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.

 

 

Calm: the mindfulness unicorn

Calm announced it raised $88m in a Series B funding round at a $1B valuation. The sleep, meditation, and relaxation app has grown rapidly to over 40m downloads worldwide, which equates to a new user joining every second.

US meditation has more than tripled from 2012 to 2017, according to the CDC. Companies like Calm and Headspace have become major players in the $4T health and wellness industry. When Calm was created 7 years ago, the company struggled to see adoption until about 18 months ago as people were finally becoming more open about mental health. By the end of 2017, Calm relaxed into a comfortable lead, increasing revenue 4x in 2018 and becoming the largest mindfulness app on the market.

What sets Calm apart from the deluge of mindfulness apps is primarily their beautiful design as well as their variety of bonus features in addition to meditation. They offer Sleep Stories, Music for focus, relaxation and sleep plus the options to meditate with just nature sounds for a set time period. They also have lectures by experts in the areas of emotions and meditations etc.

Why it’s hot: the company has its sights set on becoming the “Nike of the health and wellness industry” which will without doubt introduce a huge influx of similar apps and services to address health and wellness.

 

Facebook is about to launch a tool in the US that pings you to donate blood when there are shortages

Facebook is finally is using the strength of it’s network for a good cause! They’re getting ready to launch a tool that will notify users to donate blood when there is a shortage. T

The blood donation feature is the first tool built by Facebook’s four-year-old Social Good team, which also created the company’s disaster response tool — the feature that lets you mark yourself “safe” during a crisis.

facebook blood appThe initiative began in Bangladesh and has spread to Brazil and Pakistan before launching in the US.

In India, the problem was so dire that every week, thousands of users would flock to Facebook to ask their friends and family to give blood, according to Hema Budaraju, the company’s product director of health.

Inspired by those pleas, Budaraju and her team created an official Facebook blood donations tool that individuals and organizations in the country could turn to for help giving and receiving blood, introducing it in 2017. Since then, the tool has launched in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Brazil. More than 35 million Facebook users have signed up, Budaraju told Business Insider.

Why it’s hot? 

It”s a perfect example of a brand playing a meaningful role in the world they live in and also shows how much power brands actually have to make the world a better place.

Michael Buble…or Bubly?

When you combine the Super Bowl with pure charm, you get a commercial starring Michael Buble. Personally, I’m a big fan of this spot. What do you think?

Why It’s Hot: It’s funny, it’s charming, and it’s Michael Buble.

 

AI and Implicit Bias

Last weekend, AOC sounded the alarm about new research that found the facial recognition software Amazon is selling to law enforcement falls short on tests for accuracy and bias. According to the Washington Post’s reporting, researchers said Amazon’s algorithms misidentified the gender of darker-skinned women in about 30 percent of their tests. (Of course, Amazon promises that the facial recognition software in use is not the one tested by researchers.)

The problem stems from the sets of photos the algorithms were trained on — which skew heavily toward white men, the researchers said. And that caused AOC to sound the alarm on Twitter.

And if you’re really behind on implicit bias, please visit Harvard’s Project Implicit to learn more.

Why It’s Hot:

  1. For possibly the first time, Congress has a credible authority on technology and she’s on the House Oversight Committee so tech companies might want to take notice.
  2. As AI becomes real, we need to make sure we’re designing for each.

Source: Washington Post

Fitness Brands that Leverage Data to Deliver Personalized Experiences

Health and fitness brands are enabling customized experiences and tailored lifestyle plans using customer information like DNA or gym habits to help them reach their personal goals. Here are examples of 4 brands taking a unique approach to the fitness space:

FitnessGenes
U.K. genetic testing service FitnessGenes analyzes customers’ DNA and provides a genetically tailored workout and nutrition plan, with the optimal number of calories and macronutrient content for their unique genetic makeup. Consumers have easy access to their DNA results as well as workout and nutrition plans through the Member’s Area in the company’s website or app.

