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It's Not Easy Being Green (Weekly Roundup: August 25)

Posted by Samantha Stallard on August 25, 2017
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Every Friday, the P2Blog will feature five industry articles that are trending, relevant, shocking, hilarious, or rediscovered. The Weekly Roundup is a curated list of what Pop2Life is sharing around the office - complete with our thoughts and on-point opinions (IMNSHO).

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1. It's a Total Eclipse of the Brands

total eclipse of the brands.jpgPhoto courtesy: Dunkin' Donuts

Found in Ad Age, written by Garett Sloane

The rarity of the total solar eclipse sweeping across the central United States means total marketing saturation on social media. After all, Monday will be the first total eclipse visible coast to coast in 100 years. Here's a look at what advertisers are doing for the eclipse, when the moon covers the sunlight for a few minutes on Monday.

Dunkin' Donuts: Instead of Munchkins, the donut chain will be selling Moonchkins, which are -- as far as we can tell -- exactly the same only slightly more fun to say. There is also an app that Dunkin' built that lets people see the eclipse wherever they are by holding a digital "Moonchkin" up to the sun through their phones (see video).

Krispy Kreme: Total eclipse glaze doughnuts are on the menu, but there's no pun here. It's simply an original glazed doughnut, which for the first time will be glazed in chocolate. Krispy Kreme claims it never served a fully chocolate-glazed doughnut. No time like the present.

Denny's: The diner spot that invented "Moons Over My-Hammy," will have "Mooncakes" for the eclipse. Actually, they're just pancakes, but, hey, it's all you can eat for $4.

Our take:
Brands need to pay attention to what's going on in the world. Sure, marketing, especially experiential marketing, involves months of planning and preparation. Being able to pivot strategies, or jump on a topical subject quickly, can seem liks an impossible feat, but the payoffs are so worth it. 
 
The solar eclipse had people buzzing for months in advance, hotel rooms and Airbnbs in the path of the eclipse's 100% visability have been filled since at least April, so brands had "a lot" (at least in the marketing world) of time to plan their activation. Dunkin' Donuts, Krispy Kreme, and Denny's all took a simple route -- simply adjusting a regularly scheduled promotion with the addition of some moon puns. Other brands, most notably Warby Parker, handed out free eclipse glasses to the masses, either with purchase of an additional product or for free!
 
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2. Pantone's Color of the Year 2017: 12 Ideas for Using Greenery at Events

pantone green.jpgPhoto courtesy: Mauro Pimentel

Found in BizBash, written by Alesandra Dubin
  1. Visa’s Everywhere lounge was open for the duration of the Rio Olympic games in Copacabana this summer, overlooking the beach volleyball stadium. Lush green decor decked out the look.
  2. A bar strewn with lush, trailing foliage was the centerpiece of the Fox Golden Globes party space in January.
  3. At the Allie Awards in Atlanta in March, the theme was “Xperience the Elements,” which played out in three themed environments that channeled earth, water, and fire. In the rainforest-inspired "Earth Element" space, live entertainers performed against a backdrop of greenery.
  4. At the Coachella festival in 2015, H&M's intimate cocktail party in Palm Springs included an arrivals backdrop that had an open back, with hanging strands of greenery.
  5. Global Green hosted its Oscars event in Los Angeles in February with a green carpet that nodded to the organization’s green initiatives and earth-toned—but still splashy—tabletops.
  6. At the Zoe Report and Dolce Vita pool party at the dFm House as part of the Coachella festival in 2015, a three-dimensional succulent wall with a Zoe Report logo served as a dramatic photo backdrop in the entrance area.
  7. The 11th annual Oscar Wilde pre-Oscars party event took place in February 25 at J.J. Abrams’s Bad Robot production company in Los Angeles, where projected sponsor logos, video, and dramatic green lighting bathed the building's existing architecture.
  8. At New York’s Friends of the High Line benefit in 2009, giant pinwheels and green, white, and silver balloons sculpted into flower-like shapes hung over the gala dinner.
  9. TaylorMade/Adidas Golf Company’s exhibit got a futuristic vibe in Orlando in 2012: At one entrance, attendees walked down a 51-foot glowing green tunnel, intended to symbolize the distance golfers gain when they use TaylorMade's new RocketBallz line of equipment.
  10. The Museum of Modern Art's Party in the Garden in 2012 brought a sense of the garden indoors, with a color palette of predominantly white with touches of green. Potted topiaries also added greenery.
  11. At the Art of Elysium Heaven Gala as part of Golden Globes weekend in Los Angeles in January, names simply scrawled on natural green leaves marked guests’ seats.
  12. At the Museum of Modern Art's Party in the Garden in New York in June, guests gathered among lush garden-like vibe with layers of greenery. Guests entered the the main dining room through a foyer with a drape of greenery sweeping up to the ceiling, resembling a lush forest landscape
Our take:

