DON’T EVER L’EGGO, EGGO
Eggo is making the most of their moment in the ‘Stranger Things’ spotlight, as we draw closer to the show’s second season premiere on October 27. For those who haven't seen this riveting mystery/sci-fi/drama yet, the main thing to know about Eggo's connection is that a key character eats the frozen waffles. Lots of them. According to a rep at the waffle-maker, they “absolutely did not know” about their product placement in the show’s first season, as “Netflix doesn’t offer any paid placements”. Now, Eggo’s coordinating directly with the streaming giant to produce boat loads of promotional content for influencers and consumers. We’re talking ‘Stranger Things’ toasters, a co-branded spoiler-blocking Chrome extension, do-it-yourself guides for costume pieces made with Eggo boxes, and, of course, recipes tied to each of the upcoming nine episodes (linked below for your pleasure… you’re welcome). Quite simply, this highlights the importance of - and glorious content that can result from - taking advantage of even unintentional brand mention in pop-culture phenomena. SEE IT HERE >
YOURGOODSKIN, CREATED BY YOU
Here’s a new way to tackle product innovation: community first, product development second. That’s just what Boots in the UK has done. Three years ago, the company decided to buck the anti-aging trend and create a line of products focused on healthy skin, at every age. While development started with market research, focus groups organically grew into a 2,500-strong community of women, each acting as one part consultant and one part brand ambassador. Their role has since gone beyond product development, with the community living on through the Boots website in an advisory role, supporting customers who sign up after buying a YourGoodSkin product. Too often brands think about micro-influencers and consumers at the end of product development, but by turning this on its head, Boots built a dedicated fan base before the product has even launched – something most brands can only dream of! SEE IT HERE >
GOOGLE’S CALORIE-COUNTING CONUNDRUM
A contentious one here from Google: calorie counting integration into their Maps app. While some could argue that this was a helpful feature to promote a healthy lifestyle, others saw their use of mini-cupcakes equating to calories burned while walking as promoting exercise as a pre-requisite for food – with ‘body shaming’ sprinkles on top. Google quickly pulled the feature, after learning that their usually subtle testing method of slipping new features into their products without statement isn’t always foolproof. Reactions on social media were a mixture of positive and negative; fans of the development accused detractors of being ‘triggered’, while those against accused fans of being insensitive. With body positivity at the forefront of social consciousness, this proves how difficult of a job brands face when launching fresh product innovation within our often turbulent court of public opinion. SEE IT HERE >
ATTACK OF THE KRACK
This week two European researchers made an alarming discovery involving the security of our dear, beloved Wi-Fi networks. Dubbed KRACK, the flaw is said to impact all wireless devices running major operating systems – including iOS, Windows and Android – making us all vulnerable to eavesdropping. Silver lining? Malicious parties must be physically in range of a Wi-Fi network to use the exploit – which is good news for consumers en masse, but not great for locations such as offices, where upwards of hundreds of users carry wireless devices all in one place. Microsoft just released an update they say protects Windows users – but researchers argued that the operating system, and all others, are still at risk for certain variations of the attack. So, what can WE do (other than delete questionable items from our camera roll and pray)? Update your wireless devices regularly, steer clear of public Wi-Fi networks if you can help it, and continue to use WPA2 encryption on your devices, as it’s still the most secure option available. SEE IT HERE >
GUESS THEY REALLY DO “HAVE THE MEATS”...
We fully acknowledge that this is a win for at least one of you reading this. But, for those of us less into gamey fare than the average hunter-gatherer, this one’s for you. For one day only, Saturday October 21, Arby’s will be selling venison (deer) burgers in all 3,300 of its restaurants across the country. The popular U.S. fast-food chain, living up to its catchy slogan, “We Have the Meats”, actually successfully tested deer burgers in a few states last year before planning this larger roll-out. And, they have good timing, too – as we’re nearing the start of deer hunting season in many states (or so I’m told…). We’d never intend to “yuck” someone else’s “yum” here, but can guarantee we won’t be spending our Saturday lined up for a taste of this rural delicacy! #RIPBambisMom #TooSoon? SEE IT HERE >
A SMELL ONLY A TEENAGE BOY COULD LOVE?
AXE (LYNX in the U.K.) is renowned the world over for two things: locker rooms and bizarre scents - Africa, Anti-Hangover, Chocolate, and Denim, to name a few. While recent launches, such as Axe Black, aimed to move away from this stereotype, their latest fragrance could be the most bizarre combination yet. It’s called Leather + Cookie, and we're lead to believe it smells good. Call us doubting Thomas, but we're not convinced. And, as it’s currently only available in Germany, we remain in limbo. So why on earth these scents, you ask? Leather + Cookies was apparently birthed from an attempt to mix unconventional scents into a pleasing mix - and we can only imagine the failed concoctions... A series of digital-only spots promoting the line will feature examples of extreme behavior inspired by the crazy scent combination. It’s a very AXE move, sure – but we’re still left asking why?! SEE IT HERE >