From Mark Zuckerberg 2.0, to Further Lessons from Barbenheimer.

Mark Zuckerberg 2.0, an ongoing Twitter habit, further lessons from Barbenheimer, a record deal for Manchester United and a day with the Phillie Phanatic all feature in this week’s Trippant Takeaways, as we gather up more stories on communications trends in sport, entertainment and experience.  

Business Insider on the remaking of Mark Zuckerberg 

It’s been a wobbly couple of years for the social media company formerly known as Facebook. Misadventures in the metaverse have suggested a loss of focus, TikTok has emerged as a powerful competitor, and public concerns over data privacy have lingered gloomily in the background.  

So 2023 has been billed as Meta’s ‘year of efficiency’, with an investor-soothing strategy headlined by cuts to costs and, indeed, jobs. And according to Business Insider, through his return to first principles and newfound love for martial arts, founder Mark Zuckerberg has intentionally remodelled himself as the right leader for that moment.      

Quartz on the problem with quitting Twitter 

For all the travails at Twitter – or X, as it likes to be called – and the tens of millions of sign-ups to Meta’s lookalike platform Threads, it will probably be some time before many users make the switch.  

The causes of that may be less about the current experience than network effects and habit-building dynamics.       

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The FT and Above The Line with reflections on Barbenheimer 

What began as an online gag about an awkward bit of box office scheduling has helped produce the biggest moment of the movie year, with both Barbie and Oppenheimer reaping hundreds of millions of dollars at cinemas around the world.  

Still, as executives begin brainstorming ‘the next Barbeinheimer’ (Saw Patrol, anyone?), they might need to take some time to parse the right lessons from this episode.  

For Stephen Bush in the Financial Times, the success of two such divergent yet well-received releases should remind different industries that they are sometimes looking for competition in the wrong place. Above The Line, meanwhile, argues that the studios involved should remember how much of the summer’s excitement was created by social media users, not for them.       

The New York Times on a Barbie backlash in Japan 

There is one market, however, where the Barbenheimer phenomenon has struck a more discordant tone.  

Oppenheimer is not yet scheduled to open in Japan, but some local audiences have been upset by the flippancy with which Barbie’s official social media accounts have engaged with memes combining the doll with images of atomic explosions and similar iconography. Warner Bros has apologised after complaints from its own Japanese subsidiary.  

The Guardian on a date with destiny for Paris 

A year from now, the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will be well underway.  

Local organisers began the countdown in earnest last month by previewing a city-wide, athlete-centred opening ceremony, and sought to stir further optimism by confirming a sponsorship deal with luxury megabrand LVMH. But after recent spells of political friction and civil unrest, there remains some unease around the build-up.    

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The Times on a record kit deal for Man United 

Summer is deal season in European men’s football but for Manchester United the most highly anticipated agreement – the sale of the club by the Glazer family – has yet to materialise.  

Nonetheless, as the new Premier League campaign approaches, United have been able to trumpet a world record kit deal with Adidas. The real substance of its £900 million terms are not public and there will be interest across the sport in how the partnership unfolds.  

Variety on a slimy Super Bowl 

Host broadcasting rights to the Super Bowl – which rotate annually through each of the four major US TV networks – will move to CBS in 2024, and parent company Paramount Global plans to make a splash with the NFL showpiece.  

Following successful trials in regular season and playoff games over the past couple of years, Nickelodeon will produce a kid-friendly version of the biggest show on American television – complete with AR slime, specialised commentary, and a familiar cast of cartoon favourites.    

Bloomberg spends a day with the Phillie Phanatic 

Not all heroes wear capes, though some still wear costumes. Tom Burgoyne, better known as the Philadelphia Phillies mascot Phillie Phanatic, talks about life portraying one of the most recognisable figures in Major League Baseball. 

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