STATE OF AMERICA
Libraries Reinvent Their Future – Feeling squeezed by shrinking budgets and greater demand for their services, feisty librarians are coming up with clever solutions. The changes represent an evolving definition of what a library should be in the age of broadband and e-readers. Library presidents said they now see their institutions more as public community spaces and less as storage for bound volumes of information. One new strategy is to be where people are. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has opened what it calls a “library without walls” in the Pittsburgh Public Market in an effort to deliver library services on the weekends in a place where a lot of people do their food-shopping. Another strategy being put in place is going beyond lending books to lending offbeat items like cake pans, musical instruments and toys to promote learning. Library Farm has turned a half-acre of land owned by the Northern Onondaga Public Library into a community garden, where anyone can “check out” a plot of land for free. Lastly, some libraries are carving out maker spaces – public-access laboratories that allow people to try out technology and create new things with it. The Fab Lab in the Free Library has 3-D printers for people to design physical objects while the YOUMedia lab in Chicago’s Public Library has an in-house recording studio to encourage teens to make podcasts, blogs or compose audio tracks.
BRAVE NEW CONSUMER
Hand-Me-Ups – We have all heard of hand-me-downs, but have you heard of hand-me-ups? In today’s tech-driven world, it is no surprise that tech-driven Millennials are intent on getting their hands on the most up-to-date pieces of technology. Despite their need to buy the newest gadget, Gen Y is not interested in throwing away or stowing away their older laptops, phones and other devices. What happens to their old pair of headphones or laptop? Apparently, these gadgets are being handed up to Mom and Dad hence these devices become hand-me-ups. They seem to be quite content to make use of the hand-me-ups. While technology is constantly changing shapes and sizes, now it’s changing hands as well.
Scotch Brite, Literally, Washes Restaurant Bills Away –
It’s an old joke: if you can’t pay your dinner bill, you’ll end up in the kitchen washing dishes. But no one really does that, right? Wrong. In an effort to reach the ever elusive younger demographic they couldn’t reach with traditional advertising or in-store demonstrations, Scotch-Brite decided to go where young people go. The brand decided to take the demonstrations where Gen Y hung out and could possibly use a sponge: popular local restaurants.
Scotch-Brite created the Wash Your Bill campaign, offering young dining patrons the opportunity to wash their dishes instead of paying their dinner bill. During the week long campaign, when diners were handed their check, they also received a Scotch-Brite sponge that read, “Don’t want to pay the bill? Go wash the dishes.” Diners who accepted the invitation were escorted to the restaurant’s kitchen where they donned hairnets and washed their dishes in a branded Scotch-Brite station. By creating an experience that focused on a shared value proposition and went to where their target audience was, Scotch-Brite was able to give young diners an enjoyable, fun and story-worthy experience.
Wrapp: A Social Gifting App –
Wrapp is betting on social gifting as a new way for users to collaborate over giving gift cards to friends. Once a gift card is purchased through the mobile app, a Facebook post announces to a person’s network the gift card they’ve just gotten for a mutual friend. The friends are then given the option of adding more money onto the card further increasing the amount the receiver gets for their gift. The group aspect clearly makes sense for gifts that already would have been group-ified, like the card to a baby store for expectant parents that a person and their far-flung friends were already planning on chipping in on. Wrapp has the makings of a successful app by offering an even easier solution to behavior people are already participating in.
ON THE RADAR
Follow This: @natgeo – Forget puppies and artistic takes on breakfast foods, @natgeo has taken Instagram photos to breathtaking new heights. National Geographic collaborated with The North Face global athlete team to document their latest Mount Everest ascent via Instragram. The collaboration allowed millions of Instagram users to follow the team from base camp to summit by checking out the hashtag #oneverest and by following the official @natgeo Instagram account.
Read This: Hyper Island ran a workshop as part of the Cannes Festival of Creativity, and their goal was to write a book titled, “The Future Of Advertising: The Cannes Attendees Literally Wrote The Book On It.” Over the course of two hours, 120 International Cannes attendees came together and combined their future-forward thinking to produce a snapshot of what the ad industry might need to deal with over the next 10 years. Download the book here.
Try This: Consumers like free stuff, and brands know consumers trust peer reviews more than ads. A new start up called Swaggable aims to bridge these two needs by tapping into the power of social networks and offering free samples to consumers who have expressed interest in those products. Samples are free as long as recipients share their reviews and experiences with their Facebook friends.