General Mills recently launched a new cereal, Peanut Butter Cheerios.  Whether that sounds delicious or not the campaign around it certainly is.  In order to promote the new flavor of Cheerios they created a campaign around dads instead of moms.

Why I’m Curious

Cheerios created a hashtag #howtodad that received over 600+ mentions in the first week and positive sentiment around the campaign from not only dads but moms as well.  They not only highlight the benefits of being a dad but show dad in a positive aspect.  Most brands are showing dad as a dummy or goof where the mom has to step in a show him how to do the simplest of tasks.  It is no wonder that the campaign would receive positive feedback as it champions the dad and naturally neutralizes the parents roles as equal partners.


Newcastle Celebrates July 3rd

Newcastle is back at it disrupting national American events, this time their focus is on July 4th.  If you remember their “non-Superbowl” ad, it seems that they are taking the same approach.

Why I’m Curious

Instead of celebrating July 4th and America’s independence from England, Newcastle would like to celebrate July 3rd.  Being that Newcastle is made in the U.K. this July 3rd holiday will be celebrated simply for the purpose of if the Brit’s won the Revolutionary war.  Stephen Merchant, an obvious Englishman, is all for the July 3rd celebration and goes in to discuss why America would be so much better if England won the war.

I really like how Newcastle keeps shaking up these American traditional events/holidays.  Droga5 and Newcastle are capitalizing on the buzz that is taking place already around the holiday and adding their own spin.  Instead of being like every other brand posting American flags and BBQs they take the opposing side and do the opposite.  This is an approach that most brands dream of doing but never know how to execute properly.  It will be interesting to see if this is the new trend for Newcastle and if any other brands will take this method on.



Snapchat Messages!



It’s happened!  The long awaited update from Snapchat that allows messages and video chat via the app is here!

Why I’m Curious

Snapchat’s new look is cleaner, less muddy and easier to navigate.  Oh yeah, there is also messages and video messages that puts Snapchat in the the realm of conversation apps.  Users can send a Snapchat and reply instantaneously to the person who sent the chat directly.  You can finally respond to those great snaps quick and without much thought.  The new update also includes video chatting features; hold the chat button and video message with your pal.  For all those fans who like to get artsy you can now add filters to your messages to spice things up a bit.

After finding out about the new look and features I immediately updated my phone and started playing around.  For ten minutes I sent chats to my coworker and was engaging with the video messaging.   Now that Snapchat is in the sphere of messaging they have plenty of room to really explore the boundaries and create something that is completely different from apps like WhatsApp.  I can see fans moving off of messaging apps and utilizing Snapchat more because of the functionality of video that is incorporated with its original design.

KFC’s Corsages for Prom

In an effort to stay relevant and engage fans, KFC added a new promo to its #HowDoYouKFC.  The theme, prom.  The catch, a chicken corsage.

Why I’m Curious 

Spring calls for Spring dances and prom, so KFC worked the coming of age event into their #HowDoYouKFC campaign.  The commercial starts off with a high school boy meeting his date and the beautiful exchange of boutonnieres and corsages.  The twist is the high school boy gives his date an original recipe chicken corsage.  The spot has over 600,000 views since launch and has quickly turned into a viral social media campaign.  KFC not only made a hilarious spot but also gave fans the chance to buy KFC corsages in Louisville, Kentucky.

Millennials and teens seem to be the go to demographic for brands now-a-days so it is always interesting to see how they try to relate to them in an authentic way.  The response to the spot was positive and fans even started tweeting out their “promposal” moments and tagging KFC who retweeted them on their Twitter handle.  Social chatter continued with a partnership with BuzzFeed and the, “12 Best Ways to Ask Someone to Prom.”

In my opinion partnering KFC did it right in the social world.  They not only had a great spot that fans would want to share and participate with but they also partnered with big influencers that would push their content out and create a news worthy buzz.

Taco Bell “Breakfast Phones”


Big News.  Taco Bell has been experimenting with a new menu recently.  In order to compete with the big fast food chains of the world their new menu now consists of breakfast foods.  Bizarre, we know, but Taco Bell has taken an adventurous spin to promoting the new menu that might just persuade fans.

