Ben Young
Ben Young
January 5, 2024

Edition #430

Stapling jelly on the wall, OpenAI offers pubs payments & we hear more on Threads.

I heard a wonderful saying on the FT Morning Briefing, ‘trying to stick staple jelly against the wall’. The hosts referring to the challenges investors had during 2023, trying to get investment theses to stick in a changing environment. I mean, our industry is all about throwing ideas against the wall to see if they stick ha.

What things are the industry trying to staple against the wall this year? Maybe audacious subscriber targets are jelly against the wall? What else?

And whilst stapling, think of this project, Heizer City, an art project, 50 years in the making. Built in Southern Arizona. You can visit, if you apply for tickets, 6 people per day, 3 days/week for 7 months of the year. Completely unguided, exploration of this 1.5 mile long sculpture on foot.

What vision, what scale and done in secret, like any good art project. It certainly isn’t going to be like the latest Banksy, taken down and stolen within hours.

That’s to say, big ideas don’t need to be stapled or stuck, they are the wall themselves. As we peruse the trends for the year ahead, the big ideas tend to have staying power, it’s the smaller ones that come and go.

Let see what jelly staples this year.

Notable stories this week

  • With AI’s help, native can mean more than made for advertising links.
  • Peloton shares jump as it partners with TikTok to offer short-form fitness classes.
  • Content creators salivate at Mickey Mouse cartoons entering public domain.
  • “Nurture a content team that reflects your audience”: The secret behind Pink News success.
  • How Phrasee helps brands generate and personalize content at scale.
  • NYT sues OpenAi, Microsoft for copyright infringement.
  • OpenAI offers publishers as little as $1m per year.
  • Adam Mosseri spells out Threads plans for the fediverse.
  • Advertisers — they’re just like us and don’t want to be solely advertisers, but part of culture.
  • Trust, collaboration, and the ’tsunami of crap’: World Media Group members key themes for 2024.
  • Walgreens CMO departs.
  • Yeti CMO on how he’ll never cede control to “the whims of influencers and celebs”.
  • Facebook rolls out ‘link history’ for all users and uses data for targeted ads.
  • Google just disabled cookies for 30m Chrome users. Here’s how to tell if you’re one of them.


Campaign of the week

  • Neighborbrite using AI to generate what your house would look like with new landscaping for mail drops.

View all 2023 best campaigns.

Smartest commentary

  • [In NZ] “A million views on YouTube works out to about a grand in your pocket. And I’m not getting millions of views on everything. I couldn’t live off my YouTube, that’s for sure”Jordan Watson, YouTuber
  • ^ Highlighting that for every other market outside the US, influencer ad earnings are a step down.

Datapoints of note

  • In November, Comscore reported that The Messenger generated 88m page views in only 7 months.
  • Substack writer Eric Newcomer says his revenue surpassed $1m in 2023. With 75,000 free subscribers and 2,000 paid subscribers.
  • People on TikTok are reportedly tipping as much as $11m a day.
  • Online holiday spending jumps nearly 5%.
  • With the meal kit industry booming in the past few years, Home Chef onboarded Phrasee to increase conversions and drive ROI by optimizing language for their acquisition and reactivation campaigns. As a result, Phrasee has continuously found the winning recipe for customers. Home Chef has seen a 29% average click rate uplift and a 21% average open rate uplift.

That’s it for this week.