Friday Fives, Vol. 81

The Working Assembly
5 min readMay 31, 2019

Every Friday we highlight five things we have on our radar that we think should be on yours, too.

Here’s this week’s Friday Fives.

Room for nostalgia
For many American TV shows, one of their most iconic features is the environments in which they take place. Shows like The Simpsons, Friends, and Stranger Things all have unmistakable sets with as much character as the casts themselves. IKEA’s new campaign recreates the iconic living rooms from these shows with their own furniture, using the tagline “For real families.” While the shows are never explicitly named, the cinematic inspiration for each layout is unmistakable. IKEA doesn’t stop there, having also recently launched a rainbow version of their iconic Frakta shopping bag in support of Pride month. The bag will be available for purchase throughout June with 100% of proceeds donated to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, an LGBTQ charity organization. Props to IKEA for starting out the summer at the top of their creative game. 🙌 — AD

Clocking in (and burning out)
At what point does a case of the Monday blues turn into a complete rainbow of week-long malaise? There’s a word for that: burn-out. As of this week, burn-out is officially recognized by the World Health Organization as a medical condition that results from mis-managed workplace stress. According to WHO, the now-legit syndrome is characterized by feelings of low-energy, exhaustion, mental distance at work, and, ultimately, reduced professional efficacy. Due to the lowered productivity of burnt-out workers, it would probably behove employers to rethink writing off stress. Fortunately, it seems like we are seeing the beginning of a movement towards minding the wellbeing of workers. Start-ups like Tall Poppy are taking a stand against online harassment in occupational settings by helping companies protect employees against trolls and hackers. As you take that vacation day, rest assured that over-working and over-stressing is getting a lot less cool and some mental clarity is just what the doctor ordered. — LK

Back seat driving us crazy
To all the terrible rideshare passengers with no sense of basic decency: Uber is coming for you. In a recent blog post, Uber announced that riders in the U.S. and Canada whose ratings drop below a certain (not yet specified) threshold will soon be kicked off the service. These low-rated riders will be given tips, like not leaving trash behind or screaming the lyrics to Lizzo’s “Juice” (no matter how much we all might want to), to improve their ratings before giving them the boot. New York City already has enough trash lying around — we don’t need more in our Ubers. In another welcome step, Uber is launching a rideshare submarine called scUber (duh) in Australia for a limited time, providing tours of the Great Barrier Reef with all proceeds (and an added $100K) going towards the protection of the reef from further harm. — MC

Fizzling out
In the words of the immortal RuPaul, “Does anyone even like her?!” La Croix, the (sort of) flavored sparkling water that once sparked a nationwide hipster frenzy, is now facing a free fall in sales with a 15% drop in the month of May. The cherry on top of an already bleak 2019, the brand’s sales have gone from bad to worse, to disastrous. As La Croix struggles to persevere through an ongoing series of lawsuits leveled at their (perhaps not-so-natural) ingredients, the fierce competition in the sparkling water business is now adding insult to injury. With major companies like Coca-Cola and Pepsi buying or launching their own sparkling water brands, La Croix no longer offers much added value to distinguish it from competitors. Once a symbol of the millennial generation, this iconic fizzy drink is now finally falling flat. — AKH

Music to our ears
Middle school — the days of braces, bad eyeliner, and meticulously crafting homemade mixtapes for your latest crush. Now, our much-loved music streaming app Spotify is reviving the nostalgic era of social music sharing, with a modern twist. Called “Social Listening,” the function allows you and your friends manage a real-time playlist where anyone can add songs to an ongoing queue. Think of it as your own personal radio station, bringing your friend community closer together through the power of music. Similar to the joy of acting as unofficial DJ for your open-plan office (and ferociously defending your 90s mall goth playlist from attacks by your judgmental coworkers) we can now force our unique — and obviously correct — music tastes onto our friends from anywhere with mobile service. To all my friends reading this, brace yourselves for a WHOLE LOT of Ashleigh Simpson ✨✨ — KY

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The Working Assembly

NYC branding agency exploring the intersection of art, design, technology and culture. Partnering with emerging and evolving brands.