Why I’m Curious

Taco bell has sent their top influencers and true lovers of their menu Samsung phones and labeling them “Breakfast Phones.”  When fans receive the phones they will be sent on a number of missions to complete with their “Breakfast Phone.”  Fans that finish their missions will be awarded with various prizes from a year of Taco Bell breakfast to a Waffle Taco hoodie.  

This is a great way for Taco Bell to promote their new menu especially since fans might be skeptical about a breakfast menu.  Also very smart for Samsung to partner in this launch as their new GS5 phone comes out in the next couple weeks.  Details for the missions are to be determined but hopefully they incorporate a taste testing for the new menu.

Missed Connection: Chromeo

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 9.56.16 AM
Chromeo, the electrofunk group recently listed a missed connection for “White Women.”  This poetic yet sultry listing is actually an ad for their new album release, hence the “White Women” title.  The ad/listing features lyrics from one of the songs on the album, “Come Alive” that is supposed to launch May 12, 2014.

Why I’m Curious

Social media and the internet has really changed the way music artists promote their music and make it available to their fans.  In this day and age an artist can’t grow without advertising through social media.  I thought this was a really clever idea by the duo, Chromeo.  Not only are they hitting their target audience who most likely reads missed connections but they found a fun and interesting way to promote their album in which no artist has done before.

This ad/listing reminds me of the Mindy show advertisements on Tindr where users could swipe to like Mindy and it would automate a message promoting the show.  These types of ads draw in users and fans because it is out of the ordinary and excites the audience.  If I happen to be on missed connections and saw song lyrics of an artist I am definitely going to at least look up the band/group to learn more.  I hope to see more advertisements in this form as they can really create a lot of buzz.

Unlock Your Phone With Your Ear

Apple was the first to tap into devices that recognize their owners by biometrics but Androids are taking it to the next level with ERGO.  ERGO is a new app developed by Descartes Biometrics, Inc. that can unlock a passcode on your phone using your ear.  The app is developed for the Android system and needs no other hardware in order to function on the phone.

Why I’m Curious

ERGO recognizes the phone user’s ears and cheeks against the touchscreen and will unlock the phone.  The app at this point is ready for the consumer but there have been complaints that after a number of scans the phone does not recognize the user’s cheek.  This is obviously an app that is a work in progress but think of the technology behind the app has opened a world of discussion.

As performance and technology on phones increases the exploration in mobile biometrics will become an accelerating trend.  The world already has seen functionality on the phone’s hard ware and now apps, what will be next?  It is possible that a developer will broaden retina scanners to unlock a passcode or breathing habits to control music through your headphones. (Which might already be developed and ready for the consumer.  Hint.  Hint.)  I am curious to see what will be available for the consumer come next year and what new developments for authentic identification will be accessible.


In early October, Hyatt kicked off a campaign to give random acts of kindness.  They sent 46 of the employees to several global cities to open the door for people with only a sign, #InAHyattWorld, for explanation.  The campaign was launched for research purposes to better understand how their guests react to more personal experiences.  The reaction was a splash and Hyatt continued the campaign across a number of cities handing out juices, having stations for cell phone charges and even helping out strangers move.

Why I’m Curous

The campaign was greatly received and people even started doing their own random acts of kindness and using the hashtag.

Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 2.59.54 PM


Hyatt has the right idea here, not only because they are receiving excellent reactions but because it gives the Hyatt brand a good name.  The more fans and customers feel good about a brand the more they are to use that brand again.  Some say kindness is contagious, I would love to see how opening a door for someone escalated and would probably be a great experiment for Hyatt to track.


Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 1.18.55 PM

Click on this

I got my eyes on you…#starbucksdrakehands.  #Starbucksdrakehands is a new sensation has been sweeping the internet nation and it all started with a friendly interaction at Starbucks.  Piper Kennedy claims that she gave her number to, Brody, a barista at Starbucks and received the most epic selfie video to this day.  The video entailed a good-looking Brody, smiling and nodding to Drake’s, “Hold On, We’re Going Home.”  Piper then revealed the video to her friends who created a parody video sparking a much appreciated domino effect.

