Lowbrow lawsuit. ICYMI, the Supreme Court is taking a break from politics to rule on a surprisingly tricky case about, well, parody products. Apparently, Jack Daniel’s feels that a popular dog toy looks a little too similar to its iconic bottle shape and label. While the case seems silly on paper, it actually raises a few important questions about free speech and trademark infringement.
Let’s hope the court can resolve the claim sooner than later. They probably have way more important things to worry about.
In other news…Scream VI kills with viral marketing, Netflix gives EVs more screen time, and YouTube undergoes a metric revolution.
YouTube → Renfield
Twitter → Succession
Google → Ed Sheeran
Reddit → Ben Affleck & Matt Damon
TikTok → “Cherry Hill” - Russ
Spotify → “I Miss Strangers” - Death Cab for Cutie
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Scream VI cuts through the noise with sharp marketing
The Future. Under Marc Weinstock, Paramount’s president of worldwide marketing and distribution, Scream VI killed at generating buzz, leading to a $44.5 million US debut (a franchise-best) and over $120 million at the global box office so far. The out-of-the-box marketing may reinforce that the best way to eventize a movie is to also eventize the marketing in an organic and surprising way.
Scary funHere are some of the stunts Paramount pulled to promote Scream VI:
Custom calls from Ghostface to unsuspecting victims (read: potential audiences) — over two million people answered over the course of ten days.
Sent Ghostface on a cross-country trek, where the masked killer would hang out “in areas Paramount knew had live cams that people regularly checked in on from home.” Yes, people called 911.
Replace the wax figure Ghostface at the Grévin Museum with a person in the costume to scare people.
And when it came to more not-giving-people-a-heart-attack marketing, Paramount had a bit of fun by partnering with BJ Novak’s pop-up restaurant, Chain, to offer the “Stabby Meal.” It sold out in 12 seconds.
Subvert the tropesScream VI’s success is yet another great example that, for marketing to break through, it has to move past what Observatory (formerly CAA Marketing) founder Jae Goodman calls “interruptive advertising.” Instead, Paramount risked some extra cash and effort “for the chance that better marketing will give you better results.”
Or as Weinstock puts it: “When the marketing is fun, audiences think the movie is going to be fun and they want to go on the ride with you.” Bring on more good times at the movies.
Netflix makes EVs the star
The Future. Netflix’s new sustainability-focused initiative hopes to make climate a bigger focus in its programming and electrify its physical production pipeline. Considering how much Netflix relies on data for its decision-making, internal research may show that audiences want Hollywood to dream up and live out a more sustainable future in order to normalize the innovations in today’s culture.
Drive timeNetflix and GM’s “EVs On Screen” Super Bowl ad was just the beginning of a bigger partnership.
Netflix has revved up an initiative called “Entertain to Sustain,” which hopes to “increase the presence of EVs and the visibility of climate issues within its shows and films.”
The initiative gives creators who work at the streamer access to sustainability consultants, EVs for use onscreen and offscreen, and renewable energy sources for set use, such as battery-powered generators.
Hit the batteriesWhen it came to the “EVs On Screen” commercial, Deborah Wahl, the outgoing CMO of GM, said that both companies were looking to “merge our strengths to influence culture, and excite and prepare customers for an all-electric future.”
For Netflix’s part, the company’s sustainability officer Emma Stewart says that the streamer’s mantra for pushing sustainability on a practical level is “optimize, electrify, and decarbonize.” It’s part of Netflix’s effort to halve its carbon footprint of 78,000 metric tons in 2019 to 43,000 metric tons by 2030… while still making more content.
TOGETHER WITH VANTAGE POINT
Your market crash armor is Artificial Intelligence
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YouTube subscriber counts are now just another number
The Future. In the new Wild West of short-form content, YouTube is going through a metric revolution. Subscriber counts may not be reflective of an actual following for creators. At the same time, views may be just an inflated look at how many people accidentally hovered on your video for a second too long before scrolling past. The key now may be in the consistency of views over a period of time — an actual demonstration of how many people are coming back for more.
