It's time to review what we got right, and what we got wrong, in our first annual predictions episode in early 2018. Which of our prognostications on marketing, media, tech and pop culture turned out to be spot on? Which ones were serious misses? It's time to grade the good, the bad and the WTF predictions—one year later.
IN THIS EPISODE
🍡Pez Candy: Time for a 'Rick & Rick' Dispenser? (at 1:07)
🏛Politics: Did More Brands Take Sides, or Channel Switzerland? (at 2:07)
🏈 The San Francisco 49'ers: Touchdown? Or Fumble? (at 3:51)
🔠 Google Parent Alphabet: Playing the Name Game? (at 4:12)
🗣'The Post-Screen Internet': Are More Brands Prepping? Or Procrastinating? (at 4:36)
🍎Apple: Spit-Shined? Or Bruised? (at 7:27)
🏰Disney: The #1 Box Office Winner Every Month of the Year? (at 9:55)
😎 AR & VR: Are Brands Getting Their Goggles On? Or Playing 'Wait-and-See'? (at 13:58)
🎬Video Marketing: ⏩? Or ⏸? (at 16:36)
🍕Brand Digital Innovation: Delivering? Or in a Ditch? (at 17:36)
🧠A.I. in 2018: Milestone? Or Reality Check? (at 18:27)
It's time for everybody's favorite quiz on recent news from the intersection of marketing, media, tech and pop-culture. Good luck!
1. The New York Times recent reporting on The Spooky Side of Machine Learning, included a project in which artificial intelligence was trained to come up with Halloween costume ideas. Which of the following was not one of the costumes created by AI:
A. Zombie Schoolgirl
B. Toaster Boy
C. Ruth Bader Hat Guy
D. Frankenstein's Bunny
E. Vampire Baseball Clown
ANSWER: E According to the Times, the neural network in the project produced different names at different stages or "epochs" of training that included Zombie Schoolgirl, Toaster Boy, Ruth Bader Hat Guy, Frankenstein's Bunny and Baseball Clown, to which we changed to Vampire Baseball Clown. One of our favorites was Donald McDonald, a cross between Ronald McDonald and the Donald. None of these, however, beat McGrimace dressed as Thanos at ComicCon.
2. Which of the following was not seen as a potential global development in next few years according to a new survey of C-level executives from AT Kearney:
A. Global 500 companies will be increasingly vulnerable to fake news campaigns
B. Corporate leaders will increasingly be expected to play roles in society beyond narrow corporate interests
C. Backlash against GDPR in the will inspire other countries to slow down efforts to expand privacy regulations
D. Extreme weather events will act as a drag on economic growth
Answer: C According to eMarketer reporting on a study titled "2018 Views from the C-Suite: An Annual Survey of Global Business Executives" from AT Kearney, each of these is something C-suite executives expect to see in the next few years - except for item C. Instead of a backlash against GDPR, the survey finds executives believe GDPR will inspire other countries to expand privacy regulations. Case in point: California's Consumer Privacy Act will have a dramatic impact on how tech companies, collect, store and use consumer data when it goes into effect in 2020.
3. Which of the following television shows had their premiere on October 25, 1971?
A. The Superfriends
B. Electric Company
C. Sigmund and the Sea Monsters
D. The Brady Kids Go to Rehab
Answer: B The Electric Company debuted on October 25, 1971 and starred heavy hitters from stage, screen and improv—including established stars like Rita Moreno, as well as lesser known performers like a guy named Morgan Freeman who went on do a few things after leaving the show.
4. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on Deep Fakes, which are:
A. Fake news items created by the imaginary Deep State
B. Videos made with AI that make it possible to show anyone saying anything you want
C. Videos made with Ai that makes it possible to show anyone do anything you want
Answer: BDeep fakes are videos that can be made to match people's facial expressions and voices to make it appear as if they are saying anything you want them to say (see the WSJ video above). In a society where reality is questioned, this technology may have enormous implications—further breaking people into tribes that only believe what they want.
advertising, Alexa, Amazon, Black Panther, Blaze, brand, branded, Cindy Crawford, Coca-Cola, Coke, commercials, Doritos, football, games, Gen Wow, Generation Wow, GenWow, Jack n' the Box, Lexus, loses her voice, marketing, Martha Stewart, Matthew Goode, Mercedes, mobile, Morgan Freeman, movies, Mt Dew, Nadav Kander, NFL, Pepsi, Peter Dinklage, Pringles, Rick & Rick, Rick Mathieson, Rick Wootten, Rick&Rick, Rule the World, Seagate, social media, super bowl, tv, video, viral, web
As Rick & Rick continue their rants, raves and ruminations on marketing, media and popular culture, they turn their attention to a recent ADWEEK article citing research that finds 44% of Millennials think of their pets as 'starter children.'
Anyone who's ever had a child knows just how naive that is, of course. But you can't fault younger Millennials for being clueless about something they haven't yet experienced.
You can, however, fault self-styled marketing gurus who claim there's somehow some secret to marketing to this demographic that only they can reveal.
By now, most marketers understand that demographics are growing increasingly irrelevant. Technology now allows us to target the consumers most likely to purchase our products, regardless of superficial categorizations based on age.
As Fiona O'Donnell, Senior Lifestyle & Leisure for research firm Mintel once put it so well:
Companies or brands that successfully market to Millennials are ones that recognize that there is no such thing as a 'Millennial'—just individuals or groups of individuals who are at a similar life stage and have lived similar experiences. They want to be treated for who they are, rather than lumped together and labeled.
That's not to say those shared life experiences aren't important or leverageable. But ultimately, like all individuals, they want what they want, no matter their ages.
Of course, that doesn't mean Rick Mathieson and Rick Wootten aren't going to have a little fun at their (and the so-called gurus') expense.
The Ricktators sound off here:
RICK & RICK RULE THE WORLD: 'PEAK MILLENNIAL' & THE 'FUR BABY' ECONOMY
A look at some of the ways retailers are using the IoT to supercharge the in-store experience. You can read a lot more about this topic in my books BRANDING UNBOUND and THE ON-DEMAND BRAND. Just saying.