Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 2.24.08 PMFRESH IDEAS:  “Oh, why didn’t I think of THAT!  Now that’s nice!” is what my brain registered when I read today about Y&R Midwest’s Sandy Pinterest initiative: Helpin.it.  As an agency they’ve decided to help real-life families who have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  Given that this arm of Y&R is in Chicago makes it all the more “awww…” as you’d expect a NJ/NY metro shop to take measures to help local folks.  Here’s how it works:

Real families, real needs: Y&R’s team has chosen families as the subjects of Pinterest boards.  If you go to Helpin.it, you can link to the Pinterest page with all four families.  The boards for each family feature goods that are needed to rebuild their households.  It’s everything from plastic bags to pillows to gift cards.  All at an achievable $25 give or take price point.  And of course, there is a board with the family’s story.  

Click through to repin or to actually buy: Like a typical Pinterest board, you can click through a board to either repin the item to your own board and spread the word about the family in need and their specific items.  Or, you click through to amazon.com where that family’s wish list resides.  You can actually buy the items for the family, and since they’re “registered” on amazon’s wish list, they’ll receive it directly from amazon thanks to the donors.

Now, why did this awaken my “fresh ideas” senses today (other than it’s snowy and cloudy and gray out and it’s super heart warming)?  The power of Pinterest for good: all of the terrific things a brand would love about Pinterest make for a really nice cause-related experience, e.g., visuals, telling a story, repin and share opportunities, and purchase what you see opportunities.  Agency do-good effort: every agency I’ve worked for or know always does something to support a cause, it’s just good business.  But this showcases good thinking and innovation in a social space.  Nicely done, Y&R Midwest!  You’ve certainly brought a little sunshine to my cloudy day for a girl who thinks she’s “seen it all”…and then something like this comes along, love it!  #goodideas #socialmedia #pinterest #causemarketing

Tweets: Men vs. Women

Active-Twitter-iconFRESH FACTS:  I just read an article in Fast Company’s Co.Design section about the differences in how Men tweet versus Women.  The study was conducted by a group of researchers from Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Stanford University.  All of these smarty pants looked at the 14,000 users’ tweets in order to see if there were any true differences in how Men and Women share on Twitter.  What they found that there is, indeed, language more commonly used by Women, and language that is more common to Men on Twitter.  Specifically, here’s the Mars and Venus scoop:

Women can be sOOOOOOooooo emotional!! Ah! — Women typically use more emotionally driven words.  They also use more emoticons : ) .  Text-y-computer-ish terms like LOL and OMG are more Female, as is using…ellipses…  Women more frequently use expressive lengthening of words like this: I just looooove it!  Women were also found to be using exclamation marks and question marks more often.  As well as what the study notes as backchannel sounds like ah, hmmm, ugh, and grr.

!@#$ Men — Men, on the other side of the Twitter spectrum, use swear words and “taboo” words much more often.  Sports and tech terms come from Men more often, as well.  Which leads us to an interesting finding overall about followers…

Twitter birds of a feather, tweet together — The study also found that where these gender specific patterns don’t hold by a Twitter user, that individual is likely to follow less members of their own gender than is average. So you tweet what you know–or at least you tweet who you follow (birds of a feather, i.e.).

Here is a link to the article if you wish to read it: http://www.fastcodesign.com/mba/1671899/men-tweet-like-this-women-tweet-like-thiiiiiiis

I find this sOOOOOooooo crunchy, don’t you?!  #socialmedia #twitter #consumer behavior #consumerinsights #womenvsmenontwitter

The Gif that Gives

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FRESH IDEA: Just recently, I was in a brainstorm where a woman was mentioning that she and her Husband like to pass around gifs (they’re both cool, tech savvy types).  Gif, I should mention, is short for “graphics interchange format.” According to Mashable (article here with lots of examples: http://mashable.com/2012/10/19/animated-gif-history/), gifs have been around since the late 80’s — providing a little flash and fun on websites before the days of videos that didn’t require tons of time to buffer and download.  They’ve since taken on a humor bent, delivering quick, funny situations with animation that are easily passed around and posted.  And now they’ve landed as a promotional piece as delivered by retailer Uniqlo.

Gif Box Promotion — I saw this on Facebook, but I also received it in an email, and it lives on their home page.  Clothing retailer Uniqlo is offering you the chance to win one of seven, fun holiday gifs that you can share/post/embed as you wish, as well as savings offers up to “100% off” to be awarded as a $500 gift card (that’s gift, not gif card).  (Note, for my promotion purists: savings are not really prizes, FYI, because it requires purchase.  So the gifs are really the prizes, and the up to $500 helps, too).  Simply go to their site, enter your email and up pops your prize.  For me, it was a gif that I could share immediately of an igloo.  They also followed-up with a coupon and the gif again, in case I needed it.  What I like about this program is that it’s taking what is already being shared — gifs — giving it a holiday spin — gif box — and turning it into promotional currency, i.e., something you want to win and share — while also collecting data for a retailer that’s hip and trendy. Pretty cool stuff.  Find it here: http://www.uniqlo.com/gifbox/

Kudos to Jess for coming up with this idea even before seeing it.  And for Uniqlo for actually executing it!  TASTY TREND:  Here and Now; Socially Acceptable

A Cat Jumps Into a Box

FRESH IDEA:  “And then the cat jumps into the box to determine what prize you win…”  I love a fresh new idea.  Especially when you can giggle about the marketing team level conversations had around the idea.  Where I found this lol cat of sorts was in today’s PSFK email newsletter.  It shared a sweeps for retailer Uniqlo who is opening up a new store in San Francisco, has a pop-up location, too, and is using the program to drive engagement and store traffic.  Now…none of that is funny.  How it comes to life, now that’s worth a chuckle:

Big in Japan — A Japanese cat named Maru has enjoyed fame on YouTube.  There are a series of videos featuring the cat; each has gotten anywhere from over 1 million to over 8 million views!  Apparently the one where Maru gets in and out of boxes caught the attention of the Uniqlo creative team.