AthGene
Danish startup AthGene helps people improve their lifestyles and optimize their diets and fitness routines based on their DNA test results. Users collect their DNA with a mouth swab, and then receive easy-to-understand, actionable insights about their unique genetic makeup, such as their muscle fiber composition and sensitivity to carbohydrates, allowing them to tailor their nutrition and workout plans to their body’s needs.

Equinox

Equinox trialed a bot embedded into its mobile app that learns from a user’s activities, goals and preferences to recommend personalized workouts. The “Digital Coach” uses data from in-gym beacons to detect where gym-goers prefer to spend their time and subsequently nudge them towards specific activities. The service has successfully motivated members to check in 40% more than non-users during a six-month pilot program.

Thorne

Health startup Thorne sells at-home health tests that let users analyze various aspects of their health, such as cortisol levels, thyroid function and heavy metal levels, to help them address specific concerns, such as fatigue or fertility. Users provide a saliva or blood sample and receive a personalized health plan along with their test results.

Why it’s hot: These are hyper-targeted consumer experiences that are almost expected across many industries now – especially health and wellness.

Source 

Who’s Your Dadi?

As the D2C space continues to grow into an infinite amount of categories and brands, we can add men’s fertility to that list. Dadi, a new men’s health startup dedicated to fertility and sperm storage, believes the time is ripe for men to bypass the stuffy doctor’s office and deposit sperm into an FDA-licensed, yet patent pending, fertility and sperm storage kit from the comforts of their home.

According to a study in health journal Andrology, one in six couples has fertility issues, with little research or emphasis on how men factor into the equation. The CEO asserts that the industry hasn’t evolved in 30 to 40 years and neither has the way men approach reproductive health. They want to change that.

The founders at Dadi believe that infertility isn’t a women’s issue; it’s both a men’s and women’s issue. And they are hoping that this kit will encourage men to contribute to family planning conversations and become more aware of their reproductive health.

A typical men’s fertility program, which can include a reproductive kit, storage and lab fees, can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. Dadi offers significantly lower pricing options at either $9.99 a month or $99 a year to store the sperm at the New England Cryogenic Center (NECC).

The entire process is fairly innocuous, as it includes no branding. Men can deposit their sperm into it, tap a button to mix in a preservative located in the cap to keep it stable and then use a FedEx prepaid label to ship back to Dadi’s lab facility at NECC. In 24 hours, consumers can expect results about their fertility as well as a video of their sperm. During the whole process, consumers can chat with the Dadi team either through email or text.

Why it’s hot: With the introduction of D2C brands like Hims and Roman, many companies are tackling sensitive male issues with tech-enabled solutions to age-old issues in an almost anonymous setting. Regardless of the benefits, there are many challenging regulations that come with sperm storage, not to mention getting men to care about fertility which will be the toughest challenge to overcome. These startups will need to go beyond education and brand building and really find a way to change the way we think about fertility as a society. 

Source: https://www.adweek.com/digital/direct-to-consumer-brand-aims-to-make-mens-fertility-more-affordable-and-attainable/

 

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.

Drone delivers

JD.com, China’s second largest e-commerce site, delivered books and backpacks over 150 miles to students at a school in a village in Indonesia that’s hard to reach by road. Indonesia houses a population of more than 260 million people across some 17,000 islands making it one of the nations that could really use revolutionized delivery and logistics systems.

Why it’s hot: Technology is not taking over a human’s job in this case, it’s doing what they can’t do.

jd.id drone

Source

Domino’s rewards customers for disloyalty

Domino’s is promoting a limited-time addition to its rewards program that kicks off the day before Super Bowl Sunday, one of the top five days of the year in the ever-competitive pizza industry. The leading pizza chain is giving points for any brand of pizza. Someone could even heat up frozen pizza and earn points.

The offer gives anyone who signs up the chance to get free pizza without having to buy from Domino’s.After Domino’s cooked up the idea, its internal analytics and digital team worked on an artificial intelligence system that recognizes photos of pizza.