Pantone selected a hue it called “fresh and zesty” for its 2017 color of the year: a green shade called Greenery. The company said the color “evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore, and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate, and reinvigorate.” Pantone called the hue nature’s own neutral, something people crave as technology and modern life separate them from the basics. 

Especially in the spring and summer, your event attendees want to be outside and around nature. Simply put, outdoor activities are healthy. Attendees get to spend time under the sun, thus satiating their need for vitamin D. People engaging in outdoor activities get to burn some calories, breathe in some fresh air, and have fun. Outdoor activities are always more adventurous than indoor events. Even the adventurous cerebral exercises you can do inside can be shifted outside. 

Outdoor events don't require much more planning than those indoor. In some cases, outdoor events are easier to organize, though its important to have a back up plan in case of bad weather. Event planners don't have to decorate as much outside -- the Greenery shade is everywhere naturally! If you are lucky and get a picturesque landscape and if you are hosting an event during the good times of the year, then you don’t really need any major installations, such as canopies or pergolas and don't have to break the bank on lighting.

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3. Dissecting the Art of Technology with Future Colossal's CEO

penny_dreadful_walking.jpg

Found in P2Blog, written by Samantha Stallard

The story of Future Colossal is intertwined with my own story. Originally, I was an architect designing homes and small casinos out west while simultaneously creating large-scale art installations that redefined entire galleries. In one of those installations, I had a single channel of sound and was really blown away by how it changed the entire space. So, I started playing with sound as a spacial medium, ultimately building an 132 channel sound system that simulated a rainstorm around museum visitors as they moved through the installation. At the time, no sound systems could handle that many channels, so I started learning about electronics to build it myself, quickly realizing that computer programming is a lot faster than soldering, and fell in love with technology.
 
From there, I shut down my architecture business to focus on commercializing my art. My brother is a poet, so we sat down together and for weeks analyzed the new company's mission and the important words and phrases around our vision to come up with a name. Future Colossal seemed to sum it all up.  We explore future technologies and have large ambitions.  Our projects make an impact and stay in people mind for years to come. For our logo, we represent the origin of a ray— this is a romantic mathematical concept.  A ray is a line that starts at one point and extends infinitely. The start of infinity represents where we are today and the colossal future ahead of us. 
 
Future Colossal was formed under the mission to create engaging brand experiences using all of these different technologies, while still maintaining a focus on art for all of our commercial work. We have a talented team of developers, designers, 3D modelers, and project managers that have pushed Future Colossal’s vision beyond my own. We like to think everything is possible. Our team is great at problem solving and getting to the core of a concept within the client’s budget. 
 
My father’s a museum director. As a child, we moved around every two to three years, so the only real consistencies in my life were family and art. Since art was always apart of my life, going into architecture was my way of rebelling while allowing me to support myself. Then, moving to New York and being surrounded by the advertising industry I saw a real need for technology and interactivity with consumers. Instead of forcing a marketing message on them, we’re giving them the gift of an experience.

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4. Facebook and Apple are About to Take AR Mainstream. Here's How Marketers Are Gearing Up

ar-kit-furniture-CONTENT-2017-840x445.jpgPhoto courtesy: Apple

Found in Adweek, written by Christopher Heine

While AR is still exploratory territory for marketers and media companies, its pixelated push to the mainstream has gotten a series of boosts this year from some of the biggest digital players. Snapchat—with its wacky filters and other virtual overlays—has continued to be popular among teens (even if Wall Street doesn’t like its pace). Apple, which has long been seen as a potential AR game changer due to the popularity of its iPhone and iPad, seems primed to give AR the turbocharge it needs to attract older demographics. When the Cupertino, Calif.-based company releases its iOS 11 mobile operating system in September, hundreds of millions of Apple-device owners will have augmented reality at their fingertips with a set of features called ARKit.

