Perky coffee packaging

Fun packaging is, well, fun! But it can also both help sell a product and bring it to life. Designer David Hobhannisyan created awesome concept packaging for Mood coffee where, as you turn the coffee canister, the two "O's" in Mood change to show sleepy eyes becoming more awake. The packaging illustrates how as you drink it, your mood will change and you'll be more awake (insert "all hail coffee" chorus reprise here), and brings the core experience of drinking coffee to life. Brilliant.

See the design concepts here.

Take a hike and shop...literally

Outdoor Voices is an athleisure company, so it totally makes sense for them to drive the retail shopping experience outside, right?

That's what they did at SXSW, where the brand encouraged people to hike nearby trails, and then used AR to not only gamify and reward hikers with different location-specific special offers, but allowed them to virtually see and try on the clothing while out there in context of where they'd be actually wearing the clothing - rather than a boring, drab dressing room.

This ultimately created a natural blend of technology, commerce and a brand belief.

The church of Burger King

Social listening can be a great way to gain insights that inform your CX strategy. In the UK, Burger King found that a large number of people were complaining about religious stereotypes, or didn't much believe in religion, so it decided to step in and offer itself up as a solve by creating "Flame Grillism" - a new, all-inclusive religion dedicated to worshipping Whoppers.

They proactively asked people complaining about existing 'stuffy' religions on social media to join Flame Grillism and find a BK chapel (yes - they changed some restaurant signs) near them. No communion here - just people enjoying their own, individual greasy goodness. Amen.

See a video case study here.

Mmmm...(peeps-flavored) beer

What is missing from Easter? Peeps-flavored beer. Or at least that's what the Collective Brewing Project in Texas thought when they created this festive, pastel purple beer, complete with edible glitter. This kitschy collab with Lone Star Taps and Cap is only located at a few of their locations, making it a pretty exclusive and magical find for those lucky (?) enough to be nearby and try it. If they feel so compelled.

Here's hoping the Easter Bunny gets a stash next year so people can match their beer with their centerpiece bouquets.

Blazing a fragrant trail in print

Old Spice is bringing new meaning to the notion of 'wearing a fragrance.' And also changing up how scented products promote themselves to consumers in print.

In its latest print ad in GQ, Old Spice went beyond the typical scent strip and included a full-sized, scented, red paper blazer for men to wear and try on their newest, premium scents. They are also leveraging influencers to wear the blazers to generate awareness beyond the print ad. So are they going to start a new fashion trend? Likely not, but they are disrupting and changing up how consumers discover and interact with a scented product to drive consideration and purchase, and it is a great way to break through and stand out in the crowd. Like wearing a bright red paper blazer.

You can check it out here.

Running isn't a game...or is it

Gamification is a great way to bring products to life in new ways and drive trial. Nike is a company known to do this with their shoes, with Nike's latest activation taking place in China to promote its newest innovation "Epic React," a technology that is purported to be bouncy and reactive.

Consumers were invited run on a treadmill and see a personalized avatar run through an animated world, jumping off springboards when prompted by a hand controller. Participants were given :10 clips of their custom game play to share on social. It's a reminder that transforming a mundane task (I mean, who really enjoys running on a treadmill) into a more fun, fantastical experience.

The new sound of love

A new dating app is changing the online dating game. Waving is an app that let's users explore others in the market through short voice recordings instead of photos, which can create different (and possibly deeper?) initial impressions than just the surface level reaction to a photo. Things like attitude and humor can be better picked up with audio recordings than flat text points about oneself.

Some initial reviews show users are a bit skeptical at not being able to see photos and that it gives a sense of less transparency, but that's also because that's been the standard approach people are accustomed too, so this experience requires a bit of an adjustment by the user to have faith in their reaction to the audio over looks, and a potential shift in priorities.

One giant leap for VR

Want to show a potential viewer an astronaut's point of view to promote a show about astronaut's talking about earth? Of course you do. And you develop your own innovative technology in order to do that.

And by "you" I mean National Geographic. They created their own OSR Projection Helmets with McCann New York for an early screening of the show. The helmets act like VR headsets but with the ability to move your head around to see a wider range of view, which creates an even more immersive experience and recreates a more realistic POV of an astronaut.

Now if only they could make the helmets available for in-home viewings that would be pretty major, Tom.

