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Happy Friday!
This week the Swan family's surprise weekend road trip strategy was dissected in this Elemental Medium piece: Boredom Is Spreading the Coronavirus.

When a psychologist with a PhD in boredom says your family's pandemic coping strategy is smart and effective, you genuinely tear up a little. It's been a hard year, but we've had some fun, too. We just had to change our expectations.
Key quote: According to Maik Bieleke, PhD [a postdoctoral researcher who studies boredom], there are ways of encouraging motivation — and it looks a lot like what [Greg] Swan is doing with his family. “He’s establishing some baseline motivation that you need,” says Bieleke. In other words: socially distance, but make it fun.
Here's the genesis of the idea, “You Need a Surprise Road Trip This Weekend,”... and we're at 26 weekends of surprise destinations at this point. And yes, we’re doing a lot of holiday light drive-thru experiences right now.
In other news this week, enough people have asked me “Greg, what would I buy someone who likes stuff that you like?” that I decided to put together a short holiday gift guide of some of my favorite 2020 favorites with options for every budget.

And here's our latest client activation: Hotwire Will Give You $25K to Tell Your Family You're Not Coming Home for the Holidays. It's smart, sweet, funny, and practical. You don't always get all 4 of those things in one campaign. Pretty proud of this one.

See you on the internet!


Every week I keep tabs on what's trending, new technology and consumer habits that impact the social web. Here's what I'm tracking this week...

Google Search 2020 Video is a Must-Watch: Google’s annual search year in review is especially poignant and meaningful this year – the year we all asked, “Why?” Watch the video here. Top searches included: coronavirus, election results, Kobe Bryant, Zoom, Google Classroom, WAP, Tiger King, dalgona coffee and sourdough bread. See the trend breakdown here.

What’s your Top Nine on Instagram this year? Are you team #BestNine or #TopNine? Either way, it’s time to crunch your Insta posts from the year and see which ones were the most popular. Top Nine crunches the data quickly your browser but includes post #’s. BestNine takes a LONG time but supposedly results in a cleaner pic. I've been waiting an hour, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

This Instagram Account Features 30 Second TV Spots Slowed Down to 60: It’s called @kult.of.stinkor, with favorites including Hi-C, Nesquik, Smurf Berry Crunch, Doublemint Gum, Snuggle and Friskies. Warning: some of these may haunt your dreams.  
iMessage Hacks: iOS 14 brought some significant changes in Apple iMessage group chats you may not be using yet. Threads! You can press and hold on a text previously in a group conversation and start a thread. Tagging! If you write someone’s name it will turn blue for you to tag it. That way if they’ve muted your conversation they’ll get notified. Customization! You can rename the Group Chat name and even assign it an icon by clicking the “info” option at the top of your chain.
Reddit’s 2020 Year in Review: Watch this video! And here are all the YOY #’s, including things like 4 of the 5 top relationship communities in 2020 were focused on sharing advice. 50.2M+ mentions of COVID, COVID-19 or coronavirus. 9972.4% YoY activity increase in r/blacklivesmatter. James Charles was the #1 most-discussed influencer this year. The most popular picture was a photo of Rick Astley he posted himself.
Tinder’s Year in Swipe: Available in 190 countries and 40+ languages, Tinder has been downloaded more than 400 million times and led to 55 billion matches. Tinder has 6.6 million subscribers and is the highest grossing non-gaming app globally. What trended in 2020? Pandemic pick-up lines. Yep. Watch the video.

Patents of the Week: Although patent filings aren’t a guarantee that new technology will come to fruition, they give us a hint of where we may be headed. Amazon is thinking about using facial recognition to try to determine a person’s mood and them tailoring content to fit it. Apple’s looking at nesting batteries inside the watch band. Microsoft is exploring taking someone’s digital content and creating a digital clone of their mannerisms and speech via chatbot. Meanwhile, Ford is thinking about how smart traffic control systems can financially reward drivers in exchange for minor inconveniences. For example, if a traffic light changes prematurely to accommodate a city bus, this could entitle all vehicles with a certain distance of the light to light to a certain payment.
How Marketers’ Opinions Differ From Consumers: Kantar’s inaugural Media Reactions 2020 study is out, featuring takeaways within three categories: the divides between online and offline channels and brands; the divide between consumers and marketers, and the divide between brand and ad equity. Download it here for the price of an email address.
Business Reads of the Week: People who are rarely bored seem to have an easier time sticking to social distancing behaviors; The 3 new executive roles that define 2020; Where Did the Commute Time Go?
Quick hits:

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SWAN, LLC · 106 N Pine St · Chaska, MN 55318-1937 · USA

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