Welcome to the Monday Memo — your pop culture snapshot from Manifesto.
Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make November 20th, 2023, a bit better.
Happy Thanksgiving! Whether you have followed us from the start or are new to the Memo family, we are thankful for you.
1. Artist of the Week: Ayla Mullen
Ayla Mullen is a Pacific Northwestern artist and potter. It is no surprise then, that she finds so much inspiration in the natural beauty of her surroundings. She says, "I have always loved the long, organic lines of grass stalks and leaf venation; the sense of both groundedness and upward movement in plant forms. For me, clay is a medium to capture these feelings, to tell the stories of the plants and landscapes around me as I perceive them, in line and form and image."
2. What we're listening to: TAE and the Neighborly
TAE and the Neighborly are a Wisconsin-based, soul-pop, R&B group, who all met as neighbors in a five-unit apartment building. Now, they delight listeners with their funky, smooth, and soulful songs. Our favorites are "Self Help" and "Carry On." Won't you be our neighbor?
3. What we're watching: The Hunger Games: A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes - In Theaters
Re-entering our Hunger Games era! Now, the blockbuster series is back with a prequel to the trilogy, The Hunger Games: A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. The film follows the origin story of the original film's antagonist, Coriolanus Snow, as he goes from struggling youth to president of Panem.
Brands have had a lot of monumental stars model for campaigns, but this may be the first brand to get an actual monument to model. In an eye-opening social media stunt by sportswear retailer JD Sports, the London monument makes a landmark move by posing in a Nuptse 1996 Jacket to stay cozy through the winter. Sadly, they did not make a clock tower-sized jacket but instead, it is a CGI creation. This trend follows a wider use of CGI in out-of-home ads, like the L’Oréal Paris’ activation involving an oversized lipstick riding down the streets and painting the town red. Yet, this campaign with JD Sports feels—forgive our pun—bigger. London is notoriously known for their gloomy and sometimes cold weather, so pairing an iconic London monument (Big Ben) with an iconic London staple (a good winter jacket) makes perfect sense for this campaign. However, our one critique is that this pulls more focus towards The North Face, and less to the actual retailer JD Sports. Perhaps a JD sports scarf or hat may have added a stronger association with the retailer. But hey, we won't leave them out in the cold. All in all, this is one cozy and clever ad.
5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Why does Black Friday make people so crazy?
When you think about Black Friday, you may picture early hours, lines around the block, and one chance at the best deals of the holiday season. But, without a doubt, every year there is a news story about insane behavior or even death on the deal day. So, let's dive in. The first time “Black Friday” specifically referred to shopping the day after Thanksgiving was in the 1950s. Police in Philadelphia complained about an influx of people coming to the city to shop the day after Thanksgiving, calling it a “Black Friday” because they had to control crowds. From there, the term was used to describe shopping on that day and gained momentum with each passing year. So how did it get so crazy? Feel-good endorphins and dopamine are triggered just by considering the purchase of a new item. Although it may sound harmless, dopamine is extremely addictive. As a result, we end up buying things simply to satisfy our desire to buy them, rather than through any real need for them. As well, Black Friday focused on limited availability and scarcity, and when people are set in this mindset they will do anything to acquire the limited resources. Luckily, since COVID, many stores have gone away from one-day deals, instead shifting to wider windows of time to compete with Cyber Monday. In short, please don't punch a grandma to get the last discount toaster...
5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Serial Position Effect
Hank was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma about five months ago and quickly used his platform to educate people about cancer, cancer treatments — and of course, his own unique cancer journey. This year's "Awesome Sock Club" helps support his fellow cancer survivors. 6. Good News of the Week:
7. Bonus: Travis Kelce's Old Tweets
Many old tweets have come back to bite celebrities in the butt, so it's so no wonder then that internet sleuths went to Twitter (or X, whatever) to unmask Travis Kelce's old tweets. And what they found...was incredibly wholesome. In 2013, when Taylor Swift wrote, "And you call me up again just to break me like a promise/So casually cruel in the name of being honest," Travis Kelce was misspelling squirrel. Even better, many brands have leveraged the tweets to garner buzz.