Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s AI
If you’ve been living under a marketing rock for the past week, here’s the TLDR: Maybelline erected giant mascara wands around London. Reminiscent of the early noughties trend of eyelashes on car headlights, buses and tube carriages were adorned with an interactive lash that moved as if mascara was being applied as they drove past the wands.
We love a stunt, and this is stunt gold. But the trouble with them is, they don’t come cheap. There’s creative, design, development, permissions, licensing, risk assessments, public liability…and on and on. Stunts are not for the faint of heart, or the tight of purse.
And that is what makes this execution so fantastic. It wasn’t real. It was made with AI. It never actually happened.
Once again, it was our old enemy Covid that changed everything. We became ok with experiencing things from behind our screens – our friends, our family and interestingly, experiences.
Maybelline opened our eyes to the fact that we don’t have to physically experience things for them to be impactful. They’re just as fun, just as cool in a social clip as standing on the platform seeing it happen. This is why this has so much potential.
IRL stunts will never leave us. I can’t see Red Bull faking it any time soon. And equally, when you ask your audience to get involved, that can’t be fake either. But it certainly gave us pause for thought. If the goal is to make a splash and a big bang moment, Maybelline has raised the bar.
Could Threads kickstart a creator renaissance?
Threads has already amassed one-fifth of Twitter’s global weekly active user base, and 86 times more than Truth Social, the US-based Twitter rival. But despite this, Threads has seen a 20% decline in daily active users on 11 and 12 July when compared to data from 6 July (two days after its launch).
But momentum for Threads is far from over, as the app has achieved over 150 million downloads. Threads joins the likes of Bluesky, Hive and Mastodon, each hoping to capitalise on Twitter’s alleged slow decline.
But, could Threads go further than just cosplaying Twitter? We think it could be just the environment for creators to thrive. Adam Mosseri, top of the totem pole at Instagram, isn’t interested in deadding Twitter, he wants Threads to be a place to create like those social media days of old. Threads has been designed to appease creators who have grown increasingly wary of replying on the whims of centralised social media companies.
So, what does that mean? Well… Threads could become a much more compelling platform for creators, particularly for those newer creators who are more and more savvy. In a move so completely different from the social behemoths Threads doesn’t expect its users to trust them forever more, they can tweak, learn and even leave once they’ve maxed out their usage of the platform meaning the collaborative and creator led approach could truly thrive.
So far brands are wary waiting for data and ad spend metrics but creators have leapt in with both feet, it looks like Mosseri’s gamble might just pay off.
Environmentally friendly beer
Beer and brewing aren’t often in the headlines for their green creds, or if they are it’s because it’s a PR nightmare rather than a genuine eco commitment (ahem, Brewdog, cough). But, Gipsy Hill, a small brewer based in London has put its hops where its mouth is.
Their new Swell Lager and Trail Pale ale are brewed using barley grown through regenerative farming and hops which have been recaptured and reused. What that means in simple terms is each pint removes more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than it produces.
Thought to be the first time a brewery has produced a carbon-negative beer without using carbon offsetting, that controversial process where businesses reduce the carbon footprint of products through activities unrelated to their production e.g. tree planting, the brewer is trail blazing a path for eco-conscious drinkers.
In an age where the environment is never far from the news cycle, being able to enjoy a pint knowing it has left the environment in a better state than when you found it is an easy way to vote with your feet, enjoy a cold beer and do a bit of good.
Quantum of solace for Martin Lewis
Another week, another deep fake. We’ve had the pope in a puffer, Keanu Reeves on TikTok and even a Channel 4 comedy series centred around them. Most of the time, they’re fun, social collateral that only hoodwinks us for a few seconds, but there is a darker side.
This video shows what appears to be Martin Lewis in his office, discussing an investment in something called “Quantum AI”, labelled as “Elon Musk’s new project”. It is very convincing, as the computer-generated impersonation of Martin uses his voice. It also uses a caption with similar branding to ITV’s This Morning, a show Martin regularly appears on. But it’s not real. There is no new project, any investment is a scam.
The video is an attempt by criminals to steal money.
Okay so this isn’t the first time scammers have used social media to syphon off your hard earned cash, but it is part of a worrying new trend of those same scammers using deep fakes to lull you into a false sense of security. Martin Lewis wouldn’t lead you astray, would he?
The bigger issue here is social media platforms and government, they have got to do more to safeguard users and tackle scam ads but other than moderators trawling the sites there’s not a lot that’s being done. That’s a worry for brands and agencies, why spend money on a platform if you can’t guarantee it’s a safe place to put your ad dollars?
For now, it’s the wild west out there.