Olive Garden’s Twitter Will Give You Free Dating Advice If You Use The Hashtag #AskAlfredo

If you tweet the @OliveGarden with your dating question and the hashtag #AskAlfredo, they will give you some pretty solid advice. After gathering our jaw off the floor we booted up our Twitter to get some answers. After testing it out we can safely say we’re fully prepared to enter the dating world once more. So go ahead, #AskAlfredo your wildest dating inquiries and tell us how it goes. Who knows, you may meet your future boo at a restaurant nearest you. Bread sticks and chill?

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Why It’s Hot

It’s a unique new way to engage the millennial audience – an audience that’s consistently looking for dating/relationship advice.

How Far Should Guys Unbutton Their Shirts?

Wolves are everywhere in manly man advertising like the Old Spice campaign. But there is such a thing as too much wolf, apparel company Johnnie-O claims in a new commercial from ad agency Ignited.

At issue is how far down guys should unbutton their shirts on a night out. Too far down, and you’ll gross people out with “Too Much Wolf.” Too buttoned up, and you’ll suffer from “Too Little Wolf” and be just as much of an outcast.

Johnnie-O demonstrates both extremes below, with help from actual wolves. // <![CDATA[
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// ]]>//  And as you can see, there’s a solution: the Tweener Button. It’s an extra, hidden button in between the second and third buttons, and it could just be your savior.

Why It’s Hot

Because it’s the Friday before Halloween and what better way to Hot Sauce than to post something Halloween inspired?

Teens are posting donut-licking selfies to show solidarity with Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande is sorry, okay? So stop punishing her for her crimes against pastries. The teens forgive her, and they have the hashtag to prove it — #LickDonutsWithAri.

On July 4, Grande made the mistake of saying she hates America and licking a tray of donuts she had no intention of buying in front of a security camera with shockingly clear audio. Since she’s famous, it was news. We’ve all been there.

Since then, the pop star has been in damage control mode. First, she issued a ludicrous statement about how she was only acting out because the childhood obesity epidemic in America upsets her. When that didn’t work for some strange reason, she tried again with a heartfelt black and white video apology.

 

We all make mistakes. It’s what makes us human. The important thing is we learn from our mistakes and maintain the allegiance of our army of teenage fans.

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Why It’s Hot

From a branding perspective (whether it’s personal, large or small business, retail or B2B) building up a positive rapport with fans is key – especially in times of trouble. Why? Because social media is like a wildfire that won’t ever be forgotten and there’s no telling what will be perceived as wrong or right. Everyone has their own outlook, which can, unfortunately, lead to one harmless act being misconstrued as disrespectful or inappropriate. And for Ariana Grande, this is exactly what happened; however, because she has built up a strong relationship with her fans since the moment she started acting, and then performing, the situation was lulled as they banned together to defend her.

Key takeaway: Listen to your fans on social. Listen to their wants and needs and use them to lead your social strategy. If you’re someone or something that does not pay attention to, and therefore build relationships with, your fans, you’re essentially screwed in times of happiness and in times of pain because in the end, users have all the power to inform or destroy a situation!

Girls Become Professionals Ahead of Their Time

Empowering isn’t the first word that comes to mind when you think of Barbie. That’s especially been the case over the past decade, as consumers have voiced problems with the brand’s representation of women. But Mattel is looking to change that in its first campaign from BBDO.

Evelyn Mazzocco, global svp and general manager of Barbie, tells Adweek. “We want to remind the world what Barbie stands for. Founded by a female entrepreneur and mother in 1959, the Barbie brand has always represented the fact that women have choices,” said Mazzocco. “This ongoing initiative is designed to remind today’s parents that through the power of imagination, Barbie allows girls to explore their limitless potential.”

Why It’s Hot

The new spot communicates women empowerment in what many would claim to be a male dominated society – but in a fun, clever and uplifting manner. It’s a power move from the Barbie given its previous run-ins from critics (and even celebs) who’ve criticized the brand for its representation of women: parody of the doll and her lifestyle.

Barbie’s move to a more modern look encourage children and moms alike to re-evaluate how they see her overall, and this spot is only helping that cause.

