WELCOME BACK TO SUPER BOWL LVII WEEK
Welcome back to a new edition of The Weekender… where U.S.-Chinese relations continue to inflate despite the spy balloon popping. Also, U.S. President Joe Biden delivered his State of the Union speech after years sitting behind the Resolute Desk. Plus, another year, another Super Bowl: the official holiday of every athlete (and marketing team) across the country. There’s a lot to discuss and even more to learn below in the latest edition of The Weekender.
P.S. Strategic Elements is proud to announce Alexis Folkers joins our firm as a full-time Graphic Design Coordinator. Alexis lends her expertise in strategic visual communication and digital marketing to generate creative campaigns and award-winning results for our clients.
Add Some Spice: State of the Union
Amidst mediocre approval ratings, a divided Congress, and the 2024 election on the horizon, President Biden delivered his second State of the Union address Tuesday—receiving all the pomp, circumstance, and theatrics one can expect. While President Biden voiced high points of bipartisanship, Republicans made their dismay vocally obvious at several points both throughout the address and after. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, newly inaugurated Arkansas governor, delivered a fiery response for the GOP, not holding anything back—including President Biden’s age and alleging he is “unfit to serve as commander in chief.” A very different moment came between the partisan back-and-forth. Biden addressed Tyre Nichols’s mother and stepfather, calling on Congress to “finish the job”—moment of emotional force rather than a political motive. In the end, President Biden focused on curbing inflation, improving the nation’s infrastructure, and continuing to steer the country through COVID-19. Experts are seeing the address as a springboard for the upcoming election, as President Biden plans to travel to critical electoral states, hoping to secure the nation’s votes once again. All of that to say… the real question still remains: could it all have been in an email? Read more on The Hill.
The U.S. Bursts China’s Balloon and Foreign Relations
It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s a Chinese spy balloon!? This week, the world watched as a balloon floated over homes and land across the United States. We learned the balloon was from China and allegedly operating with electronic surveillance technology capable of collecting intelligence and monitoring U.S. activity and communications. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s abrupt cancelation of his visit to Beijing provides some insight into the harsh volatility of current U.S.-China relations. U.S. and China leaders exchanged angry words about the suspected Chinese spy balloon the United States shot down, drawing stern Chinese protest. It is the first time Americans have experienced a tangible symbol of a national security challenge from Beijing, forcing the U.S. military to explain why the balloon was not shot down before traversing the continental United States. Whether the U.S.-China relationship will be mended or not, the U.S. military expanding its presence in the Philippines makes their motives clear: constrain China’s armed forces and defend Taiwan. The United States is not backing down and proving its threats are a lot more than just hot air. Read more in The Associated Press.
The Super Bowl, the Commercial Bowl, or Rihanna’s Concert?
The biggest advertising day of the year is upon us—Super Bowl Sunday. This year’s Super Bowl advertisements are expected to cater to a more influential, younger audience by leveraging engaging platforms like Twitch or Tiktok while extending the lifespan of their Super Bowl ad campaign by releasing it early and on digital platforms. According to Forbes, about a quarter of Super Bowl viewers think that the ads are the best aspect of the event—which encourages brands to make more creative and mind-blowing commercials. One of the changes with this year’s ad campaigns will be an influx of spots from alcohol brands. The increase in alcohol ads comes with Anaheuser-Busch InBev’s announcement about giving up its 33-year exclusive Super Bowl ad rights to alcohol. Social media will also play a vital role in several brands’ marketing strategies, with many companies prioritizing digital platforms and channels in their advertising plans. So, while the backbone of this year’s Super Bowl ads remains similar in content, delivery, and your favorite celebrities, keep an eye out for little trends that are starting to blend seamlessly into those traditional strategies. Best of luck to the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, all the fans, and of course, the advertising brands. Read more on Advertising Week.