Thousands of photos were tested. Some trickery is actually allowed. If a dog has a pizza-shaped toy, a photo would get points for the owner, as the ad explains. While the 12-week offer may sound like a gimmick or act of desperation, it comes as Domino’s is playing from a position of strength and could extend its dominance over competitors including Pizza Hut, Little Caesars, Papa John’s and numerous smaller chains.

To get the rewards, people need to sign up for Domino’s loyalty program and share a photo of pizza, up to once a week. Each photo counts as 10 points. After six photos are approved by the company’s “Piedentifier” artificial intelligence system, the person has 60 points that can be redeemed for a free pizza.

Domino’s traditionally doesn’t advertise in the Super Bowl and this year is no exception. The main push will be TV ads, with a heavy rotation on Saturday and on Sunday in the hours before kickoff.

Why It’s Hot

Domino’s owns the pizza delivery space and rewarding customers for eating the competition is a snarky way of reminding them who is the best.

ny times has the [alexa] skills…

The inimitable New York Times has created not one, but five new Alexa skills.

Now, people can use their smart speaker to access:

> A daily flash briefing read by journalist Michael Barbaro
> Hear about the travels of Sebastian Modak with “52 places to go”
> Get a weekly music roundup from music editor Caryn Ganz
> Get book recommendations from Times book critics
> Play a weekly “New York Times Quiz” testing their knowledge of recent news

Why it’s hot:

It may not feel a massive innovation, but it’s a savvy move for the Times in a world where people are increasingly eschewing websites. No longer is it enough to build destinations, we have to think about how our brands can be present where people need them, when they need them.

[Source]

Making Ketchup Classy

Leading up to Valentine’s Day, Heinz is attempting to recreate the joys of ketchup and give it a social equity boost with its Ketchup Caviar.

The extremely limited batch of Heinz Ketchup Caviar will be available for Valentine’s. If you want to get your hands on one of the 150 jars available you’ll have to enter the brand’s sweepstakes (see link above).

But what is Ketchup Caviar? First off, it’s not literal caviar. No fish roe were harmed in the making of this sweepstakes. Instead, Heinz Ketchup Caviar is a molecular gastronomic spin on the classic condiment that attempts to recreate the joys of ketchup in pearl form.

Sweepstake winners will be contacted to receive their 1.8 oz jar hopefully before Valentine’s.

Why it’s hot: It’s a fun way for Heinz to celebrate their 150 years in business, it could also be a way to test new delivery methods for their products, molecular gastronomy is cool. 

AT&T customers exit in droves as teleco looks to upend TV

Evolving consumer behavior continues to challenge traditional media giants.

Two key measures, U.S. wireless and pay-TV subscribers, came in well below predictions in the fourth quarter. AT&T added a net 13,000 U.S. monthly wireless subscribers in the period, way under projections of about 252,000. A loss of 410,000 users of non-phone devices like smartwatches and tablets drove the disappointment.

AT&T fell victim in part to the same phenomenon that’s bedeviling Apple and other phone makers: People are hanging onto their smartphones longer. The Dallas-based company’s phone sales fell $500 million in the recent quarter due to sluggish upgrades, Chief Financial Officer John Stephens said on an earnings conference call.

AT&T also lost 658,000 U.S. pay-TV subscribers, compared with the loss of about 191,000 anticipated by analysts.

The figures look even worse in contrast with AT&T’s biggest rivals in mobile services. Although Verizon Communications reported downbeat fourth-quarter sales on Tuesday, that company and T-Mobile US Inc. each gained 1.2 million new wireless subscribers in the quarter. AT&T’s monthly defection rate, or churn, rose to 1.2 percent from 1.1 percent a year ago.

Why it’s hot?

Brands need to operate their businesses nimbly. They have to evolve into light weight operations, such as RPA, that will allow them to adopt new business models more fluidly.

Rent Your Apartment Out By The Minute

Recharge, a San Francisco startup that made headlines a few years ago for offering hotel stays by the minute (for a nap, shower or phone call, the company says), is expanding to offer the same service in people’s homes.