Why I’m Curious

The news of Brody’s selfie video went viral and soon users on Instagram and Twitter were hashtagging their videos #starbucksdrakehands.  The hashtag #starbucksdrakehands have been used by such celebrities as, Rain Wilson, Bryan Greenberg and even Larry King.  The question that remains though, why did this video go viral and how can we leverage it?

As social strategists, these questions are always on our mind.  Could it be the right time and the right place?  If Piper decided to just disregard the video the world might have never seen it.  Or could it be the charismatic Brody with phenomenal dance moves that encouraged users to create parodies?  Whatever the reason may be, #starbucksdrakehands is in fact a great comparison for the videos we put out for our clients and maybe hilarious/creepy content like Brody’s selfie video or any Skittles commercial is something that we should keep in mind to generate engagement.

Samsung Saves Customers From The Wait

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 2.54.48 PM

Virtual Queue

Samsung New Zealand decided on a different approach for the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4.  Instead of promoting the phone themselves they let the fans take to social media to spread the word.  Samsung created a virtual line where over 12,000 people participated and shared on their Facebook or Twitter.  Depending on if their friends engaged, they would move up or down on the line.

Why I’m Curious

This is a great campaign and Samsung capitalized on the fact that their fans and customers would wait in line for the new phone anyway.  They involved more than 12,000 people who shared over 74,000 stories on their own social media handles.  Organically their stories reached over 15 million people and I would say that is a success.  Samsung even implemented and broadcasted a live line with avatars of the fans who were in line.  They even went so far as to have their virtual friends camp out at night or put umbrellas up if it was raining.  The virtual line ran for two weeks increasing Samsung’s market to grow 12 %.

Make Time For Living

Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 2.41.25 PM


Let’s Watch!

IKEA teamed up with Australian ad agency, The Monkeys, to develop a two minute video for a new brand campaign.  The campaign touches on consumers’ busy lives and how they don’t have time to appreciate their family and lovely home.  IKEA chose a 9 year-old Australian boy who voices his concern about his family’s daily activities all while walking through and showing off IKEA items.

Why I’m Curious

I like IKEA’s approach to the busy family and the hectic daily life.  They present such a complex idea in a simple, easy going commercial.  We all know that an average person spends most of their time working, running errands and other activities and might not have time to just sit down and relax.  It is a great feeling for a consumer to be reminded of that every once in a while and using a cute little 9 year-old definitely did the trick for me.  It also helps that the 9 year-old is walking through a beautiful home showcasing IKEA’s products and familiarizing the consumer with their products.

There’s Something In Your Tweet

Screen Shot 2013-09-13 at 1.02.49 PM

Colgate Slim Soft

Colgate Canda just launched a new campaign for the new Colgate Slim Soft toothbrush.  The campaign is called There’s Something in Your Tweet and allows users to send an anonymous tweets directly to a friend who might just have something stuck in his/her teeth.  When the friend receives the anonymous tweet there is a link attached that will direct them to the Colgate site for a $1.00 off coupon.

Why I’m Curious:

I am curious to see how many people will use the app on Twitter.  I myself have tried out the app to prank my friend but when I checked with her she didn’t receive any tweet or DM.  As a user this makes me wonder if they are still tweaking the app or just trying to get me to go to the site.  I really like the concept and I think it’s funny because we all know that we have been in that situation where you would like to tell someone that they have spinach in their teeth but you are too afraid to.

Omate TrueSmart Smartwatch



Omate Truesmart has hit its crowdfunding target on Kickstarter to develop and produce a smartwatch that is a standalone device and can work independently from your smartphone or act as a companion.  They have raised over $100,000 in Kickstarter funds and are moving forward with production.

Why I’m Curious:

The Omate TrueSmart’s features are truly impressive.  Not only does it act as a phone and will run your Android apps smoothly it also has a five megapixel camera and is water resistant.  Some other functions include, voice call, text messaging, tracking, GPS, gesture control, and is event connected to 2G/3G data.  This smartwatch is ready for production and with Omate reaching their Kickstarter goal they can push it into full gear.

