Voices of Brussels

Like any metropolitan bus system, it’s something people in Brussels love to complain about. Buses are either too late or too full or often both. But it’s tough to complain about a message of love.

Since last week, Brussels’ public bus company STIB-MIVB has been calling on people to send in voice messages — and an address. Then, the special bus goes out in the early evening in a big loop to spread all the messages and leave a trail of happiness.

Yes, with smartphones and video calls, there is already a plethora of ways to communicate. But a love bus with the voices of children and dear ones?

“It gives me pleasure,” said Asuncion Mendez, 82, after hearing a message from her great-grandchildren. She said it broke the dreariness of another lockdown day indoors and momentarily eased her fear of the coronavirus.

“It was a beautiful surprise. It warms the heart and makes people come together despite the lockdown,” said her daughter Carmen Diaz, who watched and listened with her from a open window one floor above street level.

Lorena Sanchez, the daughter of Diaz and granddaughter of Mendez, says it’s a great idea. “It can really have an impact on a lot of people, especially the older ones who do not have access to technology,” said Sanchez. “It brings something very special.”

The bus company has been inundated with requests, about 750 messages from the blowing of kisses to a request by a child for someone to become her godmother, spokeswoman An Van hamme said.

Public buses are continuing to run in Brussels, with passengers required to board and exit by the back door and adhere to social distancing while inside.

The “Voice of Brussels” program is even leaving a smile on the face of bus drivers, so often the target of abuse.

Why it’s hot?
Talk about putting unused assets to work to fulfill a real human need during a pandemic

 

Source: Spectrum news 1

He built an A.I. Clone to Attend Zoom Meetings for Him

Click on the picture above or here to see video

 


The phrase Zoom meeting has been uttered countlessly over the past few weeks, as businesses around the world have turned to the video conferencing app to connect for meetings. Indeed, a number of folks we’ve queried in our #WFH Diaries series have reported being on Zoom essentially all day long.

Throw in some Zoom happy hours, and Zoom wine nights, and Zoom card games, and it can be a bit much. Matt Reed, a creative technologist at Redpepper in Nashville, was certainly feeling the strain, anyway.

“My number of Zoom meetings has gone through the mesosphere and is currently on Mars,” Reed writes on his agency’s blog. “There’s barely even time for bio-breaks, Reddit, or actually getting work done. It’s as if Zoom has turned into the Oasis from Ready Player One, where everyone spends every waking hour of their day inside.”

So, Reed flexed his creative tech chops and came up with an amusing solution. He built a digital A.I.-powered twin of himself, named Zoombot, and had the clone show up for the Zoom meetings in his place.

Zoombot uses advanced A.I. speech recognition and text-to-speech tools to actually respond to other people in the meetings. Also, Reed didn’t warn his colleagues he was doing this—and their reactions in the video are priceless.

Why it’s hot?
Way to break the break the endless monotony of video calls using your digital twin. And the best part is that Reed is spending all the free time “making that coffee whip stuff everybody is making,” he reveals. “Stuff is delicious.”

 

Source: musebycl.io

 

 

How to stop facemask hoarding


Image result for taiwan flag face masks
Image result for taiwan flag face masks
Taiwan came up with a unique alternative to fend off Chinese buyers from purchasing the face masks produced in its country for protecting themselves against the deadly coronavirus.

It printed its national flag on the facemask to ensure so that no Chinese national buys it or even steals it in case of dire need, reports said.

As the number of infections and confirmed positive cases soar in China, the Chinese purchase of the face masks rapidly began to deplete the global supply.

Why its hot?
A clever (but also cruel) way to not just stop hoarding but also test the loyalty of mainland China.

What’s in a name?





Hershey is making good use of its own name for International Women’s Day, launching a campaign in Brazil that includes the creation of “Her” and “She” chocolate bars—with packaging celebrating great women musicians, illustrators and other artists.

“International Women’s Day is marked by the struggle of women for their rights,” says Ana Costa, HR director at Hershey Brazil. “Having this in mind is crucial when sharing experiences with our employees, to assure they know they’re working for a company that acknowledges their value and believes in their potential.”

Hershey says 52 percent of its leadership is female, including Michele Buck, global CEO.