ChatGPT Wants to Give Us Something to Talk About
The recent talk of the town (or digital world)? A new artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot called ChatGPT, which is causing a stir across businesses, schools, and social media. According to the chatbot itself, ChatGPT is “an AI-powered chatbot developed by OpenAI, based on the GPT (Generative Pretrained Transformer) language model. It uses deep learning techniques to generate human-like responses to text inputs in a conversational manner.” ChatGPT is one of many generative AI examples that allow users to enter written prompts and receive new human-like text or images and videos generated by AI. It is powered by a large language model programmed to understand human language and generate responses based on large data corpora. With features like producing poetry in the style of Shakespeare, or providing advice on how throw a five-year-old child’s birthday party, one million users signed up for the chatbot just five days after its release. Its popularity has grown in the business community and even started a clash between tech giants. Microsoft announced a multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment deal with OpenAI and that new AI-powered updates will be on its Bing search engine and Edge browser. The day before Microsoft announced this big update, Google unveiled its own response to ChatGPT, called Bard AI, and plans to roll Bard out in Google Search soon. While Generative AI may soon have implications for certain industries, experts say generative AI isn’t capable of achieving human-like, “general” intelligence, and improvements still need to be made. Read more at CNBC.
The Great Resignation Turned Great Regret
In 2021, the “Great Resignation” had 47 million Americans quit their jobs to search for positions with better pay, benefits, and work-life balance. This significant movement named “the Great Resignation” has turned into what is now known as the “Great Regret.” A survey of 825 employees and 354 employers shows that 80% of employees who left their jobs during the “Great Resignation” now regret their decision. From that group, Generation Zers have the most regret about swapping jobs (89%). Moreover, company culture and workplace loyalty are important to both employees and employers, which is why 70% of employers either want to give or have given people their jobs back. The good news is even if you regret your decision to switch jobs, many employers are willing to rehire and even improve benefits. Even with such a big resignation sweep around the country, the United States may be bouncing back, with 517,000 jobs added in January, and unemployment rates falling to a 53-year low, despite recession forecasts and rising layoffs in the technology industry. While experts say resignations will continue unless employers change and adapt, the key is to make managers your most valuable resource with purposeful communication through weekly “touch-base” meetings. A proactive, healthy communicative relationship with your company and manager can greatly impact both regret and resignation thoughts. Read more at Paychex.
Deadly Earthquake Hit Turkey and Syria
Disaster hit Turkey and Syria this week, with two devastating earthquakes (with 7.8 magnitudes) striking both countries on Monday. More than 21,000 people have been found dead, and tens of thousands have been injured after the earthquakes. Teams have been working to rescue survivors as aid agencies warn that new snowfall and lack of water, communications, and power could cause a deadly “secondary disaster.” Amidst the backlash growing over Turkey’s response to the earthquakes, the country’s disaster management agency has deployed search and rescue teams to areas that have been badly hit, and the health minister announced field hospitals had been set up. The February 6 earthquake was one of the strongest and deadliest in Turkey in more than 80 years. The World Health Organization said up to 23 million people could be affected by this disaster. Read more in Reuters.
- 1/10: U.S. adults who have paired off romantically and met their partner through a dating site or app. Around 45% of app users over the past year said they want to meet a long-term partner.
- $7 million: The amount for which Fox set their 30-second commercial ads at during this year’s Super Bowl LVII. The price of the commercials marks the most expensive Super Bowl ad spots of all time.
- 400: The amount of food products, including sandwiches and fruit cups, that have been recalled due to possible Listeria contamination. All the recalled items were sold in 11 states last month.
- $93 million: How much money FTX gave in political donations, which it now wants back. The bankrupt crypto exchange tells recipients of the donations to return the cash they received from employees by the end of the month or wait for the judge to order it back.
- 15%: The amount that Zoom, the videoconferencing company, is cutting in its workforce. Zoom shares are down about 85% from their 2020 highs. It was decided that the company needs to adapt to the uncertainty of the global economy and its effect on its customers.
- 32: The number of Grammy’s Beyonce earned throughout her career, breaking records for the most Grammy awards an artist has ever won in their career. This year’s 65th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on February 5, 2023.
- 139 million metric tons: The amount of single-use plastic waste generated in 2021, which is the most created ever. This amount of single-use plastic waste generated is 6 million metric tons more than in 2019. 139 million metric tons is equivalent to around 306,442,544,437 pounds.
- $69,000: The price that tickets went for to watch LeBron James break the NBA scoring record this week. With 10.9 seconds left in the third quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder, James scored the 36th point of the game and 38,388th of his career, beating Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s league record of 38,387, set in 1989.
— NBA (@NBA) February 8, 2023