Peloton, but for cooking

Ask questions and interact live with your favorite celebrity chef, such as Guy Fieri or Martha Stewart, right in your kitchen. Linked to your Amazon Prime account. Need a peeler and some limes for this recipe? Amazon will send them over.

From The Verge: “Food Network says it’s specifically modeling its classes after Peloton’s live-streaming model. Food Network is banking on the power of its personalities, and the $7 streaming fee starts to make sense when it’s viewed as an exclusive membership, giving fans the chance to interact with their favorite stars.

Netflix may get Seinfeld in 2021, and Apple TV Plus may have all of, like, 10 shows — but only Food Network Kitchen will give its users the chance to interact with Guy Fieri and ask him cooking questions live. I’m imagining it to be the equivalent of your favorite Food Network personality doing an Instagram Live, but with way better streaming quality (have you ever sat through an Instagram Live you didn’t immediately want to exit?). And maybe that alone is worth paying for.”

Why it’s hot:

Since it’s on Amazon, it’s integrated with Amazon Fresh, so you can choose a recipe you want to learn and have the ingredients delivered to your door before the class begins. Agoraphobics rejoice!

It’s live streaming, but with food celebrities. But it could be any celebrities you otherwise wouldn’t have such intimate access to, doing anything. In a world where most content is given for free, it reinforces one notion of celebrity, in that you have to pay to have access them.

Is Lebron James one of the Best Brand Storytellers of All Time?

As one of the greatest to ever play the game, and perhaps one of the most polarizing figures in sports today, Lebron James’s has seen his share of ups and downs since he joined the NBA in 2003. But there’s no arguing that James has carefully crafted his Brand. At times powerfully emotional – at times wholly contrived – James harnesses his branded partnerships and massive media leverage to tell his story and sell product while he’s at it. Because that’s exactly what a superstar player like James does off the court– he constructs and carefully manages his image. Through media and brand partnerships over the years, James has established himself as one of the most iconic figures in advertising– most notably through his work with Nike.

This week, The Ringer published a retrospective look at James’s Brand narrative, so to speak, “A Reverse Chronology of Lebron James’s Persona, Told Through His Commercials”

Here’s my favorite:

Why It’s Hot:

Watching James’s career through the lens of his ads shows us the story arc of his own personal brand strategy come to life. Juxtaposing James’s Nike spots during his stint in Miami with those that followed once he returned as the Prodigal Son of Cleveland make for an uneasy character study; The Ringer’s Jason Concepcion cynically muses of the spots, “Authenticity is a valuable commodity that can be replicated as necessary”. Yet if this tells us anything as marketers, it’s that strong brands are resilient, despite losses, missteps, and change.

T-Mobile #DataStash Campaign

January marked the launch of T-Mobile’s #DataStash campaign, which they kicked off at CES with the #DataStash Dash Contest scavenger hunt. They held another #DataStash Dash Scavenger Hunt this week in Seattle (T-Mobile’s hometown) with a grand prize package to the Super Bowl.

The biggest buzz worthy moment happened this week when Kim Kardashian teased her T-Mobile Super Bowl commercial that supports the campaign, which of course leaked online. You can watch Kim being Kim below. #KimsDataStash

Why It’s Hot:
This demonstrates a well-orchestrated integrated campaign that consistently introduces new elements to keep it interesting and keep the buzz alive.

Mindy Kaling is “Invisible” in New Nationwide Spot

Nationwide is charging into its first Super Bowl since 2007, and not with recent frontman Peyton Manning, but with a seemingly less likely spokesperson—Mindy Kaling, the talent behind Fox’s sitcom The Mindy Project. In a newly released teaser for the Big Game spot “Invisible,” Kaling decides that after years of being treated as if she was invisible—think taxis bypassing her on city streets—she might actually be invisible and has some fun with the idea. She eats food from a stranger’s plate at an outdoor café, sunbathes nude in a park, helps herself to a bucket of ice cream as she strolls through a supermarket aisle and walks through an automated carwash. Against strains of the Roy Orbison song “Oh, Pretty Woman,” the narrator ends the teaser with “But Mindy was actually not invisible.”

Why It’s Hot

While I didn’t find Nationwide’s teaser to be particularly groundbreaking I thought the company’s message behind the ad was really interesting:

“The insight here is consumers feel dissatisfied and considered invisible by companies out there,” said Matt Jauchius, Nationwide’s chief marketing officer. “The best advertising combines head and heart. With ‘Invisible,’ we’re saying we understand you, America—you feel treated by brands as being invisible. That’s the rational message, and for the emotional one we’re using humor because it’s the Super Bowl.”

By using humor and a celebrity influencer I think that this ad will help to improve brand perception among the millennial target and I’ll be interested to see where Nationwide takes this “Invisible” message in the future.