Charitable Pornhub offering college scholarship

For students seeking to make some extra bucks to pay for tuition, Pornhub may be able to help. The adult video website is offering a $25,000 scholarship to a legal age college student who likes making others happy.

URL here: http://www.pornhub.com/cares/scholarship

The rules are simple. Applicants need a 3.2 GPA, an essay answering the question “How do you strive to make others happy?” and an up to five-minute video that “elaborates on the good work you do and anything else you might want to say.”

But, get your mind out the gutter: While the website features porn, those who are seeking a future career with the company need not apply. That’s right: Pornhub is simply judging applicants for their hearts and minds.

Price said that it decided to offer the scholarship in honor of its newly launched charity, Pornhub Cares, after discovering most of its viewers were between the ages of 18 to 25. It saw this as a way to give directly back to the millennial community.

Why It’s Hot

Let’s all agree to disagree that this is not hot, but rather wildly ironic.

Thinking Outside the Square: Support for Landscape and Portrait Formats on Instagram

“Today, we’re excited to announce that — in addition to square posts — you can now share photos and videos in both portrait and landscape orientation on Instagram. Square format has been and always will be part of who we are. That said, the visual story you’re trying to tell should always come first, and we want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to. Now, when choosing a photo or video, you can tap the format icon to adjust the orientation to portrait or landscape instead of square. Once you share the photo, the full-sized version of it will appear to all of your followers in feed in a beautiful, natural way. To keep the clean feel of your profile grid, your post will appear there as a center-cropped square.

We’re especially excited about what this update means for video on Instagram, which in widescreen can be more cinematic than ever. While we’ve historically had separate filters for photos and for videos, all filters will now work on all types of moments. You can also adjust the intensity of filters on videos, too.”

Why It’s Hot

Instagram acts as a purely visual representation of people, brands, etc. As stated by Instagram themselves above, the visual story you’re trying to tell should always come first and this update to the platform only makes that easier. Before, you’d have to go into many different apps to crop your photo to fit into Instagram’s infamous square. Now, you no longer have to rely on outside sources to achieve the look and feel you’re looking for – and most importantly, tell the visual stories in a way that’s significant to you.

Get the Skinny on Oreo Thins in This Tech-Inspired Launch Spot

 

The new Oreo Thins get a formal introduction today with a “Wonderfilled” spot from The Martin Agency that suggests the thinner cookies are a thing of wonder even if they’re not quite as filled as their forebears.

Dutch production house MediaMonks Films (and directors Rogier Schalken and Magnus Hierta) did the animation for the :30, which has a pleasantly faux-epic vibe thanks to its soundtrack’s mashup of Strauss’ 119-year-old “Thus Spake Zarathustra” with the 2-year-old Martin-written “Wonderfilled” song.

The spot certainly leans into the product’s thinness, portraying it as almost paperlike in a cute, short series of animations. In announcing the product two weeks ago, Oreo said it was “following ‘thin’ cues in technology” and putting “a sleek and modern spin on a classic.”

The ad shows off this inspiration, too. When the cookie turns sideways to form the “i” in the word THINS, it’s like any number of tech ads where the gadget spins sideways to show off a slender frame.

The cookies hit store shelves last week in Original, Golden and Mint flavors—a permanent addition to the Oreo line. In addition to the TV spot, the marketing campaign will also include lots of social activity, including an upcoming video that shows how the more sophisticated Oreo Thins gives the “forgotten” pinky finger a new reason to be, and a series of new etiquette rules around how to “properly” enjoy the Oreo Thins.

And if you’re not into being this sophisticated, or you’re flat-out angry about the creme reduction, you always have Double Stuf to fall back on.

Why It’s Hot

Oreo leverages the tech-driven/tech-focused/tech-obsessed world we live in to sell its new, thinner cookie. And not only are they focusing their efforts on creating these engaging short form videos, but pairing them with ‘lots of social activity,’ ultimately appealing to the masses.

