monday memo 138: kicks, angels & soccer
Welcome to the Monday Memo — your pop culture snapshot from Manifesto.
Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make July 24th, 2023, a bit better. Just a reminder: Embrace your Kenergy. You are Kenough.
Used with permission from the artist. 1. Artist of the Week: MAWdoods
MAWdoods is an artist residing out of Green Bay, WI, specializing in “kixed media” artwork. His pieces include a variety of mediums often using acrylic, ink, paper, and—his signature—up-cycled remnants of shoe boxes. This artist is a perfect fit for sneakerheads, up-cycling enthusiasts, and art lovers who may be open to something new.
2. What we're listening to: Barbie: The Album Hopefully, you enjoyed last week's suggestion to see the double feature of Barbie and Oppenheimer (AKA Barbenheimer). While both films were incredible, the soundtrack for Barbie is the bomb (pun intended.) With songs from Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, Charlie XCX, and more, this is shaping up to be the most star-studded album of the year. Also, Ryan Gosling sings a hysterical ballad about Ken feeling incomplete without Barbie. Come on Barbie, let's go (dance) party!
3. What we're watching: Good Omens - Season 2
Based on the book by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Good Omens follows an unlikely pair of friends — persnickety angel Aziraphale (Sheen) and rock-n-roll demon Crowley (Tennant) — as they band together to stop the end of the world. The new season of Good Omens comes out on Friday, but if you haven't seen the first season of the charming sci-fi show, you have four days to catch up on Amazon Prime. You are sure to have one "hell" of a time.
4. Trend & Advertising Highlight: Can you take a selfie at a concert? Last week, a video went viral of country music star Miranda Lambert stopping mid-show to scold fans who were taking selfies during her performance. As you might expect, the internet had some strong opinions on the behaviors of both Lambert and her fans, with each side claiming the behavior was justified. This leads us to the big question: Once a product or service is purchased, who has the real power, the brand or the consumer? We saw the fallout of this a few years ago when an iconic Sex and the City character was killed off on a Peloton bike. As a result, Peloton's stock price dropped 11 percent overnight. According to the company, they had no idea their product would be used in that way. Whether we like it or not, consumers have the power to literally shift the marketplace against brands. The court of public opinion has always been the highest in the land. While Lambert's residency in Las Vegas boasts sold-out dates and extended shows, it will be interesting to see if this continued dialogue hurts her brand.
5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Parasocial Relationships
Why is it that we cry at the death of a book character? Feel a friendship with podcast hosts we never met? Feel betrayed when a celebrity turns out to be a creep? Parasocial relationships are one-sided relationships, where one person extends emotional energy, interest, and time, and the other party, the persona, is completely unaware of the other’s existence. In the age of social media where public figures have never been so accessible, any deviant behavior or scandal can feel personal to fans—so much so that it can end careers. So remember, while you may spend hours interacting with media about a character or celebrity, they don't know you. And, while it feels like you know them, you instead know the curated image of them.
*****Except for Taylor Swift. We're keeping our parasocial relationship to justify how much money we spent to see our "friend" on The Eras Tour...
6. Good News of the Week:
Sweden is building the world’s largest wooden city, which will produce significantly less carbon emissions (AXIOS)
In an effort to cut down on waste and pollution, France is paying people to repair their clothes and shoes (CNN)
Veterinary conference turns into free clinic to care for the pets of Denver’s homeless (GNN)
Out-of-business supermarket turned into an indoor skatepark for the community (GNN)
If the goal of this ad was to surprise and delight, then it was a win. This may be our favorite ad so far for the World Cup!