The market for smartwatches is becoming very competitive.  There are already designs for Pebble and the Samsung smartwatch out and Hyetis is planning on developing a luxury smartwatch that has a 41 megapixel camera.  Although, name brands like Samsung and Google are pushing forward with plans Omate seems to be the company to set the standards high.  The fact that the TrueSmart will be water resistant is a huge factor in the game.  Even the Nike Fit Band cannot track swimming laps because it is not waterproof.  But I think the most impressive thing about the TrueSmart is its capabilities to standalone and omit Bluetooth capabilities.

The retail price for the device is looking to be $299 and will hopefully be out in October for customers.  I wonder if it will be all the rage like Google Glass considering it is much less invasive and a multifunctional wearable technology.  And with a price like $299, I am going to put my order in now.

Omate TrueSmart Kickstarter

Starbucks “Gun” Appreciation Day?


A popular Facebook group, “Gun Owners,” set up a public event on August 9 for “Starbucks appreciation day.”  The Gun Owners group is celebrating the fact that Starbucks will allow them to carry firearms in their store lawfully and also give thanks to them for being open about the right to bear arms.  The group asks that if supporters bring guns that they follow the state’s law and if they choose not to bring a firearm then they should wear pro-gun apparel.

Why I’m curious:

Starbucks has chosen to allow gun owners in to their store but they do not endorse the event.  I think it is curious that Starbucks does not want to be put in the middle of the debate but are also allowing the event to happen because their stores, “are gathering places for the communities we serve.”  I think it’s noble of Starbucks to stick to their brand and mission but by letting the event to happen they have basically chosen a side in the debate.  Although, Starbucks does not believe that this will turn away any pro-gun control supporters.  This event could simply be a gathering place for like minded individuals or it could be a mad house of protest, what is your take on Starbucks stance?

Be Happy! There’s an App for That.

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 11.01.28 AM

Happier is an app that launched in February aimed to make a community centered around happiness.  Nataly Kogan is the founder of the small start up and was inspired by her quest to feel fulfilled.  She found that a social network can make you happy and the concept spread pretty quickly.  In the short time that it has been available to the public, there are over 100,000 users who have shared over 1 million happy posts.

The app is similar to Twitter and Instagram in terms of feed and brevity.  If you like a post you simple hold down the smiley face and spread your positive feelings.  Kogan chose this platform because it seems to be, “more personal and less braggy.”  Social Networks like Facebook and Twitter gives the user the ability to have an online persona that could be completely different from that offline.

Why I’m Curious

I am curious to see how many people have tried the app and if they find themselves having an enjoyable user experience.  Studies show that if your expressions intensify your emotions, so if you are smiling for say 10 minutes while reading Happier posts then you could possibly be happier.  This is only the first step in Kogan’s discovery for happiness she plans on developing a media company and lifestyle brand focused around it.  I think happiness spreads fast and people would like to see a network that is completely selfless and geared toward pursuing a better life.  It will be interesting to see if the app grows rapidly in terms of users and posts in the next few years, like similar networks have.  Maybe in a year looking at Happier when you wake up will replace your morning routine.  Ten minutes of smiling could be a world of a difference.

Outback B-Day Chair

Outback strikes back!  Outback is taking back personal birthday experiences by using social media.  Outback has taken social media offline and has installed a B-day chair for some of their Brazilian locations.  The birthday boy or girl logs into to Facebook and every time someone wishes them a Happy Birthday on their page the B-day chair will give them a hug.  Outback worked with ad agency, Lew’Lara\TBWA, to create this offline experience and is set to launch in all Brazilian locations by the end of the year.

Why I’m Curious

What a great way to get people into your restaurant and build brand advocacy online.  By using the Facebook app to connect with their friends odds are they are liking the Outback Facebook page and so are their friends.  Outback is bridging the gap between offline and online and this is a great campaign to attract more fans on Facebook and keep existing customers.  Who wouldn’t want to head to an Outback Steakhouse only to receive the utmost birthday respect and be truly appreciated by a brand?

