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The Loop Vol. 1 No. 40
Justin Timberlake, Spotify, Airbnb and more!




Fast food is winning the social media marketing game right now. This week a savvy Twitter user discovered a subtle “stunt” from KFC, that's since gone viral. He saw that the brand's official account only follows 11 people: six men named “Herb” and the five members of 90's pop group the Spice Girls. Yes, that's 11 Herbs and Spices, a nod to KFC's original fried chicken recipe. As it turns out, KFC's team planted the super on-brand follows a month ago, then simply waited for someone to notice. Their thinking was – if it gets noticed, what a simple way to generate social street cred and organic newsworthiness. If it doesn't, no harm no foul. Well, this bet paid off – we noticed; if over 320k retweets and 700k likes on that fan's single tweet aren't proof enough! KFC's Twitter stunt simply shows how brands can leverage social channels in low-risk, low-cost ways that still have the potential to go viral - and score earned media coverage in the process. SEE IT HERE >




We have all loved and lost to smartphone addiction, and the Ferrell family is no exception; this week they lost Will Ferrell to the blight. Thankfully, comedy's golden Elf (who is actually alive and well) is only starring in ads for U.S. family-focused non-profit Common Sense. In the funny, yet dark, series of PSA ads the star is a phone-obsessed Dad more interested in dank memes and cat filters than his family. While the relatable #DeviceFreeDinner spots might make you chuckle, they highlight a growing problem that our phones are never far from our fingertips, even during family dinner. With 42% of kids younger than eight having their own tablet device, this could be a bigger problem than we think. The PSAs urge parents to lead by example and ditch the tech at the dinner table, in the hope that kids will follow suit. In the immortal words of Helen Lovejoy from The Simpsons, “Won't somebody please think of the children!?!” SEE IT HERE >




Kickstarter watch brand

Crowdfunding platform Kickstarter has been the starting ground for many successful and failed brands alike. And many successfully-funded products live or die by their ability to ship their goods out on schedule. Rather ironically, watchmaker Filippo Loreti has become a ticking time bomb due to delays in shipment by a whopping 2-5 months, despite having found huge success on the platform in raising $6.7 million for their luxury watches. Their response? Hoping to smooth this over by personally and individually apologizing to their 17,819 backers via phone. If you thought this was an impossible feat in itself, wait until you hear they did it all in two days, while livestreaming on Facebook, all in the name of transparency. Though a publicity stunt through and through, the personal touch was a nice touch to offset the fail - we'll admit. For those with time on their hands (or not, if you one of the unlucky backers of this project) you can watch over 4 hours of this tomfoolery via the brand's Facebook page. SEE IT HERE >



corn pops

This week Marvel Comics writer Saladin Ahmed used Twitter to accuse Kellogg's Corn Pops cereal box artwork of being racist. The Where's Waldo-style illustration features dozens of yellow characters having fun in what appears to be a shopping mall. Some are jumping rope, some are splashing in a fountain. But one standout, a slightly darker-colored character, appears to be working as a janitor – what Ahmed stated is teaching kids racism. Some accused Ahmed of having too much time on his hands, raising a false alarm and taking valuable time and attention away from true racism. Some argued kids notice more than we think, and that the art was an act of microaggression – intentional or not. Others pointed out that corn pops aren't actually alive and don't have jobs - and that being a janitor's not actually a bad gig. As for Kellogg's response? They tweeted back at Ahmed that they're “committed to diversity and inclusion” and that the artwork has been updated on boxes that will be in stores soon. He was pleased with what he called a “tiny victory”, but the Twitter debates he sparked won't be backing down quite as easily. SEE IT HERE >




rolling stones

An unlikely mix, indeed. Take one iconic band (The Rolling Stones), one of the world's best football teams (Paris Saint-Germain) and an über cool Parisian boutique (Colette) and what do you get? Perhaps one of the odder fashion collaborations we've seen in a while. In promotion of the Stones' upcoming ‘No Filter' European tour, they've collaborated with PSG on a capsule collection of branded apparel, including Nike Air Max sneakers, a team jersey, a motorcycle helmet and a skateboard. The collection has been positioned as bridging the gap between music and football with rhythm… (they're reaching, your honor!). As odd as it sounds, the effort seems to have worked, with a flurry of coverage in sport and fashion titles alike. It proves that, while a story can sound weird on the surface, if you strike that perfect balance of iconic and unexpected you might have a winner - albeit a semi-weird one - on your hands. SEE IT HERE >




Ramen lovers, rejoice! You may now slurp your soup louder and prouder than ever before, thanks to Japan's hottest new invention. The noise-canceling fork, called the Otohiko, was created by Japanese instant-noodle titan Nissin to mask the slurping noises one might (definitely) make while enjoying their ramen. The brand's intro video highlights the fact that, while slurping is common in some cultures – and even considered a way to better experience the flavor of food – in others, it's abhorred. Nissin started a crowdfunding campaign for the Otohiko fork, and plans to start manufacturing the product if more than 5,000 people pre-order it. So what are you waiting for? Get that order in, grab your favorite flavor of Cup-o-Noodles and slurp freely! SEE IT HERE >



13 years after ‘Nipplegate,’ Justin Timberlake to play Super Bowl halftime show

Twitter releases major events calendar for November

Baz Luhrmann directs an edgy floral love story for H&M's Erdem Collection

Airbnb is building an apartment complex–and more may be coming

How to trigger Spotify’s creepy Stranger Things Easter egg

DJ Khaled just threw his son an insane first birthday in a nightclub

Run for your lunch: Shell food truck accepts kinetic energy payments for food

McDonald’s HK offers real gold Chicken McNuggest in graphic novel ad

American Eagle's NYC concept lets students do laundry while shopping

Budweiser and Lyft offer Prohibition tour to promote limited-edition beer

FX's 'American Horror Story' stokes season 7 hype via creepy Messenger bot

That was fast: ESPN dumps late-night Barstool Sports show after one episode

Abercrombie sheds preppy image in favor of outdoorsy one in retailer’s holiday ad

Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology

Rick and Morty kills off character in blatant, cash-in-hand sponsored content with Old Spice

Facebook is adding more words that trigger colors and spark animations