British man complains about crooked bread, gets a perfect response

Whoever came up with that “best thing since sliced bread” expression never witnessed slices like these. Newcastle upon Tyne resident David Walker was so disturbed by the wonky slicing of a loaf bought from his local Morrisons that he took to Facebook to vent his outrage.

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As you can see, British people feel strongly about their bread. And Instead of responding with a boring corporate reply, Morrisons used some quick wit to show they have a sense of humour.

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Why It’s Hot

The only way for a brand to truly build a lasting relationship with fans is through 1:1 engagement. Having someone(s) on the ‘frontlines’ monitoring social activity and conversation – someone(s) to respond in real-time – is imperative. Morrisons is a great example of a brand that takes their relationship with fans seriously. Not only are they always on to respond to those positive mentions of their brand, but to those negative ones as well – and in a light-witted way, which authenticates their voice and allows for users to feel at ease.

 

 

 

The World’s Most Immaculate Twitter Feed

If you’re a cleaning brand, you’d better have your house in order—which means making your social media feeds as spotless as possible. French brand Spontex has done just that on Twitter, with a whole feed of white space.

Actually, though, the brand somehow hid images in that white space, which you can discover by clicking on the tweets. (Try it on the embedded posts below.) A fun idea from ad agency Kids Love Jetlag in Paris.

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Why It’s Hot

When it comes to social, campaigns that push the envelope generate the most buzz. To the masses Spontex’s approach might seem pointless, but what they’re doing is generating 1:1 interactions and engagements with fans through fun tweets that include hidden messages and questions. Immaculate.

‘Choose to Smile’ for Coca-Cola

Earlier this month, Ogilvy & Mather Amsterdam launched its first spot for Coca-Cola with an over-the-top anthem ad. The agency took a much simpler approach with the shorter “Choose to Smile.”

The ad shares the insight that “Before you learn anything you learn to smile” (via a somewhat annoying tune, unfortunately), followed by the text, “It’s said smile 40x more than adults.” Encompassing footage of babies and toddlers laughing and smiling, the ad asks “Did we forget the first thing we learnt?” and encourages viewers to “choose life with a smile.” Since baby videos (along with cats, dogs and goats) are one of the those subjects all but guaranteed to be shared on the Internet, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the video has gone viral, racking up over six million YouTube views in about ten days. Beyond that, though, the spot is a lot more successful at capturing the spirit of the “Choose Happiness” tagline and brand message than its predecessor, and a lot more watchable.

Why it’s Hot

This ad not only transcends generations and segments, but appeals to the masses as babies are one topic of conversation that everyone finds irresistibly cute and shareable. And, not only that, but it’s not short, to-the-point, and not heavily branded, which increases shareability.

Starbucks Whips Up 21 Branded GIFs Starring the Frappuccino

This summer, Starbucks and agency Swift are going all-in on the mobile messaging and emoji trend to promote the coffee shop’s icy Frappuccino drinks. The chain has created 21 branded GIFs it’s releasing today on the mobile app Popkey that people can text to one another.

After downloading Popkey, smartphone owners need to allow the app to access their built-in keyboard in the phone’s settings. From there, folks can find and send Starbucks’ branded GIFs in a special section of the app that bundles all of Starbucks’ images together.

While the Frappuccino name is trademarked by Starbucks, Popkey founder Adrian Salamunovic explained that the animated pictures aren’t meant to look like a traditional ad. “The keyword is ‘subtle’ branding—it’s not in your face,” he said. “What fails hard in the GIF world is things like watermarks or hashtags.”

Starbucks is also running the pictures on social media, and it built a pack of digital stickers in the Studio mobile app with similar creative.

Why It’s Hot

These days, GIFs are the way to go when it comes to marketing to Millennials – they’ll share practically anything that’s buzzing and trending among their peers.

Starbucks’ move to create strange GIFs using already popular memes is genius, especially considering the brands already existing ‘cult-like’ following. And, by choosing to highlight one of their most popular drinks among its Millennial audience, the Frappuccino, their increasing share-ability of their pushed branded content tenfold.

