THE FORGOTTEN SENSE

”A great soundtrack can enhance a restaurant experience, make guests stay longer and spend more.”

Probably nothing new you would say, but when digging into the study* HUI released last Tuesday I found some real treats.

Firstly: The fact that music and sounds rarely exists in today’s design strategies? When thinking about it I find it so obvious that it should but I haven’t included it earlier either. Well – starting now! No more brands left unaccompaniment leaving my table again.

Secondly: People actually care – playing songs that fit the brand including both songs from Spotify’s top list and songs that are less well known takes you way further than, not only random pop songs, but also songs that do fit the brand, but that are from Spotify’s top list and well known.

This highlights the importance of daring to make it even more personal and surprise them with the brand’s strong personality. They don’t have to recognize it from somewhere to be a success.

And a last one – sweets are the category most available to influence by music of them all! + how cute that fries got their own category?

Music mainly activates areas of the brain associated with emotion, motivation, planning & reward. That’s why it is such an effective influencer when it comes to decision makings, but don’t forget that you can use this as a tool in your everyday life too! For me music is the first choice when trying to affect the way I feel. And also, what’s not to love about turning everyday moments into scenes from movies?

What’s your theme song at the moment? I have two: Olof, kära Olof & Die Young

xLinn

*The study analysed nearly 2 million purchases during 20 weeks across 16 restaurants in Stockholm. You can read the entire study here.

MAJA’S YEAR IN REVIEW

This is my year in review, translated from originally published at Attitude for life.
2016 has left many footprints in history. Footprints of words ending with the suffix -ism. Populism, Terrorism and sexism to name a few. This makes me feel that the world strive backwards. But there are also positive movements and people who do good things for the world and I choose to remember the year based on the things that give hope for the future. As Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
I will remember the many strong women from 2016. First Beyonce who released Lemonade (When Life Gives you Lemons /… /). She highlights feminism and a view of life impacted by everything from infidelity and breakups and racism. Again, words ending with the suffix -ism. Speaking of feminism, I will also remember Emma Watson, who hidden 100 copies of Maya Angelou’s book, Mom & Me & Mom, on the London Underground to spread the message of her new feminist book club (a UN project) where this book was a recommendation from the club. From Sweden, I remember the cool Zara Larsson. Her epic EM-song, that she topped the global youtube list with the music video “It ain’t my fault”, MTV awards and generally her attitude. She does what everyone should strive to do, which is to believe in yourself and stand up for your opinions no matter what others say.
For my own part, the year 2016, in addition to everything that happened in the outside world, have been relatively eventful. Change has been a motto. Only a year ago I was deprived and in shock that I did not remember what I had done in 2015. Some travel and what I saw on social media was what I could remember, while the rest was a black hole. A never-ending treadmill that had spun and mixed up the days into one big mess. Thus, I started the year with the being tired of the everyday life and with a yearning for more excitement in my life. January 1st, I went out and bought a 5-year diary. No more days would be forgotten and they would instead be filled with value-creating events and my thoughts. And now, 365 days later, I know both what I have done and felt every day.
What has happened in 2016? I have started this planning blog, Just Wow, with my friend Linn. In which I dare to write things I feel and think based on my profession, mixed with myself. After an insightful journey to New York, I resigned from my job, not knowing what I would do instead. For this, I thank Fat White Family and my friends at Droga5. They made me realise that I wanted something different.
Then I started my own company, Madness Strategy, worked myself, I have learned about VAT and taxes (thanks, Dooer), and the importance of a good conversation over a coffee. At the moment I am starting a new company and brand along with three other awesome girls where we will challenge the Swedes norms and behaviours in an important sustainability issue (launch Q1 / Q2 2017). And the year now ended with becoming employed again. A change from the feeling that “alone is strong” to not being able to say no. What I said yes to was a culture, more than it actually was for an agency that does amazing things and has great customers (although this was also true). A culture that is open, honest, modern, even progressive and kind  Thanks for letting me in!
2016 has been a strengthening year on a personal level. To leave an everyday living that is secure and “works” for a future that is uncertain and unpredictable has given me endorphins, joy and energy. I felt strong and brave and it is with those feelings I will start the year 2017.
2017, hi!
xMaja
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MAGIC MIRROR ON THE WALL

Mirror mirror on the wall
Who in the land is fairest of all?

Magic mirror on the wall
Who in the land is fairest of all? 

Which one would you say is correct? Mirror mirror on the wall, right?

Apparently, it’s not. In the movie she says magic mirror on the wall. Tobias enlightened me about this on the office Christmas dinner, and also told me what my lack of knowledge could origin in: the Mandela Effect. Maybe you have encountered one of the million memes?

