STATE OF AMERICA
Temping Is The New Normal – Whether employees like it or not, America’s workforce landscape is changing – edging away from the era of the full-time, salaried workers and closer to a freelance-and-full-time mix of staffers. A study from the human resources services firm Randstad says “contingent” workers are becoming a fact of life at U.S. companies, edging out full-time workers in the process. Workers aren’t exactly fighting, says the Atlanta-based firm, and in fact many contract employees are finding a higher job satisfaction than they did in their full-time, salaried days. Specifically, 78% of temporary and contract workers surveyed rated their experience as “positive,” and 54% of contract workers said they strongly agree with the statement “I am paid what I am worth,” compared with 42% of salaried workers.
BRAVE NEW CONSUMER
More Adults Read Young Adult Fiction Than Young Adults –
Young Adult (YA) fiction may be aimed at 12- to 17-year-olds, but guess what? Tweens and teens aren’t the only ones reading it, not by a long shot. According to a Bowker Market Research study, 55% of YA readers are age 18 or older, while 30- to 44-year-olds comprise the lion’s share of YA e-book buyers. And no, they’re not buying all that YA fiction for their kids or younger siblings. 78% of adult readers purchase YA titles for themselves. And the plot thickens. Who loves good old-fashioned books the most? Hint: Their hair’s not gray. 60% of teens read YA books the old-fashioned way-in print, while older consumers are driving YA e-book sales. Ending their longtime reign as kings of print, Boomers’ share of book purchases dropped from 30% in 2010 to 25% in 2011. In a near mirror-image swap, Millennials buying print surged from 24% to 30%, according to the 2012 US Book Consumer Demographics and Buying Behaviors Annual Review
Oreo’s Daily Twist campaign –
At 100 years old, Kraft Foods’ Oreo seems younger than ever. As part of Oreo’s centennial celebration, the brand kicked off it’s celebration in March with it’s “History” print campaign, which enlisted the cookie to depict historical milestones. That effort showed the cookie’s historic relevance while “Twist” contemporized it in the context of current events. The brand’s “Daily Twist” campaign has made the cream-stuffed sandwich a social-media darling and sometime daredevil. It kicked off June 25 with a polarizing image of the cookie, septuple-stuffed with rainbow filling to celebrate Gay Pride Month — a bold move for a brand that topped $2 billion in revenue last year. Since then, we’ve seen a Shark Week Oreo, a Mars Rover Oreo and a tribute to panda Shin-Shin’s newborn cub — just a handful of 100 iterations that rolled out daily through October. For the final day (Oct. 2nd) of its 100-day campaign driven largely through Facebook, Oreo had installed a one-room ad agency in Times Square so it could take suggestions from the public and debut the final “Daily Twist” image on a digital billboard in New York City.
Rejection Fuels Creativity – Are you always the last person picked for a team? When you watched Office Space, did you feel a special kinship to the stapler-obsessed Milton? If you answered yes to any of these questions, do not despair. Researchers at Johns Hopkins and Cornell have recently found that the socially rejected might also be society’s most creatively powerful people. It found that people who have a strong independent mind thrive creatively in the face of rejection. “We were inspired by the stories of highly creative individuals like Steve Jobs and Lady Gaga,” says the study’s lead author, Hopkins professor Sharon Kim. “And we wanted to find a silver lining in all the popular press about bullying. There are benefits to being different.”
ON THE RADAR
Follow This: #FirstWorldProblems is a popular Twitter hashtag where well-fed people complain about non-problems. The First World Problems Anthem by DDB New York and nonprofit organization WATERisLIFE is an effort to turn the ironic hashtag into a humanitarian campaign. Over 1 million people have viewed the 60-second spot which features Haitian orphans reading actual tweets. DDB has been tweeting the video to original hashtag authors and encouraging them to take action against real problems by donating towards clean water solutions.
Watch This: Facebook recently announced that it has reached its billion-user milestone. To celebrate, the social network has partnered with Wieden & Kennedy to create its first major TV ad which honors its users by highlighting meaningful ways people connect and come together. Watch it here.
Try This Site: WorldCam is a search engine that helps people find the latest Instagram photos from around the world with pinpoint accuracy. It’s a great example of how excessive photo-sharing can become a useful resource. Google’s Street View only allows you to see exteriors of buildings, but Worldcam enables people to see inside public buildings since photos come from Instagram feeds that have been tagged at that location. Do you want to know what the inside of the Apple headquarters looks like or what someone in that building might be having for lunch? WorldCam might be able to help you.