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A monthly roundup of emerging trends, events and innovation happening in and outside
the Ad Council.
I just don’t know anymore

We’re traumatized. We can’t tell what information to trust anymore. Those of us between 18-49 prefer to use the internet for news- a place where anyone can share information regardless of its authenticity, and social media posts can go viral without any truth check. MIT Lab sifted through tweets sent from 2006-2017, and found that fake news spreads six times faster than the truth The Knight Foundation evaluated 10 million tweets from 700K accounts and found 600 fake & conspiracy news outlets. Scarier still, more than 80% of the disinformation accounts that were active during the 2016 election are still actively publishing about a million tweets a day. 😱 Edelman’s Trust Barometer reports that the U.S. lost 37 points in trust.
Things aren’t all bad. The Webby Awards 2019 Report shared insights on how companies are responding - like how Edelman and KIND partnered to create the “Anti Algorithm Algorithm” (Shorty Awards winner) to breakthrough online echo chambers. Bot Sentinel can tell you whether a Twitter account is fake or not. Fakespot, a Google chrome extension, scans product reviews to find those that are fake or incentivized. AllSides provides multiple angles on the same story so we don’t just hear what we want to. Snopes is fact-checking and debunking the internet. CJR even opened a “Fake News” stand by Bryant Park. Droga5 and the YMCA partnered up to show us  what social disparity looks like in America.- how the change of one digit changes our whole life.

Read the Report: T:\Resource Library\Trend_Research_Talks\2019
Can we just not talk

Like to be left alone while shopping? Cashier-less shopping is for you! Amazon is planning to create 3,000 cashier-less Go stores by 2021 (Seattle, NY, Chicago, San Francisco). How does it work? Just download the Amazon app, “check in” when you enter the store, and everything you add to your basket is tallied and charged to your account. Amazon hopes that their new retail shops will compete with their online experience. 😒

What does cashier-less shopping spell for the labor economy? Well there’s 3.5 million cashier jobs lost on one side. On the other, the technology gives small mom and pop shops struggling to keep up with rising minimum wages, a way to stay in business by cutting staff.

And it’s not just Amazon. Walmart’s Sam’s Club is launching a Sam’s Club Now to bring mobile first shopping to retail experiences in Dallas. Decoration retail shops in Australia are completing more in store transactions, Alibaba added facial recognition payments to its experience and Japan is putting these at ticket purchase kiosks! Now you can reserve the Nike sneakers you want to try on and pick them up at a locker without ever asking a clerk.
The argument is no longer whether an analog or digital experience is better- it’s how we use both to deliver a meaningful experience. While digital first live shopping may make our lives more efficient or provide a more customized experience, companies will unlock a goldmine of behavioral data.
Want to keep up with latest in innovation? We’ve got you covered.

1. Follow our reading list: and send us articles/reports/videos you think should be added to the list.

2. Explore the Resource Library on the shared drive:T:\Resource Library
We created this folder to minimize duplicate saving and make it easier for everyone to find resources. What’s in it? Folders for: departmental 101s, internal brownbags, guest speakers, trainings, trend/research reports and decks/handouts from conferences/workshops. Let’s make the library robust for everyone. Go ahead and add relevant files to it and if you have suggestions, email Ariba.
Blockchain Experiment

Do you know what Blockchain is? Me neither. But Ad Council is one of the first companies to work with Ternio (a blockchain solution that works in a programmatic environment) to test using blockchain verified ad inventory. The Media team is testing the assumption that blockchain is an effective way to clean up the programmatic industry, particularly with fraud. The hope is that reducing fraud in the digital space will help the Ad Council maximize impact by ensuring donated media is viewed by real people. Stay tuned to hear what the Media team learns!
Paper Prototyping!
If you missed Jason Severs this week, no worries. Check out the recording of his talk: T:\Resource Library\Trainings and Splashtalks

The Chief Design Officer of Droga5 shared how paper prototyping can help make our ideas tangible quickly, identify questions that need to be answered, meet audience needs & mindsets and learn which moments in our audience’s lives we need to design for. He shared examples of how Droga5 and Frog design have used paper prototyping and concepting to activate different stages of learning about the audience.

We’ll be doing more around prototyping in the new year!
  Jason Severs | Chief Design Officer, Droga5
Talks & Trainings at the Ad Council

Sign up for upcoming talks & trainings so we prioritize the ones you really care about & can keep your schedules in mind.
Check out these local events
Nov 17 | Empathy Jam
  A day long user research & design hackathon.
Nov 19 | Data Storytelling
  Giorgia Lupia of Accurat (worked on the Fake News research w/ Knight Foundation) will share how we can design more meaningful experiences with data.
Nov 27 | Home for Thanksgiving? Tired of eating? Want to escape your family? Learn how to design a game!
Nov 19 | Applied AI
  User cases of AI in business & Government
Nov 27 | VR and Psychology
  Discussion on how organizations and researchers are using VR to better understand the human mind. Just bring your family along.
NYC Opportunity

Want to be Ariba’s plus one or two? Attend a live culture trends briefing at Sparks & Honey’s culture newsroom with Ariba! She’ll be going multiple times throughout the year and can bring two guests with her each time. Reply to this email if you want to join and she’ll coordinate dates.
Got ideas?
Submit trends + your innovation projects
to SplashForward
This newsletter is something new we’ve started since September. How’s this going for you?
Email with any feedback and if you’re interested in being a guest contributor to a future round.

Thanks for SplashForwarding with us. See you in December!

Ariba, Shirley & Naomi


The Innovation Squad

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