Pedigree champions seeing eye humans

Guide dogs are such kind, patient, and amazing companions for those who are visually impaired. And many pet-centered companies have championed guide dogs and organizations that support them and their training.

But in Brazil, Pedigree is turning the tables and focusing on pet owners whose dogs lose their vision as they age, which is not uncommon - with some owners, unfortunately, giving them up due to the burden of caring for them. Pedigree is highlighting some owners with blind dogs and how important their role is to the dogs and to not give up on them, because their ability to love and be loyal is not impaired. They created the "Human Guide" campaign complete with the website, to serve as a toolkit to help pet owners learn how to best care for their visually impaired puppers and show how easy it is, so the trend of abandoning these dogs in need decreases.

Grab some tissues and watch videos about the campaign here.

Changing policies with illegal fruit

Sometimes consumers aren't always aware of the rules and regulations of various industries, but the companies they buy from typically are - and mired in them. French supermarket chain Carrefour has been a leader in pointing out and taking a stand against some regulations it finds not to be in the best interest of its consumers or others in the industry - even banning GMO products as early as 1996.

In its latest attempt to help put consumers' interests first, and that of farmers, it sold products in a 'black market' type fashion that are technically deemed 'illegal' by certain laws to highlight the strict regulation that keeps "97% - 2 million farmers' seed varieties" of cereals, vegetables and fruits out of supermarkets. Likely something most consumers are not aware of.

It even launched the campaign with an 'illegal dinner' that put the chain at risk for hefty fines. Its efforts even resulted in policy change.

In times like these where consumers are not only unaware of many issues, but also feel helpless to change them, its great to have big brands who use their scale and standing to fight for its consumers, putting their interests first, and take the lead in making change on their behalf.

Learn more about the campaign and watch a video here.

Kit Kat gives delayed passengers a free break

No one enjoys having a delayed flight. It straight up stinks. But what doesn't stink is when Kit Kat set ups a vending machine that gives out free candy to help sweeten the otherwise annoying experience. Activated in Sao Paolo, all consumers had to do was scan their boarding pass with the machine's scanner and if their flight's status was delayed, they were rewarded with a tasty break.

Influencer swap is the new Wife Swap

Social media networks with their fancy algorithms are borderline creating alternate universes in the world (or rather filter bubbles or echo chambers), only showing specific content to consumers based on interests and online behavior, to the point where there may not be any intersection between these groups.

Telekom Romania wanted to take this as a challenge and shift the reality by opening young viewers' eyes to new interests and beliefs. The company leveraged a variety of popular influencers cross-over and swap lives with another influencer whose life, and views, are fairly, if not drastically, different from their own. The result? Lots of video views, broadened perspectives and even some people following influencers they may not otherwise follow.

The campaign also coincided with Telekom's unlimited video offer, so it's pushing consumers to take advantage of that service, and not just live in the confines of their own bubbles or interests.

A doggie bag of perspective at the Ritz

Sometimes we humans take for granted the things that are supposed to be natural and easy.

SmileAsia partnered with the Ritz Carlton to create an activation and stunt where people could experience how difficult eating is for kids with cleft lips and palates. The simple act of altering the shapes of regular utensils transformed people's dining experiences and had a powerful impact on diners, not only generating awareness for SmileAsia but creating empathy for kids going through that experience everyday, which hopefully in turn resulted in donations.

See the video about the activation here.

Orangina's granting wishes with orangenies

What do you do if your product goes against historical convention for the category? Get creative with your packaging to change the behavior.

Orangina is doing just that with its cans because, as a carbonated beverage, you actually are supposed to shake it to mix the pulp back in, which separates it (literally) from other carbonated drinks. The fear of the drink exploding on them is keeping consumers from enjoying the full optimal taste and experience of the product.

Orangina is turning its cans into interactive experiences, by having people turn them upside down to see if their can 'contains' a genie - an audio file that plays when turned. Only 50,000 in the French marketplace do. Those 50,000 consumers can then enter a special code online with their wish for a chance to have it come true.

Orange you glad you read this blog post?? (Had to do it.)

See a video of the talking genie cans here.

