The Swirl: December 12, 2016

Start the holiday countdown on your calendar this AM because Christmas vacation starts in two weeks. Which also means you have approximately ten more work days until you can spend your Monday binge-watching your new favorite show. You can do this. Until then: new names, gifts of chocolate, and an eye-opening PSA.


Movement (n) - when brands create a world in which their customers can actively participate through collaboration, shared values, and shared actions - because playing a transactional role is no longer enough.


There's nothing better than Google search histories. Whether you admit it or not, we've all used the tool to ask weird questions. There's even a book made completely out of funny searches. Turns out a lot of people have the same questions when it comes to personal problems. And thanks to Ikea, we now have some products that can help out with that. They recently made an SEO play that's guaranteed to make you laugh. They've renamed their products to match common searches, like “my partner snores” and “my son plays too many computer games.” The goal is that next time you search for that, Ikea products will pop up. Specifically, products that can help solve the problem. Hint: daybeds to escape the loud snoring and a pair of scissors for some off-screen play time.


Even if you don't purchase the Ikea product, you have to appreciate the creativity. Their calling this stunt "Retail Therapy" to further emphasize their mission to create products that can help you solve problems. Even if that's a relationship problem. It's a strategic move, given that most of us reach out to search engines when we have issues today. Ikea to the rescue.


For those of you who think chocolate gifts are reserved just for Valentine's Day - think again. In fact, Christmas takes the candy bar on seasonal candy sales with about $400 million in revenue, while Halloween, Easter and V-Day rank several - if not hundreds of - millions behind. With the Christmas spirit of gift giving and chocolates in mind, Godiva's new ad features a box of candy that keeps on giving - literally. Think chocolate-y goodness meets Russian nesting doll. The fun never stops. How does it work? Each box actually contains two boxes - one for you and one for a friend. However, the one that gets gifted has the same dual packaging, so the receiver can pass along the gift-giving fun, too.


Godiva really went above and beyond with this ad. The brand not only created a charming stop-motion video perfect for digital pre-roll, but it also innovated and leveraged a new product design to do so. Nicely done. The inception-like concept is both intriguing and engaging, and delivers the seasonal theme of “pay-it-forward" seamlessly. Charitable and tasty! Now that's an award-winning combo.


Last week, a video following a budding pen pal romance went viral and took the internet by storm. 5.7 million views in less than a week. Impressive. And if you haven't seen it already, you're in for a rather jolting awakening this morning. Before we go on with more commentary, you've got to watch the video. Seriously. Right Now. Disclaimer: not the most merry of endings.

******2:28 intermission while you watch*******

Alright, raise of hands who expected that outcome? Us either. Exactly as intended. Now for the background. Sandy Hook Promise - a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization led by family members of those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary four years ago - created this video with the goal of shifting the perspective on gun violence and better educating people about the warning signs. Based on the sheer amount of office commentary, shares on social media, and millions of YouTube views, we'd like to go ahead and declare that goal officially met.


Many PSA ads - think the Truth or Real Cost anti-tobacco or ASPCA adoption commercials - do a great job of presenting disturbing reality while pulling on the heartstrings. However, we've never seen one executed quite like this.

If you watch it again, you'll notice that in between moments of the teenage love story, there are several split-second gun references - one on a social media feed and another on a computer screen in the background. You might have picked up on those subconsciously, but we'd like to guess your main focus was still on the main character. Exactly how it happens IRL. The organization says that 80% of school shooters and 70% of individuals who have committed suicide actually told someone about their plans before taking action. Most of the time, no one ever intervenes. Their point? Everyone has the power to step in and get involved if they're aware and cognizant of the signs. So, open your eyes and pay attention to the world around you - you might just end up saving a life.


Gear up for UX in 2017.