The week that was 19 November 2020

Time to read: 4 minutes, 12 seconds (841 words)

Harry Styles, Christmas and German COVID advertising (again), misinformation and The Queen's Gambit all caught our attention this past week. Read on.

Misinformation: One in ten Kiwis own up to sharing incorrect information online

This week Stuff reported that more than one in ten Kiwis believe they have shared some form of misinformation online.

Protestors about fake news

The poll showed that two-thirds (66%) of Kiwis believed they had seen disinformation first-hand and 13% said they had shared information themselves they later found to be intentionally misleading or incorrect.

“Misinformation” refers to incorrect information in general while “disinformation” is intentionally incorrect information intended.

Cyber-security company NortonLifeLock commissioned the online poll of 1,023 Kiwi adults, which was conducted by US firm The Harris Poll just after the New Zealand election.

Be careful out there team.

Fertility rates drop everywhere

A baby

The fertility rate among New Zealand women has fallen to the lowest level on record, new births and deaths data shows. Figures published by Statistics New Zealand on Tuesday and reported by Stuff show 57,753 babies were born in this country in the year to September, while 32,670 deaths were registered. The total fertility rate was a record low 1.63, which is well below the replacement level of 2.1 children per woman.

In the US, makers of infant formula and diapers are girding for another possible Covid-19 challenge: fewer babies according to the WSJ (paywall). Forecasts based on the last recession show U.S. birth rates could drop significantly next year. Birth rates have been declining for years in the U.S. and China, and new projections suggest that the coronavirus pandemic could lead to hundreds of thousands of fewer births in the coming months.

Changes to demographics are important. Let's not under-estimate their impact on economies, markets and customers. 

Longstanding mastheads to go

Media company NZME has unveiled a new three-year strategy which could spell the end for some of the country’s most historic newspaper names. Call us old fashioned, but we can't say we're in favour of this move. #savethenorthernadvocate


Twitter launches disappearing 'fleets' worldwide

Following in the footsteps of Snapchat and Instagram, Twitter is launching tweets that disappear after 24 hours. Twitter has previously announced its plan for these ephemeral tweets, dubbed "fleets", and tested the feature in Brazil, Italy, India, and South Korea.

"Some of you tell us that Tweeting is uncomfortable because it feels so public, so permanent, and like there's so much pressure to rack up retweets and likes," design director Joshua Harris and product manager Sam Haveson said.

"Because they disappear from view after a day, fleets helped people feel more comfortable sharing personal and casual thoughts, opinions, and feelings," they added.

Fleets, which include text, photos and videos, will be available at the top of users' home timelines on Twitter and the sender's profile.

Taika's 2020 Coca Cola Christmas ad is out

We previously reported that Oscar-winning director, Taika Waititi, was selected to deliver the 2020 Coca Cola (#client) Christmas adv. Well, it's out and if you are of a sensitive disposition a tissue may be necessary.


While we're on the subject of previously reported stories, those German ad makers have done it again with another great COVID ad. This one hails the couch potatoes amongst us. 

It's not just the vaccine. There are many causes for hope in the fight against COVID

Scientists now have better tests and treatments, and are forging a clear pathway out of this global ordeal, says public health expert Devi Sridhar in The Guardian. This is well worth a read and you can follow Devi on Twitter.

Harry Styles on the cover!

The fashion history books were broken this week as Harry Styles became the first solo man to grace the cover of US Vogue.
The Conde Nast publication has existed for 127 years and has only had nine other men feature on the cover, but always as part of a couple.

What we've been watching: The Queen's Gambit

The queens gambit poster

When you hear the latest Netflix mini-series is centred around chess, ‘must-watch’ isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Launching in the midst of the US election, The Queen’s Gambit has been tipped to be one of the most successful Netflix shows, ever. With this news in hand, we left the office as communication professionals and returned home as newly appointed film critics.

Set during the Cold War-era in Kentucky, the limited-series drama is a coming-of-age story that explores the true cost of genius. Almost just as thrilling as the storyline, is the nostalgic cast, with feature actors from Harry Potter, Love Actually and more-recently, Peaky Blinders.

We were fixated. What followed was a sense of disbelief at discovering that the only factual element of the series was the chess. Told in such emotive detail, it is hard to believe that the film isn’t based on a true story. Credit to the creators, Scott Frank and Allan Scott, who bought Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel to life in a way that has captivated the world.

Here's Gary Kasparov on the chess itself. Kasparov was an advisor to the show. And, surprise, surprise Google Trends shows a direct correlation between searches for "The Queens Gambit" and "learn chess."

Graph of chess and queens gambit searches

Black Cap out!

And for one of our team, we'd just like to put this on the official The Week That Was record.

MJ Guptill c Younghusband b Snedden