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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Johnnie Walker takes another step to keep walking

From ailing whisky producer 
to global icon: 
Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s campaign for Johnnie Walker reversed the trend in the brand's value.
It was awarded the Grand Prix, the highest accolade, at the 2008 IPA Effectiveness Awards for their global campaign. 
Finding the right strategic direction can fundamentally unlock the value of the brand and liberate the creative process. Johnnie Walker is a fabulous example.
Whisky had always been sold as the drink for people who were successful, it’s about celebration. 
But success isn’t a place .... it’s a journey and really successful people are always moving forward.
Unlocking that truth and aligning the sentiment with the Johnnie Walker brand through great creative work, based on our ‘Keep Walking’ thought allowed us to create incredibly effective advertising.

A one-shot-wonder for Johnnie Walker. 

A piper wails in a misty glen, surrounded by craggy highland scenery - not the most surprising start to a Scotch whiskey ad perhaps. And the spot's star agrees. Into the screen marches Robert Carlyle, who tells the piper to 'shut it', before launching into his story. 

The film, for Johnnie Walker, The Man Who Walked Around The World, sees Carlyle stride through an impossible Scottish rugged landscape.

(the making of.... here)



In 1805, John Walker was born at Todriggs Farm near Kilmarnock.
John was just a local farm boy, but there was something special about the lad – a glint in his eye, a fire in his belly, a spring in his step.
One day he went for a walk – this walk began when his father died. The year was 1819 and he was just 14 years old. These were the days when young boys were sent into the fields, the mills, the mines – tough times. But young John was smart enough to be lucky. His father’s farm where he was born and raised, was sold and the proceeds used to open a grocer’s.
Big responsibility for the wee lad. His own shop in Kilmarnock, has his name on the door: John Walker. Or Johnnie, as the world now knows him.
Back then, all grocers stocked a range of local single malts, but they could be a wee bit inconsistent. For John, that wasn’t good enough. He began blending different malts together as a way of offering his customers a consistent, unique product. Now, this backroom art quickly developed into a commercial proposition and a very profitable one. And because there was nothing like a commercial proposition to stir the Scottish heart, it grew quickly into an industry filled with ambitious entrepreneur distillers.
John thrived in this environment, and so too soon would be his sons, Alexander and Robert, who joined him on his journey. The Walkers became the biggest name in a rapidly growing industry. They were unstoppable.
In one bold bit of 19th century corporate raiding, they bought the famed distillery at Cardhu, lock, stock and ensuring their supply of this silky single malt, and guaranteeing, most importantly, that none of the other big blenders could get their hands on it.
But young Alexander wasn’t content with being Scotland’s biggest blender. Not ambitious enough for him. He convinced the ship’s captains of Glasgow to act as agents for him, and drove the whisky bearing his father’s name across the globe.
By 1860, he had developed the square bottle, now with a label at an angle of precisely 24°. No big deal, you might think, but you’d be wrong. The square bottle meant less breakages and more bottles per shipment. The diagonal label meant larger type and together that meant JOHNNIE WALKER® had an unmistakeable presence on any shelf in the world. The bottle became an icon, and the rich liquid it contained sought after and consumed across the globe. Quite a character, Alexander Walker – master of the blender’s art, ambitious, uncompromising.

It was John’s grandsons, George and Alexander II’s turn to join him on his journey. They led the brand into the 20th century. By 1909, they had developed the iconic Red Label and Black Label, and persuaded Tom Browne, the best young illustrator of the day, to sketch a Striding Man™ on the back of a menu card during a business lunch. In the stroke of a pen, the Victorian grocer was transformed into an Edwardian dandy.

By 1920, Johnnie’s walk had taken him through 120 countries, and he continued walking through the brand’s advertising over the next 50 years, into the fabric of global culture, deep into the dark hearts of several wars, to the pleasure palaces of the aristocracy, immortalised by screen legends, celebrated by filmmakers, singers, songwriters, novelists, shoulder-to-shoulder with the great sportsmen of the age, winning countless international awards for quality and even being awarded the Royal Warrant by King George V.

