Look at this Meme!

When meme’s collide! In order to understand today’s politics — it’s time to KNOW YOUR MEME. In order to understand why a Nickelback song from 2008 is trending on Twitter today.

This story starts at the global turn against the band. There is debate about when the tide turned. It’s either:

  1. A general outgrowing and distaste for grunge that sounds like a copy of a copy
  2. Chad Kroeger’s voice that some might say sounds like “a creepy maroon 5”
  3. A very embarassing UK furniture advertisement:

About the meme: according to Know Your Meme, “On April 27th, 2015, YouTuber Euphemism for Magic uploaded a video titled “Nickelstats,” in which Kroeger is shown holding a framed bar graph while singing “Look at this graph” (shown below). The same day, the video was submitted to the /r/youtubehaiku subreddit, where it received upwards of 4,500 votes (95% upvoted) and 120 comments in the first two weeks.”

It’s since been a long parodied meme and had huge success on Vine.

Apparently Trump tried to use the meme this morning to further his story against Hunter Biden.

However as you can see, Nickelback reported the video for copyright infringement…

Maybe Nickleback is due for a comeback?

Photograph by Nickelback also happens to be Shantie’s favorite song….

Why It’s Hot?

I personally love the depth of understanding that’s required for internet memes. But it’s a language that so many are fluent in, maybe without even understanding all the parts…

Whoop and Sober October

Whoop is trying to appeal to the everyday athlete (and person) by promoting “Sober October” via Joe Rogan’s podcast. Sober October, a tradition that reportedly got started about a decade ago in Australia, has gained popularity as the new Dry January. Ahmed says it ties directly into the brand’s mission, because so much of our body’s strength is derived from how well we sleep. “Alcohol has a huge effect on your quality of sleep,” he says. “You get way less slow-wave and REM sleep than you normally would. REM sleep is when your mind is repairing, and slow-wave sleep is when your body produces 95% of its human growth hormone. So this idea that you get stronger in the gym is false. You get get stronger when your body’s repairing your muscles.”

Rogan opened the podcast by telling listeners about Whoop, and how it’s not just for pro athletes but “even losers like us” to improve their recovery, training, sleep, and make better lifestyle choices. “This month, I’ll be wearing my Whoop 24/7 to understand the impact of sobriety has on my body. LOL,” said Rogan. “I’m a big fan of this company. I’m a big fan of the kind of analytics that this Whoop strap provides you.”

All told, it was a two-minute ad on one of the world’s most popular podcasts, plus Whoop was worked into the conversation throughout the almost three-hour episode. Whoop CEO Will Ahmed says partnering with Rogan is a perfect fit for his brand. “We’ve been a big fan of Joe Rogan’s for a while now. I think he speaks to biohacking and human performance in a lot of different contexts, and our mission at Whoop is to unlock human performance,” he says. He hopes that aligning Whoop with some of the most popular comics in the country is a perfect way to do that. “Joe Rogan and his friends have mass-market appeal, and a really wide listener base,” says Ahmed. [Rogan has one of the most popular podcasts and YouTube shows of any stripe, while Kreischer’s Bertcast, Ari Shaffir’s Skeptic Tank, and Segura’s Your Mom’s House are also chart-topping comedy podcasts.] “For Whoop, we’ve been generally focused on certain markets that are maybe a bit more health and fitness focused. We see this as an opportunity to expand our reach and have more people aware of the brand. Ultimately, we’ve built technology that can really help anyone motivated to improve.”

Source: FastCo

 

Amtrak axes dining cars

Why it’s hot: Amtrak claims that switching to packaged food and allowing passengers to pre-select and pre-order meals will save it $2 million a year.

So is this really about cost savings or lack of consumer demand for hot food and tablecloth dining services?

I think it’s about cost savings over anything else. Millennials have killed many things, but I doubt they’re responsible for the death of the Amtrak dining car.

SOURCE

Adults acting like children

The Greta Thunberg helpline: for adults angry at a child. A smart way to comment on the madness.

Why it’s hot: Social impact work doesn’t need to be earnest. Comedic elements can work if they honor the intent of the organization and message.

Like this satirical video game from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Players are U.S. representatives trying to avoid pressure from the gun lobby. If they make it to the Capital to sign gun legislation, they receive a message: “Congratulations! You did your job. Now send this game to a member of Congress and tell them to do theirs.”

Taking aim at elected officials who placed part of the blame on the “glorification of violence” (like video games) in society following recent mass shootings, the game proposes that if violent video games can cause gun violence, then a video game can also end gun violence.

Sources: Mashable, AdAge

Kill ’em with kindness

Last week, the University of California opened the world’s first institute to study kindness. The idea would be to pool the knowledge gleaned from researchers and house all of their insight about kindness in one place.