#MashTag Brew

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 1.09.58 PM

A new beer to hit the streets in the UK has been made completely from Twitter and Facebook users suggestions from the ingredients to the name.  BrewDog allowed over 5,000 fans to vote on name title, beer elements, and even design the label of the beer.  The winning design is actually featured on the bottle as well as the name that was voted on.  The final product, #MashTag, is an American Brown Ale made from New Zealand hops and includes Hazelnut and Oak chips.

Why I’m Curious

This is not the first consumer produced beer that has incorporated social media in to the mix.  BrewDog has followed in Odell Brewing footsteps and created a Twitter and Facebook community solely around their beer contest and vote.  They have opened the floor for great engagement from their fans and have created awareness for craft beer drinkers all over the world.  Odell Brewing came up with the idea back in 2009 and landed on the beer #TwitterBrew.  Sam Adams also used social media to crowdsource their beer and served it at South by Southwest Festival in 2012.

I am curious to see if this concept will explode and the future of craft beers will rely solely on the consumer via social media.  After all, anyone can make their own craft beer if they have the time and resources, consumers could eliminate the hassel of DIY but still enjoy a great beer they made.  With the direction social media is growing and the amount of awareness that a brand can gain from fans I do not think that it is so far fetched.  Why not give consumers and fans a great user experience and involve them in the process?

Privacy Glasses

Don’t worry about your privacy being infringed by Google Glass anymore because Japan’s National Institute of Technology has developed an opposition to protect you.  The glasses are still in development but they use 11 near-infrared LEDs around the frames of the glasses to block from cameras and face recognition technology.  The light is only visible to the cameras and makes detection for identification fail.  The glasses right now do only work if the camera or face recognition technology uses infrared technology but they are working on another set of glasses that use reflective materials to avoid this problem.

Why I’m Curious

There have been some ethical questions raised for Google Glass and other wearable technologies in regards to privacy so why shouldn’t there be a device to protect yourself?  This could also be applied to the TSA in airports where they can literally body scan you and eventually will be able to see what you ate for breakfast before you board a plane.  These glasses could make it easier for criminals to shoplift, rob a bank, or even commit crimes on the street by avoiding security cameras like CCTV.  Maybe the glasses would not be great for bank robberies but in regards to CCTV and Google Glass, why can’t people fight back on privacy?  The actual question is, how will the government regulate both glasses and/or will they?

Skittles Interactive Youtube Video

Skittles just rolled out a new interactive Youtube ad that allows the user to click on different objects within the video.  It is a troubling and creepy experience because the user can click on a number of breakable objects and have the actor smash them.  Once smashed, the object yells either an unpleasant or cheerful phrase, hence the creepiness.  All in all the experience is fun and kept me on the ad for a good five minutes.

Why I’m Curious

The interactive video was done by DDB Chicago and stays in line with Skittles’ bizarre and entertaining campaigns.  They draw in a community that likes different and sticks to that theme.  I like this interactive video because it keeps the user engaged and their attention on the brand, ensuring their brand awareness.

Smirnoff Launches Mindtunes


The Queen Elizabeth Foundation and Smirnoff have teamed up to transform brain activity and emotions into music with Mindtunes.  DJ Fresh, an international DJ was brought in on the innovative project to work with paraplegics in order to create this Mindtunes track.  Mindtunes uses EEG to measures the electrical brain activity and turns it into beats.  DJ Fresh produced the track with Andy Walker, Jo Portois on synth, and Mark Rowland on drums.  Smirnoff Europe has used a branded Youtube page to create the Mindtunes experience linking to the actual documentary and short clips of each participant.  DJ Fresh will donate the proceeds from the downloads to the Queen Elizabeth Foundation giving back to those who helped him create the track and raising awareness for the foundation itself.

Why I’m Curious

This project enables music fans who are disabled and can’t play regular instruments to explore their creativity and break the physical barriers of composing and constructing music.  Jo, Mark, and Andy used their brain activity to add beats to the track produced by DJ Fresh, something that is the first of its kind in EEG.  I think this is unbelievable and groundbreaking and really hits home for some viewing the videos.  I would like to see how this technology is expanded by medical professionals and neuroscientists in the future.  Hopefully, it will be a coping mechanism and healing process for those who can’t physically create music or verbally express their feelings.