By the end of the 20th century, the familiar Red Label and Black Label were joined by the Green Label, the Gold Label and, the grandest of them all, JOHNNIE WALKER® Blue Label.

By the beginning of the 21st century, JOHNNIE WALKER® wasn’t just the world’s biggest whisky brand, but an international symbol of progress, the brand’s ‘KEEP WALKING’ mantra adopted by pro-democracy protestors and parliamentary speech writers.

What would the farm-born Victorian grocer have thought of all of these? He’d have loved it. A Victorian farm-born grocer he might have be, but he, and the family that followed him, were possessed by a fiery ambition, with the skill and intelligence to match. 

Two hundred years later, and JOHNNIE WALKER® is still walking. And he’s not showing any signs of stopping.

To be very honest, I know very little of the Walkers before this. Now, I am truly inspired and encouraged to keep moving forward in life and ambition.


'Keep walking'

Sold in more than 180 markets, it is the world's
largest whisky brand by some margin, with more
than $4.5 billion in sales in 2007. The brand's
portfolio ranges from Blue Label, one of the world's
most expensive whiskies, to Red Label, the world's
most popular.
Back in 1999, however, Johnnie Walker was on red
In the preceding three years, volume sales had
fallen by 14 per cent, while market share was also in
steady decline.
For a brand with such a proud past, the future was
looking bleak; Bartle Bogle Hegarty was called to
pitch for the business.
The brief was twofold:
to immediately reverse sales fortunes; and to
develop a future-proof global communications


BNW- Who Rob Our Traditional Salaries? (aka ROB O. T. S.)

John Maynard Keynes used the term as early as ............, warning: 
"We are being afflicted with a new disease of which some readers may not yet have heard the name, but of which they will hear a great deal in the years to come – namely, technological unemployment.

a) From AE (artcraft evolution) to IR (industrial revolution) took 2000 years1-“engines will free us from that which makes us automata job workers.”  

b)  From IR (industrial revolution) to AIR (artificial intelligence revolution)  takes 300 years
1-“automation frees us from that which makes us feel free.”  2- The nouveau-poor (precariat) will learn to live with less and enjoy all the new digital distractions, while the rich, well, they'll be the new benevolent ruling class'          (N. Carr)

In 1931, Aldous Huxley wrote  Brave New World. a book that has come to symbolise our instinctive reaction to the proposition of a happy pill: Born to run a mill. Another speculative idea slides into this argument—Brave New World echoed a successful factory in which Robots (we could call them Epsilons with Huxley) do all the rut (mechanical) work.


               ............................   is  when .... 

  • your neighbour loses his job. 
  • you lose yours. 
  • you, your neighbour and half the other people in your street lose their jobs too.
   use these:

 Recession   --- Catastrophe   --  Depression

Notions of newsworthiness in a brave new world of automated content producer can lead us to any of these three: 
Automated Insights, Narrative Science, or another system built by IBM Research that can summarize sports events based only on tweets about them - according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Younger journalists may have less turf on which to prove themselves “better than a robot.”

SECOND GUESS. Some 1,896 experts responded to the following question:
The economic impact of robotic advances and AI 
Self-driving cars, intelligent digital agents that can act for you, 
and robots are advancing rapidly.
Will networked, automated, artificial intelligence (AI) applications and robotic devices have displaced more jobs than they have created by 2025?

Join the ANSWER:
Some percentage of these experts (......%) envision a future in which  digital agents have displaced significant numbers of both blue- and white-collar workers—with  concerns about  increases in income inequality, unemployable masses of people.
The rest of the percentage of these experts (......%)  expect that technology will not displace more jobs than it creates by 2025.


The race against the machine has begun. 
  • And we are being OUT of the job market..... (outnumbered, outrun, outgunned and outflanked) by today’s increasingly widespread network of digital devices and algorithms.

