“I’ll Be” The Greatest Grand Slam of your Life – Denny’s

If you were wondering what Edwin McCain, the singer-songwriter behind the soaring 1998 hit “I’ll Be,” is up to these days, here’s your answer. He’s right here, on your electronic device, singing a gag music video about chain diner Denny’s online delivery service.

In the 3:30 video, the soft-rock crooner strums a guitar, emotes and rolls around on giant blowups of tweets from the restaurant’s fans begging it to bring its food to their doorsteps. All the while, cheeky subtitles make it extra clear that the service, launched last May, is only available in select areas—because, you know, the U.S. is kind of big.

Highlights include the moment where McCain sits on a set of stairs, with a giant framed photo of his younger self in the background. He’s still much the same guy, though, managing to sound simultaneously heartbroken and euphoric … just this time about the fact that you can have pancakes and nachos at your place.

Part of a broader campaign celebrating 800,000 orders on the app, the video comes with its own site, youinspired.us, that offers to reward the Twitter users quoted therein with a Denny’s gift card. Any new users who sign up for a delivery or takeout account at the website or in-app will also get a free dish—a promotion supported by a :15 TV spot from EP+Co as well.

The McCain video is not, though, the first Twitter-inspired fast-food ’90s schmaltz act revival parody. In 2014, Wendy’s tapped Boys II Men to make sonic love to its Pretzel Bun. Presumably, that was enough of a success that Denny’s though it a blueprint worth following. (Wendy’s, for its part, has graduated to Twitter rap battles with Wingstop. And in slightly less related news about musical next-acts and comestibles, there’s always that 2015 Biz Markie dittyabout marshmallows-only Lucky Charms.)

Find the full McCain lyrics for Denny’s below, for your amusement, or horror—and for posterity, so nobody can ever pretend this didn’t actually happen.

For ten years, you’ve been dreaming
Tweeting us and scheming
Facebook post your friends all laughed at you

You all said the same thing
United in desire
You’ve inspired us to make your dreams come true

Denny’s delivers, Denny’s delivers
Denny’s delivers to you
Shout out all to your friends
With your mouth all full of food
Denny’s delivers to you

So tweet your dreams don’t be surprised
When they become true
Denny’s knows there’s nothing more than
sharing 800 pancakes with you

When the sun begins to set
Don’t give into your sorrows
Call the friend that’s always open
and join this guy for nachos

Denny’s delivers, Denny’s delivers
Denny’s delivers to you
Shout out all to your friends
With your mouth all full of food
Denny’s delivers to you

We’re going to bring the feast to your place
You just have to tell us where
You’ve been asking for delivery since I had my long hair

The world is new everything’s changed
You can order with a touch
You tweeted it and we agreed
Delivery is so clutch

Denny’s delivers, Denny’s delivers
Denny’s delivers to you
Shout out all to your friends
With your mouth all full of food
Denny’s delivers to you

With posts from every place
Even got a message on MySpace
Denny’s delivers to you

Source: AdWeek

Why it’s hot:

  • In the social space, Denny’s has made a name for themselves by being the quirky or “out there” personality that goes where no other brand dares to go (except Moon Pie). By choosing to promote their delivery service through a one-hit-wonder of the 1990’s is something so far-fetched that it shows unique ways to reach social audiences and create buzz still exist.

Germany and Addidas take wearables local

Berlin’s metro, BVD, has partnered with shoemaker, Addidas to give customers free year long transit. The shoes, that retail for $215, have a yearly metro card built into the tongue. There are only 500 pairs available.

Why it’s hot:

Though likely low tech, this innovation gives us a glimpse into the ways we can make our lives easier through wearable technology.

Facebook wants newsfeed to be more ‘meaningful’

Facebook really, really wants your experience to be “meaningful.” In a recent blog post, Facebook researchers announced changes to the algorithm that controls its newsfeed that will put greater emphasis on content from friends and family, and give more weight to posts that encourage users to interact and comment.

This change is so “meaningful” that the word “meaningful” appears seven times in the blog post!

“We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness,” Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post. “But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content – posts from businesses, brands and media – is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other. Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

Facebook wants your experience to be less about how long you spend on the site, and more about what you do while you’re there. Comments are more important than likes, and posts with longer comments will get more weight than those with shorter ones. Shares of videos will also matter more than a video’s overall popularity.

Why its hot

These changes are going to have a big impact on how news surfaces in your newsfeed. If users aren’t sharing and engaging with a news story, it’s less likely to spread organically. But opinion pieces that usually generate more debate in the comments section will have a better chance of being seen. And Facebook has always put the emphasis on engagement with posts to determine how content surfaces.