The big picture: Technology has enabled the creation of online marketplaces that segment the use of physical space in new ways — from Airbnb’s home-sharing service to companies like Breather that let you book office space for a meeting or call. Even Airbnb recently acquired Gaest, a marketplace for renting out office space.

Show less
How it works: Guests in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and New York can book a stay in an available home via the Recharge app just as they would book a visit in one of its hotels.

For hosts, Recharge offers two options: a self-managed option, which means the host takes care of the cleaning and gets to keep most of the revenue, and an “autonomous” option, for which Recharge provides the cleaning, but takes a much bigger cut of the fee.
Hosts have to apply and be vetted, including providing a copy of their lease if they don’t own the home to ensure the service won’t violate its terms.
Recharge co-founder and CEO Emmanuel Bamfo says that the company’s service is legal, even in cities like San Francisco and New York with strict home-sharing laws, because there are no overnight stays.
But ultimately, it remains to be seen whether landlords react negatively to Recharge, he admits.
By the numbers: To date, Recharge has had 50,000 bookings, with an average stay of two hours, says Bamfo. It works with 50 hotels and has approved 1,100 homes. Eventually, says Bamfo, Recharge wants to purchase and manage its own hotels to have more flexibility.

Funding: Since raising $2.3 million in seed funding in 2016, Recharge has brought on strategic investors like JetBlue Ventures and Fifth Wall (which has ties to the real estate industry), bringing its total funding to $10 million.

Why It’s Hot:

Cities like San Francisco and New York are notoriously strict with home-sharing laws. By not allowing overnight stays Recharge found a way to bypass these laws one minute at a time.

B2B Marketers Trying New (old) Tactics

OK, so it’s not exactly a new tactic (a classic of the genre is the ‘jilted lover’ billboards that have been used to promote a variety of TV shows), but it is interesting to see when B2B marketers step outside of their comfort zone.

This example from SAP appeared in the Wall Street Journal yesterday and got quite a lot of traction online. There were some naysayers (“another dumb advertiser trying to be funny”), but I thought it was well executed. It was both dull enough and odd enough to work, and the idea that business constantly seeks feedback yet never actually wants to listen to it is surely a universal truth.

Why its hot…

SAP are having a tough time – just this week they took a big restructuring charge and are laying off 4,000 workers. In tough times you’d expect them to be conservative and play it safe. It’s refreshing to see them taking a leaf out of the playbook of some other categories and doing something unexpected.

It’s Game Time: Tracking the 2019 Super Bowl Ads

Image result for super bowl mercedes benz atlantaIt’s the week before the Big Game and some advertisers have already started rolling out sneak peeks and in some cases, full ads.

Up first, Stella Artois released their full ad on Monday, which features two memorable characters coming together to pitch the Belgian pilsner.  The unlikely duo of Carrie Bradshaw and The Dude were brought together for the beer brand’s Change Up the Usual campaign.

Lil Jon is tempting the fates of losing his “Atlanta” card by partnering with Pepsi in a trailer for the Big Game, which takes a mocking tone towards Pepsi’s rival Coca-Cola and its Perfect Pour.  Standby for if Lil Jon will be invited back to his hometown after Sunday’s game in the ATL.

ASMR is a hot trend right now.  Pepsi is creating its interpretation using Cardi B and Michelob Ultra is leveraging Zoe Kravitz in its version of the kooky internet phenomenon.

Take a look at the rest of the ads and teasers here: Adweek

If you want to get in on live action, this year 3 Percent Conference is expanding on their Super Bowl Tweet Up, by rolling out locations in cities including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.  To find out more, go here: https://www.3percentmovement.com/tweetup

And if you want to vote for your favorites and not so favorites, you can visit USA Today’s Ad Meter to cast your vote! http://admeter.usatoday.com/ 

Why Its Hot:

Its the Super Bowl.  And at over $5M for a 30 second spot, this ad arena is not for the faint of heart, or the light in the wallet.  But overall trends here, will dictate the direction for brands and advertisers in 2019.  Agencies will need to quickly have POVs for the winners and the losers and how we can use those learnings to guide future creative requests.   Watch this space for a recap of the winners and the losers next week!