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The Mandela Effect is when numerous people claim to share memories of events that differ from the evidence of those events. The name comes from how so many people remember Nelson Mandela dying in the 1980s in prison rather than way later in 2013, from an illness.

Some fans of the Mandela Effect believe it is due to alternate realities or memories. Which means it is not just people remembering wrong, instead it comes from the Many-Worlds Interpretion.

Are things becoming a bit too freaky? Read these rational explanations and relax. After all, it’s Christmas.

But if you want to join me further, let’s head tooo… Time travelling!

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In late November this very year there we’re new press releases from scientists about time travelling built on a theory from 1957 (Hugh Everett) that there would exist multiple, interacting universes. The scientists say that if the theory is correct, it would be possible for time travellers to visit Earth and that every imaginable scenario would be played out in a parallel universe at some point. Aka the Mandela Effect would actually exist. Professor Wiseman and his colleagues even put it like this:

“All possibilities are therefore realized – in some universes the dinosaur-killing asteroid missed Earth. In others, the Portuguese colonized Australia. In the well-known ‘Many-Worlds Interpretation’, each universe branches into a bunch of new universes every time a quantum measurement is made, which is why all possibilities are realized.”

Could this be an explanation to why some people remember Nelson Mandela’s death differently? Because they were conscious in a reality where it actually took place in the prison?

I’m not sure, actually I’m rather rational after all (believe it or not hehe), but I enjoy being mind blown by scientists. But do you also sense that the urge for parallel worlds has grown? Especially in pop culture?

Today too many things are happening, especially horrible ones. It’s been a crazy year where the values of the world seem to have gone backwards (Aleppo, Trump, Brexit etc). Could that be a reason to why Sci-Fi has become so popular? That people need something to believe in, which can be parallel universes as well as The OA on Netflix. It becomes a getaway from the real world and maybe this urge even correlate with the widespread atheism of today?

I don’t know. But what I do know is that pop culture mirrors our reality.

And it might be a magic mirror.

xLinn

I HAVE WAITED SO LONG, MRS PRESIDENT

Yesterday I went to Local Natives concert in Stockholm. Before their song Fountains of Youth they highlighted its message of feminism, which has reached a literal significance after the US election:

I have waited so long, Mrs President

Matriarchs and Teddy Boys, play in houses on the lake

How can we quit drugs if you’re gonna watch like that?

Give me five good reasons you trust us with our future

That’s an example of how profiles and brands seeing themselves as part of the pop culture take a stand and make sure to spread the word while doing it. It’s time for “neutral” brands to realise that this is their responsibility as well. That they are a part of a culture, whether they like it or not. It doesn’t matter if you’re B2B or your product is one traditionally unsexy. Things are happening and corporate citizenship has reached a new level of mandatory.

But that involves people like us, able to influence the distribution of brands’ money, to point out the value they can gain from taking a stand. Of course it can be scary, but there is no other choice any longer. We can’t allow society to continue move backwards.

Let’s finish with some more music. In Sweden the left side is raising its voice. It was well put in a review of Hurula’s gig at Pustervik: “We’re talking about the concert we just witnessed, the Swedish punk and post-punk’s renewed achievement, about paused left hearts suddenly starting to beat again to acts as Hurula, Avantgardet, Staten, Nicole Saboundé and Silvana Imam. Times are interesting and uplifting for music junkies tired of society.”

Go listen.

xLinn

A CHRISTMAS CRY FEST

Around Christmas, a lot of brands release their well produced and deep emotional Christmas adverts. The launch of the ads is like a little creative Christmas eve of its own for us advertisers. A lot of the brands have reached the most desired goals of all with their Christmas adverts – fame! Les Binet refers to adverts being famous when people do spoofs of them in his 10 principles of effectiveness (great read). And of course, there where a viral video of one of Binet’s own work of art for John Lewis: a student got the world’s eyes on his school work naming it the ”John Lewis Christmas Advert 2016”. This wasn’t his goal but it could have been a clever tactic to get attention since the world holds its breath in anticipation for it each year.

A common factor of many of the Christmas adverts is that they are deeply emotional. Just now as I watched the Spanish Lottery film of 2016 at a café at Södermalm, I burst into tears, and got a questionable eye from Linn next to me? Well, it was such a sweet story okay!

I have collected the famous ones, and some of their previous year’s episodes, for you to watch to get a good cry before the holidays.

