Before the big Sunday night sports fest, dozens of pups will tackle each other for the pre-game Puppy Bowl shows — and because they’re puppies, and that’s what they do. The starting lineup has been revealed, and they are cute enough to make the toughest NFL players weep.
This year’s event, which airs on Animal Planet from 3-5 p.m. EST, will be the first time the Puppy Bowl is keeping an actual competitive score — usually it’s a bunch of baby dogs flopping all over each other, and no one really cares about who’s winning because everyone is blinded by unnaturally adorable puppy fluffballs. But the bar has been raised, pitting team Fluff against Ruff.
To make matters more unbearably cute, the 2015 lineup will be joined by a team of goat cheerleaders.
Fans can visit the Puppy Bowl website to view the six-part pregame show series leading up to game day, watch the live Puppy Cam, and even participate in a little fantasy pupball.
Why it matters:
I think this is a fantastic example of taking something totally unrelated to football and turning it into its own event! Animal Planet does a great job every year of hyping this up to becoming something people look forward to. Advertising revenue for the 2013 show was up 19 percent over 2012, and drew a number of new advertisers. For the first time, Animal Planet allowed commercial branding of its “stadium” in 2013 as well. It was referred to throughout the program as the “GEICO Puppy Bowl Stadium”. This year, they added fantasy pupball making this an interactive event as well. And besides, who doesn’t like to see puppies rolling around all day?
Comcast launched a new feature in its MyAccount app that tracks the company’s technicians. You’ll still have to wait around for the cable guy, but the days of hanging out for hours for that knock at the door may be coming to an end.
If you’re waiting on an appointment, the app will send an alert when a technician is about 30 minutes away. Users will then be able to track the technician on a map.
Users are presented with a map that shows the location of the technician, a feature similar to Uber’s map that tracks drivers, which has recently come under fire.
The Comcast app will also let users rate technicians’ service. The feature is entering a trial phase near Boston, and is slated to roll out more broadly in early 2015 to both Android and iOS versions of the app.
Why Its Hot:
Holy Smokes! Game Changer! No more waiting all day for the cable guy. Now we have an app that tells us when they’re coming. This is the type of technology that Verizon should be using. Don’t we always tout Verizon as having the best tech in the industry? Why don’t we have something like this?
Verizon plans to kick off the holiday season this year with “Connection Day” on Nov. 26.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is infamous as one of the worst travel days of the year, and the telecom has partnered with several companies to create a mobile package of services intended to make travel a bit more enjoyable.
Verizon is offering additional data to customers, and teaming up with Amazon, Apple, Boingo Wireless, Condé Nast, Gogo Technologies, JetBlue and Pandora to offer entertainment, connectivity and more.
Why Its Hot:
This is a great example of playing off people’s pain points. Everyone hates traveling during the holidays so let’s make it easier for you! What a great strategy! Also, you don’t have to have Verizon to partake in the freebies.
Alex, now better known as #AlexFromTarget, was just a normal guy who worked at Target until this Sunday when he became the Internet’s newest favorite meme. Twitter user @auscalem(now private) shared a photo of the young male cashier at Target with the caption “YOOOOOOOOOO” and suddenly, Twitter users everywhere starting sharing the photo and talking about “Alex from Target,” many of them using the photo to create memes.
Perhaps the best thing about Alex’s overnight fame is how Target responded to the situation. Target’s Twitter account wrote, “We heart Alex, too! #alexfromtarget” alongside an image of Alex’s nametag. Simple, yet effective — a tweet from Target’s account the previous day announcing a sale received 103 retweets and 134 favorites, but their supportive #AlexFromTarget tweet hit 28,000 retweets and 43,000 favorites. And that’s the power of memes.
So let’s talk about memes. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a meme is “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.” Since memes are already viral by definition, it can be tempting to use them to your advantage in your marketing strategy. This is often referred to as “memejacking” and if it’s done right, it can really push your social marketing over the edge. But memes can be tricky, and if you mess up, it can be pretty embarrassing.
Here are three important steps to memejack the correct way:
- Understand the meme first.If you’re unsure of the correct way to use a meme, don’t just try it anyway. Go to KnowYourMeme.com, search for the particular meme you’re interested in, and read up on it before you even get started. If you use a meme incorrectly, it can seriously backfire.