CX at work in refugee camps

CX is a concept that goes beyond consumerism and extends to many industries and areas - really anywhere a good or service is provided, regardless if someone pays for it or not.

American Refugee Committee is making a shift in its own operations by looking at the refugees in its camps not as beneficiaries, but rather as valued customers that it is committed to serving, and serving well. They are deploying customer service reps to get real-time feedback from refugees regarding different experiences at the camps so ARC can optimize logistics, care and operations as needed. Because, learning things like water not being available early enough in the morning prevented a mother from being able to feed her kids breakfast before school is, well, you know, super important to know and fix. ARC is also holding itself accountable by publishing the real-time data on a public website.  With its headquarters in Minneapolis and camps around the world, it's also a great use of digital and technology to bridge that physical gap between the larger organizational operations and the day to day experiences on the ground.

According to ARC's CEO David Wordsworth, this endeavor is not just putting the people first, but it's putting the 'soul' back into the organization and its work.

Walmart brings on premium brands

Walmart and Lord & Taylor are teaming up to create a premium online shopping destination on that will offer 125 fashion brands, including Tommy Bahama, La La Anthony and H Halston. The new hub allows Lord & Taylor to grow their footprint and audience, while giving Walmart the opportunity to attract a new type of consumer. Go on Walmart's website today and you'll see a more premium feel that no longer uses a honking logo, but instead reflects a more modern and understated design. In the current state of retail, brands are turning to new ways to attract customers and grow their audience ... but is there really an intersection between the Walmart and Lord & Taylor shopper?

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning with this Polish ad

Grey Group Poland is helping save lives ... with just a piece of paper. Carbon monoxide kills about 100 Poles each year, and art director Dominika Halas was inspired to put a stop to it.  Grey Group Poland brought together some of the nation's largest retailers, in addition to the Polish National Fire Department, to distribute fliers aiming to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Nothing flashy. No augmented reality. No new technology. Just a simple message to help everyday consumers take a step in prevention.

Dairy Queen serves its consumers upside down

The Dairy Queen Blizzard. Serving it upside down has become just as iconic as the ice cream treat itself. But years of using traditional advertising to showcase this feat just wasn't enough. So they created The Blizzard Store, recreating the entire store experience upside down ... including the salespeople. What a way to breathe life into a concept that consumers have seen for so long and truly immerse them into the Blizzard experience.

Hotel on wheels immerses surf fanatics in nature

Reminiscent of the tiny house movement, this mobile truck turned hotel creates a two-story living space for surfers looking to immerse themselves in off-the-beaten path surf spots. The five room hotel travels through the best surf locations in Portugal and Morocco, offering a pre-designed trip package or allowing guests to create their own voyage. The owners, Daniela and Eduardo, developed the idea after traveling through Europe in a camper and wanting to share that experience with others. The Truck Surf Hotel gives folks the immersive, cultural experience they crave that brands like Airbnb have touted for so long.

Pregnant superheroes to the rescue

Mom. She miraculously does it all. As if she were a ... superhero. Baby brand Summer Infant created "The World's First Team of Pregnant Superheroes" in celebration of "the strength and and beauty of motherhood." The four superheroes, inspired by real moms, touch on the many super-human powers that come along with motherhood. From Professor Potty's innate ability to potty train to Aquamom's ability to calm the waters during bath time, the "M.O.M. Squad" does it all. The brand's efforts to highlight these strengths illustrates their support for mothers of all types, celebrating motherhood just in time for Mother's Day. 

Automatic prom king?

You're not supposed to invite your arch rival to prom. Okay, maybe in Hollywood, "happily ever after" and all that stuff. Well, don't tell Burger King what it can and can't do.

A Lynn, MS Burger King decided to throw common sense out the window and invite the neighboring Wendy's to the local high school prom, via marquee placement. And she said yes! From there, both restaurants took to Twitter to create an additional stir there.

Adweek makes a point though. The stunt is cute and all, and it surely raised online traffic, maybe even foot traffic. But, they need to take the next step and pitch something to the actual kids attending prom in Lynn. Otherwise, Burger King will not be receiving many prom king votes.

An apple a day...

