The Swirl: April 4, 2016

Happy April! Now that all of the office pranks are out of the way, it's time to get back to business. In this edition: April foolery, adulting, and some social updates.


Alexa (n) - a voice service that enables you to add voice-powered experiences to your connected devices; not to be confused with a person, unless you think Amazon Echo is your friend; important because voice activation is on the rise.


We lied. The April Fools jokes aren't over yet, because what would the holiday be without some brand hoaxes? You could keep yourself entertained for days with the broad range of brands that decided to take advantage of April Fools' Day. You can find the full list here, but there is one in particular that we think knocked it out of the park: Esurance. They are now offering election insurance to protect your home when you decide to flee to Canada. Not really, but the spot plays fun at the political turmoil many people are feeling with the upcoming election. If you haven't seen it yet, watch it below to get a good laugh.


Brands tapping into holidays is nothing new, but there is a reason why we continue to see this happen. It works. Consumers love timely content. It's clever, fun, and relevant to current conversation. But no matter what you do, it has to make sense for your brand. If it doesn't tie back to what you sell, it will just get lost in the clutter. The reason Esurance is memorable is because it's a perfect fit.


Everyone goes through the quarter-life crisis: the point in your life that you realize you have to pay bills, do your own taxes, and figure out this whole real-world thing. It's a #rufflife, and no one has captured this humorous struggle quite better than Samantha Jayne. As a freelance art director, she took it upon herself to promote her new book with four pitch-perfect YouTube videos. If you're suffering from the Monday blues, there's no doubt in our minds that these spots will cheer you up. Even the hard-to-get millennials are loving them. So much so that she's racked up 72,000 followers. You go girl.


The 25-year-old isn't just seeing success due to luck. Her spots are receiving millennial praise because they resonate with the generation - something a lot of brands fail to do. They capture a struggle almost every 20-something is feeling. Awkward, weird, and emotionally distraught are just a few ways to describe this adulting phase they're going through. The honest, insightful pain points are what make the videos so relatable. It might be hard to believe, but this generation has more to them than selfies. Cheers to adulthood. Turns out being 21 isn't as fun as it looks.


Social companies never fail to keep us on our toes. This past week, Instagram and Snapchat both announced updates to their platforms. The biggest change involves Instagram's decision to do away with chronological order. That's right - all the food pics you enjoy looking at will now appear on your feed based on the relationship you have with that specific person or handle. AKA you better start throwing out hearts to your favorite accounts. As for Snapchat, things are only getting better. Think stickers, video notes, audio calls, and more. Basically, Chat 2.0 hosts all forms of human communication in one spot. Sorry, but you no longer have an excuse for not being able to stay in touch.


We know - change is hard. But it's probably for the best. If you don't believe it, just take a second to remember how Facebook used to look. While it might take a while to get used to, these changes are actually good for brands. The increasing popularity of Instagram has resulted in users missing 70% of their feed, so the new algorithm could actually help improve your targeting. And you can now talk to consumers in 1,000 different ways through Snapchat. That might be an exaggeration, but we still call it a win.


Cadbury gets punny. Because we could all use a chocolate bar after Easter.