Spinach Saves Oranges

Florida’s orange growers have been losing trees to “citrus greening” disease for over a decade. The two most popular options are genetic engineering or breeding immune trees, both pose challenges as no naturally immune tress seem to exist and genetically modified trees would take 10-20 years to mature and test and would bare the ever unpopular GMO label.

Enter science. The search for a solution landed on vaccination,  with “One particularly promising set of genes coming from the spinach plant, coding for a group of antibacterial proteins called defensins.” For a state that has lost almost 70% production since this elegant solution may be the answer, especially considering trees treated with the vaccine would not need to carry the GMO label. In tests since 2010, on Monday the US Department of Agriculture posted a notice that it intends to conduct an environmental impact assessment, meaning if all goes well. the vaccine should be in wide distribution by 2019.

More on Citrus Greening:

Why It’s Hot: 

  • Biotechnology can be both scary and brilliantly useful. the debate goes on
  • There was no mention of it, but curious of what impact, if any the Trump administration will have on such ventures since they have stated wanted to push these types of innovation through the market
  • What is the cost/benefit of using these types of solutions or genetic modification if it keeps people in work and commodity prices down?

Source

April Fools Round Up

Since April 1st fell on a Saturday, we likely were not scrolling the day away to see all the wonderful April Fools pranks pulled by brands this year. These are lighthearted and fun, something that we can forget is a perk of working in such a creative industry. We try to please our bosses and our clients, stay mindfully within our brand guidelines, come up with crisis management plans, try not to shake the boat, or shake the boat just enough to get those impressions – but 1 day a year, we can actually have some fun with the freedom of creativity.

BMW 

Cheetos

Grubhub

Jameson

Doritos 

Hurricane Grill & Wings

WHY ITS HOT:

  • The level of production on some of these videos is as high as any corporate campaign, which means planning
  • It’s highly enjoyable to watch creative teams have some fun with their brands
  • Pressure to compete among brands for best hoax is care-free competition

Yes Good

Pre-package, flavored nut brand Emerald has taken “authenticity” to a new level. The brand’s new tag line “Yes Good” was pulled straight from a five star Amazon review, and it doesn’t end there. They are leaning in hard with favorable online reviews by creating a “Revue of Reviews” campaign in which they present artistic interpretations of some of the more exciting reviews on their product. They still don’t know who wrote their new tag line, but that hasn’t stopped them from going all-in.

yesgood.website

revueofreviews.com  (watch this)

Instagram

 

Why It’s Hot:

  • It seems so obvious, but have yet to see anyone lean in to customer reviews to build a campaign
  • We talk often about “authenticity” and “engagement”, what a great way to get customers involved with your brand
  • The art is cool.

 

Mac Daddy

In 2015 McDonald’s put a bottle of their special sauce up for auction on eBay. It eventually sold for $15,000. Then in January of this year, to align with their promotion of new “choose your size” Big Mac options they gave away 10,000 bottles in stores and online, which again found their way online to sell for thousands of dollars. Now, this week McDonald’s announce it would be selling their Filet-O-Fish, Big Mac and McChicken sandwich sauces in Canadian grocery stories.

Start your barbecues. This spring, you can take home Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish and McChicken sauces along with your weekly groceries.

Why It’s Hot: 

  • In today’s world of omni-present branding, taking advantage of your best assets and using them in new and interesting (and profitable) ways can keep you top-of-mind to your audiences
  • Looking to eBay for audience affinities or gauging interest by introducing one-off products on the site is great for market testing
  •  This launch comes as a party of ongoing efforts from McDonald’s to recapture audiences as they have seen sales lag over the last few years. Other new-to-market initiatives include:
    • All day breakfast
    • Mobile ordering
    • 3-sized Big Macs

Welcome to the Island

As part of it’s marketing campaign, Kong: Skull Island has establish “Skull Island” on google maps. With 200 pictures and almost 9,000 reviews this stunt is a fun, and interactive way to engage with the movie.

Kong Skull Island Google Maps Promo

Kong Skull Island Google Map

Skull Island

Why it’s hot: 

  • As strategists we are always looking to engage with our audiences in a way that makes them feel as if they are a part of the brand experience, rather than being “talked at”
  • Utilizing a common platform to bring something new in marketing

But did it work? 

