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monday memo 140: hikes, french fries & birds

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

Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make August 7th, 2023, a bit better. Help Wanted: Hiring for roles in Account and Creative. Check out details here or pass it on to a friend you think would be a great fit!


1. Artist of the Week: David A. Lindon

David A. Lindon is an English artist specializing in micro-sculpting, creating mini masterpieces in the eye of a needle! His creations are crafted from a variety of mediums like kevlar, carpet fibers, ceramics, precious metals, and more. He meticulously carves and shapes his creations, slowly adding painstaking details and eventually painting each creation with a carefully chosen color. Looks like a mini masterpiece to us!


2. What we're listening to: Irish Eyes by Rose Betts

It may not be anywhere near St. Patrick's Day, but this Irish tune has us tapping our toes and wishing we were spending our day at the pub. The composition paired with Betts' tone has a timeless quality, feeling both wildly fresh and old as time. As she sings of her connection to her ancestors, it's hard to not feel humbled at the realization that we are all just the legacy of those who came before us.

Every step, every hope flung high...I'm a map of them all with my Irish eyes.


3. What we're watching: Happiness for Beginners - Netflix

Happiness for Beginners, based on the 2015 novel of the same name, follows Helen Carpenter who sets out on a wilderness survival course after a rough divorce. Through this experience, she discovers that you have to get lost to find yourself. This cute rom-com is the perfect film to escape the heat and inspire your next great outdoor adventure.


4. Trend & Advertising Highlight: The KFC Fry-neral Canadians may be stereotypically beloved for their kind demeanor, but for years they have been VERY vocal about their distaste for KFC fries. Well, it appears that KFC Canada has heard them loud and clear. Where most brands would phase a product out or quietly discontinue it, KFC Canada decided they wanted to send off this side in style. They decided to host a "Fry Funeral" on the street of Toronto, in order to let the public pay their "fry-nal" respects, as a branded hearse made its way through the city. What was inside the hearse? You guessed it, a bunch of french fries. But the stunt wasn't just to mourn the loss of the fries, but to launch their new seasoned fries that are “crispy and seasoned enough to satisfy our toughest critics." For those who missed the very public procession, the brand held an online eulogy last week. Azim Akhtar, director of marketing at KFC Canada said, "The KFC brand is all about being bold and fun. This satirical campaign allows us to introduce an exciting new product that we’re proud of, while making light of a product that wasn’t as beloved by Canadians." Rest in potato pieces.


5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Pareidolia

This week's bias is for all of us who love to see shapes in clouds and faces on trees! Pareidolia is the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist. In short, we see "faces" where they don't actually exist. While it is fun to see a potato chip shaped like Abraham Lincoln or a tree that looks like it's smiling, Pareidolia goes back to our revolutionary roots. It's theorized that we initially developed the ability to recognize faces in order for infants to bond with their parents and increase their odds of survival. It has also been speculated that it helped us to recognize predators. Now this adorable over-correction allows us a little whimsy in our day-to-day.


Roseate spoonbills typically inhabit Texas, Florida, Central America and South America. For the first time in 178 years, it was spotted in Wisconsin. 6. Good News of the Week:

  • Mangrove forest thrives around what was once Latin America’s largest landfill (AP News)

  • Katie Ledecky passes Michael Phelps for most individual golds at world championships (NPR)

  • Taylor Swift gives $100K bonuses to truck drivers for The Eras Tour (Today)

  • At a shuttered Texas coal mine, a 1-acre garden is helping feed 2,000 people per month (Texas Tribune)

  • Rare pink bird spotted in Wisconsin for the first time in 178 years (Smithsonian Magazine)


7. Bonus: Xtinction

We may be truly sick of talking about Twitter/X, but we have to tip our hat to the folks at the World Wildlife Fund for this creative, clever, and topical ad. It's a great example of a brand leveraging a moment to push their message forward and we love it!


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