The Swirl: May 9, 2016

FYI yesterday was Mother's Day. If you missed it, you should probably start dialing now. In this edition: Mother's Day marketing, Lego's newest addition, and tackling traditional ads.


Face-swap (v) using a Snapchat feature to swap faces with someone or something else in real time.


There's nothing like Mom, perfect for times when you're sick, need advice, or someone to calm you down. But children aren't the only ones celebrating their mother figure this year. Brands and even an agency have found unique ways to pay tribute too. JetBlue turned a negative into a positive by rewarding crying babies on a flight. FlyBabies, as they call it, perfectly captures the hard work that goes into being a mom. And Mother Agency in New York introduced an outdoor campaign to highlight what mothers do best: give advice. The billboards are bound to make you smile, capturing quotes like 'I didn't go nine months without chardonnay for you to hate your job.' Being a mom is not as easy as it seems, and these efforts justify why we celebrate this particular day. Dear Mom, you rock.


One of the most popular tactics today is using influencers, but what about those we value most in our everyday life? The people that have the most influence over us are probably the ones we see and talk to every day. The reason these campaigns work is because they elicit a feeling we can all relate to. Even if it's not your mom in the ad, most people can still hear their voice. And that has more power than any celeb or social star.


There is nothing like Lego bricks. They're fun for all ages (yes, adults too), but what if they could also help children learn to read? Meet Braille Bricks: the newest Lego extension on a mission to make education and communication easier for blind children. The bricks combine the Braille alphabet with a classic toy, allowing the visually impaired to spell, communicate, and learn while playing. It's a tool for literacy, but more than that, inclusion. The bricks encourage children with or without visual impairment to be creative, meaning that they can flawlessly play together.


Braille Bricks are such a simple idea, yet solve several problems all at once. Literacy, creativity, inclusivity, and more. Unfortunately, they are only available to 300 children right now, but Lego has created a website hoping to drum up consumer support and attract manufacturers. We have high hopes for the product given its effectiveness. Sometimes less is more, and Braille Bricks are the perfect example of how limits are often a recipe for success. It's not always about creating something big, but rather making small adjustments that drastically enhance what currently exists. Still not convinced? See how small changes in tech are helping build relationships here.


Last week Netflix released its latest out-of-home campaign, featuring stars like Frank Underwood and Kimmy Schmidt across billboards. It's a traditional advertising method, but there's a twist. The ads encourage passersby to take selfies in front of them and then use Snapchat's face-swapping feature to to create split-screen photos. AKA you can bring your dreams to life by trading faces with a celeb. Sorry, but swap is not permanent.


What's unique about this campaign is that it combines offline with online, something we've seen a lot of lately. Popular social media and online platforms are an easy way to make still ads more dynamic, especially when you can do it in real-time. That's why Snapchat is slowly becoming a popular tactic to make out-of-home more interactive, and we don't expect this trend to slow down. If you can find a way to combine old and new tactics into one, you'll most likely get the engagement you were looking for.


Instagram's carousel ads now allow video. Start counting profits now.