Candy Converters, Mindful Scrolling, and Micro-Drones

by Anna Gilligan & Kaitlyn Hieb

Tech & Trends

Halloween might be over, but the pillowcase candy stashes will last for at least a few more weeks. The biggest post-Halloween problem isn’t usually a lack of candy, but a lack of candy you actually like. While there is a select group of people who enjoy candy corn and Almond Joys, many would gladly trade those in for more Reese’s which is why Reese’s created the Candy Converter to provide a disposal option for unwanted candy in exchange for more peanut butter cups. While the stunt supplied 10,000 swaps, it also generated more brand love for a classic Halloween staple.

Virtual SensesResearchers from Cornell have proven that cheese tastes better when paired with pleasant VR surroundings. As explained by one of the researchers, “When we eat, we perceive not only just the taste and aroma of foods, we get sensory input from our surroundings – our eyes, ears, even our memories about surroundings.”

RLab: RLab is America’s first city-funded VR/AR center. It opened this week at the Brooklyn Navy Yard; it houses VR and AR startups and research initiatives while also offering education and training for New Yorkers wanting to learn more about emerging technologies.

Tech For Health
Mindful Scrolling: Mindstrong Health is a startup that created the Mindstrong app which monitors how users interact with their phone from keyboard strokes to app usage and interaction to help improve certain mental illnesses. So far the research has helped identify, “key smartphone signals that correlate strongly with mental performance.”

Rock The Vote
Snap RegistrationIn addition to Taylor Swift, teens will also listen to Snapchat when it comes to voter registration. Over the course of two weeks, Snapchat registered over 400,000 voters by adding a button to profile pages and by serving a video ad directing users to a nonpartisan registration site.

Get a LyftSince more than 15 million registered voters didn’t make it to the polls in 2016 due to a lack of transportation, Lyft is offering free and discounted rides to polling booths on Nov. 6th as part of their Ride to Vote campaign. Uber will also offer $10 off rides to polling locations on Election Day.

In The News

Creators Club: Adidas has a new loyalty program called Creators Club that gives customers points for buying products, completing their profile, and reviewing products. There are four levels (Challenger, Playmaker, Gamechanger, and Icon) that offer different perks with increasing personalization and special event access.

Superfan Club: While not a loyalty program, Ralph Lauren debuted the Polo app to “connect with its most loyal customers.” The app offers exclusive content and new items in addition to an “Ask Ralph” feature that allows users to ask the designer questions (which he apparently actually answers). This is another example of ways brands are trying to build loyalty outside traditional methods.

Strong as a…Drone: Turns out drones can be used for more than filming wedding videos and delivering small packages now that scientists from Stanford University and EPFL have created micro-drones that can lift up to 40 times their weight and perform other mechanical tasks.

It’s a Lifestyle: Just like we thought we didn’t need high-speed scooters (apparently we were wrong), we also don’t think we need scooter lifestyle stores, but Lime wants to prove us wrong once again. While Lime doesn’t plan to sell any scooters from their brick-and-mortar “stores” they plan to use the space to reinforce the scooter lifestyle and create a place where people can interact with their brand (and recharge their ride).

Favorite Places:  Android users can now follow retailers, restaurants, and more on Google Maps for heightened personalization and the latest news, events, and offers from their favorite places.

Restaurants & QSR
If This, Then Domino’s: Domino’s partnered with IFTTT to create the If This, Then Domino’s tool that delivers pizza when customers want it most. First, people select any random event, from “If it snows” to “If an astronaut goes to space” and then when that event happens, Domino’s sends a text asking if they want pizza. By responding “yes” customers receive their pre-programed pizza order.

Blow the Doors Off: McDonald’s wanted a clever way to promote their new 24-hour locations in Ecuador so they decided to simply remove their doors. If you never close why would you need doors? They even repurposed the doors by placing them in public places to attract attention and drive more traffic.

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