Facebook is constantly making changes to its algorithm to “improve” the experience you have on the site, but in the end Facebook’s business depends on turning your attention into dollars. Sure, organic reach is going way down, and publishers are always trying to keep up with changes to Facebook’s performance, but money will always cut through all the changes.

New Digital Scale Won’t Tell You How Much You Weigh

Shapa is a new digital scale created by behavioral scientist Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at Duke University and author of many books including PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL and THE (HONEST) TRUTH ABOUT DISHONESTY. His work looks into how humans make decisions, and the role of rationality – or irrationality – in our daily lives. He’s recently he’s turned his work to the decisions we make around health, and Shapa is one result of his work.

Shapa is unique in many ways, but the most obvious one is that it doesn’t have a screen and it won’t tell you how much you weigh. (Yep, a scale that doesn’t display weight.) This is a deliberate choice in today’s world of hypertracking. We have so many technologies at our fingertips that can track a million things about our bodies – from steps walked, flights of stairs climbed, hours slept, to muscle mass, water percentage, bone density, etc. And companies like Fitbit and Garmin even have smart scales, designed to work with their own wearables. Basically, more than ever, tech has enabled humans to create an entire ecosystem of data-driven knowledge about our own bodies.

The problem, Ariely says, is that the actual story of our health gets lost in these data points. “By giving people more granularity,” he says, “we’re making information less useful.” That’s especially true of weight, which can fluctuate as much as three pounds throughout the day. Watching the scale go up and down in normal, healthy patterns and scrutinizing it to a tenth of a pound tells us nothing about overall health.

Enter Shapa. With Shapa, the scale works in tandem with an app, so though the app is indeed recording your weight, it never tells you what that is. Instead, it displays a color, depending on if you’re underweight, about right or overweight, but nothing more specific. The app also sends you on goals and missions: things like tidy your bedroom, write a goal and affix it on your fridge, set an alarm on your phone to get up every two hours, walk to the gym, etc. Through these tasks and goals, the Shapa app is training you into better habits, and it’s also recording which habits are resulting in you making healthier decisions (as reflected in weight trends).

Why It’s Hot: This product, and the theory behind it, is taking the concept of the monitored human (and all the assorted tech developments) and turning it on its head. Is less information actually better when it comes to tracking your health? How can these psychology principles be applied to other health tracking fields?

Read More: Engadget | Wired

Welcome to Gattaca – or Meet the real Okjas.

After a year of trying, a lab from the University of California that is led by the Australian Geneticist Van Eenennaam, had just used the gene-editing tool CRISPR to add a gene called SRY to some bovine skin cells.

What does it mean?

CRISPR: gene editing tool that enables scientist to make changes on the DNA in the embryo phase,  so they can remove or edit bad genes or just make animals more profitable. It has been used to create pigs that are immune to viruses and sheep whose wool grows longer.

SRY: a bit of DNA that can make a female turn out to be essentially male—with bigger muscles, a penis, and testicles (but unable to make sperm).

It means that the industry will be able to have only male animals and in this case, male cattle – Van Eenennaam likes to call this the “ Boys only” project.

But, why would the industry take advantage of that? Basically, males grow bigger and faster, which means…more steak.

Why it’s hot:
This is scary. Of course, we can discuss the positive effects that editing bad parts of DNA can have on animals and people.  But do we need that? What are the risks of it? How can it change the way we live together?

Source: MIT Technology Review

Pee on Ikea’s ad for a discount

Ikea’s new print ad prompts users to pee on the ad. If they are pregnant, a new price appears giving them 50% off on a new crib. To redeem this deal people still need to sign up for the Ikea family discount.

Why it’s hot: This is a small example of a fun way Ikea is connecting their ads to the life events of their users. They have taken an advancement in the tech of pregnancy tests and integrated into their ads. This ad presumes that all new parents have a pregnant woman as part of the relationship, which isn’t the case. However, we often design with a particular user in mind, so is it okay to exclude or not target certain user groups? Where do we draw the line between a fun gimmicky ad and a statement about parenthood?


Not all corporate training videos are boring as hell

Wendy’s created some training videos in the 80’s but instead of using the same boring HR training talking head style that everyone else was using, they decided to have some fun with it.

These are truly spectacular time capsules of the 1980’s. Yes, millennials, this is how we lived life every single day.

Why It’s Hot
These videos give us some insight into the corporate culture that has resulted in the current social media sass machine that we see today.

Astronomers Using AI to Analyze the Universe – Fast

The next generation of powerful telescopes will scan millions of stars and generate massive amounts of data that astronomers will be tasked with analyzing. That’s way too much data for people to sift through and model themselves — so astronomers are turning to AI to help them do it.