“Apple and Facebook will make augmented reality an everyday reality,” said David Deal, a digital marketing consultant. “We’ll see plenty of hit and miss with AR as we did when Apple opened up the iPhone to app developers, but ultimately both Apple and Facebook are in the best position to steamroll Snapchat with AR.”

Ikea, which will be one of the first major brands on Apple’s AR platform at launch, is developing an app that allows customers to see what furniture and other household items would look like in a three-dimensional view inside their homes. Ikea also plans to introduce new products in the AR app before they hit store shelves.

Our take:

Marketers have been interested in implementing AR activations for years because it has the potential to change the consumer experience, including how people find new products and how to decide which products to purchase. While AR is cool, it has to benefit the brand above all. What makes AR stand out among other experiential activations is its ability to enhance the user's physical environment by overlaying virtual elementes, either through displays such as HoloLens and Google Glass or through the camera view on your smartphone.

In order for the potential of AR to be realized, brands have to resist the urge to create AR experiences that are underdeveloped or too gimmicky and instead focus on better understanding how consumers will interact with the technology. Designing and implementing valuable AR apps requires a better idea of how consumers would use such technology and a strategy for integrating the applications into the existing consumer journey.

The most successful use of AR in the last few years has definitely been Pokémon Go. Billed as an augmented reality game, the experience blends computer graphics with live camera video -- even though that aspect of the title is entirely optional. The game makes good on the delightful proposition of hunting Pokémon in the real, physical world, and at locations that correspond with the monsters’ various capacities. But mostly, it gives players appealing, local images to help endear others to the experience on social media.

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5. How to Use Technology and Content to Build Experiences That Matter

bizbash technology and content.jpgPhoto courtesy: InfoComm

Found BizBash, written by Mitra Sorrells

Consumers are used to technology being woven seamlessly into their everyday lives, and it’s time for event designers to adopt the same mindset when creating experiences. That was one of the key messages from Jens Oliver Mayer, managing director for Germany for Jack Morton Worldwide, at the new TIDE Conference, held June 13 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando.

TIDE—which stands for technology, innovation, design, and experience—was created and produced by InfoComm International, the trade association for the audiovisual and information communications industries. The new one-day thought leadership event preceded InfoComm 2017, the association’s annual trade show that ran June 14 to 16 at the Orange County Convention Center.

“It’s time to stop thinking in silos,“ Mayer said. “Stop thinking about digital, non-digital, online, offline. We still schizophrenically separate the event strategy from the digital and technology strategy. That’s not what’s going on in the world out there, and approaching it that way leads to poor experience design.”

Mayer urged attendees to design their events in a way that the technology is invisible to attendees while enhancing their experiences. He mentioned OpenTable, Tinder, and Car2Go as examples of companies that effectively integrate digital and physical aspects in ways that users do not think of them separately. To do this for events, planners should put their attendees’ needs and aspirations first, then determine how to use technology to create “moments that add value to their lives,” he said.

Our take:

Technology has not killed live events. Smartphones have not turned us into lazy, couch creatures incapable of leaving our darkened apartments in which Kylie Jenner's Snapchat serves as the only light source. In fact, consumers' craving for in-person, authentic, real world experiences have only increased in the past decade.

Today, brands' progress largely depends on how they interact with their consumers - the smart ones build meaningful relationships, and earn organizational value, by sponsoring and producing custom, live experiences. As the event marketing industry adapts to digital, the ultimate game should be improvement, not redundancy. Your event attendees expect to be engaged on every level - from surveys, contests, and social media engagement all the way to experience updates through digital signage and virtual reality opportunities.

Sure, it can be annoying when people watch a concert through their cellphone screens or never look up from their Instagram hashtag search of the event THEY'RE ACTUALLY AT. However, that's the reality of the world we live in and doesn't have to be a bad thing. Brands are embracing their consumers' tiny, little iOverlords to enhance the event experience instead of shaming attendees and making digital engagement a difficult and frustrating experience. Technology helps us make and share memories, enhance our event experience, and allows brands to gauge what their consumers enjoyed the most - making the next event even more customized and amazing. 

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Topics: pop culture, news, experiential marketing, events

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