New ways in a new(ish) normal

Ashton x Ashton is not branching out into temperature testing because of the COVID-19 situation, let me confirm that immediately. We are however, as most people in the marketing communications industry are, reassessing how we go about our business. Currently still in a semi-lockdown situation in the United Arab Emirates (contact us for more details on how things are working here with regard to project delivery and performance) there are many aspects of this particular period of time that we appreciate. Whilst we don’t want to crudely “thank” the global pandemic as some entities have recently, it has allowed for more introspection and focus.

One refreshing silver lining in this otherwise cloudy and generally shitty 2020 is the renewed respect most people seem to have picked up for media outlets. Respectable ones that actually invest in journalism, at least. The ones that fight to provide accurate unbiased news stories from around the world. Also the ones who, like our beloved BBC, have brought communities hamstrung by social distancing together with local community media services and radio stations. Do not slash the license fee just yet, folks, your Facebook and your Google cannot quite be trusted to altruistically deliver such virtuous services without a pound of flesh.

What has struck us at AxA most recently has been the need for clients of all sizes to deliver agile and relevant content to maintain dialogue with their customers and audiences. This is not about selling, this is about being present and useful so that when the recovery begins, yours is the brand they remember. Not for spamming emails of care, not for spinning out the same hackneyed cliche messages as were so coldly called out in this video compilation, but for authentic and compassionate actions.



Yahoo! loses its exclamation mark

Bought by Verizon for a fraction of its previous valuations (from $125 billion to just under $5 billion), one of the hottest properties online, the place where many people experienced the internet for the first time: now simply an investment vehicle where substantial shares from successful internet companies (Ali Baba et al) are parked. Yahoo, you must remove your once-quirky exclamation point immediately.

My favourite, and possibly most saddening, quote from the BBC’s write-up of the takeover:

Verizon will now likely merge Yahoo with AOL, the company it bought last year for $4.4bn. A Yahoo-AOL pairing has been expected for years. The companies are like two high school friends who everyone knew would eventually get together, but only when the time was right. Or maybe when they were both a bit desperate.

Full article here:

Image taken from here:

Further thoughts from Ashton and Ashton on the ramifications in the online media space and what that means for brands and agencies will follow here soon…