Pedro Pascal in front of a sunflower field

Pedro Pascal Fancams

But that is not a crime!!!!

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🎵 Top Sounds 🎵

Our curated picks of the top sounds on TikTok

  1. He’s In His Own World 🪐Used largely for animal videos (and at least one video of the President) this sound is lightly mocking but largely appreciative of the eccentricities of the subject.
  2. She Knows She’s A Baddie 💃This sound pairs with the dancing dog filter in our effects highlight. It’s celebratory and fun though, and you still might see some success using it without the CapCut filter.
  3. Everyone Is A Princess 💅🏽This sound is for all your positive affirmations.
  4. I Don’t Want To Work Anymore 😭This sound is being used to show the worst parts of people’s jobs (*cough* excel *cough*) and this economy in general.
  5. What Is A Man? 🧐The perfect use of this sound is exemplified in this video. These companies are moving in a deeply unserious manner.
  6. Dumb Ways To Die 🥴We don’t always make the best decisions. This sound is being used to show some of the wildly unsafe or simply ill-conceived things people have done and the lizard friends they made along the way.
  7. Connecting With Your Ancestors 🥰Folks are using this wholesome sound to show the ways we aren’t so different from the people who came before us, and what our ancestors’ actual ‘wildest dreams’ might’ve been.

🔉 Our Sound Highlight 🔉

You Got Me There


This sound is easy to apply to your niche. All you need to do is admit to something you can’t help but do.

👹 Effects Highlight 👹

Our curated picks of the top effects on TikTok

It’s all about CapCut templates these days. These two dancing dogs are no exception. Just download CapCut and copy the template from TikTok.

Speaking of CapCut, these dogs are only one of the many filters that have gone viral over the past week. There have also been helicopter mangoes, and Adam Sandler crying on a boat, to express what you will always show up for and trying to hide your pain, respectively.

 The Moment 

Corporate “Accountability”

CEOs want us to know, they’re like really sad and sorry, that they’re laying off thousands of workers. Look at the CEO of Zoom, Eric Yuan, laying off 1,300 employees and taking a 98% pay cut. Or how about Apple CEO Tim Cook? Taking a 40% pay cut. Surely, these CEOs will be shuffling out of their Palo Alto mansions in mere weeks.

The sheer PR genius is astonishing.

It isn’t that I’m opposed to CEOs taking pay cuts. After all, the median pay for S&P 500 CEOs was a record high of $14.5 million in 2021. The issue is, many of the companies cutting hundreds of workers, are the same companies that made record profits in 2020, and in spite of a reduction in consumer spending in 2023 there are suggestions the U.S economy isn’t in quite the dire position you might think. In fact, some academics believe that the current layoff frenzy is more of a socially driven phenomenon than a solely economic one. But why should tech companies be rushing to follow the Elon model of fire-everyone-and-put-beds-in-the-office?

There are underlying issues, overvaluations, tech bubbles, and overhiring but layoffs have been proven to be ineffective in the past at cutting costs, all while putting lives at risk. Layoffs have been linked to increases in mortality, and immediately place employees’ families’ health at risk with the cessation of health insurance benefits.

“So, do you want no one to ever be fired?” you might ask. Of course, I might say no and point out that programs like UBI, universal health coverage, and expansion of worker protections might be the real solutions, but I really want us to zero in on the PR side of this. I am a marketer, after all.

CEOs know we’re in the middle of a labor movement. They know that norms are changing, unions are forming, and change is being demanded. They also know that their personal wealth is most significantly made up of stock and stock option gains. While cutting a couple million from their salary might seem to offset further cuts, it may also be seen as a low-impact way of signaling ‘shared pain’ to workers and giving their corporate actions a fresh progressive wash.

☕ The Zeitgeist ☕

Hot topics from across the internet

  • SNL acknowledged that one Pedro Pascal fan cam, with, what seems like, their first skit that isn’t massively behind on TikTok. Also, that fan cam is one of the most effective I’ve ever seen— it has folks kicking their legs and giggling.
    • I still shudder at this Gen Z sketch. By the way, SNL, if you want TikTok skit ideas, your girl is right here writing this newsletter 💅.
  • Beyoncé tickets are the new Taylor Swift tickets at least in terms of how hard they are to get. Online queues have been hundreds of people long and some folks even turned to cowboy-squirrel summoning. Some people though are simply god’s favorite.
  • The Superbowl played at a Rihanna concert and Rihanna revealed she’s pregnant with her second child during her performance.
  • The most emotionally manipulative Superbowl commercial was undoubtedly The Farmer’s Dog’s.
  • DC is choosing to ignore everything Ezra Miller has done because The Flash is “one of the greatest superhero movies” an argument that is 30-Rock levels of nonsensical.
  • Speaking of accused abusers, Armie Hammer wants you to know he’s working on himself in a newsletter post. I’m trying to keep my commentary to a minimum but oof, it’s like reading out of an abuser playbook (special features: guilt! DARVO!).
  • Hogwarts Legacy, the new game you have no reason to play, is stirring controversy in the gaming community. Criticism of the game has gone beyond criticism of JK Rowling and has included criticism targeted specifically at the game’s trans representation. Some Twitch streamers have even leaned into the controversy with transphobic captions that boosted views.

🥡 The Takeaway 🥡

TikTok is feeling a little too commercial lately, and it’s posing an interesting dilemma for marketers.

In the last edition of this newsletter, I highlighted this sound from @sadgrlswag, which launched an entire de-influencing trend. Essentially, influencers taking to the app to share products you “don’t need” given the rise of viral products and hyper-consumption on the platform.

This trend makes sense to anyone who has even the slightest notion of what a ‘haul’ is. Besides, do we know the cost of consumption? Have you seen the notes for help covertly stitched into ZARA clothing? Or considered that the tretinoin in your ten-step skincare routine was made possible by testing on incarcerated Black people?

Consumption is a fraught topic though. Attempts at ethical consumption are often met with the question “is any consumption ethical under capitalism?” This phrase does a lot of work, sometimes to the point that people equate recognition of the inherent issues of consumption with “So that means I can shop at SHEIN without guilt.”

The frustration with this sentiment, and hyper-consumption overall, have come to a head online. We’re in an interesting moment, where due to the market interests TikTok has in woo-ing brands has resulted in a sort of Instagram 2.0. And because we all lived through the era of tummy teas and bear vitamins, we’re better able to identify unhealthy consumer culture when we see it.

The question this leaves for marketers, is what does it mean to navigate a culture that is tired of commercialism, and a platform that is actively having a discussion about influencing and consumption? I am not of the opinion that we are at the end of the influencer era, far from it. What these platform discussions of consumption may signal, though, is that new strategies will have to be employed.

Made it to the end of this newsletter? Here’s a treat, African cinema and LOTR.
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