Weekend reading list – week of March 13, 2017

March 17, 2017

Each week, we share the top five articles that caught our attention. Here are your must-reads, published here and abroad, for the week of March 13th 2017.

How Buffy the Vampire Slayer redefined TV
It’s already been 20 years since screenwriter, director and producer Joss Whedon gave us the gift of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Lauded for the vitality, intelligence and bravery of its female characters, this long-running series revolutionized the television industry with its unique storytelling style. Did you love Breaking Bad or The Sopranos? Thank Buffy!
Read it on The Atlantic Pocket

Big tobacco has caught start-up fever
Cigarettes have definitely lost their glamour (you may have noticed). The number of smokers goes down every year, and with so many governments and public organizations passing anti-smoking legislation, the pressure on big tobacco is immense. This industry is now looking towards start-up culture to reinvent itself. According to André Calantzopoulos, CEO of Philip Morris International, the company that makes popular brands like Marlboro and Virginia Slims, the key is not pricing, but innovation.
Read it on Bloomberg Pocket

How design sells sex
Not so long ago, sexual products were almost exclusively sold to heterosexual men. In the 1950s, condom wrappers featured suggestive images of sultry, tousled blondes. In the 1970s, packaging for sex toys showed line art of naked women. Fortunately, female sexuality has been democratized over time, and the branding and design of sex toys and products for women has matured along with it. Can design destigmatize sex and make it more marketable towards women?
Read it on Eye on Design Pocket

Tim Berners-Lee: Next big challenges on the web
The World Wide Web, which just celebrated its 28th anniversary, continues to evolve at a relentless pace—but it is has yet to reach its full potential. To help everyone enjoy the benefits of accessing the online world, Tim Berners-Lee, the avowed inventor of the Internet, outlines the next three big challenges for the web.
Read it on Numerama (In French) Pocket

Chatbots are so… 2016
After so much hype around chatbots in recent years, the avant-garde brands that jumped on the trend are starting to question whether it was such a good decision (at least, for right now). Facebook, most notably, has had to deal with considerable failed communications between its bot and Messenger users. Is this attributable to a mistaken understanding of consumer needs? Or are chatbots simply not ready for full deployment?
Read it on Digiday Pocket

Boycott Trump? What for?
A company takes a position that you don’t agree with. Like relocating employees or using child labour. Your next step seems obvious: you boycott. If the company loses clients, it will change its practices, right? Buying is voting, after all. When it comes to politics, should we refuse to buy from those we didn’t vote for? Our VP Strategy, Stéphane Mailhiot, reflects on the matter.
Read it on L’actualité (In French)

In your earbuds: The Big Listen
You love listening to podcasts, but don’t know how to choose from the thousands available online? Lauren Ober, host of The Big Listen, does all the work for you: researching, listening and creating playlists to help you find the voices that will inspire you.
Listen to it on iTunes

This week’s favourite thing
An homage to the Muppets? Who wouldn’t love that? A Muppets version of Grant Woods’ American Gothic? Even better! Michael K. Frith, the former creative director of The Muppets, explains how he came to make this painstaking tribute to some American icons.

Image from Wellcome Collection