August 21, 2014
Ever had a particularly exhausting day shopping at Ikea and found yourself looking longingly at those beds in the showroom? Soon, your napping fantasy could be a reality. Ikea Australia recently announced that they'd be listing some of their showroom beds on AirBnB, letting consumers actually spend the night in the ultimate immersive Ikea experience.
We love this idea (provided the sheets are given a good washing ahead of time) because it shows a brand being willing to embrace the fun aspects of its relationship with consumers. The idea of letting consumers sleep in the Ikea apartments has a great, intuitive "hook" - they're iconic spaces that we've all seen, and you've probably wondered what it would be like to actually treat one like your home. It also ties into the growing trend of large public spaces letting guests sleep over - New York's Museum of Natural History recently held its first slumber party for adults.
So take a page from Ikea's book and think about what your brand has to offer; if you could give your biggest fans an all-access pass, what would they want to do?
Pic via Consumerist
August 13, 2014
Everywhere you look, it’s prime time for foods on sticks – corn dogs at the State Fair, kebabs on the backyard grill, paletas at the Brooklyn Flea. But leave it to the Japanese to combine two great skewered foods in a way that only they could want to eat: Yakitori Popsicles.
Such is the Japanese love of innovation that the latest heatwave has kicked off a full on trendlet for these grilled chicken skewers, encased in meaty gelatin and then slowly frozen to retain that fresh-from-the-grill flavor. It helps that the gelatin is naturally rich in collagen, a popular cosmeceutical thought to prevent wrinkles. A double whammy for summertime snacking in the sun!
Hey, at least you don’t have to worry about having popsicle tongue.
August 6, 2014
We decided to mark the Dog Days of summer by shining a spotlight on man’s best friend. And what we noticed is that technology is really stepping it up this year to help bring people and pups together.
Date A Dog?
There’s a new breed of pet adoption apps that model themselves on the top human dating app, Tinder. BarkBuddy (an iPhone/iPad app) lets you browse through dog profiles and, just like Tinder, swipe left or right depending on if you like the look of what you see. If you decide you’re ready to take things to the next level – a face to face meeting – just click a button for info on the shelter. (Perhaps in response to BarkBuddy, Tinder itself is getting in the pet matchmaking game – they’ve just partnered with NYC animal rescue organization Social Tees on a summer campaign, to showcase cute puppies up for adoption.)
PetMatch is a recent app that helps you find a lookalike for any dog (or cat, for that matter). Just upload a photo, and the app will locate a similar animal by using Superfish image recognition technology to scan Petfinder, a vast database of adoptable pets in the US, Canada and Mexico. PetMatch then provides contact information for the dog’s current shelter, and the rest is up to you.
Did you know dogs with black fur are less likely to find a home? Photographer Fred Levy would like to change that. That’s why he created the Black Dogs Project, a photo series of black dogs that seeks to promote adoption of more black dogs.
The series is so successful, Levy just signed a publishing deal to turn it into a book set for release in fall 2015.
Once you’ve found your perfect pooch, technology will be right there to help with what comes next. Doggy BnB, a new app, lets owners seek out someone trustworthy in the neighborhood to take care of their pets while they’re away. The app has integrated a payment system, making it easy to transfer funds between the pet’s owner and the temporary caretaker. The BnB in the app’s name stands for “Buddies & Boarders,” and that points to its other main function, helping dog owners find local playmates for their pup via a GPS-enabled “Sniffer” feature. Users can browse through profiles for potential pet buddies, swiping right for “interested” and left for “not,” just like – you guessed it – Tinder, until a perfect match is made!
July 31, 2014
In the '80s hit "Goody Two Shoes," Adam Ant famously asks "You don't drink, don't smoke - what do you do?" We'd like to think that he somehow had the foresight to be addressing today's millennials. Rates of smoking and drinking are dropping precipitously among teens and young adults - they're not even chewing as much gum as they used to.
So what are they doing? Well, for one thing, they're volunteering - rates of volunteer tourism, in which vacationers forego the typical debauchery for projects that benefit their host country, are booming. Millennials are building schools, digging wells, and teaching English in disadvantaged nations - and it's becoming popular enough that concerns have been raised about ensuring that all this positive energy isn't being misdirected. For a generation famous for texting and self-absorption, this interest in helping others (while perhaps also giving oneself a bit of a resume boost) is an important trend to keep in mind.
Image via NPR
July 23, 2014
Electronic Dance Music is hot. Outdoor music festivals are hot. Sriracha is hot (and also hot). It was inevitable, we suspect, that at some point someone would attempt to merge all three - and now it's happening, at the Electronic Sriracha Festival taking place in San Jose this August. Attendees can enjoy 3 stages of electronic music, dozens of acts, and over 120 Sriracha-enhanced dishes. Further details are slim, but if there's one thing we can be sure of, it's that this crowd that will be going through a lot of bottled water.