Dog Trails Shoppers Around a Mall on Its Billboards, Hoping to Be Adopted

Barley, the pixelated pooch in question, appears to follow shoppers around East London’s Westfield Stratford mall in OgilvyOne’s “Looking for You” campaign, designed to promote pet adoption for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

A chip secretly placed in leaflets handed out to shoppers triggers the canine’s capering, enabling him to follow the shoppers from one digital board to the next.

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Why It’s Hot

In this day and age, where consumers are most likely to obtain their information digitally, billboards aren’t necessarily the ‘hottest’ way to market your product. However, this particular campaign from OgilvyOne, which fuses the two marketing tactics, has a way of drawing consumers in a way that’s seemingly unbeknownst to them. Through placing a chip inside of leaflets (all those avid shoppers know this is something we try our best to avoid) users are unknowingly submitting themselves to be marketed to firsthand and in the end enticed to stop and engage, which is this case is by adopting an animal. Sneaky!

Which emoji are you more likely to use?

Nothing captures the essence of modern-day communication like emoji — transcending language barriers and demographics — but a new study suggests that you’re more likely to play favorites with the icons you choose, based on your native tongue.

According to emoji data collected by the popular keyboard app SwiftKey, the language you speak says a lot about the emoji you likely send.

For example, the study finds that French and Russian speakers have love on the brain much more than others. French speakers are four times as likely to use the heart emoji than any other language, and Russian speakers are three times as likely to make use of romantic-related emoji, like the kissy face and heart-eyes icon.

Meanwhile, Arabic speakers love to share flower and plant emoji, and Aussies are more inclined to send booze and drug-related icons — in fact, Australians use 65% more drug emoji than average. In contrast, Americans love cake, meat and the female-oriented emoji set.

EmojiWorld

Why It’s Hot

As we all know, the world is full of stereotypes. But what happens when these stereotypes come to light through… emojis? This recent study by SwiftKey essentially calls out different countries and what they’re known for (i.e. France whose capital is Paris ‘the city of love’) by pulling cloud data – ultimately identifying ‘language leaders’ for each category, then comparing emoji usage between English language speakers and defining sentiment across emoji and languages.

Personally I find this very interesting as everything I group with countries, through what I’ve either heard or experienced, seems to be almost true. For example, Americans lead for a random assortment of emoji and categories, including skulls, birthday cake, fire, meat and female-oriented emoji, while Australian’s emoji use characterizes it as the land of vice and indulgence, using 65% more drug emoji than average. Interesting…

 

Snapchat Goes Hard At Coachella With New Dynamic Filters

Snapchat wants to usurp Instagram as they way to share Coachella Music Festival adventure. So today it revealed a new style of Geofilters that change throughout the day to tell friends what they’re looking at.

Rather than just a generic “Coachella” illustration that can be overlaid on photos or videos all day, Snapchat has different ones for each Coachella band that are only available while they’re playing. That means the same geofenced area will get a different filter every hour or so.

To add the filters, Snapchatters can just take a photo or video, and then swipe left or right on their screen while previewing them. Coachella attendees will be able to submit Snaps to the festival’s Snapchat Our Story, which the startup will curate so people at home can see what it’s like to be there.

Why It’s Hot

A fundamental truth of Snapchat: It’s about unique experiences. These special geofilters allow members of the next generation to relay to their followers that they’re somewhere special – ultimately differentiating themselves.

Snapchat thinks its new emoji feature will change your life

Snapchat peeved users in January when it yanked its popular “best friends” feature, which showed the people you snapped with the most.

Now, the ephemeral messaging app is betting that a major update rolled out Monday, which replaces the feature with emoji characters, will “change your life.”

According to a blog post buried inside Snapchat Discover, a bunch of emoji will start popping up in your friends list starting on Monday. The app update also introduces two other features: A new low-light camera mode serves up improved shots snapped in darker settings, and a section called “Needs Love” now appears under “Recents,” encouraging users to send snaps to people they haven’t interacted with in a while.

