Why Ugly People Make Less, Emoji Sculptures, CBS Bets On Star Trek, And Jet Blue’s Amazing Mother’s Day Ad | Non-Obvious Insights #13
I have been on the road again this week, first in Miami speaking to a smart group of senior marketers at The Marketing Forum – and then in Atlanta for a private event with the Coca-Cola team behind the pioneering Journey digital magazine. The experience reminds me again how lucky I am to get the chance to network and learn from so many pros … and share those insights with you every week! For this new edition of the week’s underappreciated marketing stories you will read about everything from a new kitchen appliance aiming to bring insects into the kitchen, and an amazing new Mother’s Day spot about a situation we all have encountered at some point. So without further ado, on with this week’s Non-Obvious Insights!
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The Science Of Air Rage
This week a new study illustrated that the commonplace act of having passengers walkthrough the first class cabin to their own lesser seats was the primary factor in driving a feeling of inequality which could eventually lead to rage. The implication for marketers is an important one. It is ok to have an “upgraded” experience – but it’s generally not a good idea to parade it in front of all your customers who won’t be able to access it.
Why Ugly People Get Paid Less
Delving into everything from the average facial symmetry of an NFL quarterback to how teachers treat good looking versus uglier students – the podcast episode from the authors of Freakonomics is a welcome reminder to us all that we need to work harder to be fairer towards ugly people. Or perhaps, as one economist suggests, by offering “affirmative action for ugliness.”
The Fine Print Behind CBS Bringing Back Star Trek
In January of 2017, CBS will bring back Star Trek to the delight of Trekkies everywhere … but the move comes with a pretty big string attached. The episode will only be available to customers who choose to pay for CBS’ new streaming Netflix style service. The network is betting the interest in Star Trek will be enough for subscribers to join and the rest of its programming will get them to stay. Whether it works or not, the entire entertainment industry will be watching with interest, and the story should be on your radar to watch as well.
The World’s Scariest Emoji
In Downtown Miami (one of the few cities without significant laws against texting and driving), Sprint recently partnered with design agency Alma to create a sculpture of an emoji made out of the twisted metal remains of a car that presumably was mangled in a texting and driving related accident. It is a powerful reminder of the danger of texting and driving, and a great use of art to capture attention and illicit behaviour change.
The Best Mother’s Day Ad Of The Week
One of the most traumatic experiences for any parent with a baby is going on a long flight. All the angst of that experience is captured perfectly in this Mother’s Day spot, along with a twist that is sure to put a smile on your face – and perhaps change the way you react when a parent with a baby boards your flight or sits next to you. To watch the ad, visit the link below.
Bringing Bugs Into The Kitchen
This is a random story to include in this week’s roundup, but I thought the insight behind the development of this product was interesting … namely the idea that people might actually consider eating bug-based protein as long as they didn’t have to see how it was produced. It was a valuable reminder that sometimes the sausage is only edible as long as we don’t know how it was made.
Influential Marketing Book Of The Week: Originals
Why are Nobel prize winning scientists far more likely to also have a personal interest in the arts? What makes younger siblings more likely to take risks and break rules? This book is filled with stories of people who happen to become “originals” and think in unique ways, sometimes despite the situations they are placed into. Reading this book, the thing that felt most striking to me was how it brings together the insights that are individually covered in so many other books into a single narrative. The ideas presented in the research and stories span from the importance of strategic procrastination to how (and how not to) praise children, to how to disarm a detractor by starting with an honest assessment of your own flaws. Ideas that I recall in passing from modern classics like Mindset (Carol Dweck), To Sell Is Human (Dan Pink), Predictably Irrational (Dan Ariely), Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell) and Quiet (Susan Cain), as well as newer books like The Sibling Effect (Jeffrey Kluger) or Lean In (Sheryl Sandberg) are all in this book. What makes it unique and different is how the author moves between ideas that typically have entire books devoted to them and weaves them together into a single narrative. The result is a book that reads like a combination of a new idea and a series of cliff notes style summaries of ideas you have heard before but are not quite sure how to put together. That in itself is a brilliant act of curation – made even more so by the fact that the author arrives at these conclusions through is own research instead of rehashing each of these books. The end result is a rare book that takes existing ideas and really does make them new again and worth reading.
How Are These Stories Chosen?
Every week I review more than a hundred data sources to curate the best and most under appreciated marketing stories of the week. The aim of this email is to spotlight these “non-obvious” stories, along with a quick take on why they matter for you. I hope you find this email interesting and useful … and am always open to your suggestions on how I might make it better!