Hershey is encouraging other women artists to share their work in social media. Posts tagged #HerShe and #HerSheGallery could have their posts shared by the brand.

Why it’s hot?
Great use of something that’s inherent in the brand to seamlessly become part of a hot topic in our culture. Unlike so many other brands that are making forced efforts to become part of this conversation related to equality and progress of women, guess Hershey got lucky with its name. But very surprised this has not been done before.

Source: Muse by Clio

So you think you can Freddie?

Image result for Freddiemeter

In honor of the first live performance of Bohemian Rhapsody 44 years ago this month, Google partnered with Queen to create “FreddieMeter”. This web experience available for Android, iOS, and desktop rates how closely you sound like Freddie Mercury.

Behind the scenes, FreddieMeter leverages on-device machine learning so no audio is being sent out to servers for the rating. Google trained the models using Mercury’s isolated vocals from original studio tapes and sample covers.

With FreddieMeter people can record a video and audio clip of their performance to share on social media. This minute-long clip features YouTube Music branding and can be downloaded after a performance, with Google deleting it afterwards.

Why its hot?
Other than the fact you’ll know how close you are to sounding like a super rockstar, it’s a great use of AI – analyzing your pitch (how well you hit the notes), melody (how well you hit the notes in relation to each other), and timbre (how much your vocal style matches Freddie’s).

And BTW no data is being stored on the Google servers.

 

Source: 9to5google.com

 

The race to get your face in space

Samsung has sent one of its Galaxy S10 5G smartphones into space inside a balloon to allow its users to take selfies with the Earth in the background.

It launched a balloon equipped with a specially designed rig to take the S10 up to 65,000 feet into the stratosphere to receive selfies transmitted from the Earth and send them back to the ground using a 5G network.

The first person to undertake the “SpaceSelfie” mission was Cara Delevingne, an English actress and model, who shared her photo on social media. South Korean football star Son Heung-min will also join the campaign.

Why its hot?
Well, its your face in the space

How do deaf people use 911?

Nearly 38 million people in the U.S. are hearing-impaired. What do they do when they have to call 911. Text-to-911 is available in less than 10% of the US. Relay-operator calls can take 3 minutes or longer. Tele-typewriting takes more than 8 minutes. So 911 is practically useless for people that are hard of hearing.

But very soon they’ll have Deaf 911. The emergency mobile app that allows the deaf to call out for help. It brings life-saving possibilities of the mobile digital age into the hands the more than 38 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States.

Why its hot?
In just 30 seconds,Its unique application of speech-to-text and text-to-speech technology combined with predictive analytics allows the deaf speak directly to 911. And vice versa —roughly the same amount of time as it does for hearing people.

Unmundane the world

top
compare

A new way to visualize everyday data. Here’s how artist Susie Lu describes it:

“Data visualization shouldn’t be a niche field. It’s information design, it’s design, it’s communication–and given that lens its application can be both broad and impactful.

With this in mind, I brainstormed ideas for projects, and was particularly compelled by thinking of ways that data visualization could be used to redesign everyday experiences. I wanted to find commonplace data that we take for granted or perhaps ignore completely. After thinking about objects we see but rarely engage with, the idea I was most excited to start exploring was a remake of the receipt.

Two goals I thought were applicable to a redesign:

  • Highlight the cost of each item in an easy to scan design (right now each item takes up the same space regardless of cost)
  • Inspire and provoke the audience to question “Why couldn’t everyday objects like receipts use data visualization?”

THE DESIGN

I started by taking a recent grocery receipt and constrained myself to use only the price data and categories. The categories I added myself — this was metadata I found on another grocery receipt example I had from a neighboring grocery store.

Working with the thermal printer added several physical constraints:

  • The one I used was even smaller in width than the original receipt.
  • I could only use black and white.
  • Through test prints I found it couldn’t print solid horizontal lines, so I had to work with patterns.

At the top I’ve summarized the categories into a bubble chart. I wanted to pick a visualization that separated itself visually from the bar charts below and didn’t take up too much space. Bubble charts aren’t the most effective for precise comparison, but they can give a good approximation of similar sized items and rank. In this case, Meat & Seafood and Produce stand out as the top two categories, with Seasoning and Eggs & Dairy trailing after.

