Blog Header
The Insights Blog

Dedicated To Helping Readers
Be More Interesting
Since 2004.

As Featured In:

Professional Ghosting, Why We Prefer Serious Robots and the Secret Genius Of Trump’s Paid Applauders

A tequila maker cashing in on the craft drink phenomenon, the surprising reasons why vending machines are so popular in Japan, how drones are evolving to offer unexpected solutions and what Trump’s fake audiences should teach us about media consumption.   Those stories and a highly entertaining ad that will show you everything you need to know about Bollywood – all in this week’s non-obvious insights!

Want trend insights before anyone else? Join my email list to receive a curated collection of the most under appreciated marketing stories of the week and useful insights every Thursday! 

Subscribe Here >>

An Interview With Patron CMO On Selling Craft Tequila

Image Source: [Macala Wright]
The biggest insight I took from this interview with Patron CMO Lee Applbaum around his efforts to bring the craft of tequila making the same attention as craft beers was his description of “bros and knows” as his core audience. It perfectly illustrated what many marketing leaders forget … that content marketing for a deeper experience only works for those consumers who actually care (the “knows”). The “bros” probably still respond to the usual hyper-sexualized advertising. That doesn’t make it right, but it does offer a great reminder that your audience is never just one uniform group. Segmentation matters.

Read the full story from Macala Wright >>

How To Avoid Being Professionally Ghosted

Image Source: [Fast Company]
Being “ghosted” is a term describing the awkward situation of being completely ignored digitally or unfriended rather than confronted or told a relationship is over directly. As digital tools seem to offer an easy out from having tough conversations … this behaviour may be extending to the business world (as this story illustrates). So I share this story along with a word of caution … don’t be a professional ghoster. You’re better than that.

Read the full story on Fast Company >>

The Historical Genius Behind Trump’s Paid Applauders

Image Source: [Boing Boing]
The laugh track was first invented to help a TV audience know when to laugh because they longer had the benefit of a live theater audience offering social cues. Often, we laugh because others are laughing. The same is true for applause, and as this article points out, leaders throughout history have used paid applauders to exploit this fact. It is as genius as it is diabolical, and it may be making a comeback in Trump’s America. In a world filled with fake news, fake audiences and even fake enthusiasm … knowing when we are being manipulated is half the battle. The other half is shining a spotlight on it when we see it.

Read the full story on Boing Boing >>

The Most Bollywood Ad Ever … For Detergent

Whether you have ever watched a Bollywood film or not, this ad featuring heartthrob and gifted dancer Hrithik Roshan will bring the best of the genre to life in a mere 60 second spot. Melodrama, dancing, sexual innuendo and a cute kid … this ad has it all and might just be the most quintessentially Bollywood ad ever made.

Read the full story on Campaign India >>

Why People Prefer Serious Robots (For Now)

Image Source: [Futurity]
As robots get cuter, quirkier and more human – this interesting study from Penn State researchers offers even more proof that the biggest barrier to robot adoption is us humans and how willing we are to interact with our robotic helpers. The counterintuitive conclusion of this research is that companion robots which are more serious might actually help with that adoption because we see them as less threatening. At least for now.

Read the full story on Futurity >>

The Real Reason Japan Has So Many Vending Machines

Image Source: [Business Insider]
There are lots of listicles about all the crazy things you can find in Japanese vending machines. This article offers a more thorough analysis of why Japan has so many vending machines (approximately 1 for every 23 people). The nuanced exploration in this piece will tremind you that sometimes the strangest of things can teach you the most profound lessons about a culture if you just look beyond the obvious.

Read the full story on Business Insider >>

The Wonderful, Wierd and Wacky Uses Of Drones

Image Source: [Core 77]
Drones are for lots more than delivering packages or racing. This week I read articles about drones for everything from mobile phone cases to a hands-free umbrella concept. The idea it led me to think about was how drones themselves may simply become an enabling technology that allow the products we carry around everyday to randomly float in mid-air and become differently useful as a result. Anyone else anxiously waiting for drone luggage? 🙂

Read the full story on Core 77 >>

How Are These Stories Chosen?

Every week I review more than a hundred data sources to curate the best and most under appreciated marketing stories of the week. The aim of this email is to spotlight these “non-obvious” stories, along with a quick take on why they matter for you. I hope you find this email interesting and useful … and am always open to your suggestions on how I might make it better!

Subscribe to get these stories every Thursday in your inbox >>

Leave a Comment

Vector Smart Object

About Rohit

A keynote speaker on trends, innovation, marketing, storytelling and diversity.

Rohit Bhargava is on a mission to inspire more non-obvious thinking in the world. He is the #1 Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of eight books and is widely considered one of the most entertaining and original speakers on disruption, trends and marketing in the world.

Rohit has been invited to keynote events in 32 countries … and over the past year, given more than 100 virtual talks from his home studio. He previously spent 15 years as a marketing strategist at Ogilvy and Leo Burnett and also teaches marketing and storytelling as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

He loves the Olympics, actively hates cauliflower and is a proud dad of boys.

Rohit Bhargava About (1)


Do you need a speaker that can help your audience be more innovative and anticipate the future?

For more than a decade, Rohit Bhargava has been inspiring audiences at NASA, Disney, Schwab, Microsoft, SXSW, Coca-Cola and hundreds of other clients with his signature non-obvious keynote presentations. He is a master at weaving recent stories into his talks in a way that helps audiences better understand the world today, while also preparing to lead the future.

Non Obvious Insights
Layer 97
Non Obvious Insights Newsletter
Layer 118

Skip the obvious and anticipate the future with our weekly newsletter. Join over 25,000 subscribers and start receiving the stories (and insights) you’ve been missing.


#1 WSJ & USAToday Bestselling Author

Rohit is the author of 8 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.

Vector Smart Object


Have a Question or Inquiry?

Just fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours!

About You

What Are You Contacting Us About*:

Your Message