Unlocking Creativity, 52 Lessons. Monsters of Doc
Ten links from the team at Storythings
Next week we’re releasing the findings from research we’ve been doing on new audience behaviours. Scroll Stoppers: six ways hybrid working is changing our attention is going to be released as a week-by-week series of Substacks newsletters. We’re doing this for a bunch of reasons. The first being that we believe it will have more chance of being read by audiences and less chance of sitting in someone’s downloads folder waiting to be opened. Secondly, it gives us a chance to generate conversation around it and gives you the chance to feed into latter parts of the report. I’m looking forward to seeing the response. Keep your eyes peeled.
OK. On to the links. Enjoy them and have the best weekend ever!
52 Things I Learned in 2022 (7 min read)
Formats Unpacked: Bargain Hunt (6 min read)
Billie Eilish: Same Interview One Year Apart (Year Six) (21 min watch)
Five Ways to Communicate Your Company’s Strategy Effectively (8 min read)
The Creativity Faucet: How to Unlock Your Creativity (2 min read)
Why Spotify Makes Wrapped Its Annual Marketing Moment (3 min read)
How Conferences Are Trying to Win Over the Remote Worker (8 min read)
Why Pop Songs Dropped to Two and a Half Mintues in the Late 50s (1 min read)
Monsters of Doc: Mark Kermode’s Top 20 Music Documentaries (9 min read)
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52 Things I Learned in 2022
Tom Whitwell’s annual list is a format I always look forward to. It’s full of so many interesting facts, with links to the stories they came from. This year’s learnings include: Data centres will consume 29% of Ireland’s electricity by 2028. If you want a question answered on the Internet, post a wrong answer first. And the Chinese government has launched a crackdown on ‘weird’ and ‘ugly’ fonts.
(7 min read)
Formats Unpacked: Bargain Hunt
Our very own Matt Locke unpacks his favourite TV show to find out what makes the format work for so many fans: “Bargain Hunt is, for my money, the best example of how formats develop when you make them a lot, over a very very long time. Iteration, like evolution, shapes a format but also develops a kind of language that builds loyalty from its audience. When you come late to a format, these details feel bizarre, but as you start to understand them, they are like little badges, helping you feel like you’re part of a community. They might be weird, but they’re your kind of weird.”
(6 min read)
Billie Eilish: Same Interview One Year Apart (Year Six)
This series brings me so much joy. For the uninitiated (where have you been?) every year for the last six years, Billie Eilish answers the same questions and looks back at how she answered in previous years. It’s genius!
(21 min watch)
Five Ways to Communicate Your Company’s Strategy Effectively
In many organisations, communicating strategy has been an afterthought. Executives have shared long, undigestible documents or withheld critical information and expected people to just “get it.” And it hasn’t worked. Harvard Business Review suggests five actions that will improve the clarity and quality of communication, enabling stakeholders to make a more meaningful contribution to the strategy.
(8 min read)
The Creativity Faucet: How to Unlock Your Creativity
This technique for unlocking creative ideas, as recommended by Neil Gaiman, is really useful. We use a similar technique at Storythings where we begin a sessions by purposefully generating cliches and bad ideas. Crazy as it may sound, it really works. Give it a go.
(2 min read)
Why Spotify Makes Wrapped Its Annual Marketing Moment
When we talk about content publishing rhythms clients mostly think about weekly and bi-weekly. But what Spotify Wrapped, as well as Vanity Fair’s Billie Eilish and Tom Whitwell’s 52 Things linked to above, shows that annual publishing rhythms can be a huge marketing opportunity with the right format. It’s Nice That have a good piece on the design of this year’s campaign.
(3 min read)
How Conferences Are Trying to Win Over the Remote Worker
I spoke at my first event in three years this week about the research we’re about to publish . The event was for internal and extermal comms people and how live events have changed. I’ll be honest. I’d fallen out with events a year or two before the pandemic. I was bored with the formats and similarity between a lot of them. So I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed being out, listening to ideas. That’s probably why this piece in Vox about how companies are using conferences as an opportunity to bring remote teams together caught my attention.
(8 min read)
Why Pop Songs Dropped to Two and a Half Mintues in the Late 50s
I’ve always been fascinated with stories about how the length of the media we consume was decided. For example, here’s why CDs held 74 minutes of music. This interesting story about the single is something I can see myself telling over and over.
(1 min read)
Monsters of Doc: Mark Kermode’s Top 20 Music Documentaries
Feel free to wave your fist at the screen and shout at Mark through your computer’s microphone. It won’t make the slightest difference. But this list serves as a great reminder that there’s always a great music documentary you haven’t watched waiting for your attention.
(9 min read)
White Lotus Writer, Mike White, on His Process For Writing
In this neat quirky video the writer of the hit show talks through his process for writing award winning shows.
(4 min watch)
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Thanks for reading. We’ll see you all next week.
Hugh, Matt, Anjali and the whole team at Storythings.