Edition 140

In this week’s Our Take we look at TikTok’s latest music turmoil. Lush leaves the water running too long on a stunt activation. Spongebob makes a splash at the Superbowl and we check out the worlds “coolest” dictator.

Universal silence leaves space for new sounds

Image: TikTok Music

Universal Music is leaving a music shaped hole in Tik Tok as the two global players fail to come to an agreement on artist revenue streams.

According to The Drum online, “TikTok has accused Universal of being ‘greedy,’ and Universal has labelled TikTok as ‘bullies.’ Like most divorces involving serious assets, it’s messy”.

TikTok has long been THE breakthrough channel for new artists, but these breakthroughs became rarer and rarer as the musical establishment tightened its chokehold on the platform. Now, with the sudden silencing from artists such as Taylor Swift, The Beatles, Lady Gaga and Billie Eilish, there is once again a huge opportunity for emerging artists to be discovered.

And exploited, and underpaid. But that’s a different story.

LUSH Lets The Drain Dry Out

Image: unsplash

We’ve all been late to a party before, but it seems it’s LUSH’s turn to show up to a trend that went down the drain quite a while ago.

The cosmetics giant has officially joined in on the Saltburn craze with the launch of their bath bomb, the Saltbomb. Jumping on the trend-wagon is a fun way to reach new audiences and build brand visibility, but acting fast is key and let’s face it, Lush may have let this one soak too long. 

Think back to the clever (and mildly concerning) Bathwater Candle that appeared mere weeks after the film hit screens, generating enough of a spark that even Jacob Elordi gave it a whiff when he appeared on Fallon Tonight. That clip amassed over 25 million views on TikTok alone. 

The candles extended the talkability of the movie and led to rising sales for brands that hopped on the trend before the flame went out. Will LUSH experience the same joy with their late arrival, or have the bath bubbles burst?

Super Bowl SquarePants


Nickelodeon and Super Bowl are the power couple we never knew we needed. The kids television station jumped in on the action this year by airing Super Bowl LVIII Live from Bikini Bottom, hosted by the cast of SpongeBob SquarePants, and pulled straight from a fever dream.

From Sandy Cheeks providing pitch-side reports and fan faves SpongeBob and Patrick providing the in-game commentary, Nickelodeon brought the Superbowl to their world and audience effortlessly. Celebrity cameos included Taylor Fish and Shrimpotheé Chalamet while Nickelodeon royalty Dora the Explorer graced the screen suggesting how a map could help players find the endzone.

The Bikini Bottom takeover of the Superbowl was in every essence, unhinged. But the kids loved it.

The “coolest” dictator?

Describing himself as “the coolest dictator in the world” Nayib Bukele is a millennial who became president of El Salvador through the power of his populist ideas, authoritarian attitude, eloquent speech, and of course his trusty Smartphone and social media platforms.

He is hugely popular, and with some justification. Since taking control of the country, El Salvador has gone from being the murder capital of the world, to the Latin American country with the lowest murder rate. Bukele has successfully taken on the gangs that for decades plagued the country, and that many say were the real power in the struggling democracy.

But at what cost? In his eagerness to tackle the gangs, individual human rights have been ignored. El Salvador’s prisons are full to the brim, and Human Rights groups believe that many innocent people are being thrown into some of the most brutal jails in the world.

He has also trampled on the nation’s constitution, taking office for a second term.

Bukele has an iron grip on power, the support of the army (who he has used to intimidate parliament) and, like many populists, he abuses social media to attack his opponents – often with the help of countless faithful trolls.

It’s an all-too-familiar story.

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