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One way in which gamification, one of our 10 Trends for 2011, is manifesting today is brands incentivizing good behavior in consumers through tangible rewards. Nike’s “Bid Your Sweat,” an award-winning effort from JWT Mexico, demonstrated that every runner’s effort counts: An online auction let participants bid on the brand’s products using the kilometers they […]

As more consumers cut down on meat, a trend we spotlighted in our February report on food, new meatless options are sprouting up. San Francisco-based Beyond Meat has been getting a lot of buzz for its “freakishly realistic” chicken substitute, made with soy, pea powder, carrot fiber and gluten-free flour. Created by two scientists after […]

Last year JWT New York launched a partnership with TechStars, the No. 1 startup accelerator program, as a part of the agency’s ongoing innovation efforts. A few weeks ago we talked to the co-founder of Wander, one of the startups from TechStars’ spring 2012 group. Another startup from that group is Smallknot, a crowdfunding site […]

Bernie DeKoven has made fun his career: He studies and lectures on the benefits of play, designs games and authored The Well-Played Game. He calls himself a fun theorist and named his website DeepFUN. When we talked to DeKoven while researching our July trend report, “Play As a Competitive Advantage,” he explained how he came […]

Last year JWT New York launched a partnership with TechStars, the No. 1 startup accelerator program, as a part of the agency’s ongoing innovation efforts. Over the next few weeks we’ll spotlight a few of the startups from TechStars’ spring 2012 group. Wander, “a place for people to share the places they’ve been, the places […]

We talked to Ira Liss while researching our recent “Social Good” report and the rising importance of gamification in motivating social responsibility. Liss is behind AOK, which calls itself a “social game for social good”; its digital platform lets players post about and share “Acts and Observations of Kindness” (thus the name AOK) and earn […]

Social media has become a virtual watercooler for workers, as we’ve written, a phenomenon that some companies see as a drain on productivity while others recognize some advantages. This infographic from mindflash, based on an informal global survey by Proskauer, looks at how employers feel about social media use at work. Slightly more than half […]

Our new “Social Commerce” report looks at Facebook commerce and other ways in which retailers are using the social graph to engage consumers. As noted in this excerpt from an infographic by Social Media Influence, the first F-commerce transaction was $34 spent on 1-800-Flowers. That was two years ago, but as of April, only around […]


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Things to Watch

  • Food literacy
    May 28, 2015 | 1:07 pm

    Food Education

    Childhood obesity and poor nutrition are endemic in low-income communities throughout the developed world. Solutions based on healthier school lunches and better access to grocery stores have helped, but progress has been slow. Now, nutrition advocates are turning to a new tool: education.

    Outreach tools in this new movement go beyond the classroom, from celebrity chef campaigns to non-profit restaurants. Continue reading “Food literacy” »

  • Bistro In Vitro
    May 26, 2015 | 3:59 pm

    In Vitro Ice Cream

    A new virtual restaurant is serving up “food for thought,” using design to explore a range of possible futures for human interaction with meat. The project, dubbed Bistro In Vitro, takes the far-out idea of in-vitro meat and situates it within the world of online gastronomy as we know it—amid menus, chef interviews, critical reviews and the like.

    Continue reading “Bistro In Vitro” »

  • Bio-responsive spaces
    May 19, 2015 | 4:48 pm

    DynamicSanctuary

    At last week’s Sight Unseen Offsite event in New York, Ford partnered with indie design studio The Principals to create the “Dynamic Sanctuary.” The sanctuary is a sculptural space made out of plastic, Plexiglas and LED lights that connect to a heart rate monitor and fade in and out based on the wearer’s pulse. The space was meant to be a haven from the chaos of daily life and a “poetic metaphor for the design ideas behind Ford’s 2015 Edge vehicle,” said Sight Unseen.

    Continue reading “Bio-responsive spaces” »

  • Rosé’s normcore moment
    May 14, 2015 | 12:21 pm

    Rosé

    As summer nears, once again we’re on the cusp of “rosé season.” While late spring often sees attempts to elevate the red-headed stepchild of the wine world into a product worthy of connoisseurship, this year something different is afoot: a knowing celebration of rosé’s bland charm.

    For perhaps the first time, a wine label is emerging from the self-aware world of Instagram—and, no surprise, it’s a rosé. Continue reading “Rosé’s normcore moment” »

  • Snapchat TV
    May 12, 2015 | 5:25 pm

    Snapchat

    This summer, TV’s highest-paid female actress, Sofia Vergara, will star in a reality series launching exclusively on Snapchat. The series, titled Vergaraland, is co-produced by Fusion and Vergara’s production company, Latin World Entertainment. It will tell the story of her Hollywood life through the eyes of her 24-year-old son.

    Continue reading “Snapchat TV” »

  • Virtual reality theme parks
    May 11, 2015 | 4:12 pm

    TheVoid

    Some worry that the coming age of virtual reality could lead to an epidemic of digital shut-ins—why leave the house when you can “be” anywhere with the touch of a button? The Void, however, imagines a social space where virtual reality might draw people together—a 21st century take on the classic video arcade.

    Continue reading “Virtual reality theme parks” »

  • Intangibles
    May 7, 2015 | 6:37 pm

    Intangibles

    How much would you pay for a snap? A voicemail?

    Walker Art Center in Minneapolis has launched an online shop that could be considered a conceptual art piece itself. The shop sells what Walker calls “intangibles”—ephemeral, digital commodities such as personalized ringtones or custom avatars to use on social media. Prices range from $1.99 to nearly $4,000, for a virtual ocean-view property on the platform Second Life.

    Continue reading “Intangibles” »

  • WhatsApp marketing
    May 6, 2015 | 4:32 pm

    Clarks

    Clarks shoes in the UK recently launched a WhatsApp campaign to bring the brand to life for its fans. The campaign asked users to add three characters to their contact lists—“some of culture’s greatest innovators, rebels and fashion icons”—who were all fans of the shoes. The characters then sent messages, videos and Spotify playlists through the app, telling the brand’s story while interacting with Clarks enthusiasts.

    Continue reading “WhatsApp marketing” »

  • Facebook’s Anthology
    April 30, 2015 | 4:20 pm

    FacebookVideo small

    Video is king on social media—more than 4 billion are viewed per day on Facebook alone. To capitalize on that, Facebook has just introduced Anthology, a partnership with seven media companies with the aim of creating unskippable ads.

    Continue reading “Facebook’s Anthology” »

  • MyIdol
    April 27, 2015 | 4:55 pm

    MyIdol

    Social media is abuzz with tiny pole dancers. And rock stars. And pandas. All thanks to an app that takes the humble selfie to new heights of playful absurdity—and in 3D, no less.

    Continue reading “MyIdol” »

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