- Don’t waste time.Some memes stay popular for years, and others fall flat after a few months or even days. If you’re going to memejack, do it as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could end up using it too late.
- Make sure it’s appropriate.If your business has a very serious reputation, and subsequently, a very serious audience, using memes could actually offend or isolate people — the exact opposite of what you want.
Why It’s Hot:
Great opportunity for us to have some fun! AlexfromTarget is a great example of how something as simple as a Twitter pic of an employee can blow up into something huge! Memejacking is a hard thing to do as the internet a fickle fickle beast but if we do it right, it can go a long way for our brands. The article provides some basic how tos but sometimes you just have to get lucky and let it naturally blossom. Another thing that I feel like we need is a mascot. Especially for Verizon, since we’re selling a service, having a mascot might contextualize our product similar to Time Warner’s roadrunner.
UK-based tech innovation company Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) hopes to be among the first to design a windowless aircraft. Instead of windows, the plane would have high-definition, flexible screens to show what’s happening outside, as it soars through the air. In other words, there are no actual windows in the plane’s passenger section; the displays create the illusion that the cabin walls are transparent.
But this isn’t just about a sleek new flight experience. CPI has made some pretty substantial claims about what this sort of technology could do for the flight industry. For starters, the plane walls would be thinner, more lightweight and stronger than what we have now.
It’s also cheaper, CPI said, which could lead to less costly flights for consumers. According to its calculations, each time plane weight reduces 1%, there’s a 0.75% savings in fuel cost, so the passenger, manufacturer and the airline will save money.
Why Its Hot
As a person who LOVES to travel, even the journey on a cramped plane excites me. So when something like this come outs, I have to post about it! Frankly, this article just looked cool. You can pretend you’re Wonder Woman on her invisible jet. But aside from the coolness factor, this new tech will potentially make planes lighter, stronger, and ultimately cheaper which would help the airline industry. Although I’d imagine that people’s fear of flying (and heights) might be amplified here.
Your pants aren’t happy about the new iPhone 6 Plus.
Along with Samsung’s mammoth Galaxy phones, Apple’s phablet mega-sized phone is starting to look like the future of mobile tech.
That’s bad news for your pants. Where do we put our phones? If you’re not prone to carrying a purse, the answer may be to just keep your device in your hand at all times. Although, that hasn’t stopped people from buying the phones like crazy — the 6 Plus was sold out within 24 hours.
For fashion, the opportunity is either a huge headache or a design opportunity. Some brands are considering what this could mean for the future of pants. Though it might seem silly (and quite literally the definition of a first world problem), the reality is that larger pockets could become a necessity if you want to comfortably tuck your phone away.
Why It’s Hot
The influential power that Apple and the iPhone has is a little scary. Phones with larger screens have become more and more popular which will, of course, influence other industries. But why is it a big deal now? Huge phones has been around for years. With the new launch of the iPhone plus, suddenly Jeans companies are changing their designs just so that the new iPhone can fit? It makes sense for companies to adapt to consumer needs but I guess I just find it a little scary how much influence Apple has on industries you would not normally expect to be affected. Everyone’s lives are already molded around their phones so I guess why not their pockets?
If web design is art, we may be entering its minimalist phase.
“To a certain degree, websites always look the same. Design is fashion and it follows trends. We’re in the middle of a trend of big and clunky, not just because of responsive design but also because of touch,” Clark added. “As touch has spread from small screens to laptops and desktops, all desktop designs have to be touch-friendly, and that has influenced the aesthetic, too.”
Numerous major media sites have shifted to responsive design with similar results — multi-column, boxy and flat designs that look almost strangely similar.
The lack of shadows, gradients or really any elements that attempt to illustrate depth are gone, in favor of what is known as “flat” design.Flat design arose in concert with mobile. In addition to having a modern look, the minimalist motif looked impressive on smaller screens while also minimizing page load, meaning that websites would come up faster on slower mobile networks. Flat design is also a hallmark of many of the new media sites.
Why It’s Hot (and Relevant To Us)
Working on the Verizon account and experiencing the horror that was “new branding”, I can tell you first hand that the “flat” look is exactly where everyone wants to be. With all these sites conforming to one similar look while keeping it responsive, it’s no wonder our creative teams struggle to provide work. The challenge we’re all facing is differentiating from our competition while keeping in mind the best user experience. This isn’t necessarily news to anyone but something to keep in mind when we work on future projects.