Red Bull’s solar-powered billboard lights-up nighttime sports

Lighting for nighttime sports is scarce in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, making it hard for people to enjoy outdoor activities, like football and skateboarding, at night. The desire to play sports at night is especially strong in Vietnam because of the intense daytime heat and humidity. Red Bull, being all about energy and action, used this as an opportunity to create a social benefit while aligning the brand with a different kind of energy than caffeine: solar.

To do this, they painted a grid of used Red Bull cans black, in order to soak up the sun’s energy during the day, then stored that energy in batteries, which were used to power flood lights, making nighttime games and sports possible.

Why it’s hot:

Instead of just throwing up some standard billboards in outdoor recreation areas, Red Bull decided to be user-centered, looking to solve a real problem first, and found a clever way for the brand to participate in a more meaningful way within the culture it wants to attract.

1. Alignment: Red Bull sells an image of passion — a desire to go “all out” for one’s dreams, and this project fits perfectly with that image.

2. Social benefit: This hits on all cylinders for Red Bull. It positions the brand as essential to the sports it’s supporting, while repurposing resources, reducing energy use, and showing off its innovation chops. Helping people in this small way with things they are passionate about extends good will toward the brand far beyond the initial investment.

Source: Contagious

Miller frames beer as the original social media

With this entertaining noir-esque advert, three friends escape hoards of nameless, unthinking look-alike “followers” to find refuge with each other in a side-street bar.

Miller’s research found that 50% of 21-to-27 year olds only meet up with their close friends a few times a month.

The ad suggests social media is to blame and that Miller is the needed champion of authentic, in-person experiences versus the ubiquitous sameness of social media image-curation.

In a clever play on words, the ad ends with a toast to the “original social media”. (beer)

Fast Company: “The new campaign ad, “Followers,” by agency DDB Chicago, is using the age-old idea of Miller Time and positioning it as an antidote to our collective social feed fatigue. The brand is complementing this notion with a promotion that will reward drinkers who unfollow Miller Lite on Facebook and Instagram with free beer. Miller Lite is also taking two weeks off from any social media of its own.”

They’re no doubt banking on the press coverage to make up for it.

Like any good rebel, Miller is bucking the trend … of social media accumulation, but its execution of this reward could maybe be better. In order to get a free beer, you have to take a screenshot of your unfollow, text it to a coded address, receive a link, follow the link and upload a photo of your receipt, to then receive a reimbursement on Paypal.

They also did a pretty badass can redesign to go along with the campaign.

Why it’s hot:

Americans love a rebel, and as digital continues to devour our lives, Miller is exploiting the growing disdain for social media to frame itself as a conduit of authentic connection. Miller Time is back from the good ol’ days before social media, to remind us that friends are people you see in person.

People will still use social media, obviously, but maybe next time they gripe about how it’s eroding our ability to form meaningful real human connections, they’ll remember the brand that agrees with them, and reach for a Miller Lite.

Why it’s not as good as it could be: Rewarding unfollows is clunky UX, requiring multiple steps on one’s phone, which undermines the clarity of the “offline” message.

Fan Power Resurrects Clearly Canadian!

Clearly Canadian was a wildly popular, fruity carbonated drink in the late 80s and early 90s. Every kid at the lunch table came with one of the teardrop glass bottles; but each a different flavor, with dozens available. How could they offer dozens of fruit flavors? Well, Loganberry was my favorite, and I’d never before, nor since, heard of a Loganberry. A friend and I were lamenting the loss of Clearly Canadian last weekend and she looked the company up on Facebook, on a whim. It’s back!

facebook post

In December 2013, a group started a Facebook page, then site, then Twitter account, all aimed at generating enough pre-sales to get the beverage back into production. The group did a great job of mobilizing fans and motivating them with a mix of nostalgic, 90s themed posts, as well as information about progress being made to bring the product back, including pictures of the glass bottle molds and the first bottle prototypes being made. They also offered a referral program, enabling fans to earn additional cases of product. As of May 2015, 30,000 cases had been pre-sold, production began and credit cards were charged.

facebook clearly canadian

site uses social mediaclearly canadian

With the initial goal met, the company is now running a 15 day IndieGoGo campaign, in hopes of raising another 250k. If that goal is met, the company will put a 5th flavor into production; voted in by the investors. (Go loganberry!) A separate site has been set up for retailers and a field team is seeking distribution opportunities.

Why It’s Hot: The company successfully tapped into people’s fond memories of their product and more so, the time during which it was so popular. While nostalgia fueled the campaign, the distribution network was wholly modern; seamlessly delivered across Facebook, Twitter, a Clearly Canadian website and IndieGoGo, none of which existed when the brand was in its heyday! And now, they can add “Hot Sauce” to their list of distribution channels!