Monday Musings 30 May: Out-of-office

Is there an art to writing an out-of-office (OOO) email? Perhaps you’re thinking we’ve finally gone and done it and taken a big ambitious step too far. But hear us out.

For the last two years, there’s been a particular irony about always being ‘out of office’ while always ‘in office’ (on call in your home office/on the couch/at the dining room table). With the boundaries between work and home as messy as they could get, actually communicating that you’re really going to be out-of-office (as in actually unavailable) is more of an art than ever before.

One destination that truly knows how to push the boundaries of clever is Iceland. Iceland Tourism has done it yet again and has released the coolest OOO message you could ever have. How about getting an Icelandic horse to write your emails while you’re on holiday? Yip, simply click on OutHorse Your Email and you’ll be able to choose from one of three horses to create a personalised out-of-office email for you. How on earth you may ask?

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“The horses perform this technical feat by trotting (or tölting) across a large, custom-made large keyboard mat, providing weary workers with automated response options such as þþnjifai=’..,lmbmbnbbhgycdrgzw/’pfæ ndaiFVxhðut7r7r7djsmfdsm.”

All you need to do?

Of course, the campaign is technically designed for those visiting Iceland (we told you their marketing campaigns were good!) but the service is actually free for anyone.

If you’d like less horse play and more English, here are the secrets to writing the perfect OOO email. And if you think your colleagues and clients and those ‘never-take-no’ advertising people would appreciate the laugh, here are OOO email messages to steal.

If you’re still doubtful of the power of an out-of-office, did you know that Google Doodles were inspired by an out-of-office? Yip, way back in 1998 Larry Page and Sergey Brin took time off to attend the Burning Man Festival and coded (of course) an elaborate Burning Man inspired out-of-office email – the inspiration for the Google Doodles we love today.

Speaking of getting out of the office, if you need a holiday from the incredibly frustrating process of applying for Schengen visas, that process may just be getting marginally easier. The New Pact on Migration and Asylum, the European Commission outlined a goal to digitise Schengen visa applications by 2025. And if you’re in need of some inspiration to take the plunge and get out, Forbes Women compiled this nifty list of the 22 best places to travel around the world in 2022. South Africa got a mention!

Whether you’re in the office or happily OOO, we hope everyone has a great week ahead!


Mindful Musings

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Marketing Musings

Web what? Don’t worry if you don’t know Web 1.0 from Web 3.0. We’ll simplify the complicated and why it’s important for your marketing strategy.

Popupsmart explained Web 3.0. as follows:

Web 1.0 – static pages of info (text and graphics).

Web 2.0 – More interactive (social media).

Web 3.0 – The decentralised web. Think of it as a virtual world – eg: virtual shopping malls where you can engage with each other and buy products.

“Web 3.0 is commonly considered the next generation of internet and web protocol, with many experts predicting that this new development will have significant implications on businesses and society.

It involves semantic web technology and artificial intelligence.

Web 3.0 offers not only personalization but also the Semantic Web, which provides a framework for information to be reused and shared more easily among programs, communities, and companies.”

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So, what does Web 3.0 mean for the oncoming marketing revolution? It’s changing everything – revolutionizing the way we think about the Internet.

  • Marketers will be able to more efficiently advertise products.
  • Get ready for a whole new world of innovation in advertising and marketing.
  • You’ll be able to offer a more personalised experience. Every marketer has been talking about personalisation for years – now it’s just easier and more essential.
  • Work for any device or screen size.
  • Your audience will be able to manage their data and privacy.
  • Check out NFTs- a new way of connecting with your communities.
  • Exciting changes in the social media space. Web 3 marketing is about building meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with your customers. Think of your customers as the people they are, not numbers in a database.

Read more here.


What the world was musing over this past week

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The world just got stranger

Stranger Things season 4 is finally here and the world’s landmarks ‘dressed up’ to honour the new season.


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Reminiscing world history

Take a trip down centuries of world history with these 30 history photos to give you the chills.


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The art of drinking wine with Coca-Cola (yikes)

The Big Ambitions team got to relive their misspent youth reading about the lost art of drinking wine with Coca-Cola. Anyone up for a kalimotxo or katemba? Email us!


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The student becomes the teacher

How the explanation effect helps you learn faster. Here’s why you should always teach what you learn.


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Troll, be gone

Even though the “sticks and stones” theory means words shouldn’t get to us, they do. Good Things Guy shares 6 things he has learnt while dealing with internet trolls.


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Sign away

It’s about time – South Africa is set to get its 12th official language! President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet has paved the way for South African Sign Language (SASL) to become an official language.