Friday, January 12, 2018

Put Your Best Face Forward…

The weather is all over the place and a little out of control, but thank goodness we have Oprah Winfrey to make us feel better about our future…

  • She killed it: In case you live under a rock, the Oprah Winfrey received the Cecil B. de Mille Award at the Golden Globes this past weekend, and her acceptance speech was nothing short of Oprah-tastic! Things may not seem great day-to-day, but at least we still have O to provide some perspective and yell inspiration into our faces!
  • So how much do we tip? Speaking of inspiration, sort of… Toyota announced future plans to explore the self-driving market, looking to partner with Pizza Hut and send steaming hot pies out to people without hiring a driver. Yes, these ovens-on-wheels plan to make ordering in even easier without the hassle of any human interaction at all. Don’t worry, other companies are also experimenting with driverless cars, including Uber and Amazon, so need for in-person social skills can be eliminated completely. 
  • All eyes on you… Some technologies are reducing face-to-face interactions, while public and private organizations in China are following everyone’s face everywhere they go. The entire country has embraced facial recognition technology in an effort to build a nationwide surveillance and data-sharing platform. Facial recognition and artificial intelligence will analyze video feeds of people going about their daily lives to improve public safety, predict crime, coordinate emergency services and achieve a plethora of other privacy-free goals. The database will also be merged with other databases tracking China’s 1.4+ billion residents’ activities including travel, social media and online shopping.
  • Urine for a surprise! Sure China wants to track your every movement, but Ikea wants to test your urine. A new advertisement for everyone’s favorite DIY furniture store includes a test strip at the bottom women can use as a pregnancy test to see if the crib in the ad is something they need. Not only does the ad offer a discount on a baby crib, but it also doubles as a pregnancy test further upping your savings! #DoubleCouponDay
  • No take-backs: Some people will do more than urinate on a coupon to save a few dollars. Case in point, one Costco customer attempted to return a dead Christmas tree on January 4. The Christmas spirit is officially gone for the next 10 months.
  • Check your tone…and word count: Sad and frustrated that Christmas has come and gone? Join the club! No really, everyone has a case of the post-Santa blues right now – and some relieve their stress in unique ways. For example, a famous New York Times memo that has been around since 1994 shows one frustrated reporter’s hilarious take on the editing style of all his editors. The memo has resurfaced recently as a reminder that it’s a struggle on both sides of the fence -- everyone is miserable. 
  • Change your outlook: To shake those blues, focus on the future. As a little pick-you-up, here are the top 6 social media trends expected to take over 2018 according to Sprout:

o    Higher engagement rates between brands and customers
o    Customizable chatbots
o    Increased use of social listening tools
o    In-platform messaging and social Instagram stories
o    Augmented-reality and face filters (Thanks, China!)
o    Social call-out culture and taking a stance


Happy New Year! 

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