Inside the box — So how it works…using a Uniqlo Facebook app, consumers can share their info and then have Maru choose a prize box.  The catch is that you’ll have to claim it at the new retail or pop-up locations (drive to retail).  Now…if you’re outside of San Fran and still want to play, you get a mystery prize.  Mine was a free recipe download from chef Danny Bowien.  Apparently, he is a known icon in San Fran. Which…to be strategically on target…is what Uniqlo intended, using local stars and a YouTube “sensation” rather than big celebs or models.

It’s a fun piece with a really good user experience — and it’s just different, which is what I really liked about it.  Go ahead, you can try it out here: http://www.uniqlo.com/luckycube/

The recipe is for Rice Porridge with Dungeness Crab, Chicken and Soft-Cooked Egg, yummy! (That was sarcastic, sorry…*bleck*).  TASTY TREND:  Socially Acceptable; Shopper Marketing Finds

Brush, Rinse, Recycle

FRESH IDEA:  I am a huge fan of Trader Joe’s.  I shop there partly out of destination (“I need this…”), partly out of treasure hunting (“I never knew that I needed this…but wow, I’ve gotta try it!”).  Yesterday’s find was part need, part  treasure.  It was certainly something I had never seen before in an everyday item, as it was a toothbrush (for my child, a need).  But this one has been made out of recycled yogurt cups.  And if that wasn’t enough…the package doubles as a mailer.  After three months, when you’re done and ready to replace, pop the brush into the pre-paid mailer so it can be recycled again!  The toothbrush was made by Preserve.  Their tagline is “Nothing wasted. Everything gained” as ALL of their products are made from recycled plastics, including plastic tableware, kitchen tools, and other personal care items such as razors.  If you forget to save the mailer/package, you can also take it to a “Gimme 5” bin at a Whole Foods store. The #5 refers to the type of plastic — think yogurt and hummus tubs, as well as this toothbrush — that often cannot be recycled by your typical curbside, local process.  You can find more about their company and products here: http://www.preserveproducts.com/  For me, it was a really cool packaging concept — the “made from” call out alone had caught my attention; but then the mailer made it super crunchy and I just had to share!  Could you imagine EVERY package with its own self-contained, recycle option?!   Hey I hope your weekend is like a new toothbrush: fresh and healthy, enjoy.  TASTY TREND:  Gone Green

High Tech, Baby

FRESH IDEAS:  My Son is now nine, but when he was a wee tiny baby, like most nervous parents, we had a baby monitor.  We ultimately stopped using it because his sounds were SO amplified that you HEARD EVERYTHING, and therefore, did not sleep at all.  Flash ahead to today’s offerings and what I just read about in today’s TechCrunch:  a BabyPing.  Basically, it’s a camera that enables you to peek in on your child from another room – including in the dark!  And where you peek in is what makes BabyPing so tech and cool — you use it with an app on any of your “i” devices (iPhone, iPad, iTouch).  So the images and the sound go through your own wireless to give you the scoop on what your “sleeping” baby is up to.  As opposed to using a frequency — potentially tapping into a neighbor’s frequency, too, yikes!  The BabyPing is currently only available in Europe, but is expected to hit the US market soon.  A system like this makes perfect sense for today’s Moms as 61% already use their mobile phones for internet connections; and Moms spend twice as much time online than others (according to Nielsen and BabyCenter).  Moms are mobile.  Mobile are tech savvy.  And now Moms can feel good about their babies with a cool new tool!

By the way, I did want to mention that there is a really good study about today’s Moms and their media consumption from Nielsen and BabyCenter called “21st Century Media Mom Report” (where I pulled the stats) that just came out in April.  A crunchy bunch of other Mom studies worth checking out are here, too: http://www.babycentersolutions.com/research_studies?bclink=logo&scid=20120522_trade_21stmom:4  TASTY TREND:  Go Mobile

Come Fly with Me

FRESH IDEA:  I love when “would it be great if we…” ideas actually come to life. And this is a great example in gaining press buzz.  Delta Airlines is the Official Carrier of the NY Rangers.  The Rangers are currently in the Stanley Cup playoffs with the NJ Devils.  Delta is offering a a free charter flight for select Rangers fans Saturday, May 19th.  The Delta flight departs from LaGuardia, NY for Newark, NJ at 10 a.m. And the flight is going to take all of 17 minutes total.  These fans will then be whisked to the next Rangers/Devils playoffs game in Newark via ground transport.  Indeed, there is a return trip back, too.  In order to qualify, you needed to have:  filled out a form online by yesterday; have tickets to Game 3; and qualify to fly with FAA regulations.  Winners are chosen first come, first served to fill the plane.  And there is an overlay to win two game tickets for next NY Rangers playing season.

Now, what I like about this program is that: it’s just fun PR…no payback, no sales bumps, just press buzz.  And what a great, once in a lifetime opportunity!  For a fan, this is excellent!  Particularly as the NJ Devils had a “no blue” campaign in place for keeping Rangers fans away from their home ice on Saturday.  Nice leverage of a partnership!

Hey, hope your weekend is equally as delightful and lightheartedly fun.  TASTY TREND:  Buzz Baby