How they hack our memory and gossipy nature

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Source: Pinterest

“Hello Lynn-zee, would you like an espresso? How about you Tsach? Would you like one too?”

I think it’s fair to say that Starbucks baristas are pretty lousy at spelling names. I’m sure many of us have had one of these moments.

I wouldn’t think I have a “tough” name, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Starbucks employee got it wrong the first time around. So, when they write “Nite-ish” or “Nutish” on my cup, it leaves me unfazed.

But what always perplexed me is when they got the names wrong for most of my friends. Trust me, they have extremely “common” names and the Starbucks employees would still get it wrong. Seriously? …

Mondelēz promises humaning over marketing in their latest botched campaign

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Source: Mondelēz

I can eat a ridiculous amount of Chips Ahoy cookies in one sitting. Most kids can do the same with Cadbury Creme Eggs. We all love spreading Philadelphia cream cheese on our bagels. But, Humaning just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. So much, that even a pack of Trident mint can’t save it.

Mondelēz doesn’t agree with me, or the entire world to be honest. It’s almost like a bot came up with this term and they decided to run it as a marketing campaign. Clearly enough, being a big firm doesn’t save you from being ridiculously stupid.

Like where this is going? …

Powerful marketing lessons from the ad that left everyone in tears

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Source: Disney

Disney’s latest 2020 Christmas ad is making people reach for their tissues. No, really. Originally created by Disney UK, the short animation film is a part of their newest Christmas campaign called “From Our Family to Yours.” The 3-minute ad highlights the importance of nostalgia and family traditions, especially for those who came from Filipino families or backgrounds.

The Heart-Warming Tale

The ad opens with a father coming home to a household in the Philippines during the early 1940’s. He is greeted by his young daughter, to whom he gives a Mickey Mouse plush toy.

Fast forward to 2005. The young girl is now a lola (Filipino for grandmother) living in the UK. The grandma is shown making Christmas lanterns with her apo (granddaughter), similar to those seen in the Philippines. …

Only for me to reject it, this time around

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Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

Job hunting can place itself as a hobby in today’s world, right beside reading, writing, cycling, and other things. Looking for a job in this highly competitive world is often tough, time consuming, and an endless wormhole of acronyms and buzzwords.

Let’s Get You Hired

In a pile of applications, it’s hard to stand out or even be seen. Luckily enough, I came across Richie Crowley’s article about “hype sheets” replacing resumes. The article really opened my eyes and changed the way I approach my job applications. I would highly recommend reading his article and trying it out yourself.

A once directionless individual now had a system in place to conquer the challenges associated with the post-grad job hunt. I made a list of potential employers and created resume templates to match their requirements, in preparation of a relatively quick unemployment period. …

How they can tap into these trends and stay ahead of their competitors

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Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

The world of social media is always fascinating. The trends are ever-changing and endless. And as the year-end approaches, you may look back at your social media plans and goals for this year and wonder, maybe they could use a facelift.

In this ever-evolving industry, major social media networks consistently pivot, refresh, or introduce new features that require startups to change their strategy consistently. Stating that people don’t spend a good part of their day on social media is not acceptable, at least not in today’s world.

Social media has become such an integral part of people’s lives and daily routines. Some are addicted to it so much that the first thing they do after waking up is check their social feed. …

Good-spirited tactics to throw shade at your competitors without making your brand sound like a jerk

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Man smiling
Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash

The marketing world is cruel.

Think about it, consumers are flooded with so many marketing messages that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for a brand to stand out. However, most companies want their marketing messages to be effective, memorable, and impressionable, which is generally easier said than done.

While this may be an easier task for large, multinational companies that can afford to spend those millions of dollars just on marketing their brand, that’s not the case with small businesses and startups with limited reach and marketing budgets.

What can small business owners do to amplify their marketing message?

The short answer is — troll marketing. …

How a five-word tagline caused a surge in their app downloads

A pair of legs and a TV screen showing the pending election results, with a box in the center “Do nothing for 15 sec”
A pair of legs and a TV screen showing the pending election results, with a box in the center “Do nothing for 15 sec”
Source: Twitter

We may not know who America’s next president is yet, however, there was one clear winner on election night — the Calm app. Yes, the app Calm had sponsored CNN’s Key Race Alerts throughout the night and ran 15-second ads between coverage, featuring nothing but the text, “Do nothing for 15 seconds” and rain falling on leaves. It came as a reminder for users to relax during this stressful time. If you missed it, you can have a look here.

Calm is recognized as one of the leading applications for meditation and sleep across the world, boasting over 50 million users on the platform. Given how nail-biting, anxious, and polarizing the current elections have been, the short ads were a major hit among the crowd. …

The rationale behind the ever-trending hashtag

A pug wrapped in a blanket sits on a bed
A pug wrapped in a blanket sits on a bed
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

The weekend is over, and it’s Monday morning. I wake up, log onto my social media (because why not?) only to find #MondayMotivation trending, again. Imagine waking up to a bunch of posts online inspiring you to get out of bed and run a marathon. Does this sound surprising to you? Well, not for me. It’s almost like an expectation for the hashtag to show up every Monday morning.

Social media trends can never be predicted or influenced in any way. However, #MondayMotivation makes me feel like Nostradamus, as the hashtag somehow always makes its way back on the socials on Mondays. …

Why your ‘Zoom’ classes can be exhausting or rewarding

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Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels

“Students, tomorrow onwards you will be shifting towards online learning. Use the entire day today to prep for classes starting tomorrow.”

Hearing this, my first thought was, “No problem.” Most of my learning anyway involved the class PowerPoints, and YouTube anyway. So, how hard could this really be? However, truth be told, no matter how prepared I thought I was, the challenge of moving to an online class was in no way, easy.

While educators met us virtually, there are many of us students turning up to class in pyjamas or other unusual outfits. Things we’d normally never do in a classroom setting are becoming the norm, like wearing face masks, brushing our teeth or eating food. Through this process, I discovered some elements that worked for me and those which didn’t, and some that really surprised me. After great introspection and lengthy discussion with fellow online learners, I decided it was time to pen down my honest thoughts on students pursuing online courses. …

The team at Nokia is making it happen — at 4G speed

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

The Moon is hopefully going to get its first mobile network, thanks to the Finnish telecom company, Nokia. Nokia was recently awarded $14.1 million by NASA to deploy a cellular network on the moon. You heard right. The freaking moon.

The grant is part of a larger $370 million worth of contracts signed under NASA’s ‘Tipping Point’ selections. It’s another part of their efforts to establish a sustained human presence on its nearest celestial neighbour. Or maybe it’s for future astronauts on Moon missions, who now don’t have an excuse for not answering their texts/calls.

Jokes aside, you know how fierce the competition in the telecom industry is. By announcing this deal, Nokia expands into a new market and differentiates itself from the rest. However, it’s interesting to learn that the lunar surface may enjoy 4G speed and coverage before roughly 4.5 billion people on Earth. Don’t believe me? Here’s a quick example below. …


Nitish Menon

A grad student writing about business, marketing, strategy, and other experiences from life | Find my words at

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