New views of women and planets, this week’s Round-Up has us thinking about what else is out there.
Stock imagery is getting a much-needed makeover thanks to a partnership between Dove, Getty Images, and Girlgaze. The personal care brand, image bank, and gender equality organisation have launched #ShowUs, a project which will expand the representation of women in everyday images. This has come about after the report that 70% of women around the world do not feel aptly represented in the images they see day-to-day, with archaic stereotypes in both aesthetic and action being readily accepted as the norm for stock imagery. #ShowUs will turn this on its head by commissioning 116 women and non-binary photographers to take 5,000 images of 179 woman, from 39 countries. Already a pioneer in pushing diversity standards of the portrayal of women in media, Dove's global vice president, Sophie Galvani says that this partnership with Getty and Girlgaze will help them propel their cause. “For over 60 years, we have believed in liberating women from narrow beauty ideals and have showcased beauty diversity in our advertising. However, this is not enough, and we cannot make the systemic change we need alone."
Innovation comes in all shapes and sizes and moves at all different paces. Some brands move at a rapid one, rethinking their image as the time period dictates, going above and beyond to meet the ever-changing needs of their audience. Other brands, like Marmite, move at a slower and more steady speed. Early this week, in a Tweet that sent the lovers of the spread into a frenzy, Marmite announced that they have released a new product. The third (ever!) product variant in their 100-plus years, Marmite Peanut, is on its way to a shelf near you. But what has prompted the spread to spread its wings, so to speak? The answer is simple, and one which all other brands should take note off - the customer. Brand manager, Camilla Williamson, said that peanut butter is the Marmite accompaniment of choice for “a huge number” of brand fans and that they are simply answering a customer need. So it may have been a long time coming, but Marmite is determined to put out a product that their customers will love. And others will probably hate.
Depending on how you are inclined, you may already think that the social media sphere is a frightening place. However, with the ever-increasing misuse of the platforms for promoting violence and terrorism, it is becoming more formidable than ever before. A prime example of this is the recent Facebook live stream of the mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Despite urging from the New Zealand police to ignore and report it, a video, which saw the shooter address the camera before going on to brutally kill 50 people, circulated the platform. This tragedy cannot be blamed on social media, however, in a recent statement, the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) is calling for platforms to take responsibility for the terror that they facilitate in being shared. Looking to the backing of brands who spend with the platforms, they are urging them to put pressure on their social media partners by being more selective of where they spend their money and focus on ones which have stricter regulations around safety. Stephan Loerke, the WFA chief executive said “Marketers must reflect on the extent and terms on which they fund these platforms.”
McData is here
They may clog our arteries, but McDonald’s reportedly has plans to streamline its service by means of big data. In a reported acquisition that is set to be announced in the coming days, McDonald’s will take hold of Dynamic Yield, a data company that “provides retailers with algorithmically driven decision logic technology.” The deal, which reportedly cost $300m, will take fast-food giant’s personalisation capabilities to a whole new level, with hot weather inciting suggestions of McFlurry ice-creams and regular drive-thru customers being offered their usual order through registration plate recognition. This move is the latest in a string of measurements McDonald’s has taken to update its model. Last year, they added a table service feature to their sit-in restaurants.
Showing that it has bigger fish to fry than your menial searches, Google has, literally, gone above and beyond this week, announcing its discovery of two hidden planets. Working in conjunction with astronomers from the University of Texas at Austin, the planets, which are reportedly bigger than earth were found through a scan of NASA’s Kepler space telescope’s K2 mission archive. Despite their size, both of these planets were missed through previous scans, but now, using artificial intelligence, astronomers were able to create a new algorithm which worked through the data collected from the mission and quickly identified the uncharted lands. While this is an undeniable breakthrough for AI and data analytics, this amazing discovery does bore an important question – what else have we missed?