The six emoji “weren’t just our favorite ones (shout out to the poop emoji), they actually mean something super-important — they break down your whole squad,” the post read. Rather, they represent different levels, and will show up alongside Snapchat users with whom you snap the most. The company used Beyoncé for its brief explainer:

Snapchat-emoji

But unlikethe old, relatively minor “best friends” feature, which was always turned on and publicly available to anyone you were friends with, only you can see the emoji. The days of being able to stalk your friends and see who they snapped with the most — ex-boyfriend? coworker? — are pretty much over.

Why It’s Hot

Is it, though? Although I admire Snapchat’s goal to turn the platform into more of a secure place for users to share photos, does adding emojis signifying levels of friendship really ‘change my life.’ The answer: No.

Snapchat should give more of what the people want rather than focusing their efforts on updates that go unnoticed by many.

 

Facebook is Becoming a Primary News Source for Millennials

Social media has become a news reader for many users. Users are using everything from Whatsapp to Twitter’s new Periscope app to gather news and stay informed about the world. According to data aggregated by eMarketer, Facebook still holds the most allure as a social news source, especially among millennials.

 

57 percent of millennials logged into Facebook at least once a day to get news and information, with 30 percent logging in several times a day or more. The next most popular was YouTube, with 28 percent of respondents logging in at least daily to check news. Tumblr was the least popular social network for news, with 77 percent of respondents saying they ‘never’ searched for news there.

 

News reading and engagement are popular Facebook activities for millennials surveyed. 70 percent read or watch news stories or headlines posted by others, 60 percent like stories, headlines, and links, and 42 percent share news stories they’ve seen elsewhere. Only 11 percent of the 952 polled for this query did not regularly engage in news related activity on Facebook.

 

Why It’s Hot

Facebook recognizes the increasing trend of people accessing their site for news so they’re making sure that when visiting, users are seeing high quality content as much as possible. From marking hoax stories to working to reduce clickbait, they’re smartly cleaning up their act.

 

Introducing Netflix to Australia

Australian broadband and cable company Optus, now promoting its deal to bring Netflix to Australia, hired Ricky Gervais to announce the deal and he really, really doesn’t give much of an effort in the ads.

The creator of The Office and Extras, who’s done Netflix ads before, is less interested in talking about Optus and more interested in boasting about how much they paid him and how little effort he put into the pitch. See two of the five spots for yourself below.

Why It’s Hot

Netflix is all about entertainment and giving the people what they want, as fast as they want it. So, why not hire someone who’s known to entertain? Optus smartly speaks to its audience through a lens of entertainment and allows Ricky to interpret the message in his own style, which ultimately gets the message across in a not so in-your-face (most irreverent) way.

Ikea Praises Ordinary Household Items

Don’t take your toilet brush for granted, says a wise new ad from Ikea.

Aptly titled “Everyday Heroes,” the spot—by Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors—is a moving celebration of the different household fixtures that improve lives, constantly, in myriad little ways, but still can’t get any respect.

It perfectly nails the slow build from suspenseful to smirking to outright hilarious—peaking at the indignity of being a bathroom faucet on which totally rude people are always spitting their toothpaste.

Why It’s Hot

Ikea is taking a simple concept and simple products, and highlighting them in a way that’s brilliant and funny – mostly because the stories they’re telling are 100% true. Think about it – if you’re in the mood to project your feelings onto something, you’re going to do so onto a lamp or a couch.

Ikea is also giving their #EverydayHero campaign some legs through social, specifically on Twitter. They’ve created a Twitter feed, @EverydayHeroes365, to highlight these household products and give them the respect they deserve!

Will Ferrell to play every position for 10 teams

Yesterday, comedian Will Ferrell was at five different Cactus League ballparks for a new HBO special from Funny Or Die, in partnership with Major League Baseball. Dedicating the special to the fight against cancer, Ferrell is also honoring the historic feat of Bert Campaneris, who five decades ago became the first Major Leaguer to play every position on the field in the same game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2BJqOcHvQ8 

Ferrell’s historic day, which will be covered on social media using #FerrellTakesTheField, will be chronicled in the exclusive HBO special, which will air later this year and also feature MLB players, managers, coaches, executives and fans.

