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make April 17th, 2023, a bit better.


1. Artist of the Week: Leticia Maldonado Leticia Maldonado is a multi-media sculptor with a focus on working in luminous glass. Her off-the-wall neon creations take basic signs into the third dimension. Growing up and spending her formative years in the desert outskirts of Las Vegas, NV, it was an easy step to associate the neon lights of the city with the concepts of escape and autonomy. Now, it inspires her work.


2. What we're listening to: "Comedy" by The Scarlet Opera Fusing the grandeur of the theatre with the raw energy of rock and roll, The Scarlet Opera—a five-piece band hailing from Los Angeles—offers an escape into the throes of love, lust, glamour, and passion. Their latest EP delivers on this promise, with five electrifying tunes reminiscent of Queen. Our favorite is “Alive.”


3. What we're watching: Jury Duty - Amazon Prime "Jury Duty" takes a documentary-style court case deep dive through the eyes of juror Ronald Gladden, with one important twist—Gladden doesn't know that the gonzo legal proceedings in the eight-part series are entirely fake. The best part? Actor James Marsden plays a delightfully naracissistic version of himself.


4. Trend & Advertising Highlight: (Dew)finitely over 21... When you think spring break, what comes to mind? For most of us, it's trips with young children or bikini-clad co-eds. But just because Grandma is on social security doesn't mean she isn't down to party. Hard Mountain Dew, the debut alcoholic beverage from the beloved soda brand, recently threw a spring break bash for the elderly residents in the otherwise sleepy Gulf Coast town of North Port, halfway between Fort Myers and Tampa. The event certainly proved that their party days are far from over. Hard Mountain Dew’s goal was to “tap into the quirky, the unexpected and the downright outrageous—and yeah, maybe hoping we make drinkers think ‘really?’” Erica Taylor, senior brand director, told Adweek. “It’s all in the name of giving our fans once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and experiences.” While the company recognizes that this demographic may not be their exact target audience, if we knew someone threw our grandparents a pool party we might be more inclined to buy a product. But larger than that, in a market where millennials and Gen Z are the constant targets of every ad campaign, it's nice to see a brand give some love to the older generations.


5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Social Norms Perhaps Taylor Swift said it best in her song “Seven”: Please picture me/In the weeds/Before I learned civility/I used to scream ferociously/Any time I wanted. We too wish we could scream anytime we wanted. Social norms are collectively held beliefs about what kind of behavior is appropriate in a given situation. They range from specific customs—for example, the Western custom of shaking hands with somebody when you meet them for the first time—to more general rules that govern behavior and influence our understanding of other people. For example, in Europe and other countries outside the U.S., tipping is not part of culture. In fact, tipping can be seen as insulting, with the implication that a server is in need of charity. While it's useful to have a roadmap for social interactions, it can be weaponized against us. In sales, social norms are directly tied to the "door-in-face technique, where you first ask a more demanding question and then follow up with the actual question to lessen its impact. Overall, there is usually intention behind social norms so it's important to do your research when entering new situations and cultures.


BEST FRIENDS GOALS. Ellie Hamby and Sandy Hazelip, both 81 years old, recently completed an 80 day journey around the world. 6. Good News of the Week:

  • Here's what the 81-year-old best friends who traveled the world want to do next (TODAY)

  • The Retirement Cat Village Where Elderly Strays Live Out Their Days in Mini Cottages (GNN)

  • Artistic Doctor Transforms Kids’ Broken Arms Into Animated Artwork Especially For Them (GNN)

  • Empowering Women & Tackling Climate Change: The Surprising Benefits of Solar-Powered Refrigerators (GGG)


7. Bonus: Beef - Netflix

In Netflix's latest smash hit, two people let a road rage incident burrow into their minds and slowly consume their every thought and action. Maybe lay off the horn next time...


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