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The Swirl: January 16, 2017

Happy MLK Jr. Day! Whether you have work or not, there was too much greatness "swirling" out there for us to take a day off. For this special day: strength in being soft, clean foods and the hottest new TV show (literally).

WORD OF THE WEEK

Wantedness (n) - the degree to which a brand proves their commitment to earning a customer's business across every touch point and throughout the entire path to purchase. Also a new word coined by Wunderman after a study polling consumers determined how exactly brands achieve new engagement.

The result? Data shows that brands now need to demonstrate their commitment to serving the consumer and exceeding their expectations, creating great content, and making path to purchase easy.

Bottom line? There's so much more to success than an awesome product.

For the "pull-on-the-heartstrings" sucker...

SwirlNotes: A single dad helps his daughter stay strong through shaving pricks and a broken heart with the help of a little Angel Soft. Spoiler alert: by the end, you might need a tissue, too.

WHY IT MATTERS

Since the launch of the "Be Soft. Be Strong." campaign, these ads have garnered millions of views online, and Angel Soft sales have increased by 6 percent. With annual sales of $1.2 billion, that increase is upwards of $72 million. Cha-ching.

And in two of the three new spots from the toilet tissue brand, going number one or number two isn't referenced - at all. The single dad ad in particular does a great job of acknowledging a different side of the bathroom, one where first shaves and disappointments also take place. It perfectly demonstrates the necessity of staying strong, while being soft both as a toilet tissue and as a mom and dad. Because being a shoulder to cry on is inevitably part of the job description.

For the clean eating enthusiast...

SwirlNotes: You might want to give Panera a try. Their new spot portrays the mysteries in mystery meat and the slop from the cafeteria lunch tray as a thing of a past. Here to replace them? All natural, no dye, no preservative food from their kitchen. When you're ready come and get it.

WHY IT MATTERS

Touting clean food isn't a new thing. In fact we'd argue that Chipotle has that storytelling on lock, even with their recent mishaps. Scarecrow still get us every time. However, what we like about Panera's "100% of our food is 100% clean" mantra is its simplicity. It's as if they're equating their ingredients to the same quality you'd find in your own kitchen pantry. Because while nothing can beat a home-cooked meal, maybe Panera is getting one step closer. Bon appétit.

For the binge-watcher...

SwirlNotes: Your favorite ballpark snack just got even better. Johnsonville is holding a sausage competition to find this year's best game day recipes, and what we've seen so far is making our mouth water. You can watch it all go down through their online episode series. Spoiler: episodes are cheesy in more ways than one.

WHY IT MATTERS

We've been told that 2017 is the year for digital video. So much so that brands should find ways to replace traditional TV methods with this up-and-coming medium. Looks like Johnsonville caught on. Their three-episode series is our favorite execution of this tactic yet. Some might argue that a ten-minute video is too long, but we think not. Yes, consumers have short attention spans, but let's be real - most of us spend our Sunday binge-watching Game of Thrones or Gilmore Girls. It's more about upping the entertainment factor, and Johnsonville's ability to turn a product competition into an episode series has done just that.

FINAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT

For the Mad Men fans who can't get enough of Jon Hamm aka Don Draper, get ready to see him back in action on behalf of H&R Block. You're welcome.