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🦄 vol. 5
sash and karl chat about the "visit rwanda" campaign and apple's new child safety features
visit rwanda? 🧐
Last week, Lionel Messi left Barcelona and signed for PSG. Interestingly, the club stated that the deal included $PSG Fan Tokens – “a world first for such a high-profile signing”.
However, in between all of the media fanfare, something else caught my attention…
“Visit Rwanda'' is the brand and slogan used by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB). In short, the RDB is Rwanda’s equivalent of South Africa’s SA Tourism.
Rwanda’s obsession with ⚽️
The rationale behind these big money deals was to “develop tourism”. What certainly has developed is scrutiny of the deals...
Shots fired 💥
It’s well known that the (controversial) Rwandan president is a big Arsenal fan
Eyebrows were raised about the 2018 Arsenal deal from the onset, with criticism levelled at how one of the poorest countries in the world could be sponsoring one of the richest clubs in the world
UK and Dutch MPs (both countries are foreign aid donors of Rwanda) also reacted angrily at the decision to sponsor Arsenal
But the critics were “silenced” 🤫
After year 1 (2018-2019), the RDB claimed that the sponsorship deal brought ~$50M in value to Rwanda. Here are some of the results:
4.3M potential tourists came to learn about Rwanda as a destination
1.7M people visited Rwanda as a result of the sponsorship
There was a 5% increase in UK tourists to Rwanda
Tito Mboweni became Rwanda’s biggest fan 😉
Imagine what these numbers will look like for the PSG deal post the signing of Messi…
Hold up, hold my phone 😯
Today, Google Search volume serves as a proxy of interest and demand. A simple Google Trends map of the Search term “Visit Rwanda” shows us that there was a massive spike in global Search volume towards the end of 2018 (when the deal with Arsenal was announced).
But despite all this Search volume (interest/demand), the RDB is not completely capitalising on the opportunity. If you saw the logo on Messi’s shirt (like me) and went on to search “Visit Rwanda” on Google, a completely different (and really smart) travel agency is serving Google Ads on those keywords. 😂
Lesson: close the loop 🔁
The RDB did all the hard work (and paid the big bucks) to heighten awareness and to increase interest, but have failed to capitalise on this by simply not being the first to capture the demand they’ve created.
A truly effective integrated marketing strategy considers all customer touch points to ensure that this loop is closed. In this case, the RDB needs to ensure that people who become aware of Rwanda actually go on to visit Rwanda.
pandora's box 🙈
Last week, in an off-brand manner, Apple fumbled an announcement creating a whirlwind of confusion and public uproar when introducing three new child safety features:
The iMessage app will use on-device machine learning to warn users under the age of 13 and their parents about sensitive content, keeping private communications unreadable by Apple
Siri and Search's ability to intervene when users try to search for or come across CSAM and other unsafe related topics
Uhm, what? 🤔
Apple is partnering with organisations like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), gathering the "fingerprints" (hashes) of CSAM images and then performing on-device matching. This will only be done on your iPhone’s photo library, and only happen if you have 'iCloud Backup' turned on. If enough matches are found, around 30 images, Apple will conduct a human review before deciding whether to report to NCMEC.
Great news!? 🤔
According to the CDC, in the USA, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys have experienced child sexual abuse at some point in their childhood. Worldwide more and more sexual predators are using communication tools to recruit and exploit children. Apple is leading the battle against sexual child abuse!
Well... they're not. Facebook, Twitter, and many other companies scan users’ files on their servers against NCMEC hash databases. They’re legally required to report CSAM to the NCMEC. In fact, Apple has lagged behind here because they have been outspoken about privacy and the protection of their customer's data.
So why the uproar? 🚩
A few reasons:
A complete change in philosophy from the company that wouldn't help the FBI hack into a terrorists iPhone following the 2019 shooting.
"Apple's proposal introduces a backdoor that threatens to undermine fundamental privacy protections for all users of Apple products". According to an open letter to Apple, signed by over 8000 security & privacy experts, cryptographers, professors and organisations.
Apple has sent a clear signal that it is safe to build systems that scan users’ phones for prohibited content.
What happens when 'prohibited content' expands from just CSAM? Including terrorist content, harmful-but-legal content, country-specific censorship or even LGBTQ+ content.
What happens next? 👀
Apple has yet to halt the launch of these offerings. As customers it’s imperative that we voice our concerns, protect our interests or in true tech fashion move from being the customer to the product.
Protecting our children from harm is crucial but Apple's proposed model for attaining it opens up Pandora’s box and will likely be abused for decades to come.
matt loved this thread; it breaks down elon musk’s five step design process
karl realised, from the research for his piece, that the feds really are watching us
*views expressed in this newsletter belong to the individuals concerned