I added two affordances to enhance comparison and compensate for the more difficult comparison of circle sizes: All the larger bubbles have the percentage labeled and the largest bubbles also include icons. I decided to include icons partially so you could relate the summary section and the list area but mostly because I found the icons fun (remember fun??).”

Why its hot?
By visualizing something we hardly look at, it can change our relationship with receipts (and other everyday experiences).
Beyond the idea of visualization, it’s relevance has the power to change behavior and attitude towards mundane everyday things.

Source: https://susielu.com/data-viz/reviziting-the-receipt

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.

 

Pulp Diction

Interactions with Amazon’s virtual personal assistant Alexa could soon become considerably more entertaining – and profane – after actor Samuel L Jackson signed up to lend his voice to the device. Jackson will be the first celebrity voice for Alexa.

For 99 cents, you can hear the Hollywood star read you the news, give you a weather report and even tell jokes. The price will increase to $4.99 post launch. To get the voice, users simply will need to say, “Alexa, introduce me to Samuel L. Jackson” and decide whether they would like the explicit or clean version.

The Jackson feature will allow users of Alexa-enabled devices to interact with an AI version of the actor developed using the company’s neural text-to-speech technology. Jackson is not the first celebrity to feature on Alexa, but previous celebrity voice features have relied upon pre-recorded audio.

Why its hot?
The voice of the assistant is the new ringtone or the voice store could be the new app store
If you’ve ever dreamed of experiencing Samuel L. Jackson lobbing profanities at you, Amazon has worked hard to fulfill your fantasy. This is a great way to generate interest in Alexa among people who don’t want a bland sounding voice assistant. But more importantly Amazon has created a new revenue stream – we could very well be shopping for voices in everything for every occasion.

Source: Guardian, CNN, Geekwire, Twitter

The Nike of Sleep



Mattress company Casper is launching its own version of CBD-infused gummies, created in partnership with edibles company Plus.  This is just the latest in Casper’s  efforts to expand beyond mattresses with the addition of sheets, pillows, dog bedsportable lamps and more. In a recent New York Times profile, the company said its goal is to become the “Nike of sleep,” with an ever-widening lineup of sleep-related products.

CBD Sleep Gummies, which will cost $35 for a package of 14. Each blackberry tea-flavored gummy is supposed to include 25 milligrams of CBD, along with chamomile extract and 1 milligram of melatonin.

Casper may be feeling extra pressure to grow the business model since a recent funding round valued the company at $1.1 billion. And mattresses alone don’t make for frequent recurring purchases.

Why its hot?
They realize mattress is not a product that will help them develop repeat revenue from customers or for that matter maintain a relationship with people. It’s also a unique (and culturally relevant) way to deliver on their brand promise of best sleep.

 

Source: techcrunch, casper and plus

scent of a baby




Ecover has created a perfume to promote its eco-friendly, fragrance free cleaning product Ecover Zero. A recent survey by Ecover found that over three quarters of parents in the UK think that their baby has the best smell in the world. Working off of this insight, they developed scent L’eau de Bébé in partnership with fragrance house Givaudan.

Ecover’s aim was to promote the value of its chemical and allergen free product by capturing the purity of a baby’s natural scent. The perfume is reportedly a sustainable gender-neutral fragrance with subtle notes of breast milk and soft skin that are designed to evoke the smell of a newborn child.

Whilst the perfume isn’t available for purchase, 2,000 samples of L’eau de Bébé could be won through a social media competition that encouraged people to ‘tag a picture of the best smelling baby you know’ on Facebook or Instagram.

Why its hot?
Turned a boring RTB (zero fragrance of a detergent) to an idea about the zero fragrance of a human being (scent of new born baby).
They could have spent the time talking about how effective the product was or talking boringly about zero fragrance but instead they did something provocative and different that really worked.

 

Source: ecover and contagious

 

 

 

 

What does food sound like?


Indian food ordering and delivery platform Swiggy challenged people to use Instagram voice notes to create waveforms in the shape of different food items.

They promised a year’s worth of food vouchers to Instagram users who could best replicate various foods from kebab skewers to pancakes in their voice notes. All in all, Swiggy set five daily challenges and handed out 50 food vouchers to competition entrants each day.

To help users with the Voice of Hunger challenge, the brand handed out hints about which sounds created which shapes with all Swiggy food deliveries.