How they’re using it:

1) Coordinate telescopes. The large telescopes that will survey the sky will be looking for transient events — new signals or sources that “go bump in the night,” says Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Tom Vestrand.

2) Analyze data. Every 30 minutes for two years, NASA’s new Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite will send back full frame photos of almost half the sky, giving astronomers some 20 million stars to analyze. Over 10 years there will be 50 million gigabytes of raw data collected.

3) Mine data. “Most astronomy data is thrown away but some can hold deep physical information that we don’t know how to extract,” says Joshua Peek from the Space Telescope Science Institute.

Why it’s hot:

Algorithms have helped astronomers for a while, but recent advances in AI — especially image recognition and faster, more inexpensive computing power —mean the techniques can be used by more researchers. The new AI will automate the process and be able to understand and identify things that humans may not even know exists or begin to understand.

 “How do you write software to discover things that you don’t know how to describe?There are normal unusual events, but what about the ones we don’t even know about? How do you handle those? That will be where real discoveries happen because by definition you don’t know what they are.” – Tom Vestrand National Laboratory




Giant Exoskeleton Racing League

Furrion, a company that normally makes high-end appliances, created a mech called Prosthesis to start a new kind of racing league.

“The Prosthesis is an exoskeleton that weighs 8,000 pounds, has a top speed of 20 mph, and the company says the battery can power the mech for an hour. This isn’t a robot. It’s an exoskeleton that requires a driver.”

– TechCrunch

Here’s their video promoting it:

Such hype! So what do the people of YouTube think?

Good points. It seems like it really wouldn’t be that exciting to watch people race in slow moving machines that are all built the same way. I looked around a bit and found this video that shows how it’s controlled. Seems like there would be some skill required to actually get it to move the right way.

So yeah, I guess it could be exciting to watch people struggle to control this heavy slow machine. It doesn’t say when the first race will be but I’ll for sure tune in for it.

Facebook’s Latest Changes

Facebook recently announced a new round of changes to the personal feed experience. As part of a broader initiative that included an update to the company’s mission statement, Facebook is in the process of implementing updates with the goal of making connections on the platform feel more meaningful and personal to users. Mark Zuckerberg has openly said it may lead to people spending less time on the platform, with the hope that the time people do spend there will be of higher quality.

“By making these changes, I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” Zuckerberg wrote. “But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.”


It was a simpler time.

Why it’s hot: Facebook has promised the changes will not affect advertisers who pay to ensure their content is seen (a strategy adopted by MRM well ahead of this latest announcement), but it’s hard to believe that we won’t see some impact on engagement with branded content if users are spending overall less time on the network.Facebook should by no means be discounted from a multi-channel strategy, but now is a good time to review how you’re thinking about the platform. Facebook has taken many steps post-election to mitigate the proliferation of “fake news” and engagement-baiting content, so brands who have not been actively following and responding to the developments will need to re-assess their content strategies and course correct for the platform by adjusting cadence, promotional strategy, and creative.


Yeehaw! You can now draw objects for 3D printing

The Yeehaw Wand simplifies the design process for 3D printable objects by allowing anyone to create an object with a smartphone or tablet. The kit comes with a wand to draw with and plate that displays the object with a 360-degree view. The plate connects to the owner’s device where the virtual object appears.

The device shows objects on the user’s view of the real world, where they can be manipulated—for example, you can have a person model for a 3D printed necklace. The software was intended to feel open-ended for anyone to pick up the wand and sketch whatever comes to mind.

A finished design can transfer over to any 3D printer. If someone purchases the Yeehaw Wand without access to one, they can send their design to the kits’s developers who print and ship the finished product.

The Yeehaw Wand is raising funds in a Kickstarter campaign that concludes on January 14.

Why it’s hot: While the ‘pen’ or ‘wand’ does not look very intuitive or easy to use, this is an example of 3D printing and augmented reality becoming that much more accessible.

Source: PSFK


Ikea Brings New Life To Print

Ikea creates products for your everyday life. But as we know life comes at you fast. Sometimes it can all change in an instant and rather than just acknowledging these moments, IKEA took action.

In their latest ad in Amelia magazine, which is hailed as one of  Sweden’s most influential magazines for women the call to action is not “visit our store or website” but asks the female reader to pee on the ad, as it could change their life.

The IKEA Crib that is prominently featured has a strip along the bottom where the woman can apply urine. With a next level “pregnancy strip” embedded into the paper a positive test will reveal a new and discounted price for the crib – offering the holder the IKEA family discount.

Why It’s Hot

With the attitude that “print is dead” this ad literally and figuratively brings new life into the medium. By engaging with their consumers, and offering a reason to shop – IKEA may achieve what all marketers want: a connection with the consumer that drives them to purchase.