An important part of the fundraising efforts will be game-used memorabilia from Ferrell’s journey across the five ballparks, to be auctioned at MLB.com with proceeds being donated to Cancer for College, as well as Stand Up To Cancer, a groundbreaking initiative created to accelerate innovative cancer research.

Why It’s Hot

Funny Or Die recognizes the effect comedian powerhouse Will Ferrell has on its fan base and is using it to support a good cause. Using TV and social media as the two main drivers, with merchandising playing an important part of the fundraising efforts, they’ll hit all segments with their messaging – encouraging them to join in the fight against cancer.

Introducing Tinder Plus

On Monday, the Tinder launched its new premium service, Tinder Plus. New features include the option to “rewind” or unswipe someone they didn’t mean to pass on and the ability to match with people around the country instead of one geographic location. (The app lets users “swipe right” on people they find attractive or “swipe left” to reject someone.)

In the U.S., those under 30 pay $9.99 a month. If you’re 30 or over, you’ll pay $19.99. (In the UK, you pay more if you’re over 28.) And because of this new pricing model, many are upset and many are taking to Twitter to air their frustrations (i.e. “Doesn’t making people over 30 pay more for Tinder feel like some sort of penalty? You haven’t found love yet, give us your money,” tweeted @eleshepp.)

To incentivize users to upgrade, Tinder has also introduced a limit on how many swipes right or “likes” are allowed within a certain time frame. Once that’s exceeded, users must wait 12 hours to swipe again.

Why It’s Hot

To put it simply, it’s not…. because not only is the percentage of people willing to pay for a dating app phenomenally low, but the use-case in which a person is willing to pay has little to do with Tinder’s value proposition.

Facebook reaching out to users who might be suicidal

Facebook began rolling out a set of tools on Wednesday that aim to help prevent suicide. You can now report posts to Facebook that seem to show someone suffering from suicidal thoughts. A third party will review reported posts, then decide whether to reach out to the user with advice and support.

It lets the user know that “a friend thinks you might be going through something difficult and asked us to look at your recent post.” Only the user can see this popup and everything that follows. You can then choose to talk to someone — either a friend or a helpline worker — or get tips and support. “You’re not alone — we do this for many people every month,” says the notification.

Facebook has been the target of criticism in the past for a perceived lack of sensitivity. Last October, Facebook apologized after mistakenly labeling transgender people’s names as “fake” under its “real name” policy. For this set of alerts, Facebook partnered with mental health organizations to make sure it was using the right language to talk to potentially suicidal people. The organizations include Forefront, Now Matters Now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Save.org and more.

The new reporting feature is currently available for 50 percent of Facebook users in the U.S. and will roll out to the rest of the country in the next few months, a spokesperson for Facebook told The Huffington Post in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Why It’s Hot

Facebook recognizes that people struggling with thoughts of suicide or self-harm often drop hints to friends in conversation, in emails — even on Facebook. Rather than simply ‘liking’ or commenting on someone’s distressed Facebook post, you can now take action by requesting to send help and resources.

Coca-Cola Spreads Happiness Online With Emoji Web Addresses

Coca-Cola Puerto Rico launched a fun campaign that puts smiley-face emojis right in the brand’s web addresses. The brand registered URLs for every emoji that conveys happiness. Entering any of these happy icons into a mobile web browser, along with the .ws suffix, leads users to Coca-­Cola Puerto Rico’s website.

For now, all the emoji URLs lead to a special landing page, Emoticoke.com, where consumers can sign up for a chance to get emoji web addresses of their very own.

“The vast majority of our audience now visits our website via a mobile device. And since emojis have become a kind of second language for Coke’s younger consumers, we felt this was a great opportunity to connect on a deeper level with our most important demographic,” says Alejandro Gómez, president of Coca-Cola Puerto Rico.

Why It’s Hot

Coca-Cola recognized the fact that a good portion of their consumers are Millennials who have latched on to the ever-growing emoji trend and with that, visit their websites of choice via a mobile device.  They’re appealing to this younger demographic in a way that’s natural to their already existing habits and in turn, marketing their product and their message – subtly but surely.