In addition to direct messaging their competition entry on Instagram, Swiggy also encouraged people to upload videos of themselves recreating a food shape and tag Swiggy.

Why its hot? (aside from the clever use of voice notes)
Millions of people are on the Internet wasting their time creating random content. Swiggy’s simply channeled this behavior to create viral content.

 

Source: Contagious

 

 

Hotelbnb

Hotel Honduras Maya was struggling as a result of Airbnb dominating the traveller market.
The hotel worked to reclaim a portion of the market by redesigning a handful of its rooms to resemble Airbnb properties and then listing them on Airbnb’s website. Each room was allocated to a member of Hotel Honduras Maya’s service staff, who posed as Airbnb hosts on the platform. Anger and shock turned to delight as unsuspecting guests arrived and found that they would be getting all the amenities and services of a hotel, for the price of a spare room.

Why it’s hot?
Delighted the customers by misleading them
The attention to detail paid to replicating the look and feel of Airbnb rooms served as a pleasant surprise to guests who possibly held negative perceptions of hotel rooms, and they shared this surprise on social media, producing plenty of user-generated content. There aren’t many instances in which it’s a good idea to mislead your customers, but by waiting to reveal the truth to its guests upon their arrival at the hotel, the brand showed that it could replicate the Airbnb experience and then offer so much more for the same price.

If you can’t beat them, join them
The problem the hotel was faced with is an industry-wide issue, one that reflects a cultural shift in how we travel and what we look for in holiday accommodation. Rather than hope for another change in culture that brought customers back to hotels, Honduras Maya went directly to the customers, positioning itself exactly where its target audience was already active.

 

From WeChat to WeBreathe



Around 100 million adults in China are affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an umbrella term for lung ailments characterised by breathlessness. However, less than 7% of those afflicted are diagnosed because shortness of breath is commonly mistaken as part of the aging process. To address this problem and encourage check-ups, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) created a WeChat tool that enabled self testing for COPD through smartphones.

GSK collaborated with a popular Chinese artist, Wang Ke Wei, and a leading pulmonologist, professor Yang Hu, to design digital images of trees inspired by traditional Chinese blow ink painting. The trees were designed to grow when a user breathes heavily into their smartphone.

The tool’s algorithm uses the sound wave to create a figure of a tree. The healthier the lungs, the larger the tree and number of flowers. Each piece of art is then given a percentage. If the result is lower than 70% the user receives a message saying, ‘Your result is low. We recommend a hospital visit for a COPD check-up’. The art created can be shared across social media channels with a link to encourage others to take the COPD test.

Why it’s hot?
Science meets Art: Combines ancient Chinese art, creative data visualization, and mobile technology into one really engaging diagnostic tool.

And it’s not just what GSK did, but where they did it. WeChat has over 1.08 billion monthly active users and is China’s leading social media platform. By placing the Breath of Life app within WeChat, GSK taps into a space where people are already sharing content relating to health and wellness. Fitness has been a rising focus on social media platforms in China.

It’s ok if you forgot my order. I understand

The restaurant of mistaken orders is not your regular flashy pop-up. Its goal is to create a place where dementia patients can work, and be needed while making society at large better understand the condition. A lofty goal.

The creator, Shiro Oguni had his prejudices about dementia crushed at a group home where dementia patients lived together, and that’s when he came up with the idea.

“Like everybody else, my awareness of dementia at first tended towards negative images of people who were ‘radically forgetful’ and ‘aimlessly wandering about.’ But actually, they can cook, clean, do laundry, go shopping and do other ‘normal’ things for themselves. They might go a little off course now and then….”

The restaurant has been designed to avoid mistakes, but since each server has dementia, some mistakes will happen. As diners are prepared for this, they are easily forgiven and sometimes quite funny. As when an older lady shows her guests to the table, and then sits down with them, momentarily forgetting that she’s on the job. The first pop-up had 37% mistaken orders served, but a full 90% satisfied customers because the interaction here is key. It’s not about the mistakes, Oguni says.

“The restaurant is not about whether orders are executed incorrectly or not. The important thing is the interaction with people who have dementia.”

