Monday Musings 28 February: From war to palindromes and partying robots – the most surreal week of 2022 

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Last week Tuesday was 22 February 2022 (22/2/22). It was the most exceptional date in over a decade, according to palindrome enthusiast Aziz Inan. You see, the date reads the same forward as it does backward.  

If you’re not sure what a palindrome date actually signifies, don’t worry. Neither do I. But if last week is anything to go by, it brings some surreal sh*t into the world. 

It all started with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson suddenly deciding that COVID isn’t ‘a thing’ anymore. The dude who made a snap decision in December that he would lock us South Africans out over Omicron and cripple our tourism industry in one swift go, suddenly decided he is now fed up with COVID. Like many of us, he seems to be just over it and announced a new ‘living with COVID’ plan.  

Just as we thought we were finally back on the path to normality, a disaster of monstrous proportions struck. The world is at war. Not with a virus this time, but with Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine and declared war. The West condemned his attack as ‘barbaric’, ‘horrific’ and ‘unjustified’, while journalists globally drew comparisons between Putin, Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein.  

As most of us wait to see how this situation unfolds and what the repercussions will be to world peace, our heart is with the Ukrainians. The images of people fleeing their country, their homes, their friends in an attempt to find safety are heart-breaking. The video of a Ukrainian father who broke down in tears as he said goodbye to his partner and young daughter as they boarded a bus for safety while he remained behind to fight will forever be imprinted on my mind. It’s a horrific glimpse into how the Eastern European conflict is tearing families apart. No land, money or ‘honour’ can be worth this! 

Our world ‘leaders’ make the impending robot invasion that has been covered extensively in the news feel like a welcome change. Up until this week, the announcement that there are now robots that can reproduce, learn and evolve all by themselves, would have sent chills up my spine. This week, however, I can’t help but think that perhaps robots should actually give world leadership a try.  

The latest robot has been shown contemplating the meaning of life, trying to answer questions like how much control we have over our life. To be very honest, the ‘thinking’ robot looked bloodcurdlingly scary. A good thing then, that the scientists at Boston Dynamics decided to show the world a more relaxed version of their creations: robots who know how to party. And we also saw the introduction of a robotic sous chef who is keen to make you a salad or even a swiss fondue, as well robot Da Vinci who performed a life-saving surgery in Cape Town. How bad can robots be? Maybe we should really give them a try… 


Mindful Musings

Monday Musings 28 February: From war to palindromes and partying robots – the most surreal week of 2022  1

Marketing Musings: Feelings Matter

Did you know that an average customer gets exposed to over 4000 ads daily? That’s according to a LinkedIn article written by Nidhi P. That means that if you want to stand out, you need to work harder and smarter than ever before. The best way to do this is to tap into your customers’ emotions and solve their problem instead of ‘selling your product’.  

“Emotions are what drive your customers’ purchasing behaviour, and 95% of purchase decision-making is subconscious,” says Harvard Business School (HBS) professor Gerald Zaltman. 

In marketing, four basic emotions make us react in different ways:  

  • Happiness makes us want to share and is the main driver for social sharing
  • Sadness makes us more generous and makes us feel connected to others.  
  • Fear makes us feel more attached and more loyal.  
  • Anger makes us more stubborn and will help some content easily go viral

The most highly acclaimed emotional marketing campaign is the Always #LikeAGirl campaign. #LikeAGirl conjures unmistakable emotions of passion and confidence by using genuine voices to take on the negative associations linked to being female. 

Travel and tourism lends itself perfectly to emotional marketing as travel in itself is an emotive experience. Last year, Marriott tapped into emotional marketing for its ‘Travel Makes Us One’ campaign. 


What the world was musing over this past week 

Monday Musings 28 February: From war to palindromes and partying robots – the most surreal week of 2022  2

Nerves of steel 

A Kenya Airways pilot has soared to fame after millions of people were blown away by her expert landing at Heathrow Airport during Storm Eunice. 


Monday Musings 28 February: From war to palindromes and partying robots – the most surreal week of 2022  3

The Tinder Swindler takes on SA 

Kudos on Checkers60 for tapping into the popular Tinder Swindler hype. The retail company has set up product categories around some of the catchphrases of the alleged conman. It now has categories like “Billionaires club” and “No need to pawn your cars for these” on its Sixty60 app. These categories refer to events and remarks by Shimon Hayut (aka Simon Leviev). 


Monday Musings 28 February: From war to palindromes and partying robots – the most surreal week of 2022  4

Cruising becomes more inclusive 

Hurtigruten Group has doubled down on its mission to encourage inclusivity in cruising. They formed a Black Traveller Advisory Board – the first of its kind in cruising. 


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Never get confused about foreign languages again 

Un cerveza. Een pintje. Una birra. From now you’ll always know how to order a beer wherever you are in the world. Meta has announced plans to build an AI-powered ‘universal speech translator’ that will work for ‘everyone in the world’.


Monday Musings 28 February: From war to palindromes and partying robots – the most surreal week of 2022  6

What do a stovetop, a prosthetic leg and false teeth have in common?  

They were all found on the Queensland trains last year. Queensland Rail (QR) is warning commuters to be more mindful of their belongings after 20,000 items were abandoned on the network last year, including some weird and wonderful things.