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ACM's Distraction In Action #13
Fever dreams, Swedish streams, and how to get August off work: the links that are dominating our chat
Your new Distraction In Action email from All Conditions Media is here. Scroll away to get a look at the latest links and talking points from our team chat, so they can successfully distract you from work just as much as they did us…
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1. RELIVE A SWEDISH LAKESIDE STREAM
Stockholm: a city of bridges, pints that require you to remortgage, cardamom buns from the gods, and, in August, a population of six. A population momentarily increased by fifty percent when a trio of ACMers hit the Arlanda airport tarmac, before making like the locals and running to a summer lakeside cabin for the week.
It was there that we managed a huge full-production virtual presentation for clients H&M Move, taking care of everything from location to direction, interview hosting to prop bubble-wrapping, and spreading a live link to the media elite (and proud ACM onlookers) who beamed into our wooden cabin from right around the world. A panel of H&M Move’s design, sustainability, materials & innovation outdoor team – moderated by our own veteran outdoor writer and Senior Creative, Chris, with Madonna mic and all – helped journalists get hands-on with the super technical and high-performance outdoor collection despite being thousands of miles away. It was a trip and a half, and the coverage results, come September, are gonna speak for themselves. Invest in some ear plugs now, because we’ll be shouting about them loudly when they arrive.
We learned: All the day-long media training masterclasses we host in the future will be fuelled by Dulme choco-toffees shipped in from Sweden / the nearest IKEA.
2. GET ‘OMG!’ OVER VFX
According to a nerdy marketing platform called ‘Test Your Ad’ that we haven’t really taken the time to understand (and probably won’t), advertising through the Women’s World Cup this year has been infinitely more engaging and impactful than anything shown during the Men’s in 2022. Not really that surprising, is it, as the rise of female football has been powered by intense underdog emotion and heart-swelling feels that companies rely on to make their products connect to you on a more meaningful level. Who knew a dishwasher tablet could unlock such fierce national pride in your Brexit-hardened soul? But while this ITV Creative ad has been crowned the most engaging of them all by said nerd data, this one from France gets our vote. Its massive “OH!” moment almost blew the top off the office-wide shareability meter.
We learned: The last time England met Spain in a women’s football match (back in 2022, 2-1 Lionesses, Stanway with a 96-minute screamer) the attendance was just over 28,000. Come Sunday’s final, it’ll be three times that. Let’s gooo!
3. SORT OUT THE STATE OF TRANS CYCLING
When we launched our new ACM Outsider Insiders interview series earlier this year (we talked about salmon fishing and turkeys with Finisterre’s Tom Kay for instalment number one, remember?), we circled, starred, underlined, and highlighted in yellow one name for issue two: Biola Babawale. As the chair of London cycle club Velociposse, she’s boldly called out sporting boards and busted the balls (her words, not ours) of shallow brands to help make the old boys’ club of cycling a more inclusive space for women, and trans and non-binary people. Now that she’s stepping aside and letting a fresh set of eyes and ideas fill the chairperson’s big chair, we were pleased to get an hour with her one early Monday morning to talk through where trans cycling is at and the glimmers of hope it has for its future. We’re also excited to see whose balls she busts next. Read it here.
We learned: Around 40% of UK women wear size 16 clothes, yet most cycling apparel brands don’t make products that reach this size or beyond. Sigh.
4. CONVINCE YOUR BOSS TO BIN OFF AUGUST
Someone grab the ACM Team Culture drum, because we’re about to bang it again. Perhaps we do go on about the workplace environment we’ve created with our team a fair bit. But that’s because we’re dead proud of it and the benefits it brings to our creative process: the work-life balance it encourages has played a leading role in the Michelin-starred buffet of new client contracts we’re earning right now. It’s a “more offline, better online” sentiment that is shared by Jo Hunter in her The Guardian opinion piece. Her company, 64 Million Artists, went to a new level with its approach to out-of-office culture, giving the team a whole August off. The argument for why it’s now cemented in their staff contracts is watertight, too. Recounting sucker-punch statements like “their income increased by 50% as a result!” when you send the link to your boss may not get you the full month off, but if they value your mental wellbeing in the slightest, it should at least get a few chins scratched.
We learned: Poor mental health is costing UK employers £56bn a year, and half of the UK workforce is showing at least one characteristic of burnout. Stick with us on this one, but maybe something needs to change?
5. PAY. YOUR. COLLABORATORS. PLEASE.
The greasy “services for swag?” punt that outdoor brands, unbelievably, continue to take for content absolutely stinks. It’s something we’ve talked about a lot at ACM, too: we wrote about our views on it in our ‘best event ever’ newsletter earlier this year, and just this week we spoke at length about it in an interview with one of our favourite content creators for our next Outsider Insiders piece (it’s going to be a banger, btw). So when Soraya Abdel-Hadi (who you may recognise from our Best Zoom Background Ever newsletter) hit the publish button on this blog piece about the “free jacket paradox”, we were all over it. She eloquently pulls apart the ethics, but more importantly, speaks passionately about who really pays for the free gear that’s being offered for your time, energy, and efforts. This is an essential read for creators and CMOs alike.
We learned: Any CMO in the UK outdoor industry who doesn’t have All The Elements bookmarked on their browser needs to get their fingers a-clicking before anyone finds out.
Every fortnight, one ACMer reveals the tasks that’ve been getting their head cogs whirring, so we can
all make sure they’re working hard enough introduce our talented crew and showcase what they bring to our creative process. This week it’s the turn of ACM’s culture-cultivating hiker ‘n biker, and our Head of People from over the Severn, Nouran Al-Jandali…
You made it all the way down here? Here’s a gift for your troubles:
END OF THE ROADER’S BONUS NUGGET
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