It’s important to Oguni that the staff share the laughter with their customers. That they are not laughed at. For Oguni to hear that the servers say such things as “I’m still capable.” is the goal, and cultivating tolerance.

“Calling someone ‘The demented Mrs. Whozit’ is completely different from ‘Mrs. Whozit with dementia.’ Dementia is not what a person is, but just part of who they are. People are people. The change will not come from them, it must come from society.”

 

Why its hot?
A truly meaning idea that re-integrates people into the society that labels them as outcasts because of their medical condition.

More brands should be doing that now. Given how recently there was an announcement by the top CEOs about changing the role of organization – from making money for shareholders  to Investing in employees, delivering value to customers, dealing ethically with suppliers and supporting outside communities.

Good deals come to those who haggle with a bot


Flipkart, India’s biggest ecommerce retailer, created a voice-based experience enabling customers to haggle for a better deal.

Flipkart gave its online shopping experience a more traditional touch with Hagglebot, which used Google Assistant’s voice technology. When Flipkart shoppers used Google Assistant it encouraged them haggle down the prices of products using their voice.

Flipkart launched several limited-edition products available exclusively via the Hagglebot during its sales promotion. Each day, it released two new products during the sale and crowned the shopper who drove the hardest bargain the ‘Boss’. Whatever deal the ‘Boss’ secured then became the official Flipkart price of that product.

The Hagglebot was created with Google Zoo, the creative think-tank for agencies and brands. Before building the experience the team travelled to thirty bazaars across three cities to identify different bargaining strategies that were commonly used and then simulated them on Hagglebot. The Hagglebot worked with all devices that support Google Assistant, including Android and iOS phones, as well as the Google Home speaker.

Flipkart’s total sales revenue through products offered on Hagglebot reached $12.23m. The experience also had an average engagement time of 6 min 5 seconds, 200 times the average Google Assistant engagement rate, making it Google Assistant’s most engaging experience to date.

Why it’s hot?
A great way to enable adoption of voice technology by merging it with a deep rooted cultural behaviour
In India, the Hagglebot builds on existing cultural behaviour. Bargaining is a deep-rooted part of Indian culture. The Hagglebot humanised transactions to make its Indian consumers feel more at home when purchasing online and, in doing so, bridged the divide between old traditions and new digital experiences.

 

Source: Contagious

Pop-up teeter totter wall

Rael San Fratello, <em>Tettertotter Wall</em> (2014). Courtesy of Rael San Fratello.
Over the weekend, there was a rare moment of celebration at the US-Mexico border: children from both countries played together on pink seesaws straddling the steel border fence separating El Paso and Juárez, Mexico. The almost surreally joyous scene was a temporary art piece titled Teeter-Totter Wall, meant to foster a sense of unity between the two nations.

Why it’s hot
Turn a highly charged area into a simple emotion about the joy of children’s playground
How can we inspire such simple meaningful ideas for our clients and brands?

 

Don’t hold the phone

Soli Pixel 4 Sensors

For the past five years, our Advanced Technology and Projects team (ATAP) has been working on Soli, a motion-sensing radar. Radar, of course, is the same technology that has been used for decades to detect planes and other large objects. We’ve developed a miniature version located at the top of Pixel 4 that senses small motions around the phone, combining unique software algorithms with the advanced hardware sensor, so it can recognize gestures and detect when you’re nearby.

Pixel 4 will be the first device with Soli, powering our new Motion Sense features to allow you to skip songs, snooze alarms, and silence phone calls, just by waving your hand. These capabilities are just the start, and just as Pixels get better over time, Motion Sense will evolve as well.

Why it’s hot?
The beginning of the end of touchy feely devices.
How can we bring the insights that inspire our teams to create ideas using project soli?

 

A monkey has been able to control a computer with his brain


Neuralink graphic
N1 sensor.
The N1 array in action.

Neuralink, the Elon Musk-led startup that the multi-entrepreneur founded in 2017, is working on technology that’s based around “threads,” which it says can be implanted in human brains with much less potential impact to the surrounding brain tissue versus what’s currently used for today’s brain-computer interfaces. “Most people don’t realize, we can solve that with a chip,” Musk said to kick off Neuralink’s event, talking about some of the brain disorders and issues the company hopes to solve.