Follow more at #InvisibleMindy



#AlexFromTarget–The dark side of fame

One day you’re Alex, a 16-year-old teenager working at Target. The next day, you’re  a trending hashtag with 730,000 Twitter followers and 2.3 million Instagram followers.  His fame literally happened overnight, after a girl posted to her Twitter account a photo of Alex that she had seen on Tumblr.  She added the caption, YOOOOOOOOOO.


Alex was quickly overwhelmed with screaming girls looking to take selfies with him, a visit to the Ellen DeGeneres show, calls from modeling and talent agents and paparazzi waiting outside his door.  But he was also quickly targeted with tweets demanding he be fired from Target, insults denigrating his looks (e.g. “Alex from target is so damn ugly”) and even death threats (“Alex from target, I’ll find you and I will kill you”).  Social security numbers, checking accounts and phone records were leaked, and the family has reached out to local police, the school, and Target to put together security plans for Alex’s safety.  The family has even hired the founder of a teenage-centric, selfie-sharing app to help manage the online assaults.

Why It’s Hot

In today’s social environment, fame can happen literally overnight, even when you are not looking for it.  It can be fun, satisfying, exhilarating and a boost to the ego.  But it can also be dangerous and threatening.  Alex wasn’t seeking fame, but it came to him. At issue is how we protect the privacy of people who don’t want to be celebrities when all it takes is one tweet to make you a star.

Virgin Galactic Is Going to Be Social Media on Rocket Fuel

Space-tourism company Virgin Galactic prepares to launch customers into orbit via A-list celebrities tweeting from space.

[All seats to fly to space are US$250,000.]

Read more here.

Why It’s Hot

Buzz Opportunity: Can you imagine what Twitter, Facebook and other social channels are going to be like if Branson’s venture gets going for real? (e.g., Leo DiCaprio is on the list).

Crisis Management: Imagine everything that can go wrong — that’s why they probably awarded this project to PR shop Edelman.

Novel content / Location-based with steroids: Virgin Galactic is pioneering and creating a brand-new industry. They are documenting all of it.

To be(long) or not to be(long), that’s the real question: “You will be joining our community of over 600 future astronauts which has become one of the most exclusive clubs in the world! (…) Once confirmed, you’re given priority access to a variety of Virgin Galactic events.  Our future astronauts have visited Necker Island with Sir Richard Branson, completed G-force training, celebrated milestone powered test flights in the Mojave Desert and much more.”






20 Strangers Kissing: An Experiment

On Tatia Pilieva’s short film First Kiss, the premise is simple: Get 20 complete strangers to passionately kiss. Nothing more. The result: a beautiful black-and-white tribute to every first kiss you’ve ever had, brought to you by fashion brand Wren Studio.


Published on 3/10:  2.5 MM people have watched the film in just one day. + 16MM views by 3/11. +41.5MM by 3/12.

Read more here and here.

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Why It’s Hot

Just seconds in, you’ll be screaming at your computer, “Just kiss already!”

Will it be awkward? Creepy? Uncomfortable? It’s like pitching new business: you have to seduce a stranger, hoping for a good night kiss.

Right on tone, voice, personality. This brand, who has probably not spend a marketing dollar outside of their owned properties, has proven that 3:29 of humanity will do the work.




Ellen’s Star-Studded Selfie Tweet- RTM

Ellen DeGeneres was a solid host — but her big moment of the night required a little help from her friends. DeGeneres  gathered a who’s who of A-listers from the audience around her — Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence, Jared Letto, Lupita Nyong’o and her brother, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Meryl Streep and Channing Tatum — snapped a self-portrait with them and promptly tweeted it out. Before the evening had ended, the selfie became the most retweeted photo ever — surpassing even President Barack Obama’s “four more years” tweet. DeGeneres had wracked up 2.5 million retweets by this morning and more than a million favorites — the tweet even caused Twitter to briefly crash. It was also a much needed boost to Twitter itself, which could use some more mainstream appeal.  See more cool RTM stories here.


Why It’s Hot

If put into the right hands at the right time, real time marketing (for @theEllenShow) can really work.  Many brands try to get in the game and get their “Oreo Moment”, but many are not successful in doing so.  With the right creativity and timing, a brand can gain a lot of traction/buzz with no investment.


McDonald’s Enlists LeBron James to Engage Millennials on Snapchat

McDonald’s quietly joined Snapchat late last week and plans to publicly kick off the account on Tuesday with a snap from basketball star LeBron James, the company confirmed to Mashable.

“We are excited to use Snapchat as a way to share the fun side of our brand with this highly engaged audience of millennials,” said Rick Wion, director of social media for McDonald’s.

Read more here.

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Why It’s Hot

The introduction of Snapchat’s Stories Feature gave way to a new Snapchat Era – giving brands the perfect opportunity to connect with their millennial audience directly. Snapchat is in the spotlight right now as a social app that still delivers what marketers and brands are craving – authentic one-to-one engagement with young consumers without the stress of ever-changing platform algorithms. Only time will tell if Snapchat can help brands build meaningful modern loyalty with the millennial social audience, the “next consumer.”