Five to Inspire24th July 2020
This piece of advertising, is quite simply, genius. Part sit-com, part product placement, this six-minute lesson in lockdown advertising will have you questioning whether you’re watching an ad at all. It’s got a narrative arc, it’s got bathos, it’s got diversity and it’s got relatable lockdown characters. What is it? It’s ‘The whole work-from-home-thing’ by Apple. As well as nailing the zeitgeist of quite literally the entire world in 6 minutes, Apple has probably invented a new advertising genre which academics will be teaching in ‘Introduction to Marketing’ modules from now on.
Whether you’re a fan of the Spaghetti Western or not, Ennio Morricone certainly left his mark on film music. Capturing the passion and nerve bending excitement of adventure, Morricone composed the scores of cult classics including The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and The Hateful Eight, winning an Oscar for his work on the latter. As with many greats, we only truly celebrate their contribution to cultural life when they’re gone, and the tributes came thick and fast when the news that Morricone had departed aged 91, on 6th July. If you’re curious, start with this obituary accompanied with his namesake playlist on Spotify to bring the atmosphere of cult cinema into your home office.
Another day, another statistic about gender inequality. This time it turns out that men receive greater support for creativity in the workplace than women do, predicting more creativity and innovation at work. A new study published in Creativity and Innovation Management, found that stereotypically masculine traits (e.g. being daring and self-reliant) were rated more central for creativity. In an additional study, people tended to judge products they believed were made by a man as more creative than those believed to be made by a woman. Why is this problematic? Because it represents a bias which disadvantages women in the creation and evaluation of innovative work. Not only could this impact what women are able to achieve in their jobs, but what products and solutions we develop as a human race. Now that’s something to think about.
I warn you this is a bit of a mind bending one because it’s about the hyper real cake slicing trend. If you haven’t seen it, not even my mellifluous prose will be able to do it justice, so I encourage you to have a look at The New York Times’s roundup. Basically, bakers have been making hyper real cakes (soap containers, shoes, toilet roll etc) for years, but now that we all have cabin fever, we’re suddenly really fascinated by watching a roundup of these cakes on social media. Even more bizarrely, is the fact that we enjoy watching these cakes being cut through with a knife to reveal a colourful spongey and sugary interior. I’d like to think that it’s the element of surprise that’s got humans hooked, but it might be the knife.
The advantage of hindsight in art, is that it often adds new meaning to creative work. The All Change project certainly benefits from the time-machine effect as it charts the communities in London at the end of the tube lines. Bringing together 13 contemporary photographers, the brief was to chart a randomly assigned suburb however they wanted, over two years, to document the transitional point of mid-Brexit London. Little did the artists know that London was about to change forever. The result is some pretty haunting non-socially distanced photography.