Welcome to Friday Fives, Vol. 273

The Working Assembly
4 min readSep 22, 2023

This week, we’re thinking about the Roman Empire, pondering pasta on the tennis court, observing pharmaceutical branding, vibing to trending TikTok songs, and cheering on Gen Z.

(TIME.COM)

How Often Do You Think About The Romans?

The latest viral personality quiz is taking social media by storm in the form of one trending question you’re meant to ask men in your life: how often do you think about the Roman Empire? The topic is one that simultaneously seems both obvious and puzzling, but the fun part is watching their answers that range anywhere from “once a day” to “once a month.” Women, too, have joined the conversation by discussing the female equivalent of the topic, such as Taylor Swift, getting kidnapped, or Pride and Prejudice. Not that you asked us, but we don’t think about the Roman Empire that much as an agency. However, we do think about Times New Roman at least twice a day.

(HIGHSNOBIETY.COM)

This Unexpected Sponsor Has Coco Rolling in Dough

Coco Gauff, tennis’s rising 19 y.o. star is taking the sport by storm after winning the 2023 US Open. Guaff is rightfully selective with her sponsors, but one partnership the athlete didn’t turn down was that with Barilla, the world’s largest pasta company. As a result, the dialogue happening on social media (e.g., “Barilla Baddie”) about Coco’s red top branded with both the New Balance and Barilla logos speaks to a larger cultural trend where products created by unexpected, almost ironic co-branding(e.g., Tiffany & Co. + Nike) are in demand. If there’s one thing we’re sure about, it’s that we’d 100% be the first in line for a saucy, carbalicous tennis shoe.

(FASTCOMPANY.COM)

Taking the ‘I’ Out of Ozempic

Ozempic, a drug used to treat diabetes and whose main side effect is weight loss, has seeped into mainstream consciousness as many public figures and celebrities promote it (and similar drugs) as a weight loss solution. But Ozempic’s logo, which features a bold typeface with the i resembling a person appearing much slimmer than the other letters, is a low-hanging sales tactic. Considering the drug isn’t approved for weight loss yet, Ozempic’s branding and others like it are a result of loose FDA regulations on prescription drug advertising. For us, it’s important for a brand to strike the right balance of creativity and authenticity while being aware of what message is conveyed to consumers.

(TECHCRUNCH.COM)

TikTok’s Top 50 Chart is Music To Our Ears

Billboard and TikTok are teaming up to bring users a Top 50 Chart that tracks the platform’s most popular songs. Every Thursday morning, the chart will update based on the number of views, user engagement, and number of videos made using the songs. From old songs to new ones, the app organically drives music discovery — so much so that in 2022, 13 out of 14 №1 Billboard Hot 100 songs “were driven by significant viral trends on TikTok.” With that, we are interested to see how this new chart continues to simplify discovery methods for music creators and propels new music niches. However, we do wish the chart was around during the pandemic when we couldn’t seem to make enough dances to Supalonely.

(AXIOS.COM)

Gen Z: Optimists of Our Future

Gen Z just might be the most optimistic generation yet. In a new Gallup poll, 76% of Gen Z surveyed said “they have a great future ahead of them.” On the other hand, only 47% of Gen Z are thriving in their lives — the lowest across all generations in the U.S. today. Although this poll contradicts how almost everyone views Gen Z, it speaks volumes about the generation’s resilience despite the pandemic and growing mental health issues. If there’s anything we’ve learned from social media, they’re certainly the most self-deprecating generation, and maybe that’s really the key to dreaming up a brighter future.

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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.