A few topics the institute is looking to dive deeper into include:

  • Why does a person give up his or her seat on the train?
  • Why does somebody volunteer his or her time to help someone in need?
  • How does kindness spread, and does being kind impact our brains?

Researchers even agreed on an academic definition for kindness: an act that enhances the welfare of others as an end in itself.

But it’s not all philosophical. Data from UCLA scientists has already shown mindfulness and kindness alter the behavior of genes, turning down those that promote inflammation, which can lead to heart disease or certain cancers and turning up the activity of genes that protect against infections.

Why it’s hot
As student enrollment continues to decline and people opt for nontraditional career paths, public and private higher education institutions are adding programs and offerings with seemingly little strategy behind them. Since 2012, 41,446 degrees or certificate programs have been added across the country.

UConn offers a BFA, an MA, and an MFA in Puppet Arts. One can get a degree in bagpiping from Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. Even Notre Dame offers an interdisciplinary academic field called Peace Studies.

Will these new offerings drive action and shift the “is college worth it” narrative that continues to be omnipresent? The verdict is still out.

Sources: National Center for Education Studies; NPR

helsinki, now available for demo…

Helsinki, Finland has just relaunched as the world’s first “city as a service”.

Ok, not really, but it’s how the city is pitching itself in order to woo tech talent to move there.

Per TrendWatching – “Finnish capital Helsinki launched a lighthearted campaign called City as a Service in an attempt to attract new tech talent. A platform and video pitches the CaaS to viewers, explaining that Helsinki has ‘over 640,000 daily active users’ and boasts an ‘API’ that supports excellent healthcare and public transport. Meanwhile, the city’s Mayor – billed as the CEO – explains that the winter darkness and flat skyline are not technical bugs but ‘carefully considered features’. Visitors to the platform are encouraged to apply for a ‘free demo trip’; 15 people will be chosen for a free trip to Helsinki in November.”

Apply for your free demo here.

And if you’re interested in the Freemium model, it boasts features like:

> Surprisingly ok beaches
> Drink the famous Finnish tap water
> Dip in a hole in ice
> Santa Claus lives only a 14h drive away
> Highest density of heavy metal bands in the world

Why It’s Hot:

Unexpected delivery is one of the best ways to catch attention. Marry that with the ability to demonstrate an understanding of the language and world of your target, and you can make magic that creates compelling connections. Whether or not it works, it shows Helsinki cares about the people it’s talking to, and respects them enough to go beyond the rational RTBs (although it has those too) to drive an extremely emotional decision of where to live.

Get paid to drink Pepsi (and eat Fritos)…

Pepsi is launching a PepCoin loyalty program that rewards you for buying both a single-serve beverage and a Frito-Lay snack by sending money to PayPal and Venmo accounts. If you scan enough codes on bottles and bags, you’ll receive a little bit of cash. You’ll have to earn $2 before it goes to your account, but this is real spending money.

How it works:

  • Buy a PepsiCo beverage and Frito-Lay snack.
  • Scan the codes on the bag and under the bottle cap with your phone.
  • Link the program to your PayPal or Venmo.
  • Once you accumulate $2, the money automatically transfers to your account with Venmo or PayPal.

It’s not a dollar for dollar point system, each transaction earns a person about 37 cents. So, like, 5.4 purchases.

Why it’s hot: Companies with multiple brands are increasingly using loyalty programs as a vehicle to sell across their portfolio and drive awareness of the many different products within it. With the exception of credit and debit cards, that apply cash back as a credit to your account, cash back incentives in the form of actual cash have yet to be tested (as far as I could tell). Truly successful loyalty programs thrive on creating engaging experiences and emotional connections with their consumers — it’ll be interesting to see whether Pepcoin will be able to establish a true connection with customers, past the initial shock and enroll stage and whether it’ll change how loyalty and rewards programs provide benefits to consumers in the future.

Sources: Engadget, Thrillist, MediaPostPYMNTS.com, Pepcoin, Pepsi press release

Meet Mattel’s New Gender-Neutral Dolls

Mattel released the new Creatable World doll this week, the world’s first gender-neutral dolls designed to “keep labels out and everyone in.” The dolls are designed for children who identify as transgender, gender-fluid or nonbinary.

Mattel is hoping to redefine who gets to play with a toy traditionally deemed taboo for half the world’s kids. The dolls are designed to look like kids with makeup-free faces and can be a boy, a girl, neither or both. There are no Barbie-like breasts or broad, Ken-like shoulders. Each doll in the Creatable World series looks like a 7-year-old with short hair, and comes with optional wigs and a gender-neutral wardrobe.

The company is betting on where it thinks the country is going, even if it means alienating a substantial portion of the population. A Pew Research survey conducted in 2017 showed that while 76% of the public supports parents’ steering girls to toys and activities traditionally associated with boys, only 64% endorse steering boys toward toys and activities associated with girls.

