Never Eat Ramen Alone, ...


It occurred to me that I could write a grab bag post every single day.

Social media platforms like Twitter serve up wacky as well as useful fodder in a never-ending stream. Of course, the challenge lies in the fleeting nature of this information.

These grab bag posts provide a forum to “stop” on three tidbits.

Here goes.

Never Eat Ramen Alone Again

At least that’s what the Japanese food company Nissin seems to be saying with the launch of a new website that pushes the boundaries of owned media.

Falling under the life-is-better-than-fiction category, the site essentially serves as a virtual companion for those eating ramen alone.

 Nissin Ramen Companion- owned media

Hit the start button, and the Japanese actor Takumi Saitoh helps his “companion” kill time while the noodles steep in hot water for three minutes. He also talks to his “companion” once the eating commences.

Nissin’s market research must have showed that a.) many people eat ramen solo, and b.) those same people would prefer company.

If the site is a hit, I suppose the same concept could be applied to other foods.

I wonder if Slim Jim fans would enjoy some company.

Personal Talk vs. Business Talk

The simple act of talking like a real human being would lift most business communications. There’s something about a business setting that causes people to flip the switch to stiff and vanilla language.

An article in New York Magazine, “The Cost of Faking Your Personality at Work,” touches on the broad concept. A study by psychologists at the University of Cambridge shows that people are able to act against their natures when the situation calls for it.

But, and here’s the kicker, people who suppress their true self for too long can suffer from stress, burnout and even health problems involving the immune system.

This could be fresh fodder for our storytelling workshops, explaining to executives that corporate speak is actually bad for their health.

corporate speak- digital journalism

Will Advertising Disappear?

Nieman Lab conducted a terrific interview with Tom Standage who heads the digital side of The Economist.

Tom Standage - digital journalism

It’s a terrific read.

Beyond taking a shot at The Guardian — “Obviously, The Guardian is a special case — they’ve got their sort of trust fund, so victory for them is only losing £30 million per year” — he offers fresh insights on where digital journalism is headed.

This response on revenue generation particularly caught my attention:

“The Economist has taken the view that advertising is nice, and we’ll certainly take money where we can get it, but we’re pretty much expecting it to go away. So we’re switching toward what we call thought leadership, which is we sell sponsorship of conferences, with white papers, with online advertising as well. But essentially it’s not straightforward display advertising. It allows advertisers to associate themselves with particular topic areas, or raise their profiles in particular areas. And it’s not native advertising either, because the crucial thing for me is that we’re not serving this out of our editorial CMS. For me, that’s the line that we won’t cross. When the ads are coming out of the same CMS as the editorial, which is one definition of native advertising — we won’t do that.” 

With thought leadership increasingly dominating PR campaigns, it’s interesting to hear that The Economist is also plotting its future around thought leadership (over advertising).

Seems similar to the rationalization behind PR budgets.


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