Would you drink salmon soda?

Baskin Robbins is betting you wouldn't. The brand is showcasing just how deliciously good its Sundae Shake combinations are by juxtaposing ads for them directly adjacent to 'fake ad' posters for a made up product that is decidedly (by most) not delicious - fish juice flavor combinations. The varieties include Tuna Tea, Salmon Soda and Mudskipper Milk.

On the fake ad creative, they included a URL that drives to a BR-branded website with messaging on how gross that option is. What's interesting is that either the consumer will be reassured that something that disgusting doesn't actually exist, or, some avid fish product enthusiasts might feel chastised by the experience - but BR is banking on (and probably with good reason) that the risk of that is very low. A good thing to keep in mind if every pulling a stunt like this.

Domino's and Snaphat deliver...really

Domino's is tapping into a new Snapchat feature, their shoppable lenses, and offering users the ability to order a pizza without leaving the app. It's a smart feature that is not only beneficial to Snapchat by keeping users in the app, but it's an experience that is more seamless and less disruptive for users as well.

The lens uses AR to allow people to engage and either: 1.) see themselves wearing sunglasses with the pizza reflects in the selfie view, or 2.) see a pizza in front of them in the app when they flip the camera, likely enticing users and putting pizza on the brain. Then after they interact with the lens, users can order a pizza.

The real question is how long 'til Instagram launches a similar feature?

Be a kid again

Do you have fond memories of Saturday morning cartoons and after school specials? Then you likely watched at least one of them with a glass of Nesquik, made by you (or your mom). Middle-agers like myself can experience being a kid again by visiting the Nesquik pop-up experience in Santa Monica, July 21-27. Once there you, and your little ones, can customize your own milk creations and sample a couple of original Nesquick-based beverages from Chef Jordan Andino, host of the Cooking Channel’s “Late Night Eats”. We’re just curious if you'll discover that you still like your milk super chocolatey?

Life on the run

If you live near West Hollywood and are an avid Nike fan, this is for you. Nike's newest boutique store, Nike by Melrose, recently opened with the goal of delivering items customers are clamoring for. Every two weeks, around 25% of merchandise will rotate based on NikePlus app user interest of those living nearby, along with interest from other company-run sites. So, stop in, see the newest, most revered products, and while you're there use your phone to check sizes, request product to try on, and even remotely check out. The customer experience couldn't be any easier... especially for those on the run!

Your face can unlock doors.

Marriott Hotels is banking on facial recognition technology that can do just that, provide you with a room key without human interaction. Planned for testing in two locations in China, the technology will allow travelers to avoid check-in lines and offer a quick visit to a self-service kiosk instead. Marriott CEO Henry Lee indicated that this will enable hotel associates to direct their efforts to “delivering personalized service to our guests.” I guess welcoming someone to your property is not considered personalized service these days.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

If you’re like me, you despise the process of clothes shopping. Now a mirror can make that process smoother, and help you look like a fashionista. Fashion apparel maker Guess and Alibaba have teamed up by adding technology into dressing room mirrors which can suggest clothing pieces, colors and more. Here’s how it works – clothes in the store are tagged with Bluetooth, RFID and motion sensors which are read by the mirror. The mirror then suggests coordinating pieces to complete your look. So, as you try on a dress, the mirror can suggest shoes, a scarf or a jacket. If you like the options, simply touch them and an Associate is notified to deliver it to your dressing room. From a consumer experience, it couldn’t be simpler to be the fairest of them all.

Dip, baby, dip!

Grocery retailer Kroger is dipping its toe into fashion with a new clothing brand, Dip (you heard that right, clothing at Kroger!). Kroger explains that its apparel line, to release Fall 2018, is “simple, fresh and goes great with everything”. The name, Dip, was chosen as a nod to the popular party snack and Kroger’s own roots in grocery. The clothing line is an effort to keep customers from straying to retailers like Target or Walmart where clothing and grocery are under one roof. For consumers this could mean one stop shopping at its best. And, let's hope for Kroger’s sake that its a hit  just like the song Tootsee Roll was in the 90s, which told fans to “Dip, baby, dip!” 

Now Google Home takes strokes off your game.

Google Home has created a mini golf tour that plays out in home-like environments. Fans, lights and TVs connected to Google Home can be affected by interacting with Google Assistant, thus making the course obstacles easier to navigate. While consumers are having fun on the course, the brand’s message to them comes through loud and clear, “Google Assistant helps you navigate life’s little obstacles.” FYI – Playing through is frowned upon.

Who’s hungry for a sub?

Maybe it’s the result of Subway’s new campaign featuring “SUBliminal” messaging? Utilizing a variety of tactics and media in several cities, the campaign kicked off with everything from a sub-shaped sand sculpture to “SUB” projections on buildings and 3D chalk art in parks. The approach reached consumers in ways that were unexpected, fun and supported the personality of the brand. #seeingsubs

Beer caviar... Wait, what?

My grandma used to say, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” Created to celebrate the food traditions of World Cup host, Russia, the Danish beer brand Carlsberg created beer “caviar.” Through the “miracle” of science, molecular biologists figured out how to make beer take the form of fish eggs. I guess a savory, beer-flavored Pirogi was too tame?

Wishes really do come true

If you had three wishes and one of them was to see Aladdin on Broadway, then you’re in luck! Disney’s created an immersive 360°video to promote their hit stage interpretation of Aladdin. The video puts the viewer on stage in the midst of all the action as Genie performs “Friend Like Me” surrounded by pop-up information about the production & cast. It’s the location of the camera that makes the experience so compelling. Not necessarily “wish worthy,” but fun to see nonetheless.

Toys your kids can eat

As a kid, I was a big JELL-O fan. I loved the transformation from colorful, hot liquid to cool, flubbery dessert. The way it looked and moved when I jiggled my dish was way better than the way it tasted. Maybe building on some market research and insights, JELL-O has launched JELL-O Play. The package includes gelatin, molds and edible stickers to make a “toy” that when they’re done playing with it, kids can eat. “Hey guys? Put your toys away... or eat ‘em.”

This bubbly isn’t Champagne

In a stagnant beer market with cans suffering from an image problem, Beck's elevated the perception of its premium beverage by changing its can into a champagne flute. The drinks, called le Beck’s, were served at sophisticated venues where wine is usually consumed, like classical music concerts, art galleries, and exclusive private and public events in Germany. It elevated the look of the brand while elevating the experience of drinking beer. The response was so great that Beck’s is considering launching the “beer flutes” globally. We’ll put on our black tie and drink to this outside-the-can idea.

See how it looks here.

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