  1. Key themes: reasons to be hopeful 

  1. Advances in technology may displace certain types of work, but historically they have been a net creator of jobs.
  2. We will adapt to these changes by inventing entirely new types of work, and by taking advantage of uniquely human capabilities.
  3. Technology will free us from day-to-day drudgery, and allow us to define our relationship with “work” in a more positive and socially beneficial way.
  4. Ultimately, we as a society control our own destiny through the choices we make.
Key themes: reasons to be concerned
  • Impacts from automation have thus far impacted mostly blue-collar employment; the coming wave of innovation threatens to upend white-collar work as well.
  • Certain highly-skilled workers will succeed wildly in this new environment—but far more may be displaced into lower paying service industry jobs at best, or permanent unemployment at worst.
  • Our educational system is not adequately preparing us for work of the future, and our political and economic institutions are poorly equipped to handle these hard choices.


Robots are the way forward
EXAMPLE ONE. LAWYERS.Lawyers, even at the highest level, are vulnerable to the advances of artificial intelligence as Amazon, Google and Facebook focus on ways of replacing humans with robots in all parts of the workplace.

1- Nicholas Carr, author of The Glass Cage, 
'lawyers will be usurped by algorithms - citing Lex Machina software (which predicts the outcome of patent lawsuits) as an early example.'

2- Kevin Kelly, 'senior maverick' at Wired Magazine stated: 
2a) 'You'll be paid in future depending on how well you work with robots.'

2b) 'the main beneficiaries of automation will be those already rich enough to own the technology, leading to a world of billionaires and beggars.'

3- Thomas Friedman notes:
“Average is over,
 is connected to job skills. apparently means that you can’t get a good job anymore if your skill level is only average.'
 4- American economist Tyler Cowen about a brave new world:
'The key divide is between 12% of people who can work effectively with artificially intelligent machines. new elite as a “hyper-meritocracy”, and everyone else 88%.'
5- Andrew Keen adds: 
'for every senior maverick able to work with robots, there will be a legion of teachers, lawyers, accountants and diagnosticians whose "skills" will be increasingly redundant in the age of the intelligent machine.'

The vastly reduced costs to business, say the optimists, will create a boom that will ultimately lead to millions of new jobs — jobs that we can’t even envisage yet. 

May 2013

See you at TESTING yourself -Use some webpages Level C1

Why not TEST Myself?
webpages Level C1


           READING   TEST_____ (28 items) .. .... passmark 19 items
LISTENING TEST ___  (21 items) ....... passmark 14 items

Image result for monkey at computerTASK_01. At Easter, have a look at the GenCat webpage (above).
Get ready to do the test properly. 
my HINT:
ANSWER both tests the same day! I mean, what is needed to self-assess yourself correctly:
time (50 min for the Reading test, 45 for the listening one) and
place (quiet, well-lit, relaxing)

First day after Easter, bring a copy of the corrected answer sheet. 
Write your name on it and state your score: that is

READING TEST_____ (5/10 + 4/7 + 9/11 = 16/28)

LISTENING TEST ___ (5/9 + 4/5 + 5/7 = 14/21)


a) READING TEST___________ Asturies ___C1 (20 items)

b) READING TEST___________ Navarra ___C1 (15 items)

c) READING TEST___________ Illes Balears ___C1 (15 items)

+ Use of English! : __C1 (45 items)

d) READING TEST___________ Euskadi ___C1 (14 items -50 min)

    + Use of English! : __C1 (16 items)

LISTENING TEST ..... up to you! Download the relevant Listening test pages....

Monday, March 20, 2017

Writing essays. A new trend: Fashion victims

An effective introductory paragraph both informs and motivates: 

it lets readers know what your essay is about and it encourages them to keep reading.There are countless ways to begin an essay effectively. As a start, here are 5/13 introductory strategies accompanied by examples from a wide range of professional writers.  (all 13 ways can be checked here)

I adapted them to this suggested title: 

     A new trend: Fashion victims    

1- State your thesis briefly and directly (but avoid making a bald announcement, such as "This essay is about . . .").
It is time, at last, to speak the truth about Fashion victims, and the truth is plainly this. I am on the sunny side of 40 and  Fashion victims is really not such a terrific territory plagued by teenagers, it can be infected at any age . . . .