Mattel tested the doll with 250 families across seven states, including 15 children who identify as trans, gender-nonbinary or gender-fluid and rarely see themselves reflected in the media, let alone their playthings. Mattel sees an even broader potential for Creatable World beyond gender-creative kids. In testing, children chafed at labels and mandates no matter their gender identity: They didn’t want to be told whom a toy was designed for or how to play with it. They were delighted with a doll that had no name and could transform and adapt according to their whims.

Scientists have debunked the idea that boys are simply born wanting to play with trucks and girls wanting to nurture dolls. And yet creating a doll to appeal to all kids, regardless of gender, remains risky. But Mattel has taken risks in this area before. In 2016, it added three new body types to the Barbie; tall, petite and purvey.

“This is a rallying cry of this generation,” says Jess Weiner, a cultural consultant for large companies looking to tap into modern-day markets and navigate issues of gender. “Companies in this day and age have to evolve or else they die, they go away … And part of that evolving is trying to understand things they didn’t prior.”

Why it’s hot: This launch is an exciting advancement in the more traditional industry of children’s toys that have been late to adapt with the times. I’m curious to see how sales will be for these dolls because although millennial parents have advocated for less gender-specific children’s toys for years, not all parents agree or are comfortable with the idea of their sons “playing with dolls.”

Source

Get tackled

https://twitter.com/Jason15Robinson/status/1172529834792296449

https://twitter.com/MastercardUK/status/1172524888512520192

Mastercard: sponsor of Rugby World Cup

As the official sponsor of the Rugby World Cup, Mastercard set up a environment where fans experienced a “contactless tackle”. Rugby fans are brought closer to the game by experiencing the sensation of a professional tackle. This is possible with a special suit made by Teslasuit.  You see a rugby player storming towards you and you have to choose between dodging or taking the hit. If you’re too late, you feel the impact via pressure made within the suit. The goal of the experience is to bring the fans closer to the action, and to encourage and inspire people  to get involved with rugby ahead of the world cup in Japan.
The experience leverages VR and haptic suit by Teslasuit.

Why it’s hot
If you have ever wondered what it feels like to be tackled by a professional rugby player, this is as real as its going to get!. Plus it’s a nice way to own the conversation around contactless payment.

 

Tinder Created a Show to Give Its Users Something to Hook Up About

For all of their success, swipe-y dating apps like Tinder or Bumble face a problem once their users have matched: It’s hard to find things to discuss with total strangers. What exactly are you supposed to say in response to “”?

In an effort to solve this, Tinder has created a scripted choose-your-own adventure series that it hopes will supply its young users with raw material for conversations on its platform. The goal is to counteract that chronic dating-app issue: conversations that die almost as soon as they begin.

The project, called SwipeNight, consists of four episodes. One will air each week on the Tinder app. In each episode, users who participate will be ushered through an apocalyptic scenario and prompted to make a series of choices, from the seemingly unimportant (how to best D.J. a party) to the critical (whose life to save). The show features a cast of young diverse actors and, like a video game, gives the user a first-person perspective on the action.

Participants will then show up in each other’s lists of potential matches. Some of the choices they made during the show will be visible on their profiles. That is when, the company hopes, a number of those people will swipe right on each other and talk about what they experienced.

Last year Tinder set up a team to survey hundreds of young people. This research helped the company see members of Generation Z as fundamentally different from older generations: Gen Z’s immense comfort on social platforms and immense discomfort with defining relationships, or even using words like “dating” and “flirting.”

SwipeNight also looks to take advantage of their facility with the raw material of pop culture.

“They speak in gifs, they react in emojis, they talk in stories,” said Elie Seidman, the chief executive of Tinder, of 18-to-25-year-olds, who already make up more than 50 percent of the app’s user base.

Tinder allows users little space to provide information about themselves on their profiles. That can lead to a particular shortage of subjects to discuss. On Tinder, Mr. Seidman said, approaching strangers is much easier than it is offline. “But you get to the next thing, and there’s no context,” he said. “What’s the context? ‘Oh, you’re also on Tinder.’ ‘Like, yeah, obviously.’”

Tinder has traditionally been viewed as a predate experience. SwipeNight looks to collapse some elements of a first date — the mutual experience of some diversion — into its platform.

Episodes of SwipeNight will be available on Tinder on Sundays in October from 6 p.m. to midnight in a user’s time zone. For now, the show will be available only to Americans.

Source: NY Times

Why It’s Hot

Unexpected time and place for what essentially is content marketing to drive stickiness with a platform. I do wonder if it’s too “cheesy” for Gen Z daters though?