Somehow Hagfish Technology is the Future

I don’t know how. But it is.

Trending now, after a truck accident that left one car covered in slime. People are having hagfish fever!

What is a Hagfish? It’s an eel like isopod that creates a slick slime when threatened. According to The Atlantic, “typically, a hagfish will release less than a teaspoon of gunk from the 100 or so slime glands that line its flanks. And in less than half a second, that little amount will expand by 10,000 times—enough to fill a sizable bucket. Reach in, and every move of your hand will drag the water with it.”

What is truly cool is the structure of the slime, it’s almost like a spider web that quickly unravels when the hagfish is in danger. “Once these cells are expelled from the slime glands, they rupture, releasing the threads within them. Ewoldt’s colleague Gaurav Chaudhury found that despite their length, the threads can fully unspool in a fraction of a second. The pull of flowing water is enough to unwind them. But the process is even quicker if the loose end snags on a surface, like another thread, or a predator’s mouth.”

Watch the hagfish basically drown it’s predators! And how they survive the inital bite? “The animal is effectively wearing a set of extremely loose pajamas,” Fudge says. If a predator attacks, “the body sort of squishes out of the way.”

Why it’s hot?

Sometimes nature’s technology is the coolest of all. I’d love to see how studies on hagfish slime and it’s genetic composition and properties, might turn into new technology.

https://twitter.com/edyong209/status/1088787389441556481

Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/01/hagfish-slime/581002/

 

You can now buy an actual hospital room on Amazon

 

You can buy almost everything on Amazon. And that includes, as of Thursday, a “smart” hospital room in a box.

A New York-based company called EIR Healthcare is now selling units of its hospital room, dubbed MedModular, for $814 a square foot on Amazon.com, which the company claims is more affordable than traditional construction. The design is customizable but all the rooms come with a bathroom and a bed.

These rooms don’t come cheap at $285,000 per unit, but they are targeted to business buyers that are increasingly flocking to Amazon.

“We’re targeting hospitals and health systems,” said Grant Geiger, CEO of EIR Healthcare, the company selling the units. “There’s a trend towards bringing more transparency in the health care space,” he added.

 

But hospital administrators are an obvious place to start, he said, as Amazon is already selling them medical supplies ranging from bed pans to syringes. Previously, large hospital systems would buy everything through group purchasing organizations, or GPOs, which provided discounts but also a lack of transparency around costs.

Now, Amazon is looking to carve out its own slice of that lucrative business with its own growing portfolio of medical supplies.
Why It’s Hot: This is another move for Amazon into the health space. Know primarily for B2C, they’re looking to continue their expansion of B2B offerings, with a focus on medical supplies for hospitals and other HCPs.

When did brands turn to first-person and why is it so effective?

I greatly enjoyed this article from The Ringer about how Entertainment brands have started to voice their social media accounts it the first-person – and unpacked how and why doing so has been so effective to building their brand.

WHY IT’S HOT: 

As Alyssa Bereznak aptly puts, “All the legal scholars tirelessly debating whether corporations are people may be dismayed to learn that, on social media, a powerful billion-dollar tech company can quite effectively wrap itself in the personality, cadence, and sexual desires of an extremely online 20-something.” This is a well-worn trend, but it’s worthwhile to note that what may have previously been carefully crafted as a stringent corporate strategy has now become a more organic, fourth-wall-breaking, fast-reacting one-manned stream. As entertainment brands have adopted the voice of millennial fandom, it will be interesting to see brands in other industries continue to build their personalities (and brands) on social – particularly in instances where the sarcastic or joke-y tone threatens the brand’s credibility. (More on that here: https://www.theringer.com/tech/2019/1/25/18196741/why-mental-health-apps-sound-like-millennials)

SOURCE: The Ringer

Dr. AI

Microsoft has created a new AI with Probabilistic disease progression modeling or (PDPM) to help doctors.