This Is SportsCenter

They’re back! Katy Perry’s Super Bowl performance sharks live on — they’re now the stars of a new ESPN SportsCenter commercial.

Right and left shark, who are carpooling to work together in the snow following the New England Patriots big win, are anchors Bram Weinstein and John Anderson.

“I can’t believe they sent us down there to work,” right sharks says. “Me either. Hey I wasn’t too out of sync, was I?” left shark then asks. “Nah, and if you were, I bet nobody even noticed,” right shark then answers, referring to, of course, Perry’s out of sync backup dancer Bryan Gaw.

Why It’s Hot

ESPN took a buzzing topic and made it relevant for their brand using familiar SportsCenter faces. They incorporated some of the already existing conversations trending, such as the left shark being out of sync during the Super Bowl Halftime show, and presented them in a nonchalant, humorous way.

 

Coca-Cola pulls Twitter campaign

The Internet as you know can be a pretty horrible place, swarming with cyberbullies and trolls. Coca-Cola hoped to change all that with its 2015 Super Bowl campaign. If you missed the spots the #MakeItHappy hashtag was introduced and celebrities and teens alike talked about their experiences with online negativity, and expressed their devotion to spreading happiness online.

Coca-cola utilized its new hashtag on its other branded channels as well, such as Instagram and Twitter – inviting people to make the ‘internet happier.’

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However, just recently Coca-Cola was forced to withdraw its advertising campaign on Twitter after a counter-campaign by Gawker tricked it into tweeting large chunks of the introduction to Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

For the campaign, Coke invited people to reply to negative tweets with the hashtag “#MakeItHappy”. The idea was that an automatic algorithm would then convert the tweets, using an encoding system called ASCII, into pictures of happy things – such as an adorable mouse, a palm tree wearing sunglasses or a chicken drumstick wearing a cowboy hat.

But Gawker, noticing that one response had the “14 words” white nationalist slogan re-published in the shape of a dog, had other ideas. The media company’s editorial labs director, Adam Pash, created a Twitter bot,@MeinCoke, and set it up to tweet lines from Mein Kampf and then link to them with the #MakeItHappy tag – triggering Coca-Cola’s own Twitter bot to turn them into cutesy pictures. The result was that for a couple of hours on Tuesday morning, Coca-Cola’s Twitterfeed was broadcasting big chunks of Adolf Hitler’s text, albeit built in the form of a smiling banana or a cat playing a drum kit.

The bot made it as far as making Coke tweet the words “My father was a civil servant who fulfilled his duty very conscientiously” in the shape of a pirate ship with a face on its sails – wearing an eyepatch – before Coca-Cola’s account stopped responding.

Why It’s Hot

Community management and constant eyes on the front lines is imperative to a brands success. Automated bots created and used for advertising purposes are easily tricked into pushing out content that’s not inline with a brands values, and this is just one prime example of that.

#SmearforSmear

Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? How could you not! Meet #SmearforSmear – the next social media campaign raising awareness around a cause using similar tactics.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, a U.K.-based organization that provides women with information about cervical cancer, has launched a selfie campaign called #SmearforSmear. The concept? Simple. Smear your lipstick, take a selfie, post it on social media, raise awareness and ultimately encourage women to get regular Pap smears to screen for cervical cancer. Then, nominate friends and family to do the same.

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As of now, more than 1,200 images show up under the #SmearforSmear hashtag on Instagram, with more on Twitter and Facebook. Public figures, including model Georgia May Jagger are getting involved — and you can, too!

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Why It’s Hot

If the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is any indication, social media is a driving force behind raising awareness and connecting individuals through conversation topics unlike any other channel – and, provides a forum for these conversation topics to catch on like wildfire. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust recognizes this and chooses to get their message across through a channel where women are already proactively taking selfies… genius.

 

Zeitgeist 2014: Year In Review

What is Alzheimer’s disease? It’s one form of dementia (dementia is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases) that gradually gets worse over time. It affects memory, thinking, and behavior. How do you translate this message to viewers who aren’t personally affected by the disease? With an ad like the below.

