LET THEM SPEAK
Given Wednesday was National Coming Out Day, we wanted to celebrate an amazing move from publishing giant Condé Nast. Them, a new LGBTQ focused publication, will be launching in the last week of October. The multi-platform outlet will be led by Phillip Picardi, the former digital head of Teen Vogue. We're sure you've seen Teen Vogue's outstanding efforts in recent years to educate, enlighten and empower the current Millennial age, so this new platform is in good hands. LGBTQ audiences have previously only been catered to by smaller publications, but with 20% of millennials identifying as LGBTQ (according to a GLAAD study), this is a landmark move by one of the world's largest publishers! We're intrigued to see how the platform will work with brands in an inclusive, sensitive yet bold manner. Come through, Condé Nast! SEE IT HERE >
CARL'S JR TO AMAZON: PLEASE BUY US (PLEASE)
From Whole Foods to Twitch, Amazon's been adding big-name companies to their portfolio left and right. And Carl's Jr. is determined to be their next acquisition, as demonstrated by their tweet storm this week using hashtag #AmazonBuyUs. For 24 hours, the U.S. fast food chain tweeted "Big Ideas" at the tech giant on the hour, pitching imaginative innovations they could accomplish together to "change the future of eating". Mostly fast foodie builds to existing Amazon offerings, the ideas included an "Eater Reader" - a Kindle with built-in soft drink and fries holders - and a "Prime Thru" members-only express drive-thru lane at all 3,664 Carl's locations. You can actually view all of the ideas in this 73-slide pitch deck they uploaded to Dropbox (worth it). Spamming Amazon via Twitter was an interesting strategy to say the least, perhaps even a last resort. But this flexing of fast foodie imagination is a win, even if purely for the entertainment value (and earned coverage, of course!). SEE IT HERE >
SHOW US THE SAUCE!
McDonald's found themselves in a pickle with their latest stunt, around the American sci-fi cartoon Rick and Morty. The show's main characters' obsession with McD's Szechuan Sauce – released as a limited-time promotional item in 1998 for the movie Mulan - became a fan craze; everyone wanted to get their hands on this sauce! As pleas to bring it back skyrocketed with the show's popularity, we rejoiced when McDonald's announced the sauce would return for a one day special to limited US locations on October 7th. As expected from a story catalogued under Fail, the chain massively underestimated demand, with all locations selling out rapidly – most before lunchtime. Cue outraged, sauce-less fans - and the police being called, in some instances. But McDonald's did respond quickly, to their credit, announcing that the sauce will back for an extended run this winter. And to this we say, Wubba Lubba Dub Dub! SEE IT HERE >
DOVE "MISSES THE MARK". AGAIN.
By now, we've all seen it – or at least a screenshot of it. Dove issued an apology for their now infamous 3-second ad and removed it from Facebook, after being called out as racist. Again. (Yes, again. Check out the end link for a refresh on their previous, unintentional but still incomprehensible marketing missteps.) The brand's apology has been met mostly with derision, including threats of boycotts and questions about how the ad could have been approved in the first place. The Nigerian model featured in the ad, Lola Ogunyemi, has since stepped forward to defend the clip, saying that it was far from belittling black women and instead celebrated ethnic diversity. She also said there was a 30-second, made-for-TV version that had other images and a slogan that made it clearer that the intention was to say that all women deserved quality products. "The screenshots that have taken the media by storm paint a slightly different picture," she said. What's your take? SEE IT HERE >
FROM DOPE TO NOPE
Bella Hadid is one of the most sought-after faces of fashion right now. So it made sense that Complex brought her in to talk kicks on their YouTube series Sneaker Shopping – right? Judging by this footage, the answer is an astounding NO. The clip starts off OK, but devolves into Bella awkwardly saying "dope" and "sick" far too many times – and plugging her Nike ad campaign, of course. Since the video was published, memes galore have surfaced poking fun at Bella's cringe-worthy word choices, likening them to that of an alien who just discovered words, a "cool mom" and even an undercover cop. Once you watch, you'll see these are #SpotOn. This calls to attention the importance of selecting talent that fits within the brand culture and resonates as authentic with the key audience. The ‘sneaker community' is large and fiercely passionate about sneaker style, so it's no surprise that they caught wind of Bella's artificial-sounding remarks. So hunker down on YouTube and watch the video start to finish, then check out the comments section. Trust and believe, they bring the LOLs. SEE IT HERE >
GONE IN 60 BITES
Brace yourselves, this could be our weirdest story to date featuring the king of Internet memes. The National Treasure himself, Nicolas Cage, is the new face of a Japanese snack food called the Nicolastick, thanks to brand Umaibo. The limited-edition Cage-faced cheese puff snacks are part of a special promotion for the Japanese release of his film Army of One, to be sold with purchase of advance screening tickets. This isn't the first time the actor has shown his Face-Off to the Japanese market, oh no. His "greatest" work was being featured in a series of bizarre ads for Pachinko machines, singing awfully and generally just being crazy Cage. Note to Nick: keep on keeping on, and bring these snacks to the rest of the world STAT! SEE IT HERE >