The new metricMany creators now consider the once-hallmark metric of “subscriber count” as now nothing more than a “vanity metric.” Why?
It’s now incredibly easy to have your subscriber count inflated with the rise of Shorts — of the 50 fastest growing YouTube channels, 47 actively post Shorts, per HypeAuditor.
And videos that are posted as Shorts accumulate three times as many views as those posted as more traditionally longer videos.
Wait, so what’s the problem? Creators say that the boost in subscribers and views doesn’t actually represent a community — the thing that gives a YouTuber sustained popularity.
According to Insider, “at last year's annual creator economy conference VidCon, some famous short-form creators with millions of followers walked around unnoticed, or hosted meet and greets where they said no fans came to see them.” Ouch.
Cash countThe irony is that although YouTube is pushing Shorts to compete with TikTok and Reels, long-form videos are still where the money is for creators.
Creators make around $0.04 to $0.07 for every 1,000 views on Shorts.
They can make from $1.60 to $29 per 1,000 views on long-form videos.
Shorts may be a race to the bottom for the traditional views-based creator economy. But with brands set to spend $98 billion in ads on short-form content this year, that might be changing.
TOGETHER WITH GUNDRY MD
How do you take your coffee?
There are two different types of coffee drinkers in this world. Those who like to drink their coffee black. And those who like to add a little cream.
According to Dr. Steven Gundry, one of these options is more likely to disrupt digestion, and it might surprise you.
Check out his video to see how he recommends consuming coffee (and keep on watching for some other key digestive tips!)
The best curated daily stories from around the web
Bank runs give Bitcoin a bump
Silicon Valley Bank, First Republic Bank, Credit Suisse… banking has had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad couple of weeks. That’s music to Bitcoin’s ears, which has risen 21% in value this month — a 70% rally this year. Bitcoin was trading at $28,000 for the first time since June. We’ll see if the value is here to stay or if it's just trading one bubble for another.
Read more → wsj
Ubisoft debuts a “Ghostwriter” for NPCs
Writing a video game takes a lot of work — structuring endless hours of play, crafting plot and dialogue, and giving all those little background characters something funny or interesting to say. Ubisoft wants to make that last part a little easier by introducing “Ghostwriter,” an AI system that can generate a first draft of all that chatter. Ubisoft says the system was designed in concert with narrative teams to make their lives easier, not replace them. We’re thankful for that.
Read more → engadget
MSCHF drops a dating game to file your taxes
Filing taxes is a complicated, convoluted process in the US. So, the heroes at MSCHF created Tax Heaven 3000, a Steam-based “visual novel dating game that actually prepares your 2022 US federal tax return.” Yeah, an anime-style dating SIM “suitable for single filers without dependents.” Hilarious. That should make filing your taxes by April 18 just a bit more fun.
Read more → theverge
Artists are giving gas stations a new coat of paint
As EVs slowly eliminate the need for gas stations (we have a long way to go there), decommissioned independent stations will be the first to go the way of the dinosaurs. One project in Washington state is showing a cool way to retrofit them for the community. GO’C Studio has developed Mini Mart City Park from the ruins of a Seattle-based station. It includes an art gallery, a community meeting area, a viewing area of the nearby airport, and public restrooms. In other words, it might be worth checking out next time you're in the city.
Read more → fastcompany
Office rents undergo a migration
As people move around the country to take advantage of remote work, office rent prices are moving with them. Axios found that industry centers like San Francisco and New York City have seen rents decline by as much as 30%. Meanwhile, budding locations like Raleigh, North Carolina, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, have increased around 5%. Now, watch the money move with them.
Read more → axios
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Today's email was brought to you by David Vendrell.Edited by Nick Comney. Publishing by Sara Kitnick.