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The Loop Vol. 1 No. 32
No Kid Hungry, Instagram, Old Spice and more!

WINS

FEEDING ONE KID AT A TIME

FEEDING KIDS ONE

This week No Kid Hungry launched #EmojiMeals, harnessing the power of Instagram and emoji to combat hunger. First you visit @NoKidHungry on Instagram and view their story, then swipe up to arrange various food emojis on a plate to create an #EmojiMeal. You're then prompted to donate via PayPal - $3 for one emoji, $5 for two, or $10 for three - and boom, the organization turns your dish into a real meal for a real kid in need. This millennial-targeted campaign shows the versatility and interactive capabilities of Instagram Stories in a way we haven't seen used for commercial purposes just yet - on top of simply making it fun and easy to support a good cause. And it's quick, too - the whole process was designed to take less than five minutes. So what are you waiting for; get plating! PS. The Insta Story component has ended for now, but you can still plate it up and donate via mobile and desktop here. SEE IT HERE >

  

ALEXA RECEPTIONBOT, AT YOUR SERVICE

ALEXA RECEPTIONBOT, AT YOUR SERVICE

It's AI's time to shine in an important role we can all appreciate; agency receptionist. VCCP, a creative agency based in London, decided to try a little experiment by hiring Amazon's Alexa to man their receptionist post - but with a twist; they gave her a personality disorder. She was programmed to "play" three different characters, so could be chatty and bubbly, super proficient or neurotic - with the goal of gauging how her personality type impacted her interactions with staff. With the assistance of a skilled copywriter, she became part of their front-of-house team for one day, tasked with greeting visitors, notifying colleagues of missed messages, and providing instruction as needed. In total she had 407 interactions, 38 misunderstandings and 104 questions answered - apparently all while flinging jokes and some top-class flirting abilities. Though she's still a long way off from a full-time role, mostly due to the fact that she requires verbal prompts to carry out certain tasks, this experiment proves what's possible for the future of AI tech, and how soon it may become not just an integrated part of our everyday lives - but an actual partner. SEE IT HERE >

 

FAILS

HIGH-PROFILE, BYE PROFILE

HIGH-PROFILE, BYE PROFILE

Thanks to a glitch in Instagram's API, hackers gained access to an undisclosed number of "high-profile" verified user accounts this week, including email addresses and phone numbers. This attack comes just days after Selena Gomez - dubbed the most popular celebrity on Instagram - was forced to temporarily take down her profile, after she was hacked and Justin Bieber's skinny-dipping pictures were posted. After learning of and fixing the bug that enabled the hack, Instagram let us know everything was taken care of - but chose not to release which top-tier users were in fact hacked. Alright fine, be like that, Instagram! SO what can we learn from this? If you can't stop your profile from being hacked, the least you can do is better protect (or simply do not take) photos you don't want leaked to the world. SEE IT HERE >

 

CHEER UP, CHEERIOS

CHEER UP, CHEERIOS

As if Americans losing interest in breakfast cereal year over year wasn't enough bad news. Last week Cheerios had their application to legally trademark the color yellow on their cereal boxes rejected, squashing over two years of efforts by General Mills' attorneys. The brand, sold in the US since 1941, argued that it wasn't a problem of product recognition, but that too many other cereal companies were using the same bright yellow coloring in their packaging therefore leading to consumer confusion at-shelf. This ultimately became the rationale for why they lost, as the board determined use of the color more a matter of eye-catching decoration rather than a unique attribute of the Cheerios brand that should be protected. This is just one example of the difficulty brands face in securing exclusive use of a color, with only a handful of success stories. For example, 3M successfully trademarking the color yellow - but only for its Post-it notes - and UPS securing trademark No. 2,901,090 for its chocolate-brown color, but with the protection limited to their uniforms and delivery vehicles. The linked article provides a fascinating history of brand trademarking cases, if you're into it - and, should your brand consider ever attempting the feat, we're told you should be prepared for the fight of your life. SEE IT HERE >

 

WEIRD

CHINA BANS WEIRD, LONG, AND SENSITIVE COMPANY NAMES

CHINA BANS WEIRD, LONG, AND SENSITIVE COMPANY NAMES

New regulations are being enforced in China, to counteract the increasing practice of companies created with super long, super specific and often super weird names. The new naming regulations were put into effect after a company in northwest China gained notoriety for it's verbose name - 'There Is a Group of Young People With Dreams, Who Believe They Can Make the Wonders of Life Under the Leadership of Uncle Niu Internet Technology Co. Ltd.', to be exact. Now, names that are entire sentences or paragraphs are banned and, though there is no formal character limit on length or standard for 'weirdness', local regulators now have discretion to determine which names are compliant. More examples of now-banned company names, you ask? Let's see, we've got 'Anping County Scared of Wife Netting Products Factory; Beijing Under My Wife's Thumb Technology Co. Ltd.; What Are You Looking At Shenzhen Technology Company... And you're likely curious to know more about these regulations, and what it could mean for your brand - especially if considering an entrance to the Chinese market. Don't worry; we've got you covered. SEE IT HERE >

 

THE BEST MOVIE YOU'LL (ALMOST) NEVER SEE

THE BEST MOVIE YOU'LL (ALMOST)
NEVER SEE

We're all too familiar with Old Spice's generally gimmicky content, and this video is no exception. Get ready to pop some popcorn, put on some sweatpants and hunker down for a two-hour invisible movie, with almost nothing to see except a "transparent" background familiar to any Photoshop fan. To promote its new invisible spray antiperspirant, the brand launched a 2-hour long "invisible" film last week called Old Spice's Invisible World - though, the film isn't 100% invisible, as green-screen suited people occasionally do strut onto the screen. It's pretty hard to make sense of what's happening in this mock sci-fi flick, in between the clichés, tropes, pop-culture references and, of course, occasional Old Spice brand mentions. Check it out and, trust us, it's more fun not knowing what you're about to get yourself into. SEE IT HERE >

 

BONUS BITS

Snapchat extends verified accounts to influencers

Twitter's major events calendar for September

Facebook-funded programming begins rolling out for Watch?

Marchesa using Rent the Runway to test new exclusive collection of blouses

Amazon opens self-service tool for YouTubers to join its Influencer Program

Brands jump on latest social meme: sarcastic polls (Hey, IHOP!)

Paddy Power embroiled in racism row with 'Always bet on black' tweet

'The World's Most Remote Pop-Up Shop' Handed Out Gear 300 Feet Up a Cliff

Burger King is using cryptocurrency as a loyalty program in Russia

Netflix Created 12 Weed Strains And Sold $150,000 Worth In Three Days

Dos Equis searches social media for the 'Most Interesting Fan of College Football'

Domino's, Ford test driverless pizza delivery pilot program