Two Cannes Grand Prix, one in the Design category and one in the Creative Business Transformation one were awarded to McCann Worldgroup and Microsoft for their work on "ADLaM", the written form of the Pulaar language of the Fulani people of West Africa.
Pulaar is spoken by more than 60 million people, but for most of history the language had no alphabet. Eager to preserve their mother tongue ever since childhood, the Barry brothers created a first version of "ADLaM" in handwritten form in 1990.
But there remained a need to digitize the alphabet so that it could be used to communicate via email and enable Fulani people to do business, connect through social media and find information in their own language. So Microsoft and McCann Worldgroup created a digitized typeface, an important aid in preserving a culture that would otherwise be lost and a way to promote literacy throughout West Africa.
From the photo of the pope wearing a Moncler to the boxing match between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, there has been a lot of talk recently about deepfakes. Deception techniques that are becoming more and more realistic, yet the systems to detect them are also making important strides toward near-reliability.
Today, for example, there is a new technology from Intel, called FakeCatcher, which identifies manipulated videos and photos in real time and with very high accuracy. A particular benchmark is exploited to achieve this level of reliability: the observation of blood flow on faces.
This is something almost invisible to the human eye, but can be sensed by this digital tool that recognizes the color change within pixels.
What if cyber criminals used a method to credibly reproduce blood flow on faces as well, fooling this new system as well? For the time being, the hypothesis seems far-fetched because it is too complex, but the technological development of deepfake and anti-deepfake is proceeding in parallel and has important interests in both cases. Somewhat like the eternal struggle between doping and anti-doping, in which one fights the other, but at the same time feeds it with possible new technological sophistications.
We know. Women are still dealing with historical discrimination and centuries of male dominance that have not been fully explained or rectified. Yet, from some sociological research, it seems that men are not doing too well either. Past models of masculinity are outdated and socially unacceptable, and new ones are extremely precarious.
What is the role of men in the modern world? How are they emotionally? How are they physically? Brands are also asking themselves this question.
Gilette, a brand that has always sought to represent contemporary man and his values, seeks to evolve along with its testimonial: man. After decades of advertising associating the real man with a man who never has to ask, in 2019 it launches the "We believe: The best a man can be" campaign with a mission to overcome stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man.
This time Gillette talks about bullying, gender inequality, and a society in which men have to question themselves completely. All very correct and brave, on paper. Because the reaction on social media has been mostly negative, with twice as many dislikes.
Today, the brand is distancing itself from the controversy and championing a much lighter communication. "Shave like a bomber" is a line that cracks a smile without taking sides. Perhaps because in this attempt to find a new masculine identity by building a new, more ethical manhood, there are still so many unresolved things and so much fragility. Many brands prefer to refer to "evolving consumers" leaving possible gender definitions and identifications to peacetime.
"Be somewhere else" was Lush's last post on IG before leaving social for good. At the same time, Gucci promoted GucciVault on Discord, the U.S. platform for instant messaging and community interaction.
Those of Lush and GucciVault are two different ways of going in the same direction: moving away from the more generalist social networks, moving elsewhere. A phenomenon that has since led many brands to question themselves, wondering how and where to be present in the social world.
The reasons for the abandonment of historical social by brands are not that difficult to guess and in the book "Digital Marketing without Meta" they are summarized in four points.
1. Reach zero: the audience you want is no longer on IG and FB. And if it is there, you don't reach it anyway.
2. Disturbing content: content on Facebook is junk, on Instagram it's advertising.
3. Suspended accounts: platforms fall apart and customer support doesn't work.
4. Metalost: Zuckerberg is not thinking about platforms, he has something else on his mind.