Musk also said that, long-term, Neuralink really is about figuring out a way to “achieve a sort of symbiosis with artificial intelligence.” He went on to say, “This is not a mandatory thing. This is something you can choose to have if you want.”

For now, however, the aim is medical, and the plan is to use a robot that Neuralink has created that operates somewhat like a “sewing machine” to implant this threads, which are incredibly thin (like, between 4 and 6 μm, which means about one-third the diameter of the thinnest human hair), deep within a person’s brain tissue, where it will be capable of performing both read and write operations at very high data volume.

These probes are incredibly fine, and far too small to insert by human hand. Neuralink has developed a robot that can stitch the probes in through an incision. It’s initially cut to two millimeters, then dilated to eight millimeters, placed in and then glued shut. The surgery can take less than an hour.

No wires poking out of your head
It uses an iPhone app to interface with the neural link, using a simple interface to train people how to use the link. It basically bluetooths to your phone,” Musk said.

Is there going to be a brain app store ? Will we have ads in our brain?
“Conceivably there could be some kind of app store thing in the future,” Musk said. While ads on phones are mildly annoying, ads in the brain could be a disaster waiting to happen.

Why it’s hot?
A.I.: you won’t be able to beat it, so join it
Interfacing our brains with machines may save us from an artificial intelligence doomsday scenario. According to Elon Musk, if we want to avoid becoming the equivalent of primates in an AI-dominated world, connecting our minds to computing capabilities is a solution that needs to be explored.

“This is going to sound pretty weird, but [we want to] achieve a symbiosis with artificial intelligence,” Musk said. “This is not a mandatory thing! This is a thing that you can choose to have if you want. I think this is going to be something really important at a civilization-scale level. I’ve said a lot about A.I. over the years, but I think even in a benign A.I. scenario we will be left behind.”

Think about the kind of “straight from the brain data” we would have at our disposal and how will we use it?

 

 

Flights by the people. Miles for the people

Every week 600 members of Brazil’s congress fly to the nation’s federal capital, Brasília, to attend the seat of government. The country’s citizens pay for these flights with their taxes, but the politicians keep the air miles they earn. Reclame Aqui, Brazil’s leading consumer protection organization, campaigned to end this unfair practice. The company created a campaign to give these air miles back to the people who helped pay for them.


The Miles For The People platform displays and ranks congress members’ flight expenses and air miles, and Brazilian citizens can use the website to request some of those air miles for themselves.

Applicants must clearly state the reason they need the air miles (for example, surgery or exams). A board of lawyers at Reclame Aqui screens and reviews the documents, and selects applications based on their urgency. Approved applications are then sent to politicians who have sufficient air miles. Should the politician accept the request, they send boarding passes straight to the applicants’ smartphone.

Why its hot?
We are the network that enables brands to play a meaningful role in people’s lives and an agency that helps brands grow meaningful relationships with people. How can we bring ideas that help our clients like Cigna walk the walk?

 

Source: Contagious

A safe space to practice sexting


Juicebox has launched Slutbot to teach people how to do sexting properly. Slutbot is a chatbot experience that shows you how to talk dirty in real life. In response to users’ most common request, the “relationship and intimacy” startup Juicebox has developed its chatbot experience to show you how to send sexy SMS messages in real life.

Not to be confused with artificial intelligence, Slutbot is a chatbot that allows users to practice sexting and dirty talk. The SMS experience can be erotic and tackles important issues like consent and communicating desires as it normalizes conversations about sex. The team had to create a human-like chatbot that didn’t kill the mood.

Juicebox makes the Juicebox app, which provides direct access to personalized sex and relationship advice and coaching. The same team has also made Slutbot, which is available to anyone on iOS or Android as an SMS-based chatbot.

Why its hot?
They not only acted on an obvious user need but created a safe space for users to improve 
Roughly half of adults sext, but there’s still a lot of anxiety around doing it. Slutbot was born out of the most common request the Juicebox team received from users of their iOS app: How do you dirty talk?
And they acted on a human truth to stay true to their brand mission
‘If you can’t share your desires, you’re really holding yourself back’

 

Source: Mashable

Take a DNA test. Get a discount

Aeroméxico is offering discounted flight tickets to Americans who could prove their Mexican heritage by taking a DNA test.