Enjoy!

xMaja

Anuncio Loteria de Navidad 2016 – La historia de Carmina


Anuncio Loteria de Navidad 2016 – La historia de Justino


John Lewis Christmas Advert 2016 #BusterTheboxer


John Lewis Christmas Advert 2015 #ManOnTheMoon


John Lewis Christmas Advert 2014 #MontyThePenguin


Sainsbury’s Christmas Advert 2016 – The Greatest Gift


Sainsbury’s Christmas Advert 2015 – Mog’s Christmas Calamity


Sainsbury’s Christmas Advert 2014 – The Royal British Legion


Heathrow Airport Christmas Ad 2016


Apple – Frankie’s Holiday

 

H&M – Come Together directed by Wes Andersson (no sob fest, but oh so beautiful and sweet)

 

I KNOW A BOT

”Her name is Anna, Anna is her name”. This is the lyrics from a summer hit produced by Basshunter, me and my classmates sang in 2006, as we said goodbye to high school and stepped into our future. Little did we know that ten years later this could actually be a reality.

The Swedish bank SEB recently introduced the world to their new co-worker and digital employee, Amelia. She has actually been working on the bank’s internal IT support for a while and soon she will also be helping the public. When putting a face to artificial intelligent and robots it becomes crucial to not only make them look like humans but also make them act like humans, in order to make us emphasize with them and trust them. When we see a face we instinctively want to know who they are. I mean, who is Amelia? Is she a cat person or a dog person? What’s her story?

The recent popular HBO-series Westworld attends to this gap between human traits and robot functionalities by giving the androids fictional characters and story lines. Characters which humans can relate to and even fall in love with. 

Okey a sideline to this subject, but a reflection I had when I watched Westworld was that it doesn’t matter if we are in an artificial world, in the world of Game of Thrones or our own reality: Sex and violence are always on the human agenda. The world will always change but the human brain never follows, or will it? As far as I know sex and violence is an age-old story that will stay no matter what.   

Westworld

Anyway back to the subject. Taking this market development to my world, the advertising world, it will become all of our jobs in the near future to create characters and storylines to our new digital friends. Whether it is a customer service bot, a receptionist android or other, they will all need a story to tell in order to be truly welcomed into the human world.

Of course, some warning bells rings when us humans start to emphasize with robots. But really, what’s the difference between robots and other fictional characters, or even products? I know you all have felt emptiness the last time you lost your smartphone or at the end of the last season of your favorite TV-show. Myself have shared deep emotions with Anna Karenina, Harry Potter, Ugly Betty and many more fictional characters and stories. It hasn’t hurt me at all, rather the opposite. Hopefully the next android I get to know will do the same. 

Fun fact, it can actually be easier to feel empathy with a fictional character than our real family and friends, since we get to know them on a much deeper level and get extreme details about their lives (weaknesses, strengths). We can all thank the little lobe in our brains called supramarginal gyrus, the home of empathy, which is the place our fictional feelings take place. 

So whats my point here? Sharpen your pens, and prepare yourself to a new area of a super fun communication creating bot characters. Just as content agencies rose from the ground a couple of years ago, we will probably see the creative android/robot agency pop up soon.

xMaja

                                             robot

I got inspired to write this blog post from a future trend event hosted by Aller media at Allerdagarna 2016.

EMBRACE OR DISGRACE

A friend at work recently told me about the parable of the boiled frog. Here it is: If you place a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will immediately try to jump out. But if you place the frog in room temperature water, and don’t scare it, it’ll stay put. If you gradually turn up the temperature, the frog will do nothing. As the temperature rises, the frog will become groggier, until it’s unable to climb out. Though there is nothing restraining it, the frog will sit there and boil. Why? Because the frog’s internal apparatus for sensing threats is geared to respond to sudden changes in the environment, not to slow changes.

What inspired me to this post was a discussion at work about services disrupting our beloved e-mail, such as Slack. And then the frog story felt like a revelation.

So how does one make a change since we are very much the same as the frog? Al Gore used a version of the parable when talking about the climate change and how no one cares. Just like the frog, we’ll just stay put until the world is boiling.

Consequently, gradual change can be a good thing as it doesn’t scare anyone off. Taking the target group on a journey they can easily digest, for example, the constant small app updates. Although, if you are in need for them to actively do or change something that might require some effort from their side – don’t go easy on them because nothing will happen. In that case, the “step by step” philosophy surely can be discussed. But of course, it’s important to remove barriers. Malcolm Gladwell calls it “The Tipping Point” – a small alteration that tips you over from making excuses to taking action. It can also be put as removing the habits making it harder to follow through with your new ones.

But wait, we’ve almost forgotten the most important of all – reward! What’s the benefit from performing that new habit? The more it’s enlightened, the more dopamine the brain sets free when proceeded. It can be a fake one like pigeon superstition, or simply the targets verbally telling themselves they’re awesome or how you consequently are being more effective at work. Just remember – work that dopamine, and it will all get easier.

