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.

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

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

A TOUCH OF…

Me and my friends quite often talk about intimacy. And how the touch such of someone stroking your arm when walking by, playing with each others hands etc, should be part of our every day actions. And not only what we (yes it’s typically Swedes…) do instead of shaking hands.

I got curious about this nearness mania of ours. Of course it’s probably a good thing but can it become too much? Weird? An obsession maybe?

Stalking the behaviour led me to the hormone Oxytocin. It’s released from positive, physical touch and most often discussed when talking about either motherhood or sex. A fun thing is that it can be released when swimming too! Fantastic huh. Another reason to love summer mmm.

The hormone reduces pain, decreases stress and anxiety and even increases the ability to follow social norms. Plus many more things. Sounds like the best medicin for pretty much anything. So, is anyone doing a business out of this?

Of course! There is an entire industry specialized in providing cuddle partners and they use the same arguments for buying the service as the benefits of Oxytocin. One example is the company “The Snuggle Buddies” where the clients sign a contract agreeing to that no sexual activity is permitted during a snuggle session. And thereafter it’s time to cuddle. From ca 80 dollars/hour. Cool.

On another scientific level, there is the psychology professor James Coan who studies what physical connections and relations do to the brain. A revelation last summer was that when we are among others the energy our brain focuses on solving problems decreases dramatically. Being in a group signals that it’s safe and that the brain can chill. Yep, herd animals indeed.

This speaks against earlier studies that say the brain is least active when alone, without stimuli. I like Coan’s one better. Even though I believe it depends on the individual too.

The closer relationship you have to the person, the more effective. But Oxytocin is released regardless. Lucky for me I sometimes get to borrow this guy to cuddle. Works as good as a human. Promise!

Tyson

Fun fact, too much Oxytocin can lead to water poisoning and salt shortage. Beware cuddlers!

xLinn

EMPATHY FTW

Omg all these articles about Millennials?! I appreciate the tone starting to switch from lazy and lost souls to “ah that’s why they work like this!”. People are so fast to judge and I don’t get why “they” don’t use their empathetic skills straight from the beginning instead of becoming upset and even angry because of what they believe to know about Millennialls. We’re just humans and if you try to place yourself in our situation you can reach so much more understanding so much quicker.

Although, I couldn’t put it better myself than these guys commenting on Adweek:

Skärmavbild 2016-04-13 kl. 16.02.10

Because at the same time almost everything, ofc because its data <3, it’s so true! Just like Carlo Lopez says in the picture above. And as humans, we love to diagnose ourselves. Discovering reasons that explain and justify our own behaviour and feelings. Travelling to Asia back and fourth a couple of times simply to “find ourselves”.

With so much trouble understanding this giant part of the population, it’s almost like saying you’ll never be able to understand a minority because of the lack of research and data there often is on a smaller group. It’s wrong. What’s most important is being able to step into someone else’s situation, and trying to fully understand what it’s like to be that person. What causes that constant lump in my stomach? Why am I so happy I can’t stop bouncing? Yes, empathy.

A planning myth is that in the States women are believed to be more suitable as planners because it’s in their nature to be empathetic. Haha! I know guys can be stupid, but I also know that every single one can learn. There is hope!! But then again preconceptions like that have to be crushed.

I’d like to believe that the ability to lack empathy is a step towards evil. Even Socrates wrote about it. In short he proposed that it’s the lack of knowledge, and not the human nature, which is the source to evil. Long story short; the lack of insight. And as the Millennial I naturally am I love to be egocentric and use this as a statement to imply that you can’t be a good planner unless you’re a good person. *self-realisation*

So instead of backstabbing each other, see the positive sides and just try (!!) to understand. The world would be a better place then. And Millennials would probably feel better entering your workplace.

Let’s wrap up all my rambling with a tip! One of my favourite personality tests is 16 personalities (www.16personalities.com). Naturally there’re clusters demographic wise, but the data you get for yourself is interesting deluxe. At least if you’re a nerd like me and most of Millennials. Probably something for an astronomy fan too, or what would you say Maja?

Btw, we’re both ENFP’s.

xLinn

MIRROR MIRROR ON MY FRIENDS

If spent a whole weekend together with my friends I would probably come back to work with some new personality traits when it comes to either my body language, choice of words or talking pace. I have realised that I’m a real parrot when it comes to friends and if I have been with someone for an intense period of time I’m most likely to copy some of my friend’s behaviour and personality traits.

A weekend with Maria makes me walk with my hands intertwined on my back or an intense work week with Linn makes me use hand gestures to a greater extent and perhaps I will skip a little when I walk. Sometimes I feel I don’t have any traits of my own, ergo my parrot-like behaviour. Luckily when I hear my friend Alma copy my Eddie-Murphy laugh I know I got some for others to absorb.

This behaviour is called mirroring and is a non-verbal way to say “I like you, I feel the same”. People who mirror other people may not be as obvious as me but it’s a common behaviour amongst us all and we do it subconsciously. Smile – smile, frown – frown. You get the deal.

Did you know that there is a concept called “Dancing brains”? In my opinion the sincerest form of mirroring. I read about it in the book “Choose right – A guide to great decisions*” by Katarina Gospic and she describes it as when two people are connected and close, their mirror neurones dances with each other. Like a cobra who follow the snake-charmers flute, as she puts it, people can be in crazy harmony flawlessly following each other’s movements with their bodies and minds. It’s kind of a beautiful thought how our brains dance together when we feel connected.

I don’t know about you but I feel like dancing after writing this.

xMaja

* The Swedish title: Välj rätt – En guide till bra beslut, Katarina Gospic. A great read about our amazing brains. She makes brain science sound like child play.

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IT’S SO FLUFFY I’M GONNA DIE

You know when you see the cutest kitten ever and something inside you breaks? It hurts and all you want is to chew its little paws, nibbles its ears and just cry at the same time?

You’re not alone.

Yep. There is a scientific reason why grandma had to pinch your cheek every single time you met as a kid. And maybe why she stopped too…

The more adorable, the more it triggers your dark sides. The phenomenon is named cute aggression. It’s a thing, and it explains so much. Research has shown that aggression is the mind’s natural response when it’s overwhelmed with cuteness. Your mind experiences so much that your body doesn’t know what to do with all the sensations, and therefore it has to find ways to express it. At least that’s how I understand it.

If you think about it, there aren’t really any appropriate ways to let out extremely positive emotions. I mean, when that newborn nephew appears in you palms would you laugh? Scream? Be quiet? No. But what else is there really to do with all the things happening inside you? Cuteness overload indeed.

Maybe this can answer to why it feels so good to crush your bff’s ribs after not seeing him/her for long. Why crying when “too” happy. The body simply needs an outlet. It isn’t rational enough to stay quiet. What a relief, imagine what a boring world we would live in if it was.

Heard about Uber puppies? Collaborating with different animal welfare organisations, together they highlight the huge amount of puppies in need of new owners. Talk about branding! Even though one can debate whether ok to ever use living tiny creatures (<333) in communication.

But still, give me a puppy to cuddle and I’m yours. After crying a bit of course.

xLinn

Pug