JULY 2012 // Issue 31

STATE OF AMERICA

Americans Losing Confidence In Nation But Still Believe in Themselves – America’s values are in upheaval according to a poll of more than 2,000 Americans commissioned by The Atlantic and Aspen Institute. The poll on values shows that there’s less faith in Washington, Wall Street and even God. Two-thirds think the country is heading in the wrong direction, half believe the economic system is unfair to middle- and working-class Americans, and religion is trending down in importance. On an up trend, America has become far more socially tolerant of different lifestyles and open-minded than their parents. Among the issues that rate more morally acceptable today than a decade ago: homosexuality, human cloning, pre-marital sex and having a child out of wedlock. Although their values may be rearranging, one thing has remained consistent: Americans still believe they can get anything they want through sheer hard work.

Via The Atlantic

BRAVE NEW CONSUMER

Fan Fiction’s Evolution – Thanks to social media, fans have unprecedented access to actors, artists and musicians. They feel a closeness to their favorite stars and believe that their support early on helps make their careers. That level of engagement has driven a rise in fan fiction’s form and creativity. What once was a nerdy pastime is now the norm that has evolved beyond creative writing. Fans are now creating videos of themselves acting out scenes from books and movies, crafting animations of their favorite stars in stories they devise, and recording covers of songs with their own twists to the music and lyrics. Stars and brands are embracing this form of co-creation. For example, Justin Bieber’s ad for his new fragrance “Girlfriend” is a compilation of fan-submitted videos where fans rewrote the lyrics to his song “Boyfriend” and instead made the song about being Justin’s girlfriend. In this way, fan fiction’s creativity is the sincerest form of devotion.

 Via Ypulse.com

SMART BRANDS

Honda’s New Electric Car Comes with a Nifty Perk: Free Insurance – The Honda Fit EV is available to drivers for the first time this summer, and it is one of the most anticipated little cars to hit the marketplace. While its stats are impressive, drivers may be most intrigued with one particular number associated with the car: $0 — the cost of collision insurance for anyone leasing the Fit EV. Honda officials said they see the offer of free insurance as a way to remove a barrier to the introduction of their first electric car in the U.S. They were concerned that insurers would have trouble rating the financial risk of covering the repairs of such a low-volume vehicle. Free insurance would simultaneously help move electric cars off showrooms and narrow the cost gap in comparison to less expensive gasoline-powered vehicles. This is definitely a free perk most people find worth paying for.


Via TIME

BRIGHT IDEAS

MNDR’s Hyper Personalized Interactive Music Video

– MNDR takes their fans on tour in a new music video for the track C.L.U.B., which puts the viewer right in the action. The interactive video looks like an exchange on the iPhone and uses a viewer’s Facebook data to create personalized posts and texts between them and their friends. The video also uses information about their hometown and job to create a truly tailored experience. Be in the video here.

Via MNDR 

ON THE RADAR

Follow This: @springwise – Springwise is a blog, newsletter and Twitter feed that posts about entrepreneurial ideas from around the world, such as customizable liqueurs in the U.K. and smartphone grocery shopping in South Korea. Be sure to follow @Springwise and get inspired by a daily dose of creative business ideas.

Learn This: YOLO, or “You only live once,” is an acronym that has been bouncing around Twitter for a while as #YOLO. It cemented its place in the cultural conversation when it was written into the Drake song “The Motto” as well as Willow Smith’s latest single “I Am Me.” YOLO is a call to live in the moment and can be used as an excuse for bad or risky behavior.

Watch This: As part of its “Fast vs. Fast” campaign, Volkswagen has selected a few YouTube stars that are known for their speed. There’s the world’s fastest guitarist; the guy who can solve the Rubik’s Cube in 8 seconds; the world’s fastest female speed talker; and the quick-on-his-feet beatboxer. Instead of getting them to test drive its vehicles, Volkswagen puts them up against its cars in terms of speed.

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