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Volume 439

Your eyes are not deceiving you… it's coolsh*t on a Monday. We woke up feeling revolutionary, so we’re kicking off the week with identity-driven idents, culture-driven collaborations, and self-driven cars. The theme was applied retrospectively…

Best of Brit…ish.

Capturing the essence of what it means to be British is no easy task – although according to American cartoons it just involves tea, crumpets and medieval standards of oral hygiene. But it might not even truly mean anything. You might consider the state to be a criminal enterprise propped up by a fallacious social contract that you’ve never had the chance to see nor sign. Sorry, I’ve just been to Tesco and the rising price of eggs tends to make me a little anarchisty. Fortunately Skyr was down to £1.50 with a Clubcard so I only mean anarchisty in the milder Proudhonian sense rather than the more violent Bakuninian one. However, Channel 4’s new idents have taken a respectable stab at depicting scenes of modern British society, brought to life by the words of ‘LAW’ magazine founder John Joseph Holt. And you might think that this looks like a lot of work just for some idents – but remember that 4oD’s ads are unskippable, so you best get used to seeing an awful lot of these suckers if you have any ambition of ever catching up on Hollyoaks.

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Natural Intelligence.

Anyone else getting a bit sick of AI adverts already? It’s remarkable just how bland so many of them have become in such a short space of time. Following the initial novelty factor that secured AI’s status as advertising’s next shiny new thing, simply pumping some prompts into Midjourney or Chat-GPT now apparently passes for creativity. And this isn’t the desperate wailing of a luddite, as there are plenty of ‘anti’ AI ads which feel equally unoriginal. Nikon’s new work is an anomaly, however. The campaign presents us with photos (shot by photographers using Nikon cameras) of real places that are stranger and more captivating than anything AI could generate (probably…), with each shot overlayed with the type of prompt someone might use to generate such an image. Bosh. Have that, machines. You can take your papal puffer jacket and shove it right up your AI arse. For now.

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Raising the Bar.

‘The local’ is one of the cornerstones of quintessentially British culture that Channel 4 must have forgotten to include in their new idents – possibly because 90% of them are now all-but empty aside from some old fruit machines gathering dust and some old men… also gathering dust. Curse you, Wetherspoons and Shepherd’s Neame – a plague on both your free houses. Beavertown Brewery retain a reverence for the local and all its dusty old men, but they’ve also recently launched a campaign to uncover the best next gen creative talent within the UK’s hospitality industry. ‘Creatives Untapped’ is a competition which asked creatives across the country to submit their work to be judged by It’s Nice That and Beavertown’s creative director, Nick Dwyer, offering 10 winners the chance to have their work immortalised in an exhibition. Plus they each got a grand, which certainly beats a gold can that isn’t actually made from gold. *Ahem* Brewdog *Ahem*…

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Giga Workers.

As Viktor Frankl observed: time, like suffering, is relative. No matter how big the chamber, a certain quantity of gas will fill it completely and evenly; likewise with the human soul and conscious mind. Similarly, 45 seconds can pass by in the blink of an eye while scrolling mindlessly through TikTok, yet that same length of time can feel like a painful eternity while trying to hold a handstand. But 45 seconds is also the precise amount of time it takes for Tesla to build an electronic car in their new Chinese ‘Giga Labs’. The company unveiled their laboratory in Chengdu this week to give consumers a first glimpse at how their robots build the vehicles. And it turns out those robots are rather good at what they do. Suppose this is how Elon’s got so much spare time on his hands to not censor free speech on Twitter and pretend he wants to fight Mark Zuckerberg.

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Places+Faces (+ more faces…).

With brand collaborations having become so ubiquitous, a fair few of them inevitably end up being duds. Generally, it’s the ones with no authenticity or connection between the partners that tend to jar a touch. No such criticism can be made of PLACES+FACES, who celebrated ‘10 FUCKING YEARS’ of existence with a pop-up featuring collaborative products made with nine brands who have also impacted the international streetwear market, including Daily Paper, A COLD WALL, and Corteiz. And they also released this video documenting the brand’s journey over the last 10 years, featuring appearances from the likes of Virgil Abloh, ASAP Rocky, Bukayo Saka, Central Cee, Jorja Smith, Playboi Carti and even a cameo from Corteiz founder, Clint419, back in 2018 manifesting the rise of his own brand. Now that’s how you pull off a partnership – or nine. Take note, Bud Light.

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The Great Leap Backward.

Well, it’s finally happened. The great uneducation. And you can tell it’s happened, because uneducation isn’t even a real world. A study by the Reuters institute revealed this week that influencers and online celebrities have now overtaken journalists and mainstream media as the primary source of news for young people. This can only end well. The study found also found that 55% of TikTok and Snapchat users and 52% of Instagram users get their news from “personalities” compared to 33-42% who get it from mainstream media and journalists on those platforms. So this trend isn’t just a result of fewer young people tuning in to the 6’o’clock news; even within the platforms themselves young people are eschewing supposed epistemic superiors in favour of punters. Should we be worried? It is at least further proof of the immense power of social media for disseminating information amidst understandably declining trust in legacy media. Plus, as of a few weeks ago, Tucker Carlson is now one of those journalists sharing news on social media, so maybe it isn’t such a bad thing if the youth of the world are getting their information from teenagers making Mukbang videos in Nissan Micras rather than from him.

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