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The Swirl: July 10, 2017

Miss us last week? We hope everyone had an awesome holiday, and an even better short week. It’s been awhile since we’ve had Swirl in our lives. Bout time to get back into things, so here we go. In this edition: lil babies, not-so-sinful ice cream and illegal popcorn.

WORD OF THE WEEK

Echo Show (n) - Amazon’s newest attempt to win over the voice-enabled game. This $230 device lets you play music, call friends, watch video clips, and control your smart home - all with some awesome visuals. Look ma, no hands.

For the fast and furious...

SwirlNotes: You don’t have to be a NASCAR driver to go fast. The Kia Soul is back with its latest edition, and even a new hamster to add to the list. This is no ordinary Soul - you’re gonna want to watch this. For real.

WHY IT MATTERS

First and foremost, we never thought a baby hamster could get so cute. But more importantly, who ever thought something like a hamster would become such a brand icon? People have grown to love these Kia critters over the years, and we have to admit the brand has done a pretty good job at keeping them fresh. Their executions of the hamsters are what make them so great, and this one did not disappoint. It’s crazy and cute, and clearly communicates the main point. Welcome to the fast category, Kia. If the cars come with the baby hamster, you can count us in. Vroom vroom.

For the ice cream aficionado...

SwirlNotes: Indulging in your favorite dessert just got a little sweeter. ICYMI, Halo Top has perfected the pint, and created a low-calorie, low-sugar ice cream that tastes like the real thing. However, one devil’s got something to say about this guilt-free treat, and he’s taking it up with the guys upstairs.

WHY IT MATTERS

You might recognize the packaging from the ads on social media that sparkle gold or from co-workers raving about how “I can’t believe how good it tastes” at the water cooler. The brand’s creative direction flips the script on the positive feedback by featuring someone who’s not as hot on the guilt-free ice cream: the devil. And for a guy whose sole existence relies on the art of the guilty pleasure, he’s got a bone to pick over creating an ice cream that doesn’t make you feel gluttonous after eating it. The hilarious angel-devil banter illustrates the usual internal struggle over eating dessert, and creates a tension that really serves the brand well. We’ll take a few of those containers to go too, if ya don’t mind.

For the popcorn lover...

SwirlNotes: You understand that the struggle is real when that snack craving hits, whether that’s in the car or in the movie theater. And you’ll go to great lengths in get popcorn in your mouth.

WHY IT MATTERS

Who hasn’t snuck food into the theater in a nondescript oversized bag? Guilty as charged. Aside from being dead hysterical, we love that SkinnyPop’s first attempt at an integrated campaign comes from a real, insightful place: their consumers. The brand left the healthy ingredients and “it’s good for you” sentiment at the door. Instead, they were inspired from real commentary from real fans, and created a campaign that aims to celebrate the fun of snacking and sometimes over-the-top lengths to get their fix. Talk about relatability. And if that doesn’t spark a craving for popcorn, we’re not sure what will.

FINAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT

You could win $50,000 for finding a weird Cheeto in your bag. Now that’s the kinda PR campaign we like. Cheeto fingers for days.