News

The Swirl: March 14, 2016

The luck of the Irish has delivered quite a pot of gold this morning. In this edition: the end of an era, kids and their iPads, and girl power.  

WORD OF THE WEEK 

Meme (n) - an idea, behavior, activity, concept, catchphrase or piece of media which spreads, often as mimicry, from person to person via the Internet. And they tend to catch like wildfire. Last week, the internet exploded after one tweeter got wind of a teacher's PowerPoint presentation using a meme to explain Adolf Hitler. Thanks to the curiosity over what would happen if we all "meme-splained" history, #MemeHistory filled the internet with hilarious bits from the biblical references to the civil rights movement and WWII.  

DON'T CRY BECAUSE IT'S OVER, SMILE BECAUSE IT HAPPENED

Peyton Manning isn't the only guy throwing in the towel. In fact, two other men near and dear to hearts are exiting stage left this year. This summer's Olympics in Rio will sadly be Michael Phelps' last. In their recent commercial, Under Armour pays tribute to Phelps and his athletic journey by creating an anthem that celebrates all that he sacrificed. It left him in tears. And it's no surprise that Dos Equis has The Most Interesting Man in the World go out in style. Because retirement doesn't always have to be a bad thing.  

WHY IT MATTERS

From the outside looking in, there's some serious jealousy of the endless days spent on the beach without a care in the world. But traditionally, "retirement" has had a pretty nasty stigma attached to it. There's sadness about the end and nervous anticipation of what's to come. Part of what contributes to the fear of retirement is the financial burden that comes along with it. But more and more, brands are working to turn those feelings of negativity into opportunity that's more than just rocking chairs and kayaking.  

APPLIES TO...

Understanding the pain points and emotional turmoil associated with life's transitions. Graduating college, buying a home, or even entering retirement ain't easy and it's important that brands pay respect to and understand everything that led to that moment in time.

GROWING UP IN A DIGITAL AGE

Kids today grow up with an iPhone in one hand, a tablet in the other and their eyes glued to the TV screen nearby. So it's no wonder that they have an inherent understanding of technology and how it works. Or doesn't work. And brands haven't been shy about digging in to understand what matters most to millennials, especially on social media. In fact, entire social networking platforms have been created with the millennial in mind. For them, it's all about simplicity, staying connected, and consuming information. Translation: they're filling in-between moments with mindless games, stalking their friends and fave celebs, and hiding from their parents on Facebook.

WHY IT MATTERS

The definition of relationships are changing - especially among the millennial and Gen Z populations. While adults might think they're stuck in their phones, it's really just a reflection of the way they connect with their peers. And love it or hate it, that's an insight that Ruby Tuesday brought to life with "Shy Girl" - an online video featuring a young girl who befriends a schoolmate at the chain's salad bar. Call it odd, far-fetched, or over-dramatized, but we've got to hand it the brand for its attempt at targeting women with young families by acknowledging these new social norms.  

APPLIES TO...

How social media has transformed our lives. It's not just about the channels themselves anymore. They are actually driving how we communicate and nourish interpersonal relationships.  

WHO RUN THE WORLD? 

Girls. International Women's Day was last week, and brands were quick to jump on the trending topic. Brawny shifted from 40 years of their iconic mascot to feature women and celebrate feminism. And Always started a fight for girl emojis because there's really no reason women can't be lawyers too. That's what we call girl power.  

WHY IT MATTERS

Marketing has made a blatant departure from the idea that “sex sells” to full on femvertising. On the whole, the conversation around gender roles in marketing has shifted for the better. Take Aerial India's #SharetheLoad campaign for example. The brand was able to change stereotypes by making it their mission express that laundry isn't just a job for women. The result? 1.5 million men pledged to share the load and sales increased 60%. I think it's safe to say that broadening gender roles is here to stay.     

APPLIES TO...

Creative execution. You can't ignore the theme of inclusivity. Consumers are speaking up, and brands need to listen. Who and what you put at the front of your brand can make or break you these days. Whether it's gender, race, or body type, the key is empowering consumers to embrace themselves as the unique human beings they are.

FOR YOUR 'FREE' TIME

Need some inspiration? Watch this video on creativity and change.    

FINAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Ever wondered why infographics work? Cuz our brains crave them.