Okay so to sum up, when wanting people to actively form a new behaviour, don’t go easy on them! (hint hint) But give them the tools to feel fulfilled from doing it.

xLinn

 

LONG LIVE THE WORD

No one has probably missed the rumour that in 10 years all information and media we consume will be video. It was Zuckerberg who first said it at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress in February and its following debate declares the end of written content. This is something that kind of freaks me out, because I can all ready miss the written word and feel sad as more and more friends tell me they never read for fun anymore.

Consequently, many of my clients do video content. Then there are two main things occupying my mind. 1. When making one for social media, I find the music part so tricky. Should we add it at all or is it just annoying? If yes, is there any money so we can use some actually good tunes? Of course, the answer varies. For (me) myself (and) I usually watch videos in my feed with the sound completely turned off, as I almost always watch them on the go or at the same time as I have my stroll-to-the-office Spotify list on. 2. Then, when swagging to Sylvan Esso’s “Could I be”, the videos that don’t have copy on them explaining what I’m watching become completely useless. And I become upset. I can read thousand times faster than a person talks and if I’m actually gonna LISTEN to news there better be a copy giving me more information at the same time.

See where I’m aiming? Here the written word is suddenly of absolutely highest importance.

To see if this was more than just egocentric thinking I went into the world of Google. Yesterday I found data on WARC from the company Sharethrought’s research, indicating that 76 percent of us Gen Z:s enjoy watching videos in silence and read a description instead. Also, the headline is what impacts 84% of our mindsets whether to watch an infeed video ad or not.

Finally, I could make a reassuring conclusion and sleep well for the night, as the written word certainly isn’t dead. It’s in fact more essential than ever in order to gain attention and I dare to say it will never disappear from our feeds.

Pjuh.

xLinn

MAD TO BE ALONE?

Everyone fear being alone in public places. We all use shields such as our phones, computers and books to show the world no vulnerability. The phone protects us against all evil, or at least people judging us for not hunting the world in a couple or pack.

This summer I visited Almedalen, a political week on a Swedish island crazed with people, happenings and of course rosé mixers. During this trip, I was completely alone for three days and three nights.

I saw these days as an opportunity to challenge myself by not hiding behind security blankets but being totally naked and exposed to the world. If I didn’t have anyone to talk to at a mixer I didn’t check my phone, I stood up proudly taking in the environment. And guess what? When you don’t have a shield protecting you, you actually invite people to come up to you. During the time I was alone I meet more inspiring and interesting people than I did when my fabulous friends joined me at day four.

Why are we afraid of being alone? There is a phenomenon called “The spotlight effect” that refers to the feeling that when you are alone in a social context you usually would be with someone, such as a rosé mixer, you feel that everyone is watching you and judging you. But it turns out, this is only in your own head. Think about it, did you judge the person being alone the last time you saw one? Did you even care enough to reflect on that person? Or did you even go up to that person to talk? I don’t know about you but I’m not judging and based on my own experiences of being alone, it can be kind of awesome.

So, why not try it out professionally? Today I’m one week into my new life, running my own business as a strategic planner and brand adviser, and it feels thrilling. Anything can happen, good or bad. I know I will collect a lot of experiences and meet awesome people on the road and that’s good enough for me to take the leap of the uncertain of being alone. I call my company Madness since this all feels pretty mad. I also I love people who are mad and sometimes I think I’m mad. The ad business is mad and a life without madness would be absolutely boring!

xMaja

 giphy_mad

CRAVING FOR TOUCH

In a world of snaps, pins and likes the craving for ”real things” increases.

Looking at myself, when I get a real postcard my heart flutter, it feels good to know someone went out for a stamp just for me and took the time to write on paper when it could easily be written as a text.

The getting-post-scenario doesn’t happen very often. There might be something in the mail from my parents around Christmas or when a wedding is happening. So to get real things in your mailbox, to touch and feel, you have to do something about it yourself. As the saying is, if Mohammed won’t come to the mountain…

A rising trend is to subscribe to different things. We have the classics such as magazines, newspapers, and nowadays conceptualised food. But there is a new wave of more lifestyle products you can get delivered to you door. Makeup (Glossy Box), short stories (Novellix which I love) and, this is my favourite, Japanese candy! Once a month you get to experience Japan through candy, how brilliant isn’t that!

These services make the coming home from work a little more fun, and it can also help not only us with a craving for things to touch but also people with crazy busy schedules. I have heard about that ”life-puzzle”, but for me, it’s more of a life-game. Every move you make takes you to new places*.

xMaja

Skärmavbild 2016-06-15 kl. 10.16.09

*thinking of making a move on the original subscription at Japan Crate, excited!