It uses observational medical data to establish (2) states:

 

  • The first determines the number of disease states
  • The second builds a probelistic disease progression model

This in turn can be used  by doctors to better understand patients individual conditions and how they may be likely to develop. It could give information  about a wide range of symptoms – from  shaking hands to mood swings  and  use that to help identify the biomarkers of diseases  including diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

The ultimate goal is for Machine Learning and  AI to help doctors make more accurate diagnoses which could allow for more effective treatment AND could ultimately save lives.

Why It’s Hot:

Applying unique predictive modeling to AI opens up a whole new world of opportunities. In this instance ,it could help save lives when applied to the medical field. Other predictive models across areas such as law enforcement, mental health, and climate change could also help bring positive outcomes.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/ibm-probabilistic-ai-huntingtons-diseases/

Going Retro To Be Green

A new initiative by a small company has compelled more than two dozen of the world’s biggest brands to begin testing reusable packaging.

Loop, launched this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, has amassed a blue-chip roster of companies, all of which are piloting a new system of high-quality packaging that can be returned and refilled again and again. In essence, it changes the ownership model of packaging from consumer to producer.

How It Works

Simply put, Loop brings back the old “milkman model,” where products are delivered to customers at the same time empties are picked up, washed, refilled and restocked for delivery to another customer. The customer gets the product but the company owns the package.

The reality is somewhat more complex.

Loop initially will be an e-commerce play. Consumers can order goods from the Loop website or that of a partner and have them delivered like traditional products ordered online. But there’s a twist: Customers pay a small deposit for a package that has been designed for 100 or more use-cycles. When the container is empty, customers place it in a specially designed tote for pickup or, in some cases, can bring it to a retailer. They can choose whether they want that product replenished; if not, their deposit is returned or credited to their account. The empties are sent to a facility where they are washed and refilled.

Why It’s Hot

Since the dawn of the recycling movement about 30 years ago, companies have tried a number of schemes to enable consumers to use packaging over and over.

But none of these has caught on beyond a tiny niche. Consumers, outside of a precious few hardcore greenies, don’t really want to be inconvenienced, much as they may be seeking to avoid wasteful practices.

Loop’s approach seeks to overcome those obstacles. The key, said Szaky, is trying to mimic the way consumers already buy, use and dispose of packaging.

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

E-scooters could soon be on the streets of NYC

Lime in New Zealand.

Pick your Lime vehicle.

New York City has been a holdout in the electric scooter craze. A 2004 New York state law banned any motorized scooters.

City Council will soon vote on four bills that include a pilot program for shared e-scooters and legalizing e-scooters that can only go up to 15 mph.

A similar bill would allow for the use of e-bikes with a max speed of 20 mph.

If legalized, Lime is very eager to start operations in New York City like it does in over 100 cities around the world.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has given the OK for cities to figure out for themselves what to do about e-scooters so NYC is planning to vote on it.

Why it’s hot: Legalizing e-scooters could forever change the streets on NYC and add a new layer to the bike-share program.

Source: https://mashable.com/article/e-scooters-nyc-legalize/

Say Hello to Roo!

Roo, Planned Parenthood’s new chatbot, officially launched yesterday with hopes to help answer teenagers’ questions about sexual health that they may not want to ask their parents.

Planned Parenthood worked with digital shop Work & Co on the strategy, branding, design and development of the chatbot. Work & Co actually worked with teenagers from a high school in Brooklyn while developing the app to learn what kind of questions they have, how they search for answers and what they’d want in a chatbot. Because teens prefer to communicate through text message, a chatbot was an ideal platform to provide personalized, destigmatized answers. Plus, a 2014 study found that people tend to feel more comfortable disclosing personal information to a chatbot than a person.