Come Fly with Me, Lets Fly, Lets Fly to JFK

You have a flight coming up? You need to get to JFK? Forget about giving yourself time, just take Ubercopter which launched today for all Uber users. (Soft launch was in the summer for Premium members).

You can only take it to one place in Lower Manhattan near the Staten island ferry. Order a seat for $200-225. And you have to watch a safety video before takeoff. Using the helicopters operated from HeliFlite Shares a licensed company.

Also, the copter only shows up if you’re in the geofenced lower Manhattan area.

They say its price is comparative to other companies doing the same thing. But Uber does offer on ground transportation after your flight.

It’s hot not because its helicopters that don’t actually solve a problem, it only solves procrastination but so would hiring an assistant for a day at 200-225.It IS hot because this is a stepping stone for UberAir their all electric ride sharing network launching in 2023. But they have to really burn through a little more fossil fuel before they can go electric.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-copter/uber-makes-jfk-airport-helicopter-taxis-available-to-all-users-idUSKBN1WI13N?feedType=RSS&feedName=technologyNews

https://www.engadget.com/2019/10/03/uber-copter-jfk-trips-october-7/

In Japan, the Pager Passes from Existence to Nostalgia

After 50 years, pager service in Japan officially ended at midnight, Oct. 1, when Tokyo Telemessage Inc shut down it’s remaining radio signals in Tokyo and the Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures.

The pager (or “Pocket Bell” in Japanese) was first used in Japan in 1968 for travelling sales staff. By 1996, pagers were used by 10 million people and had become “one of the defining symbols of a subculture among female high school students along with ‘loose socks’ and taking photos in puri-kura photo booths.” With the introduction of cell phones and email service, usage declined.

Why it’s hot: 

In an era where technology cycles so quickly, old technologies become sources of nostalgia and symbols of history. Fortunately, in American we still have time to give the pager a proper goodbye as they are still used in 80% of U.S. hospitals because of their ability to send signals in cellular dead zones.

Silent Drive-Thru: An Introvert’s Dream Come True?

Multinational fast-food chains conforming their menus to cultural tastes is as old as Pulp Fiction’s Royal Cheese. Agency Superson helped Burger King Finland take this to another level, playing off the stereotype of shy Finns. Understanding it as an experience product, Burger King applied this concept to the drive thru, nodding to the common Finnish sensibility of reticence.

The brief was to increase app use, so they reconfigured the ol’ stand-by of the drive thru, to show how fast and easy it was to order via their app.

The spot is playful and funny, placing fast-food ordering into the realm of a clandestine caper.

And it turns out, it’s not just the Finns who resent talking to the muffled voice of the drive-thru.

Why it’s hot: Nodding to local culture inherently endears customers to the brand. The sense of collective understanding, and feeling known is a powerful bonding agent.

The drive-thru model didn’t align with the value proposition of the app, wherein you could order ahead and pick-up, so rethinking the model required a relatable story to encourage users to do the same.

Source: Contagious

 

KitKat Kranes

In an effort to cut down on plastic waste, KitKat has changed the packaging of its chocolate bars in Japan.

Rather than using plastic, the Nestlé brand is wrapping its chocolate treats in high strength paper that is both rain and snow resistant. The packaging is fully recyclable and has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

KitKat is also encouraging its customers to use the wrappers for other purposes like writing messages or creating origami shapes and figures. The packaging includes instructions on how to make origami paper cranes.

The initiative is predicted to save around 380 tons of plastic packaging annually, according to the brand.

Why it’s Hot:

Actions speak louder than words. With conversations around sustainability and environmental protection continuing to grow, taking the steps to better your products goes a lot further than a big flashy spot about “going green.” Plus, adding the origami tutorial to the packaging brings added value to the product.

Source

Night Feeding Just Got an Oz. Better

Launched in the UK recently, the Night Feed app is part of a great wave of innovations that are geared at providing real empathy for the female experience. It provides moms entertainment, useful content and a community of other mothers to connect during the lonely midnight feeding hours.


Source: https://www.phoenixmag.co.uk/article/model-and-content-queen-ruth-crilly-is-launching-a-night-feed-app-to-combat-new-mum-loneliness/ 

It’s been positioned as a “virtual sancuaty for the sleep deprived” and includes interviews with pediatricians and midwives, guides for breast feeding clothes, book clubs, and other interest-based groups.

 “IT’S HARD TO PUT YOURSELF IN THE POSITION OF SOMEONE WHO IS THAT SLEEP DEPRIVED – With both kids, I’ve felt so lonely during the nights. No one else is up and you feel knackered and resentful… THE APP STEMS FROM WHEN I WAS IN THAT HEADSPACE”

Why It’s Hot: The app goes beyond regular baby feeding apps that only monitor feeding times and amounts, it shows real understanding and emapthy for the real female experience.