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🚘 A 4-hour car ad that’s… well-liked?

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Next time dinner isn’t quite ready yet, and you start getting overdramatic about how critical your hungry levels are, expect four pairs of eyes to roll — all of them on one spider. A new study found that bold jumping spiders can literally go blind with hunger, with their photoreceptors showing signs of degeneration when undernourished.

In today’s email:

  • You & me & AI: The new wedding essentials — Bride. Groom. Chatbot?
  • Requiem for a scheme: How an unlikely hero toppled a major ’80s Ponzi scheme.
  • Nissan: The 4-hour ad that won over YouTube.
  • Around the Web: Poetic insect bite rankings, how to get noticed by recruiters, the first spam email, and more internet finds.
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The big idea
wedding rings

Tying the… bot?

Have you ever heard a hush fall over a wedding the moment the best man — 10 vodka sodas deep — gets to the part of his speech about “that one night in Vegas”?

If the moment made you sweat through your rental tux, you’re not alone. Wedding speeches can be brutal. Heck, so can the vows (the ol’ “we’ve had our ups and downs” that always seem to just be downs).

Now, AI is crashing the party

Per Wired, the wedding industry is not immune to the AI bug, and planning sites are incorporating chatbots to help happy couples and stressed-out bridesmaids alike.

Wedding website Joy added a ChatGPT-powered tool to help people create:

  • Speeches
  • Signature cocktail names
  • Wedding hashtags
  • Thank-you cards
  • Polite ways to decline wedding invitations

Users can include personal details to tailor their message and choose the voice it’s written in from options like Shakespeare, a pirate, or a pessimistic ex (yes, really).

Another AI tool for those who don’t want to look like tools in front of 150 people is ToastWiz, which, for the low price of $29.99, can make sure the happy couple is indebted to you forever.

The site prompts users to provide details and memories before spitting out three personalized speech options in just minutes.

If it feels like love is dead…

… It might be! But something about weddings makes people a little unhinged, so maybe calling in machine backup isn’t the worst idea.

Cheers to living #HappilyEverAlgorithm. (ChatGPT wrote that.)

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eyeball wearing a hat

Need a mystical drink from the elven realm? You’re in luck, because Elven Springs is selling “the world’s first fantasy water,” extra magicked up with limited-edition artwork on each can and 12-pack box.


TodAI in AI: Need a dose of “AI isn’t about to take every job” today? Look no further than this thread full of AI-generated takes on NFL mascots.

Meanwhile… Inflection AI launched its buzzy Pi chatbot, designed to be a helpful, more conversational personal assistant.

Nextdoor is launching a new AI assistant to help people write nicer posts about that one neighbor who won’t pick up after their dog (you know who you are).

TV trouble: The Writers Guild of America is striking for the first time in 15 years after negotiations with production studios failed. Many scripted TV shows will stop production and several late-night talk shows are now on hiatus.

Mastodon no longer requires new users to choose a server, making it more accessible to users unfamiliar with decentralized platforms — like all those folks looking for a new Twitter.

Uber keeps winning: The rideshare giant reported $8.8B in Q1 revenue, up 29% YoY, and a 24% YoY increase in trips. Shares bumped 11%+ by Tuesday’s final bell.

Whopper of a win: Restaurant Brands International had a stronger-than-expected Q1 thanks to double-digit sales growth at Burger King and Tim Hortons.

Wednesday Mourning: Once a nationwide discount retailer with ~700 stores, Tuesday Morning will soon be a zero-store enterprise, closing down its remaining locations for good after 49 years in business.

Apple’s Safari reclaimed its runner-up spot on the list of most-used desktop web browsers, narrowly topping Microsoft Edge. Both are used by ~11% of global users, compared to Google Chrome’s 66%.

Surge pricing: Just as we were wrapping our heads around Tesla’s price cuts in yesterday’s newsletter, Ford announced cuts for its electric Mustang Mach-E.

Bamboo ceiling: What is it, and what does it mean for Asian Americans in the workplace? Here’s an explainer.