2- Pose a question related to your subject and then answer it (or invite your readers to answer it).
What is the charm of Fashion victims? Why would anyone put something extra around their neck and then invest it with special significance? A cool brand necklace doesn't afford warmth in cold weather, like a scarf, or protection in combat, like chain mail; it only decorates our image..... 

 3- Recount an incident that dramatizes your subject.
One October afternoon three years ago while I was visiting my parents, my mother made a request I dreaded and longed to fulfill. She had just poured me a cup of jasmine tea, shaped like a little pumpkin; outside, two sparrows splashed in the birdbath in the weak Canigó sunlight. Her greyish hair was gathered at the nape of her neck, and her voice was low. “Please help me get Josep Maria make a U-turn in his blog "TACKY. the other side of Fashion victims" she said, using my father’s full name. I nodded, and my heart knocked. 

4- Reveal a secret about yourself or make a candid observation about your subject.
I spy on my customers at the 2nd floor of the Corte Ingles. Ought not a professional to observe his VIP clients by any means and from any stance, that he might the more fully assemble evidence? So I stand in doorways of changing rooms and gaze. Oh, it is not all that furtive an act. Those in bed need only look up to discover me. But they never do. 

5- Open with a riddle, joke, or humorous quotation, and show how it reveals something about your subject.
Q: What did Eve say clad with a fig leave to Adam on being expelled from the Garden of Eden?A: "I think we're in a time of fashion victims."The irony of this joke is not lost as we begin a new century and the power of branding (new icons became Eve, Apple...) about social consumerism seem rife. The implication of this message is that our image is paramount; there is, in fact, no era or society in which shoppers minds where so immersed in. . . .

6- Offer a contrast between past and present that leads to your thesis.
As a child, I was made to look out the window to a brand car and appreciate the beautiful differences of a Citroen Shark or a Volvo XT Coupe, with the result that now I don't care much for Japanese cars. As a result, I prefer classics, ones with an aura of the past made present and the delicious whiff of a Marlboro cigarette man.

For a cartoon page on the topic, click here.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Present to future- fake genuine genetic stuff

Five new synthetic yeast chromosomes assembled

30% of organism's genetic material swapped for engineered replacements

A global research team has built five new synthetic yeast chromosomes, meaning that 30 percent of a key organism's genetic material has now been swapped out for engineered replacements. This is one of several findings of a package of seven papers published March 10 as the cover story for Science. 
Led by NYU Langone geneticist Jef Boeke, PhD, and a team of more than 200 authors, the publications are the latest from the Synthetic Yeast Project (Sc2.0). By the end of this year, this international consortium hopes to have designed and built synthetic versions of all 16 chromosomes -- the structures that contain DNA -- for the one-celled microorganism, Baker's yeast (S. cerevisiae). 
  • "This work sets the stage for completion of designer, synthetic genomes to address unmet needs in medicine and industry," says Boeke, director of NYU Langone's Institute for Systems Genetics. 
  • "Beyond any one application, the papers confirm that newly created systems and software can answer basic questions about the nature of genetic machinery by reprogramming chromosomes in living cells."

03/07/2017  Huffington Post
The world is churning out so much data that hard drives may not be able to keep up, leading researchers to look at DNA as a possible storage medium. DNA is ultra compact, and doesn’t degrade over time like cassettes and CDs. In a new study, Yaniv Erlich and Dina Zielinski demonstrate DNA’s full potential and reliability for storing data. The researchers wrote six files—a full computer operating system, a 1895 French film, an Amazon gift card, a computer virus, a Pioneer plaque, and a study by information theorist Claude Shannon—into 72,000 DNA strands, each 200 bases long. They then used sequencing technology to retrieve the data, and software to translate the genetic code back into binary. The files were recovered with no errors. 

Erlich thinks it could be more than a decade before DNA storage becomes accessible to the general public.
And even then, the technology might be reserved for things like recording patient data in medical systems, as opposed to being sold to consumers as the latest tech product.
"This is still the early stages of DNA storage. It's basic science," Erlich told Eva Botkin-Kowacki at The Christian Science Monitor.
"It's not that tomorrow you're going to go to Best Buy and get your DNA hard drive."
The findings are reported in Science.