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Acumen's thoughts from the week that was, 13 August 2020

Time to read: 3 minutes, 26 seconds (689 words).

Thoughts from a busy week

The second week of August has been as full-on as any in 2020. Here are a selection of thoughts and interesting things, from the team at Acumen. 

Ashley goes to Hollywood

Screenshot of IMDB for 1pm Daily Updates

In a great example of Kiwi creativity, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield's daily report on the latest COVID-19 updates has made it to IMDB. The 1pm Daily Update is currently rated 9.8/10. By way of comparison, the current top-rated TV Show, Planet Earth, has a 9.5/10 rating at the time of writing. One reviewer writes, "hoping that Series Two will be shorter this time as I really feel the first series dragged on way too long." 

Ads that wouldn't have made sense last year

The events of 2020 have inspired marketers around the world to abandon their plans and rethink advertising. Thankfully, we appear to have moved beyond the ‘unprecedented times’ voice-overs set to uplifting piano tunes (mostly). We’re now being served creative, positive ads that would have made no sense last year. Here are a few of our favourites.

British Gas ‘all the ways we can help’

Uber ‘Thank you for not riding’

Labatt Blue Light Seltzer ‘Fake Lake’ series

Born Free channels lockdown

The evolving world of content

Podcasts, newsletters, streaming platforms, social networks. Content has changed forever. While everyone is talking about TikTok and Netflix, one media format that is flying under the radar is email. This trustworthy, sometimes loathed, format is experiencing a resurgence as every second person creates their own premium email newsletter. 

In June, Chris Best, CEO and founder of the newsletter platform Substack, said readership and writership on their platform doubled in the first three months of the coronavirus pandemic. With Substack and other platforms such as Patreon giving people the ability to build their own income stream, and everyone having more time on their hands (thanks, lockdown), it's unsurprising that people are trying to turn 'reckons' and creativity into money.

Some of our favourite newsletters include:

What are your favourites?

Chris Parker captures our emotions

We were with the rest of the country, feeling a little shocked and even a little apprehensive as we suddenly moved up the COVID alert levels again. Chris Parker’s video summed up the myriad emotions in the office so well. Maybe you'll see yourself in parts. Whether we are working at home or at a safe physical distance in the office – be safe and be kind… and be prepared without panic buying! Click here to watch Chris' video on Instagram.

Public versus private

St Bede's old boys and current MPs, from left, David Carter, Damien O'Connor and Matt Doocey, in Parliament's Grand Hall, Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The UK is well known for its old school tie system, where private school students, old Oxonians and Cantabrigians (from Cambridge University) are ten a penny in the halls of power. The NZ Herald has looked into whether we have the same pattern here – and the answer is not quite. It seems going to an integrated school is your best bet for becoming an MP, although their well-resourced alumni associations may have the same effect as the UK private school network. And overseas schooling is best when it comes to being CEO. Have a read of the article and decide for yourself!

Acumen Independence Day

From left: Andrea Jutson and Desmond Nash

On a lighter note, we're celebrating Acumen Independence Day this Friday, 14 August. It's a day where we all take the day off to celebrate our agency being 100% kiwi-owned and independent.  Of course, if you need us, we can always be tracked down on mobile.

And as always...

If you've seen something interesting and would like to have a chat: get in touch. We're always up for an interesting conversation.