Feature story
ZZZZ Best share price over time

The secretary who helped uncover one of America’s strangest Ponzi schemes

The whole thing started because Robin H. Swanson wanted to send flowers.

She was a Southern Californian who worked at an aerospace firm. Swanson was a wife, a mother to four kids in a blended family, and a secretary who enjoyed her job. She was living what most people would consider an ordinary life.

When her boss’s spouse got surgery in January 1986, that began to change.

Swanson ordered a standard bouquet from the closest florist she could find, a business called Floral Fantasies. The flowers plus delivery cost $23.95. Swanson used her Visa card. That was that.

Or so Swanson thought.

She realized a few weeks later she had been charged $601.11 for the order — the equivalent of ~$1.6k today.

“The bottom line is I got pissed,” Swanson told us. “I turned into an investigator.”

The coming months would take Swanson and her husband down a path that was anything but ordinary: phone calls with a charismatic young entrepreneur, a clandestine visit to a lavish gated community, a dust-up with hired goons.

Swanson was just trying to get her money, but she ended up doing far more. She helped set a foundation for the downfall of one of the biggest — and most bizarre — Ponzi schemes of the 1980s.

Read the full story →
Free Resource

15 hard-hitting value prop templates

Value props = clear, concise pitches for buyers and stakeholders.

AKA the key branding language no business can afford to flub.

Before you get flustered on the framework, we’ve got you covered. Here are 15 clean-cut copy and design templates to help you tie it all together.

Create and brainstorm with these models:

  • Value proposition writing
  • Value proposition canvas
  • Brand hierarchy
  • Competitive analysis
  • Mission and vision brainstorming

Keep those pitches pristine. Packaged by HubSpot. 🧡

Proper value propping →
Beat Goes On
Nissan car

Automakers are starting to realize their customers like this internet thing

“At first, I was like, ‘Is this really a 4-hour ad?’ Then I was like, ‘Damn, this beat is fire.’”

Most of us click “skip ad” as soon as we can, but Nissan found a clever way to keep viewers engaged — for 4 hours — without reaching for the “skip” button: an ad disguised as a lo-fi playlist.

The car company shared a 4-hour-long lo-fi playlist on YouTube featuring an animated character driving a Nissan Ariya. It clearly worked on the commenter quoted above…

… and then some: Since February, the video has racked up 18m+ views and 3.7k+ overwhelmingly positive comments.

What makes the ad so captivating?

The music, for starters. Lo-fi fans love YouTube, using it to discover new playlists to stream.

And Nissan, to its credit, put together a solid playlist.

  • They took clear inspiration from Lofi Girl, a popular YouTube channel that streams 24/7 and has racked up ~1.6B (yes, B as in billion) views since it started live streaming in 2020.

Car marketing finally goes digital

Automotive marketing has long been ripe for innovation. For some time, car commercials had been formulaic and the industry slow to embrace online customers

… until the pandemic forced their hand.

As travel restrictions, high interest rates, and supply chain issues brought major growth challenges, reliance on well-worn marketing tactics stopped cutting it.

In March 2020, 10% of car purchases moved online — up from 1% in 2018. With that figure expected to grow, automakers face pressure to move more of their marketing online.

Nissan has lo-fi covered, but as other companies hatch plans, might we suggest sponsoring some long nose dogs?

Read the full story →

📨 On this day: In 1978, Digital Equipment Corp. marketing rep Gary Thuerk sent the first spam email to all 393 ARPANET email addresses on the West Coast. The message detailed a new computer model.

🦆Useful: A database of collective nouns for when you want to know what, say, a group of canaries is called. (It’s an opera.)

👀 Video: Are recruiters ignoring your resume? Use these hacks to get noticed.

🪲 That’s interesting: The late entomologist Justin Schmidt ranked insect bites by pain. Descriptions include “similar to getting your hand smashed in a revolving door” and “tiny blowtorches kiss[ing] your arms.”

🎽 Aww: And now, time to get dressed!

productivity meme

Beats the old plan at least: 1-3) Ponder deepest insecurities. (Link)


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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen and Juliet Bennett RylahSara Friedman, .
Editing by: Ben “Vows to not use AI vows” Berkley.

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