Fun houses are the future

More and more consumers are buying AI devices for their homes, but their homes aren't always fully optimized to do everything the assistants are capable of, so it makes the experience of the AI device more limiting. It ends up being more like a "play-that-song-for-me" device. 

Google gave consumers an immersive experience that brought all of the integrated capabilities of its assistant to life by taking over a house at, where other than, SXSW. The Google Assistant Fun House let visitors interact and play with services including mixing drinks to changing cat litter boxes to self-parking cars. Rather than just hearing about the purported ways AI devices can enhance your life, seeing it in action is so more compelling to take the additional steps and investments to fully connect your home.

So #HeyGoogle, pour me a cocktail and cheers to the house of the (very near) future. 

“Play today’s top hits”

Hoping to no longer rely on Siri or Alexa, Spotify is working on voice recognition to help build their own voice interface with smart speakers. They are testing a microphone icon with some of their users within the iOS app. Spotify users should be able to get their favorite songs, artist and playlists much faster with the new feature. Development is progressing and the company may be ready to begin production very soon.

Lyft Prepares for SXSW

South by Southwest is a large music festival throughout Austin, TX where thousands of people will need a ride. This year, Lyft is the official ride-hailing app for SXSW. So, Lyft has geared up by creating a branded pit stop for their drivers with those bright-pink logo sticks out front. Hundreds of drivers will stop by everyday to take advantage of snacks, drinks, games and recharging stations. So don't hail a taxi, hail a Lyft.

Good Samaritan

Are you a good Samaritan? Would you stop to help someone broke down on the side of the road or would you drive by? For Good Samaritan Day, Burger King staged a car fire stunt on the side of a highway, surprising those kind, or brave, enough to stop and help with a special reward under the hood. The stunt provided a tasty powerful reminder for people how it feels to do good for others.

Book an unusual place to stay.

Have you ever wanted to stay in an unusual place to have a truly unique vacation experience? A treehouse in Ohio, perhaps, or a lighthouse in Massachusetts or the Field of Dreams farm house?

Well, now you can. The Book It List on is offering lists of unique property locations in major cities, in the mountains or the coast hoping to entice travelers in the U.S. to visit new destinations with uncommon locations. So come on, book a train car on the Chattanooga Choo Choo for you next vacation.

Free rides with Uber Health

Healthcare professionals indicate the no-show rates in the US are as high a 30% for doctor’s appointments just due to lack of transportation. Uber has teamed up with over 100 healthcare organizations to create a service that will allow hospitals, clinics, rehab and physical therapy centers coordinate rides for patients, which will not only help reduce cancelled appointments but make their patients' health a priority.

To ensure the experience is also one that makes patients feel protected, Uber Health has met medical privacy standards outlined in the federal HIPAA laws so that drivers won't know which of their passengers are using Uber Health.

Next exit: McDonalds

In what can easily be described as a bold move by McDonalds, they’ve used a minimalist approach in their latest outdoor campaign “Follow The Arches” by only showing portions of their golden arches logo to direct customers to their nearest location.

McDonalds is betting big on brand recognition with a nice visual twist on directional billboards, and a simple visual key to help consumers find the nearest location off the highway.

Lacoste helping to save endangered species

Clothing brand Lacoste for the first time in its 85 years, will temporarily replace its iconic crocodile logo with those of 10 endangered animals. It’s all part of a campaign to help save the worlds most endangered species. The number of polo shirts produced in each series corresponds to remaining animal population sizes that are in the wild.

By purchasing a polo you are helping to protect the wildlife through the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s “Save our Species” Program.

Girl power

This Thursday, March 8th, is International Women’s Day and to celebrate Barbie is honoring 17 historical and modern role models with new Barbie dolls. The dolls feature inspiring women such as pilot Amelia Earheart, artist Frida Kahlo and Olympian Chloe Kim.

The Inspiring Women Series is a continuing trend of Barbie providing girls a multitude of dolls which include different body shapes and skin tones to show that beauty comes in different sizes and colors.  

Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and general manager said it best, “Girls have always been able to play out different roles and careers with Barbie and we are thrilled to shine a light on real life role models to remind them that they can be anything.”
Now your brand news diet is chockfull of tasty tales of Customer Experiences (CX). Served-fresh every morning for your daily recommended dose of marketing inspirations. Never sugar coated. May contain nuts. Archives | Look back at these past bites