This past week, a Netherlands Alzheimer’s advocacy group recreated the disease’s effects the mind by confusing viewers about what happened and when. Taking a nod from Google, who every end of the year looks back at the past 12 months and identifies the most popular searches of the year with their Zeitgeist: Year In Review video, they created their own version of Zeitgeist 2014 that shows the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

Why It’s Hot

This video manages to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and how it affects a sufferer’s memory in an out-of-the-box way. It captures your attention right off the bat, using an already familiar video approach done by Google.

 

 

 

#IllRideWithYou

This past Monday, Australian police locked down the center of Sydney after an armed man took hostages in a downtown cafe. Reports say the hostage-taker forced trapped customers to display an Islamic flag, “igniting fears of a jihadist attack.” Following the attack, many of Australia’s Muslims grew anxious about facing punishment from the community…and rightfully so.

But instead, Australians have banded together on Twitter with #IllRideWithYou, a hashtag showing their support for those men and women scared of being attacked on public transportation. The hashtag started simply with an act of compassion by writer Tessa Kum, and sparked a heartwarming reaction on social media.

Why It’s Hot

Social media has the power to band men and women together who share similar beliefs. It’s an open forum that allows individuals to show how they’re feeling through hashtags, for example, and in turn, reach people they’d never expect to reach. This is one of many great examples that shows the power of social media to drive a message, no matter how small. In this case, one simple #illridewithyou hashtag, which was brought to life relatively out of the blue, is now trending worldwide (and rising by hundreds of tweets per minute).

The hashtag has even been picked up by a number of recognized tweeters as well as throngs of everyday users, making it one of the most prominent topics on Twitter. Check some examples out below.

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Arby’s Says “Sorry” to Pepsi

Did you know that Arby’s has an agreement with  Pepsi to feature the soda brand in at least two ads per year? Did you also know that they had already finished all of the year’s creative… without mentioning Pepsi twice aka staying true to their word. How is that even possible, you ask? Well, the brand has been so entirely focused on releasing ads with lingering shots of its sandwiches, etc. etc. and forgot to talk about what you wash them down with!

So, what better way to apologize to Pepsi than to feature the beverage 30 second spot – focused entirely on the beverage itself. See below for it’s awesome simpleness.

Why It’s Hot

Instead of shying away from their mistake, Arby’s publicly owns up to it… and in a hilarious, joke-like manner nonetheless.

The real question here though is do you think this was conjured up by Arby’s clever marketing team as a way to appear genuine/honest/straight-forward? Reddit users weigh in:

arbys3arbys arbys2

 

 

Turn Your Friendships Into Movies

 

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https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2014/11/introducing-say-thanks/ 

Let’s take a moment to remember when your FB News Feed was flooded with those reminiscent “Look Back” videos that took friends and family down memory lane. *Sigh* Building off the success of these wildly popular videos, FB introduces its new video project: “Say Thanks.” Last Wednesday, the company launched another video tool that lets users create personalized video cards for their friends on Facebook – highlighting the times they’ve shared together.

How It Works: Facebook members select a friend and a theme for the video – i.e. choose the photos that most represent your friendship with that person, etc. Facebook then whips up a video preview and if you’re into it, you can share it on your Timeline.

Why It’s Hot

FB’s “Say Thanks” videos have an experience similar to Flipagram, which has raised tens of millions of dollars to date. FB also recognizes its wide array of users and plans to roll out on both desktop and mobile in multiple languages, such as English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish.

And while some Facebook users will adopt these “Say Thanks” videos entirely – enjoying the chance to relive shared moments with their friends and family – I will stay off FB until they’ve lost their sparkle.

Lowe’s Rolls Out ‘Fix in Six’ Vines

A lot can happen in six seconds, but can you make a lasting impression? See how Lowe’s does just that in their ‘Fix in Six’ Vines.

http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-lowes-back-more-charming-and-useful-fix-six-vines-161174 

Why It’s Hot

Vine is a 6-second video app that caters to our shrinking attention spans.Lowe’s uses this to their advantage to create fun and simple clips, conveying useful information in an accessible way.