Since many young people are nervous or embarrassed to ask questions about sexual health, they often turn to online resources that might not be entirely reliable. The AI powered bot is meant to give fast answers in a judgment-free, anonymous setting in a manner that’s comfortable for the audience — instead of kids going to unchecked online sources or YouTube for important information. The app is designed for 13-17 year olds and intends to answer more questions as more people use it. Users can find information about anything from puberty, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy to crushes and masturbation.

Teens can access Roo their mobile phones and if Roo can’t find what the user is looking for, it can connect them to live educators via Planned Parenthood’s chat/text program. Initiatives like this one are meant to help Planned Parenthood give information to hard-to-reach audiences like teenagers who don’t receive sex education or are receiving abstinence-only education.

Why it’s hot: Roo is a great example of well-designed chatbot functionality as well as access to experts in a category often overlooked. One feature in particular that works so well is the fact that you can just browse questions without having to ask anything yourself. Additionally, if you want to know more on a specific topic, sometimes the chatbot will take you to a page on Planned Parenthood’s website, a great way to drive to content on the site.

Source: https://adage.com/article/agency-news/planned-parenthood-launches-roo-a-sexual-health-chatbot-teens/316365/

H&M and Lyft Partner to Help People Recycle

This week, New Yorkers can use Lyft for a free ride to H&M. The partnership is meant to encourage people to participate in H&M’s Garment Collecting program–a global initiative where customers can drop off clothing from any brand to their local H&M, and H&M sends it to the nearest recycling plant for reuse. Every bag of clothing dropped off earns a 15% off discount at H&M .

All customers will have to do is enter the code HMRECYCLES to claim their free Lyft ride, up to $10.

The press release announcing the partnership highlights how both companies have committed to help the environment:

  • Since the Garment Collecting program started in 2013, H&M has collected 163 pounds of textiles globally
  • In 2018, Lyft committed to offsetting their carbon emissions, ensuring every Lyft ride in NYC is carbon-neutral

Why It’s Hot

Both companies are getting at their target customers’ affinity for eco-conscious brands, while helping prevent clothing from ending up in landfills.

Source: https://www.retaildive.com/news/hm-lyft-give-rides-to-customers-recycling-old-clothes/546629/

MOVE OVER GEN Z, GENERATION ALPHA IS THE ONE TO WATCH

Apparently you don’t need to have a wallet or a job to become a key target for marketers. Children 10 years old and younger seem to wear the pants in the family when making technology decisions on what TV to buy, tablet and phone purchases. Marketers need to understand how the newly coined generation Alpha make decisions and what makes them tick.

Here are a some examples of brand’s getting their attention:

Making a tedious task – enjoyable. 

Procter & Gamble’s Crest Kids, for example, recently unveiled an Alexa skill for Amazon’s smart speaker designed to help children brush their pearly whites. The Tooth Fairy-approved skill tells jokes, offers fun facts and sings songs for the dentist-recommended brush time of two minutes, according to the Amazon page for Chompers, which worked with Gimlet Media and Oral B on the project.

Partner with Alpha’s favorite YouTube and Instagram influencers.

The kingpin is Ryan, a 7-year-old boy from Texas who has been doing online toy reviews since he was a 4-year-old. His YouTube channel, Ryan ToysReview, now approaches 18 million subscribers. Ryan, whose last name is undisclosed to protect his privacy, first began posting reviews, but has since expanded into science experiments and games. Neither Ryan nor his parents returned a request for comment.

“The new biggest celebrity to a kid is not Michael Jordan anymore, it’s Ryan ToysReview, [their] favorite YouTuber,” says Julia Moonves, VP of sales and business development at Pocket.watch, a Los Angeles-based startup that partners with young influencers on content and product development.

Why it’s hot? 

The customer base has gotten a lot more complex with layers of influencers. Marketers have to work smarter to target the right decision makers and key influencers to drive conversion.

Wearable memes

At this year’s Paris Fashion Week, Viktor & Rolf put out a couture collection featuring voluminous tulle ballgowns plastered with memes.

And there’s a dress for every mood.

