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Culture Vulture

Ikon NZ's pulse on the Then, Now, and how it will affect our Future.


We highlight three fields that we've observed change or disruption in. We pick two stand-out stories from each field and share our thoughts on them, ranging from the professional to the outright fan-boyish (or fan-girly). We invite you to learn, discuss, and share your thoughts too. Remember to download pictures for the best experience.
Click on pictures for links to the source

LEARN
Curated by Alex, Planning Team

There was a time when giant household name brands reigned supreme. Nowadays, they're fighting to retain share from entrepreneurial craft brands with authenticity and "approachable imperfection". According to branding authority Jeetendr Sehdev, the poster child for mastering the new rules of branding is Kim Kardashian. It may seem ludicrous, but perhaps there's something more established/perfect brands can learn from the reality star.

Alex: Kim Kardashian duck-faced her way onto the scene as Paris Hilton's assistant with a penchant for home movies. Now she has an app with 45 million downloads generating $214 million in revenue to date. Hate her (I do) or love her, you can't deny this woman has cemented herself by owning flaws and being weirdly authentic about it. Challenger brand success proves that disruption mixed with vulnerability creates a fascinating dynamic in a changing world.


We've been told that chatbots are the future; however it's been a slow burn for mass adoption by brands and consumers. Things could change as recent research indicates chatbots aren't far away from becoming more of a true AI offering as they up-skill through greater data retention and the ability to reason with others.

Alex: I'm still waiting for chatbots to really become 'a thing' outside of Poncho telling me once that "its raining, so take ya brolly". As chatbots learn to interpret data in an insightful and more humanistic way, as opposed to re-purposing pre-loaded drop-down options, then we'll start to see some traction. The development that I think will be most intriguing is the rise of the pesky (for brands) renegade chatbots that will go up against brands to bat for the consumer and really stir the pot.

POP CULTURE
Curated by Josh, Trading Team

Surprisingly it was just one year ago that Niantic unleashed Pokémon Go, an augmented reality scavenger hunt with a level of uptake no one saw coming. With 750 million downloads on the App Store to date, it still has loyalists and big things planned for the anniversary.

Josh: Although the mainstream buzz has died off, we shouldn't forget the significance this game had on bringing AR technology to the mainstream and how it set the foundation of other AR ventures


Competitive gaming is growing at an alarming rate, with main tournaments comfortably selling out venues such as the Staples Centre and Madison Square Garden. While the industry is trying to keep up with its rapid growth, universities are looking to shape the industry by treating Esports like traditional sports, complete with recruiting, on-campus arenas, and scholarships.

Josh: It's difficult to wrap your head around going to uni to play video games. The games these college programmes are based on are made and owned by private companies. It will be big business in the future... so maybe you can allow your kids more screen time?

LISTEN
Curated by James, Performance Team

After a short teaser video and the appearance of mysterious street posters around the world, Radiohead revealed their plans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their album 'OK Computer' with a deluxe reissue featuring unreleased tracks.

James: This is one of my favourite albums and has truly withstood the test of time. OK Computer was released in 1997 and reinvigorated elements of the genre that the masses had grown weary of, particularly in the wake of the death of grunge music. Radiohead are extremely innovative in marketing their albums, bucking industry expectations. This album is no exception.


In the last few years we've seen the monumental rise of Spotify, along with tech giants Apple and Google investing billions of dollars into their music services. We've also seen a number of music streaming players struggle to keep up with these players' fluid business models. Pandora, for example, has just shut down its operations in Australia and New Zealand, the only countries where the internet radio operates besides the US.

James: The music streaming landscape is a competitive and saturated one with strong offerings from both Spotify and Apple among others. Pandora music was a favourite for their algorithm for music suggestions and built on music selections and current selections. We will miss it locally.