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The Swirl: June 20, 2016

It's officially summer. Which means it's also the longest day in the entire year, so go out and do something fun. In this edition: the best from Dad's Day, a little politics, and a preview from the award show across the pond.

WORD OF THE WEEK

Beacon (n.) – technology in stores that use Bluetooth to detect nearby smartphones and send them ads, coupons or supplementary production information. It's now going wall to wall... *cue the Lil Jon*

As of recently, indoor beacons can identify shoppers' exact location and deliver highly targeted, local–based offers on the spot. These “smart lights” can locate a shopper at a precision of 8 to 12 inches. Talk about location, location, location.

PAPA WAS A ROLLING STONE

While you were celebrating Dad with rounds of golf, a new pair of socks or drinks on the patio, brands across the board took the opportunity to honor the holiday with ads about giving nothing, giving props, and getting outdoors, plus encouraging kids to 'go ask Dad' and while they're at it, to tell him why he's their hero. Spoiler alert: you'll most likely need a ~Kleenex~ by the end of that last one. Funny the way that works.

But our most favorite ode to fathers of all was brought us by… *drum roll please* Dove Men+Care and their adorable montage of real father–child memories from videos found across the web. The clips are the latest installment in the campaign that aims to paint dads as unsung family heroes, and are meant to showcase the joy of dads finding creative ways to goof around with their kids.

WHY IT MATTERS

While all the Father's Day campaigns hit you in the feels and are well–executed, Dove truly took it to the next level. Instead of manufacturing a spot with actors and scripts, they leveraged raw footage from actual people to showcase the real power of fatherhood. Each clip gives you a snapshot of real moments, from so many different types of relationships – young, old, fun, serious, and everything in between. It's these candid, unforgettable moments with your dad that matter most. And Dove couldn't have captured that better. Here's to a belated Father's Day.

LET'S GET POLITICAL

We all know that election year = enough political ads to last us a lifetime. In the months leading up to Election Day, it seems like every commercial has some connection to the presidential race. We've seen the good, bad, and ugly, and there's no denying that it can get old very quickly. That's probably why Air Canada decided to jump on the train early this year. Last week, they launched a new digital campaign titled 'Test Drive Canada,' and it's actually pretty funny. It taps into the conversation surrounding dissatisfaction with party nominees. For the people that are joking (or not joking) about moving to Canada, Air Canada suggests taking it for a test drive first. But only with their airline, of course. They offer 240 flights connecting the U.S. and Canada daily, so why not check it out?

WHY IT MATTERS

Political ads are a way for brands to tap into a trending topic and leverage existing conversation. But when everyone is trying to do the same thing and remain neutral, they tend to blend in. It takes a lot to stand out. So why does Air Canada work? More than anything, it's relevant. In case you were wondering, nearly 1.5 million Americans have searched “How can I move to Canada?” There's obvious tension, but the Air Canada spots avoid specific politics and rather focus on making the brand more relevant to American travelers. It works because there is a true tie to their services. And it's funny. Canada is looking pretty good now, eh?

YES WE CANNES

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Cannes International Festival of Creativity starts today, which is like Christmas in the advertising world. Think speakers, workshops, but most importantly, extravagant awards shows to honor the best work of the year. You can keep up with results and news here, but we couldn't start the week without a little preview of what's to come. There have been several predictions from top creatives around the world, but a fave pick all around has been #OptOutside by REI. If you missed it, the company decided to close all of its stores on Black Friday, while still paying 12,000 employees as though it were a regular work day. Their main point: instead of waiting in lines for hours or working through the night, you should spend your day outside.

WHY IT MATTERS

REI demonstrated that they had a deep understanding of their consumer base. Their message was totally on–brand, which resulted in massive PR buzz, and even got other stores following in their footsteps. Instead of trying to make some extra bucks, REI gave consumers what they really wanted: a reason to skip the lines. And also maybe avoid a black eye. We'll see if Cannes thinks it was as good as we do. Stay tuned.

FINAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT

The end of shrink it and pink is is here. See how advertisers are missing the mark with women.