When a simple “no” isn’t enough:

FASHION-FRANCE-VIKTOR & ROLF

When you need a Frida Kahlo quote to inspire you:

FASHION-FRANCE-VIKTOR & ROLF

When it’s Day 33 of the government shutdown and negotiations have stalled:

FASHION-FRANCE-VIKTOR & ROLF

When you show up late to a party you wish you canceled earlier:

Viktor & Rolf : Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Spring Summer 2019

When someone just isn’t getting the hint:

Viktor & Rolf : Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Spring Summer 2019

When your friend says “It’s just a small get together, dress casual”:

Viktor & Rolf : Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Spring Summer 2019

When it’s been a week and he still hasn’t texted back:

Viktor & Rolf : Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Spring Summer 2019

Why it’s hot: Using social media to resonate with people on social media.

Source

Netflix Adds New Instagram Stories Sharing Function

A new sharing feature integrating Instagram and Netflix is letting users share what they’re watching on the streaming service as a Story. Once you share to Instagram, users can add all the normal Story functions like GIFs and polls on top of the Netflix creative.

Each story will live for the normal 24 hours, but Netflix adds a “watch on Netflix” button to facilitate traffic to the service. Integration with Stories is going to be huge for brands moving forward as the format continues to gain in popularity.

Why its hot

Stories are huge and being able to share to Stories is going to be important for any brand looking for engagement with the format.

Is it the End of Embarrassing Birds and Bees Conversations?

Last year Planned Parenthood started testing a chatbot that aims to answers teenagers plethora of questions around sex. Knowing kids probably don’t want to ask their parents about the more intimate aspects of their love lives, the organization has partnered with a digital agency to strategize, design and brand the chatbot that will be launching on Thursday.

Working with teenagers form Bushwick, Brooklyn’s Math, Engineering and Sience academy on the project. The charter school students have helped design the gender-neutral, friendly chatbot aimed at 13 to 17 year-olds.

Since so many teenagers get health information online, the artificial intelligence-powered bot is meant to give fast answers in a judgment-free, anonymous setting in a manner that’s comfortable for the audience — instead of kids going to unchecked online sources or YouTube for important information.

Source: https://adage.com/article/agency-news/planned-parenthood-launches-roo-a-sexual-health-chatbot-teens/316365/ 

Users can find all sorts of information, from puberty to sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and masturbation. If the right information can’t be found, Roo will direct users to other sources like live educators. The experience lives on Roo.PlannedParenthood.org and is best experienced on mobile devices.

Why it’s Hot:

User first thinking really shows here. Teenagers are looking everything up online but when it comes to sex talk, they are embarrassed to have anyone find their search history. This solves for that, it’s completely anonymous! Also, it solves for them finding accurate and trustworthy information.

Young designers make a living building tiny houses on The Sims

A young Australian graphic design student got into Sims while studying abroad and getting a stomach bug. Today, “Deligracy“, has 810,000 subscribers and even sells merchandise, like sweatshirts, mugs, and phone cases.Deligracy’s  channel has become so popular that she quit her job as a junior graphic designer because she was making more money from YouTube. Some of her most popular videos, which get tens of thousands of views, aren’t of the most elaborate houses Deligracy can dream up: Instead, her audience is obsessed with tiny homes.

For James Turner, another Australian who runs a popular channel called The Sim Supply, with 1.1 million subscribers, building tiny homes is an ideal challenge. “I love making them, it’s like trying to put a puzzle together, I know what I want it to look like, and what tiny space it has to fit within, but it’s a matter of getting the game to actually work the way I want to and have everything be functional for game play.” One of Turner’s early tiny house videos, in which he designs a fully functional Sims house with kitchen, bathroom, bed, and dresser that can fit within a four-by-four square (a square is the standard building unit in the game), has 4.7 million views. Players can also download the house to play with themselves.

Why it’s hot: Knowing that there is a large millennial audience highly engaged with home design, and knowing that millennial home ownership is down — can this be leveraged to spike millennial home ownership?

Source: FastCo