Deposit your candy corn and Necco wafers here

Mashable, Forbes and others have been keeping lists of the most loved and most hated Halloween candy for several years running. It seems that tons of free, artificially colored clumps of sugar are just not good enough for many Americans.

Reese’s saw an opportunity and created this machine that works kind of like a bottle recycling machine: put your crappy candy in and get some Reese’s candy in return.

Why it’s Hot

Trust me, it’s hot.

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A combination of India’s lack of digital payment adoption and shop owners never having enough change to give back to customers after a purchase has resulted in a very unique cultural practice: giving candy as change to consumers, instead of coins. Though it may sound sweet (eh? eh?), this leaves customers feeling scammed and shop owners feeling annoyed.

Taking note of this mutual pain point Paytm, a digital payment app, created its own brand of candy. These could still be given as change to consumers, but with a twist – the candy wrappers could be redeemed as real money with the download of their app by inputting the promo codes on the inside of the candy wrappers.

Though Paytm didn’t monetize (the candies were given to shop owners for free) they massively reduced their acquisition costs from $ 0.92 to $.18) with over 1M people downloading their app.

Why It’s Hot:

  • The campaign stemmed from a real culture insight/pain point and the brand sat in the middle of the solution
  • Really smart way of turning an everyday object into a medium (the wrappers)
  • Leveraged an old behavior (cash economy) to transition people to a new one (digital payment)

The Patch, Sour Patch Kids’ Brooklyn Experiment

Along with Vans and Red Bull, Sour Patch Kids is reimagining the idea of influencer partnership with The Patch, a Clinton Hill apartment offered as a respite for touring indie bands.

The Patch

“Brands seem to be figuring out that a good way to avoid the potential pitfalls of artist partnerships is to not really form partnerships at all. A video Nacho shot for Vans doesn’t even mention shoes. Red Bull doesn’t ask for any ownership or control over the music artists record in its luxurious Chelsea studios. The Patch is another example of this coy courtship—there’s no obtrusive signage outside the house, which is in a quiet Brooklyn neighborhood rather than the globally commodified hipster meccas of Williamsburg or Bushwick. No money changes hands, and the hashtag #brooklynpatch is, notably, brand-name-free. The Patch is amusing enough—like O’Neil says, it’s funny—that being involved doesn’t feel evil. In fact, the touch is so light that one must wonder: What does Sour Patch Kids actually get out of it? That artists are willing to link up with the brand probably says more about the changing sensibilities of “indie” than about the candy’s ability to penetrate the culture.”

Why It’s Hot: This subtle approach to partnerships seems to be working well to create some brand affinity (at least among the bands) for Sour Patch Kids. It follows the best practice of letting content creators do what they do best, without overwhelming them with brand guidelines. While it’s unclear how it will affect their overall buzz, it’s an interesting idea that should be examined for influencer approaches we take.