With obesity trends being what they are, it's alarming but not necessarily surprising to find that 86% of Europeans don't eat enough fruits and vegetables. So, what to do to highlight the issue?

Dutch technology company Philips decided to pull an experiential prank in Amsterdam's famous Rijksmuseum. Three still life paintings were replaced with stand-ins that had all fruit and vegetables removed. One apple was left. However that too was removed by an illusionist dressed as a museum guard. The bare paintings displayed the emptiness of the food world without fruits and veggies.

Once informed about the stunt, attendees enjoyed a glass of fresh juice, prepared with one of Philips own blenders. The blending of product advertising and public service announcement was also quite refreshing.

Ikea aims to soothe with new ad

We've all experienced being lulled to sleep while reading, even when the material is interesting. Ikea is now wanting the material's main purpose to be lulling you to sleep.

Memac Ogilvy Dubai created a new print ad for Ikea that serves up white noise and a lavender scent to assist in bedtime relaxation. The ad detaches from the back of the magazine, and when the stand is pulled out, it activates a white noise speaker and a lavender scent port. The speaker battery can even be charged via USB cable.

Maybe next issue can also make breakfast the next morning.

Crack open a refreshing can of hamburger

The Big Mac has been around for 50 years now, and Coca-Cola has been right by its side the entire time and is a popular pair for many consumers. Now, to celebrate the Big Mac's five decades, the two are blending together.

DPZ&T is marking the anniversary with a limited edition Coke can, made to look like the layered ingredients of the iconic burger. No need to spell those ingredients out, as you have already recited them, maybe even out loud.

Work from...home?

The occasional day working from home (or WFH, as the cool kids call it) can be a relaxing change of pace. But it can't hold a candle to this.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is launching the WFH program, inviting young professionals from New York to apply for six different residencies. Each residency is on a different island of Hawaii, and caters to a different range of professions.The goal of the program is to show that there is much more to Hawaii than a couple islands with some resorts to draw them there.

Definitely puts the usual work-from-home day to shame, and the short-term experience could make long-term residents out of the participants by showing them how they could live in paradise full time.

More than just

If your name is, but you broker way more than just hotel rooms, what do you do? Well, they decided to put together the worlds longest URL. As quote on AdFreak, the creation of the URL was "to let people know has more than just hotels, the most obvious thing for us to do was to change our name to include every type of accommodation available."

And of course they made a whole series of ads that go along with the name change. So, if you are going to expand the types of experiences you offer, you better let them know.

Making the regular just a little bit better

Sometimes the best experiences are the ones that are the most natural. Take riding your bicycle for example. If you are going to change lanes, or make a turn in your car you simply turn on the turn signal (according to the law) and move on over. On your bike you learn the hand signals, and if you've ridden anywhere busy you know that the signals aren't always noticed.

The Lumos helmet isn't a brand new product, but it is adding a new feature that makes your signals really stand out. If you are wearing an Apple Watch connected to the helmet the signal lights on the helmet will naturally work alongside your hand signals to reinforce your lawful maneuvers. The goal of managing a good experience shouldn't always be about wowing people, but may end up being most effective by enhancing their life as is.

Augmenting real experiences with more ads

While people were placing bets on how VR headsets, it turns out that AR is shaping up to be the next big change to the way we experience the world. Apple keeps building out ARKit, Android has ARCore, and now Facebook is leaning in to AR across the board.

If  you missed the news coming out of F8, Facebook is adding AR support to Instagram, and has introduced third-party AR support for Messenger, Facebook Lite and Instagram. All of it comes with a private beta for a handful of major brands. It turns out that people don't want to invest in technology that helps them escape from reality. They want to make their own reality.

From farm and street to table together

San Francisco has a well known reputation as a city with a homelessness challenge. How do you help people overcome the barriers to getting a stable job and get off the streets when they don't have access to the basic resources the majority of people have like clean clothes or a place to shower for a job interview?

Farming Hope is tackling that challenge by creating an experience building program where they help people build resume experience through a unique dining experience all in itself. If you are able to afford it, you pay $55. If you are homeless the meal is free. All of it prepared by homeless men and women. Read more about it at Fast Co. The program goes well beyond just cooking a meal. It's worth your time to have a read.
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