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monday memo 137: witches, strikes & double features

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

Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make July 17th, 2023, a bit better. It's time to book your tickets for "Barbenheimer"...


1. Artist of the Week: Mary Blair

This week we are throwing it back to honor trailblazing female artist, Mary Blair. Her vibrant colors and dazzling designs served as the basis for beloved childhood classics like Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Alice in Wonderland. Though much of her art veers away from naturalism toward abstraction, she was one of Walt Disney’s favorite artists; he personally responded to her use of color, naïve graphics, and the storytelling aspect in her pictures, especially the underlying emotions palpable in much of her art.


2. What we're listening to: The Good Witch by Maisie Peters Maybe you heard about Maisie Peters through her hit song "Psycho," or saw her open for Ed Sheeran on his Mathematics Tour. Maybe you have ever heard of her. But you will. With her second album, The Good Witch, Peters shows she has all the talent and chops of a future pop icon. Don't believe us? Listen to her new album, especially "Lost The Breakup," "Body Better," "Blonde" and "Coming of Age."


What do Barbie and an atomic bomb have in common? A film release date. This Friday, Greta Gerwig's Barbie and Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer will release in theaters. Both films are highly anticipated despite their wildly different subject matter, and the internet has had a blast with the promise of a double feature. So, which film will you see first?


4. Trend & Advertising Highlight: Hollywood on Strike! Last Thursday, members of SAG-AFTRA voted to join the Writers Guild of America on strike against major studios. In short, this joint partnership halts all tv and film production until negotiations resume. Both organizations are demanding a fair cut in streaming profits and protesting against the use of AI. But you may be asking yourself, how does this apply to advertising? Well, this changes everything for our friends who work in entertainment marketing and PR. According to the guidelines, SAG-AFTRA members will not be able to attend premieres, do interviews for completed work, go to awards shows, attend film festivals, or even promote projects on social media while the strike is in effect. Just last week, the cast of Oppenheimer walked out of their premier when news broke that the strike had been authorized. In an age where viral TikTok clips and social media play such a key role in entertainment marketing campaigns, many upcoming productions will have to rely on far more traditional, and less native content.


5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Why do we get "Hangry?"

Back in 2010, Snickers ran a campaign titled, "You're not you when you're hungry," displaying (with the help of a handful of celebrities) how our mood is affected when we are hungry. It's long been one of our favorite campaigns and serves as an inspiration for this week's cognitive bias. The term hangry is a combination of hungry and angry, describing when someone is acting irritable because they are hungry. While this made-up term quickly entered the zeitgeist, it is a very real psychological factor. Visceral/Affective factors are states such as hunger, thirst, sexual desire, cravings and withdrawals, fear, or pain. These states often cause people to act rashly or irrationally. Hunger affects mood centers in the brain that are associated with sadness, tension, anger, and even low self-esteem. There’s a lot of evidence to show that hunger makes you more likely to see things negatively.


After thousands of people called on the pharmaceutical company to make tuberculosis treatment accessible and affordable to those who need it most, Johnson & Johnson announced Thursday morning that it would grant licensing to supply generic versions of the drug to low- and middle-income countries, in partnership with the Stop TB Partnership. 6. Good News of the Week:

  • John Green and his fans achieved a breakthrough after pressuring J&J to make a life-saving tuberculosis drug available to lower-income countries (GGG)

  • Colorado kids, teens who visit emergency rooms in mental health crisis can now get free therapy (The Colorado Sun)

  • This Philippines aid worker fights plastic tide to protect the island (GGG)

  • U.S. cities turn old landfills into solar farms (GGG)


7. Bonus: Stick Season (We'll Be Here Forever) by Noah Kahan A year ago today, Noah Kahan posted a video performing a song he had written called, "Stick Season." Feeling sheepish, he thought about deleting it but kept it up. The video went viral reaching millions of people and charted at number three on the Billboard Hot 100. In October of 2022, Kahan released the accompanying album, and this summer he blessed us with the deluxe version. Our new favorites are "Drunk Dial" and "You're Gonna Go Far."


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