The Swirl: June 27, 2016

The long weekend countdown starts now. We're celebrating with The Swirl. In this edition: a tribute to art history, a support of young dreamers, and a round–robin of innovation.


Prototyping (v.) – the process of physically (or more often digitally) representing a creative concept for clients to interact with during a pitch; more than a mock–up, less than the real thing.


If you're an art history fanatic, prepare to geek out. Last week, Adobe came out with it's latest campaign for stock photography. It's called Make A Masterpiece and features four digital artists that recreate lost, stolen, or destroyed art. Think Frida Kahlo, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and more. The best part? They only use Adobe Stock photos. While no one can truly replace these lost paintings, they do a darn good job at it. The recreations are so close to the originals that you'd probably have to look twice if you passed them in a museum. That's what we call pro status.


Advertisers have been obsessed with fine art lately. Remember Van Gogh BnB or The Next Rembrandt? This rising trend is proving to be successful, and Adobe's effort is one to add to the books. It works because it reshapes the way consumers think about stock photography. You can't deny that the end results are pretty remarkable. Whether you're recreating lost art or not, the spots show that Adobe Stock provides artists everything they need to make a masterpiece. What more could you ask for?


We already showcased some Father's Day ads last week, but this one was too good to pass up. American Family Insurance rolled out a spot ahead of the holiday, showcasing the tale of a dad who takes a curious approach to protecting his son's dream. The campaign, titled "Insure Carefully. Dream Fearlessly," features a two and a half minute video of a boy who aspires to be a dancer. Plot twist: the dad then encourages him to take martial arts. It's a bit disappointing until you realize that he's only trying to build up his son's self–confidence before he takes dance lessons. The spot aims to highlight the hard work and sacrifice consumers endure in order to realize their dreams. Because when you are pursuing a dream, it helps to have the right insurance first. We see what you did there.


Most of the ads in this category resort to humor, but American Family Insurance took a different approach. They focus on the emotional seriousness of passions, and we think the strategy works. It leaves you with a warm heart and enough inspiration to get you through the week. The video was released over their website and Twitter and currently has over 3 million views. Dream fearlessly, friends.


Between bots and data, consumers have a hard time finding the positive in new technology. Believe it or not, there is some good in it. In fact, a lot of good. Trendwatching just released their Innovation Celebration report highlighting sixteen awesome innovations. It's safe to say that 2016 is proving to be a pretty awesome year. Our favorite is the MTV 79% Work Clock. Studies show that women who work full–time in the US earn 79% of what their male counterparts earn, and MTV wanted to do something that highlighted this. The clock comes with an online tool that allows users to calculate when 79% of their working day is over. After that, an alarm goes off every day at that time as a reminder that they will no longer get paid for their work. MTV gave away hundreds of these to workplaces across the country. What a perfect way to combine innovation with a social topic. #flawless


There's no doubt that innovation can be overwhelming. It's scary to think of everything that could go wrong, but what about the things that go right? The opportunities with tech today are endless, and many brands are taking advantage of that. Unfortunately, this also means that consumers have an entirely new set of expectations. Each innovation comes with new expectations across markets, industries, and demographics. It's important to keep up, because if you want to know where they're headed, you need to start looking at the innovations being launched today.


Would you let an algorithm manage your relationships?