Each week, we convene for a caffeine-fueled “Lightning Chat” about the past week’s hottest news. Through cross-functional input and debate from different teams – designers, developers, strategists and anyone else that’s in the trenches on a daily basis – we aim to find new perspectives and “lightning bolt” ideas about branding and marketing. Here are a few topics we covered this week, and why we think they matter.
What Happened: In an unexpected partnership, LEGO and Snapchat teamed up to open a clothing store with no clothes in it. That’s right, thanks to the latest in augmented reality (AR) technology, attendees of LEGO’s pop-up were only given a QR code in order to access a portal that allowed shoppers to enter a virtual shop, equipped with an interactive DJ booth, arcade machine, and products to purchase. The event was created in order to promote LEGO Wear’s first limited-edition clothing line for adults.
Our Take: It’s clear that this collaboration is reflective of Snapchat’s initiatives to not only grow its user base but to further its transformation from a photo and video sharing app to a serious AR supported technology provider. Just last September, the company also rolled out a new feature that enabled people to use the app camera for searching products on Amazon AMZN. Could this be the future of retail? Only time will tell.
What Happened: The women running for president in 2020 are making a statement in campaign branding like never before. While historically their male predecessors have stuck with the classic tones of red, white, and blue, the women campaigning this election have chosen to introduce more vibrant colors into the mix.
Our Take: The Democratic women who’ve announced their candidacies have chosen to use their campaign colors as personal stamps reflective of their backgrounds. The vibrant mix of colors chosen by Kamala Harris, for example, features a deep purple accompanied by a washed-out salmon and bright yellow–perhaps a nod to her multiracial identity. Kirsten Gillibrand, whose strong emphasis on women’s issues ring true through her choice of vibrant pink, highlighted over a simple black background. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign pallets also stand out, with strong tones of navy and white accompanied by a vibrant, Statue of Liberty-esque, mint green. There’s never been a time quite like this in American politics with a campaign trail filled with candidates so diverse. So why wouldn’t their branding be as well? Out with the old and in with the new, so they say.
[Source: Fast Company]
What Happened: Earlier this week, news caught fire of HBO and Giant Spoon’s second annual appearance at SXSW. Following their incredibly popular Westworld immersive experience, this year the same team will be bringing Game of Thrones’ Westeros to life. Titled, “Bleed For The Throne“, the event will double as a blood drive in partnership with the American Red Cross. Attendees will have to sign up to donate blood before the event in order to gain access to SXSW’s otherworldly kingdom.
Our Take: We’ve noticed a lot of co-branded promos from HBO lately. Their hit Superbowl ad in partnership with Bud Light was a success and it’s clear they’re taking a similar approach by teaming up with the American Red Cross for SXSW. With the final season of Game Of Thrones set to premiere April 14, there’s no mystery why. Experiential events like this have proven to be part of a bigger trend outside of just entertainment. Capital One and other, more unexpected brands have recently invested in cafes and public “hangout” spaces to encourage face-to-face engagement.
What Happened: This week, Volkswagon released a music video entirely powered by an electric car to promote its new e-Golf electric car model. What better way to illustrate how powerful the battery truly is than through the power of music?
Our Take: It’s hard to imagine a branded music video receiving positive attention, but so far fans have been loving it, with over 800,000 views on Youtube. What makes this ad so special? Volkswagon showed us why their product was important without telling us. Instead of listing off jargony features about the car’s glitzy electric engine, audiences were able to see its effects in a way that created a positive emotional resonance. We saw a similar strategy utilized in Michelob Ultra’s ASMR Superbowl ad with Zoe Kravitz.