The airline questioned local residents of a Texas town about their interest in going to Mexico. As you may have guessed, the general response was negative. After taking a DNA test, however, and hearing about the discount they were eligible to receive, their attitudes shifted.
Aeromexico, is one of Mexico’s major airlines and gets a lot of its income from flights from Mexico to US, but not so much the other way around. Planes were leaving full from Mexico, and returning with [empty seats]. Flights to the USA from Mexico account for 58.1% of Aeromexico’s income per year, while flights from the USA to Mexico account for only 27.7% of annual income.

Why its hot?
The truth well told: ‘You can’t reject what you’ve got inside’ 

Historically there has always been xenophobic conversation within the United States, [but now] hatred is at its highest level. And the intention to build a wall that separated both countries – Mexico and the US – is stronger and more radical over the Southern border

Source: Contagious

Closed for tourists. Open for Voluntourists

The Faroe Islands will be closed to visitors for one weekend in April ‘for maintenance’. From 26 to 28 April, locals on the 18-island archipelago will be working on conservation projects and, as the local tourism board Visit Faroe Islands explained on the campaign website, ‘delivering a touch of TLC to the Faroese countryside to ready it for visitors in 2019.’

The islands have invited 100 tourist volunteers to help with this project. Volunteers will maintain and create walking paths, construct viewpoints and put up signage to help with wayfinding. All participants will be given accommodation and food over the four-day, three-night period and, on the final night, there will be a celebratory meal.

The project was announced with an online video, which explained the rationale behind it, what volunteers would be doing and also included an official statement from the Faroes’ prime minister Aksel Johannesen. To register to participate, volunteers had to sign up via the campaign’s website and buy flights through 62N, the official travel agency partner of the Faroe Islands.

Why its hot?
There’s more to tourism than just numbers

Source: Contagious

Death of a spokesman

New Zealand life insurance comparison website LifeDirect killed off its mascot in a TV ad to persuade viewers to plan for their own deaths. The TV ad showed LifeDirect’s mascot of almost 10 years, Simon the sloth, on a hike to celebrate buying life insurance before tumbling off a cliff to his death.

The spot was shown simultaneously across 25 different channels during prime time but aired only once. The following day, LifeDirect continued the story by placing a print ad in New Zealand newspapers. The ad was in the style of an obituary and described how Simon had failed to identify the beneficiaries of his policy, inviting readers to stake their claim to a portion of the NZ$10,000.

Participants could enter the competition by inventing stories about how they knew Simon and why he would want them to have his money. Entries could be made by completing a template form on a dedicated website, or by submitting their own entries and adding photoshopped images, etc.

Why it’s hot?
Gamification of death

 

 

Source: Contagious

Everyday items in reusable packages

Recycling company TerraCycle has partnered with global FMCG brands to create Loop: a platform that offers customers everyday items in reusable packages.

Loop provides customers with branded FMCG goods, such as Häagen-Dazs ice-cream, Crest mouthwash and Tide detergent, in sturdy containers. When the customer is finished with the product, they return the packaging to the company, which then sterilises and re-uses it, creating a zero-waste cycle.

Loop aims to replace single-use plastics in the home by giving households the option to reduce the amount they have to recycle. In an interview with Bloomberg, founder Tom Szaky said, of the risk to the planet caused by pollution: ‘We can’t recycle or clean our way out of this. We have to stop the waste from entering the system to begin with.’

Loop was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2019. So far, 24 global FMCG brands have signed up to support the program, including Procter & Gamble, Nestle, PepsiCo, Unilever, The Body Shop, Coca-Cola and Danone.

Loop will begin a pilot in Spring 2019 in Paris, where customers will be able to purchase its products online through supermarket Carrefour’s website. and in New York.

TerraCycle will also distribute products through Tesco in the UK later in the year and is looking to reach Tokyo by 2020.

Around 300 products will be available through Loop, ranging from shampoo to washing powder. Each brand has worked with packaging designers to develop the re-usable containers. Häagen-Dazs ice cream, for example, has designed a double-walled stainless-steel container that keeps the contents cold throughout an entire evening, while Oral-B’s new click toothbrush design allows a user to detach the head from the handle, reducing waste by 60%.

