As we edge closer to a new decade, thoughts inevitably turn to the next ten years and what might lie in store for us in the future. Of course, future-gazing is something of a fool’s game.
The biggest challenge facing brands is being less afraid. Less afraid of admitting mistakes, less afraid of connecting on a more human level, less afraid of having a strong point of view. I want to celebrate work that has the guts to do something that hasn´t been done before, irrespective of where it comes from. As they say, fortune favours the brave.
Lotto Christmas Collection
While brands harp on about the magic of Christmas at this time of year, the Danish Lotto (Lottery) has found a way to insert itself in the holiday season conversation with humour and candour. The insight being that while it’s seen as a magical time of year, most Danish folks see Christmas as a time to stock up on basic items, making their wish lists boring and predictable.
Danish Lotto celebrate this with a collection of boring Christmas gifts that have the potential of making someone a millionaire – surely the ultimate Christmas gift for anyone! The gift collection includes socks, boxer shorts, bathroom towels and packets of tea with lotto numbers embroidered, engraved, painted or even burned into each product.
It also ensures people will be not only keeping tickets, but also wearing them and keeping them around the house, serving as a visual reminder of the lottery. Brilliantly brave by defying category conventions.
Inclusivity has become something of a brand buzzword, with companies making efforts to be (and be seen being) more inclusive of those with disabilities – and being rewarded for it. Take Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller, Ikea’s ThisAbles collection.
By 2023 there will be an estimated eight billion voice assistants in the world, yet the technology frequently fails to understand those with Down syndrome, whose speech patterns are affected by differences in their facial skeletal and muscular systems. According to Google, the error rate is on average one in every three words.
The Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) has partnered with Google to launch Project Understood, a campaign to improve the accessibility and useability of Google’s voice recognition model. The project asks those with Down syndrome to ‘donate’ their voice, via the Project Understood website making voice recognition technology accessible to everyone.
It goes without saying that it’s beneficial for Google, a tech giant grappling with new concerns over transparency and privacy to engage in an initiative like this and show how data can be a force for good.
A great example of creativity that changes the way that people live and in doing so creates standout.
'Everything’s Better' On the Beach
A great example of creativity that is so revolutionary (for the category) and challenging of the status quo that it defies belief.
Riffing off the simple insight that no matter how bad things get, the beach has this healing power to counter anything the big bad world throws at us, holiday brand On the Beach’s campaign features Iggy Pop’s soothing tones telling the story of a different character and the worst weeks of their lives. The stories escalate through absurd scenarios such as poisoning a cake for a charity bake sale and finding out your best friend is sleeping with both of your parents, accompanied by a spoof website, thesuburbancowboys.com.
But their troubles fall away on the beach, where the sunlight, calmness and lapping waves bring peaceful, simplistic thoughts. "Everything’s better on the beach," Iggy Pop concludes. Watch all three stories. Genius.
Hallmark TV Channel
Hallmark TV Channel switched onto PR fail when it pulled US wedding company Zola ads featuring brides kissing.
Asked to explain why the ads had been pulled, an employee of TV channel’s parent company said the channel did not accept ads "that are deemed controversial…" but declined to comment on why a nearly identical ad featuring a bride and groom kissing was not rejected.
In response to days of backlash, Hallmark apologised, admitting it "believe[s] this was the wrong decision".
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