The Swirl: July 25, 2016 ‘bout that weather? To cool things down a bit, and we mean way down, we've got The Swirl. In this edition: kids killin' the game, coffee keepin' us going, and the internet steppin' up our drink game.


Hail (n). - pellets of frozen ice that fall in showers from cumulonimbus clouds. And not just in the winter. It can happen in the heat of the summer, too. And last week, Charlotte got a lot.

How? Funny you should ask, because it perplexed the hail out of us, too. Apparently, hail forms within strong thunderstorms at high altitudes where temperature is always below freezing. The stones are pulled violently upward and downward by the wind, and get larger and larger until they're heavy enough to fall to the ground. Thanks 7th grade science class.


If you're like us, at ten years old, back-to-school meant shopping for new outfits and fresh new binders to carry to class. You were also probably spending your summer at camp, playing with imaginary friends or watching cartoons. No shame there.

But if you're like the kids behind the new Target Back-to-School campaign, then you spent your time writing inspirational stories and directing commercials. Say what? This year, Target decided that there was no better way to show their dedication to celebrating kids' potential than by tapping them to steer their entire campaign. The brand had three kid directors oversee TV production, seven kid writers put the stories together, and kid illustrators bring the sets to life. Basically, they did the damn thing. Really takes adulting to a whole other level, amirite?


Target's clearly got their bullseye set on the right audience: young kids and their families. And truly what better way to reach them than an awesome group of inspiring, talented 8 to 17 year olds? They view this time of year as so much more than school supplies - it's about setting the stage for success: for this year and the years to come. While it's tough to relinquish some of your brand control to your consumers, let alone those who haven't graduated high school, you know what they say...big risk, big reward. We've seen tons of brands tap kid creative talent, and only time will tell if Target's open-mindedness to kid creative direction opens the door to more of its kind.


Colombia Coffee Grower's Federation would just like to say that maybe, sort of, kind of, they're not sure, but we PROBABLY wouldn't have landed on the moon without them. I mean, we wouldn't survive Mondays without copious amounts of caffeine, so we don't really blame them. In their new space-themed campaign, the brand suggests that in every big moment in the world's history, "something special was brewing." That special something? A cup of joe. Their joe to be exact.


We're all pretty coffee obsessed these days...from cold brews and mocha frappucinos to Insta latte art and online ordering. Give it to us and give it to us now. But what the brand wants to remind us of is the history, and that the most important step to a good cup is a great bean. They want coffee drinkers to have a better understanding of their quality product and the process Colombian beans go through to make it to the bag. Not to mention they deliver the product benefit in a way that is both relevant and entertaining. Here's to your morning brew.


Did y'all celebrate #NationalTequilaDay yesterday? If you didn't, shame on you. And if you did, shame on you if you didn't do so by saying, "Alexa, enable Patrón." Patrón partnered with Amazon Echo to launch its Patrón Cocktail Lab that will allow users to use its voice service to ask for cocktail recos, recipes and tips. It's just one more added capability towards the potential of a fully integrated smart home. Soon, Echo will know the weather and sync to your calendar to know if you've had a bad day...and serve you up a drink that's different than what you had the day before. We'll drink to that.


Patrón has a goal to use technology like Amazon Echo as both an educational and entertaining part of the brand. We like to call that edutainment. Last year, the brand created "The Art of Patrón" - a video that allowed participants to see the company's agave field from the perspective of a bee. The educational part? The experience educated viewers on tequila's origins. The entertaining part? Virtual reality made users feel like they were really flying through the Hacienda Headquarter. That's a win-win in our shot glass.


You are what you listen to, after all. See if you'd fit in based on the office playlist.