The Swirl: July 5, 2016

Still feeling those fireworks from last night? We are too. Recover with this edition where we're reinventing patriotism, celebrating anniversaries, and getting a sneak peek of what's to come in Rio.


Grand Prix (n): the highest award you can get at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Winners of 2016 included #OptOutside, McWhopper, Phelps, and more.


If you're like us, you probably saw a lot of Pinterest-inspired red, white and blue foods, sparklers, burgers and barbecues this past weekend. You may have even had a few of these. No matter how you celebrated, there's truly no better time to show off some patriotism than on the 4th of July. But have you ever taken a moment to think about where you really came from? Even if you think you have a good idea of your ethnicity mix, there's nothing more true than a DNA test. That's exactly what a Danish travel site, Momondo, set out to do with their most recent campaign titled The DNA Journey. After gathering 67 diverse people and hearing their story, they tested their DNA. The results left people in tears. Partly because they weren't what they expected, but mostly because it changed their perspective on the world - how they looked at others and themselves. All of a sudden borders and preconceived notions didn't seem so important. Instead, what mattered were the people and countries they shared a lineage with, and now had emotional connections to.


Instead of focusing on rates or customer service, Momondo took a unique approach by emphasizing the most valuable aspect of travelling: embracing diversity. And the campaign is rooted in strong data. Seventy-six percent of people say travel has made them embrace diversity. More than that, the main message is so strong that some think it has the power to start a social movement. After watching the video, it's easy to agree that despite all of our differences, we also have something in common. The spot wins due to its ability to transcend its marketing mission and compel viewers at a time when there is so much violence and racial division in the world. Thank you Momondo for reminding us that we're more alike than we think.


We're not talking about marriage here. Brands have anniversaries too, and Jack Daniel's is going big this year. It's their 150th anniversary and they are hosting a worldwide scavenger hunt to celebrate. The effort, known as Jack Daniel's Barrel Hunt, will provide clues for each region on its local Facebook pages. The goal is to help fans find 150 whiskey barrels hidden around the world at various sites. If you find it, you get a bar kit and some other really cool prizes. Or so they say. It started Friday, but don't worry - you have until September to join the fun. You can keep up with the barrel reveals here.


Experiential marketing can be extremely effective, but it takes a lot to get it right. Jack Daniel's works because it's true to the brand's personality. Barrels have always been an iconic part of the brand, and placing them at various historic sites makes it locally relevant. Even more, they've integrated across social channels. Consumers love to share experiences, so it's up to you to give them a platform that's easy to engage with. Jack Daniel's has done just that. Cheers to you, Jack. We'll celebrate with a whiskey toast.


With the Olympic Trials in full swing (we see you Michael), it's only fitting that we show a little appreciation for how brands are already starting to leverage the Summer Games to their advantage. So far, we've seen Coca-Cola, Samsung, USA Swimming, Always, and Reese's take a stab, but our gold medal goes to Visa. To kick off their 30th anniversary as an Olympic sponsor, the brand is introducing its most tech savvy innovation yet: a wearable payment ring. And they've given them to the 46 Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls that make up Team Visa to help them make their trek to Rio.


'Tis the season for the Olympics and while this is only the first bunch of ads to come, we can bet there will be plenty more. The Visa spot wins (at least for right now) because it seamlessly integrates one of their best product features to date. But a payment ring isn't the only thing that can go along with Rio. Marketers of all types can tap into this summer's biggest event. Need a place to start? This infographic will give you a good idea of who watches the Olympics and what they typically buy. Or you can go a little deeper and see what fans are like for each sport here.


Here's what Game of Thrones characters would be like if they worked at an agency.