Frisk #188

Holy Toledo, it’s Frisk #188! Artikel 188 was a Belgian TV movie in 1968. I tried to find you an interesting fact about it but the cupboard was bare.

Digital grounding
“You’re grounded.” The words a teenager never wants to hear.
…at least, that used to be true. But nowadays their friendship circles are so massively interconnected on a digital scale that the actual physical act of being near your mates is an incidental benefit rather than a social deal-breaker.
The modern solution, then, is digital grounding. And SafeToNet is the means to do that. It’s an app that allows parents to effectively cut off their kids’ connections, blocking their access to specific sites or apps or, if the thing they’ve done is bad but not too bad, simply restricting their access to a limited time. It’s a way of exercising parental control without the confrontational position of actually confiscating the phone itself. Naturally this is the kind of power that needs to be wielded with care – you don’t want your kids to clam up and stop communicating altogether – but it does at least offer a fresh new avenue of opportunity for your offspring to morph into Kevin and Perry. Which, let’s face it, is bound to happen sooner or later, you might as well own it.

The London bubble
There are about 8.8m people in London, and that’s quite a lot. But as a percentage of the UK population as a whole, that’s only about 13.5%. So when people complain that advertising (or indeed anything) is too London-centric, is that a problem? Well, yes, obviously. It’s not representative, it alienates. But is it actually true? According to recent figures from a survey conducted by Trinity Mirror, yes it is – when 2,000 adults were questioned about how relevant they felt 56 particular brands were to them – including high street banks, supermarkets and fast food chains – people outside of London were 21% more likely to say they felt the advertising messages around these brands weren’t aimed at people in their area, and 25% more likely to say brands don’t understand people in their part of the country.
This, of course, is an issue. People won’t interact with brands they feel are ignoring them. It’s easy to get caught up in the London bubble when so much of the ad industry resides there, but it’s essential to prick that bubble and look outside the M25. Otherwise 86.5% of the population will look elsewhere too.

Japanese KitKats
It’s supremely fortuitous for Nestlé that ‘KitKat’ is so similar to the phrase ‘kitto katsu’ in Japan. ‘Kitto katsu’ means ‘you’ll surely win’, and the fact that Japanese people pronounce the name of the chocolate bar as ‘KittoKatto’ has, over time, led to the snack being phenomenally popular over there. While KitKat sales have been steadily declining in the UK, the Japanese market has been positively booming – over three hundred flavour variants have launched since 2004, from wasabi to edamame, strawberry to seafood, and the spectrum of different formats is mind-boggling. Japanese people see a KitKat as a lucky charm, you see – they eat them before exams for good luck and all sorts. It’s hardly surprising that Nestlé have now opened a dedicated KitKat factory in Japan; Europe may be shrugging, but East Asia can’t get enough.

Daniel Bevis, Senior Knowledge Editor

16th August 2017