Kind of

They achieved some decent PR coverage and great engagement but the experience falls flat after the initial “cool” factor wears off. However, other films such as Fantastic Beasts and where to Find Them and Star Wars: the Force Awakens also partnered with  google to much greater effect with greater pay off based on their cult followings.

 

Order Up

Ordering Pizza by emoji is the gold-standard, one-finger solution for college kids and couch potatoes alike, but this yeah during March Madness, Pizza Hut, will announce a new push-to-order solution: The Pie Top. A marketing stunt for the ages, these extremely limited edition sneakers (64 pairs to match the 64 teams) were designed by custom sneaker legend The Shoe Surgeon and utilize in-shoe geolocation so pizza can be delivered wherever the wearer is by just the push of a button.  Brought to life by an ad spot featuring Grant Hill, sneaker freaks are likely to be hitting up ebay for their chance to get these coveted wearables.

 

Why Its Hot:

  • The combination of pizza, sneakers and sports is a “know your audience” win
  • The integration of tech and IRL consumer experience continues to be at the forefront of market demand
  • A stunt at it’s core, this is just really well done and its all the right notes, including highlighting the ease of ordering from Pizza Hut and tying in to an online-only Pizza Hut promotion
  • The article mentions when the brand was presented with the idea, they jumped on the opportunity right away.  Sometimes 1 cool ass idea is all it takes

Pizza Hut Made ‘Pie Tops,’ With a Button on the Tongue to Order Pizza, for March Madness

Making Plastic Priceless

Supreme has always excelled at being a coveted clothing brand for the cool kids, but this week they proved they had the cache to make even a piece of plastic an exclusive collectors item by placing their logo on a limited number of New York City Metro Cards to be distributed at random. No stranger to creating long lines (as can often be seen outside their Soho location) waves of expensive hoodie wearers are flooding Subway stations at Broadway-Lafayette Street, 125th Street, Queens Plaza, Marcy Ave, Atlantic Ave, Prince Street, Spring Street, and Union Square in hopes of getting their hands on this golden ticket. While the $5.50 two-way ride card retailing at the store’s flagship (good luck getting in) are already sold out those lucky enough to get their hands on the elusive collectors item quickly began reselling them on site’s like eBay for upwards of $1000. If paying $1000 for a piece of plastic isn’t a study in brand loyalty, I don’t know what is.

https://twitter.com/ComplexStyle/status/833834131079446529

Why It’s Hot

  • Creating this kind of newsworthy mayhem should be cause to take notice. What has the brand done that is has become so powerful as to make anything with their logo on it so valuable?
  •  Knowing your audience is key to any successful campaign. As a NYC based brand, this collaboration re-enforces the brand roots and enhances authenticity
  • Though profiting little from this endeavor, these types of marketing exercises serve to continue to build brand worth and recognition among their already loyal fan base and perhaps bring new audiences into the fray

Read more: The MTA’s Supreme-branded MetroCard is a hot commodity, The Supreme-Branded Metrocard Is HereSupreme Starts Frenzy at New York Subway StationsSupreme Is Coming Out With A Customized MetroCard, etc.

Netflix Will Read your Mind

As part of “hack day”, an internal event at Netflix that brings employees together to “casually experiment with new technologies”, this wonderful device emerged. Essentially, it will allow wearers to control their television screen by moving their head and “thinking” watch. This headband, being called Mindflix, is a “modified version of The Muse headband — which is designed to monitor brain activity for meditation purposes” and which is described by Mashable  as a “thinkable” (as opposed to a wearable). While Mindflix is not a consumer product (The Muse is), brain sensing technology may be the next voice recognition technology.

Why It’s Hot

  • The implications are endless when it comes to personalize experiences based on your thoughts.
  • Thinkable technology isn’t exactly new, but then again, neither is virtual reality, eventually someone will get it right. Not to mention, having Netflix know what you want to watch could save hours of needless browsing.
  • There is something to be said for Netflix hosting these types of events in their offices. Who knows what will emerge when smart, creative people are given the chance to be smart and creative

Mindflix

The Muse