Why its hot?
Research has also shown that one of the most common barriers to recycling is consumers feeling uncertain about which plastics can be recycled. With Loop, consumers wouldn’t need to worry about which products are or are not recyclable. The initiative unloads any supposed hassle that comes with the current recycling model in a simplistic way.

 

 

Stories by the route

Volkswagen Highway Fairytales

Volkswagen Highway Fairytales
Volkswagen Highway Fairytales
Volkswagen Highway Fairytales

To make children’s car journeys more entertaining, Volkswagen has created a location-based app that tells personalised stories based on what kids can see out of the back window.

The Snelweg Sprookjes (Road Tales) app detects ordinary objects such as tunnels, windmills, pass overs, gas stations, and electricity poles and transforms them in real-time into story elements. For example, a tunnel turns into a rocket launcher.

Why its hot?
Other than stories that adapt to your surroundings in real time, Road Tales gives children a reason to put their tablets way and look outside the window instead.

You are what’s in your fridge

According to Samsung, all our social media profiles are so shallow and edited now, that finding a date based on the contents of your fridge could be the way to find love.

Samsung Electronics Nordics’ “Refridgerdating” service lets users upload a photo of the inside of their fridge, and then swipe left or right to like or dislike others. To connect with other single people, two people need to match, meaning they both have to like each other’s icebox innards.

The campaign promotes the company’s smart kitchen technology, such as its Family Hub for refrigerators.This features a camera inside that shows you what needs to be bought on the way home so that you can add items on your grocery list, and also reminds you of expired dates. There’s also a Meal Planner application that delivers recipes based on your preferences and the food that’s in your fridge.

Samsung’s argument is that “it’s what’s on the inside that counts” when it comes to dating, so the impression given by our fridges “will be more representative for who we really are,” according to Mathias Johansson, Nordic Training and Communications Manager Home appliances, Samsung Electronics Nordic.

If you’re the kind of person who likes a neat, well-organized fridge, or if you love a colorful mess, there could be worse ways to match with a partner. However, we’d argue it’s equally easy to edit your fridge’s contents to make you look better–so if it’s filled with salad, sparkling water and fresh fruit rather than ready meals, out-of-date jars and beer, be suspicious.

Why its hot?
A very unique approach to using a foundational human insight to promote a refrigerator.
I was going to write Tinder for fridge but that seemed very cringeworthy

Neutrogena rescuing 3D printing

Neutrogena is launching a 3D-printed sheet mask that is designed to perfectly fit a user’s facial shape and cater to her particular skincare needs.

Neutrogena MaskiD is made up of six different colour-coded zones: the forehead, eye orbital, nose, cheeks, chin and nasolabial folds. The mask works with the Neutrogena Skin360 app to measure the user’s skin and then recommend a different blend of ingredients for each area of their face, in order to hydrate and brighten the skin, as well as combat issues like redness, uneven tone and wrinkles.

To create their personalised mask, the user first needs to take a selfie and create a 3D image of their face using Neutrogena’s app. The app is compatible with any smartphone with a 3D camera or one fitted with Neutrogena’s Skinscanner camera attachment. Next, the 3D-image is analysed to ascertain the right combination of ingredients for each area of the face. The custom-fit hydrogel mask is then 3D-printed and shipped to the client.

Why its hot?
Beyond all the usual stuff like personalized skincare, finally there is a 3D printing idea that is marginally useful for consumers in everyday use

Teach safety from disaster

Volkswagen in Australia created fake videos of pranks and stunts going wrong and participants only narrowly missing disastrous injuries as part of a campaign to highlight its cars’ safety features.

In one film, someone sits inside a tyre tube and rolls down a hill, towards a road. The hapless joker looks set to hit an oncoming vehicle but miraculously the car (a VW Polo) brakes in time and calamity is avoided.

The unbranded film was viewed more than 38 million times as well as being featured on US TV show Right This Minute, which airs viral videos.

Volkswagen later posted to its social channels a video revealing that the original film was a hoax to promote the Polo’s emergency city brake feature.

Other films in the Unfail series show a virtual reality demonstration going wrong and a freak water-slide accident.

Why its hot?
Using the psychology of fail videos to promote safety features.
Since, only 4% of young people care about safety and 68% people of general have no idea about safety features of their car, VW tricked people into watching its content through fail videos