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🪦 RIP to the GIF

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Snoop Dogg’s new THC-infused Snazzle Os are getting positive reviews, being compared to a tasty, “more onion-y” version of Funyuns.

In today’s email:

  • McDonald’s: Is all-in on nostalgia.
  • Chart: Humans love subscriptions.
  • GIFs: Might be on the way out.
  • Around the Web: Better meetings, a giant otter, a techy camo jacket, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear Rob and Juliet discuss Boo Bucket nostalgia, YouTube’s new handles, what killed the GIF, and more.

The big idea
Happy Meal bucket

McDonald’s is cashing in on nostalgia

In a gust of spoopy nostalgia, McDonald’s Halloween Boo Buckets are back in participating US stores Oct. 18-31.

After a successful test run in the NYC and Boston areas, the buckets first debuted in 1986, per horror blog Nightmare Nostalgia.

The first run saw three orange jack-o’-lantern buckets: McPunk’n, McBoo, and McGoblin.

Buckets replaced the Happy Meal’s cardboard box and toy for several Halloweens to follow, and McDonald’s frequently iterated on their designs.

  • 1989: McBoo was joined by the white McGhost and the green McWitch.
  • 1992: The bucket lids got Halloween cookie cutters.
  • Between 2010 and 2016, the buckets featured pop culture tie-ins, including Mr. Potato Head, Minions, and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

McDonald’s occasionally tried other Halloween toys, but the pails have always been the most popular, per McDonald’s archivist Mike Bullington.

They could also lure millennials

The 2022 versions riff on the classic ‘89 buckets, which were obviously the best — and the ones millenials likely remember from childhood.

As adults, millennials haven’t taken to McDonald’s like previous generations have.

  • In 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported that 80% of millennials hadn’t tried a Big Mac, and that many preferred health-focused chains or newer options like Shake Shack.

Still, McDonald’s is reportedly selling out of its “adult Happy Meal” collaboration with streetwear brand Cactus Plant Flea Market.

BTW: In ‘91, McDonald’s replaced the pails with vinyl treat bags, but a collector found the lost designs for the buckets that never were.

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eyeball wearing a hat

Ouch: Multiple TwitchCon attendees were seriously injured after jumping into a foam pit exhibit that wasn’t deep enough.


Oof: The Nasdaq composite closed at its lowest point since July 2020 on Monday, due in part to a dip in semiconductor stocks like Nvidia and AMD.

YouTube announced it will begin rolling out account handles for all users starting this week.

Amazon will invest $972m to electrify its delivery network of vans, trucks, and cargo bikes in Europe.

Getir, an Istanbul-based delivery app, is in advanced talks to acquire fellow delivery app Gorillas in an effort to gain scale in the UK and Germany.

Google has joined Apple in removing The OG App, an app that promised an ad-free Instagram experience, from its app store.

US consumers are expected to spend $209.7B online this holiday season, up 2.5% YoY.

Prize: Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and economists Douglas Diamond and Philip Dybvig received the $886k Nobel Prize in Economics for their research on bank runs.

A Dutch court decided that forcing employees to keep their webcams on at work is a human rights violation.

Tinder partnered with BallotReady on an in-app election center where users can register to vote and get polling and election info.

Balancing the checkbook: Wages, loans, insurance — need help tackling your business expenses? Check out The Hustle blog’s deep dive into startup costs.

where consumers are cutting spending

Singdhi Sokpo

Americans really, really love their subscriptions

If it wasn’t clear already, us humans — we really love paying for things on a monthly basis.

New data from the National Research Group found that while 44% of consumers have tried to cut back on spending at the grocery store amid ongoing high inflation, only 18% did so with their streaming subscriptions.

  • Among subscriptions generally, NRG found Amazon Prime is among the least likely to be canceled, trailing cloud storage and music streaming services.
  • Most likely to be canceled? Dating apps, at 76%.

With subscription businesses so widespread, consumers say companies must now innovate to grab attention, with NRG citing examples like Netflix offering mobile games and On’s subscription-based running shoes.

Weird history: One Swiss sock company proudly claims they beat Netflix in inventing “the first online subscription” service in 1999, dubbed the “sockscription.”

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Goodbye GIFs?
gif headstone

Is this the end of the GIF?

In 2016, a Tumblr executive called GIFs “the file format of the internet generation.”

Six years later, the looping image format is being described as “cringe” by younger generations, per The Atlantic.

What happened?

In short, a combination of things:

  • Accessibility: GIF-searching features on Facebook, Twitter, and iMessage brought the format to the masses.
  • Over-usage: As using GIFs became easier, more people started using them, often selecting the same ones over and over.

As older adults started using the same GIFs as their children and grandchildren, the format lost its cool factor.

But are GIFs really going away?

GIF database Giphy reported declining uploads on its platform and said younger users describe GIFs as “for boomers” in a filing with the Competition and Markets Authority.

  • Further, another file type has emerged: MP4 video files, which can display a similar effect to GIFs at a smaller file size, have been embraced by most social media platforms.

Of course, as the latest wave of nostalgia proves — culture is cyclical. So as soon as we proclaim the death of the GIF, some trendsetters are sure to resurrect it once again.

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🤣 On this day: In 1975, comedy variety show “Saturday Night Live” debuted on NBC.

🧥 That’s cool: This thermal camo jacket would make you invisible to infrared cameras. And also Predators.

🧠 How to: Roll pre-work into meetings in a way that actually works.

🦦 Wow: A study about a massive, “lion-sized” otter that lived ~3m years ago in what is now Ethiopia.

🦦 Aww: Speaking of otters, here’s a mom floating with her baby.

Chicken McNuggets meme

Genius move by Mickey D’s. (Source: Imgflip)

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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, and Rob Litterst.
Editing by: Mark “McGoblin” Dent.

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