STATE OF AMERICA
School Cafeterias Enlist Marketing Strategies To Get Students To Eat Healthy – As obesity continues to be a major epidemic in the U.S., the Department of Agriculture has implemented the biggest update to federal school food guidelines in 15 years. Applying the guidelines in an effective manner was the focus of the School Nutrition Association conference this year. Cafeteria managers learned new recipes that followed the new guidelines and were taught marketing strategies used in great success by private-sector restaurants and food producers. These new strategies have already been implemented in many ways by schools. Parent volunteers have been recruited as “food coaches” at elementary school where they will hand out samples of fruit and vegetables and demonstrate how to eat them. Food labels are being enhanced as the managers found when generic “corn” labels were replaced with colorful cards describing the vegetables as “mellow yellow corn” corn consumption went up. A school in California started a recess snack cart bringing foods straight to the playground for kids to munch on and tempted kids to try unusual flavors by giving out “Fear Factor Smoothies” containing unexpected ingredients such as spinach. In building a fun environment that creates excitement around healthy foods, cafeteria managers have suppressed the fear of eating new foods for students.
BRAVE NEW CONSUMER
The Future Of Storytelling – As technology becomes more advanced and more accessible across multiple platforms, it’s only natural for consumers to expect increasingly higher standards of creativity and engagement from content creators. Earlier this year Latitude, a global research consultancy, set out to understand audiences’ evolving expectations around their everyday content experiences. Early adopters from across the world were asked to play the role of producer and decide how they’d like to experience stories in the future. Analysis of the storytelling concepts unveiled four elements 4 I’s: Immersion, Interactivity, Integration and Impact. Using immersion and interactivity elements helped the audience go deeper into a story, while integration and impact brought the story out of the screen and into the real world. These 4 elements revealed the following about people: they view transmedia as more than just media-shifting, crave more control, believe traditional notions of authorship are changing and see the real world just as viable a platform as any other device.
KIND Bar Does The Kind Thing –
The snack bar company KIND has spent years perfecting a system that gives its customers a chance to do good and influence the direction of the company’s corporate philanthropy. KIND has built a social enterprise business model where its for-profit brand gets more buy-in from consumers because it exists for a larger, socially helpful purpose. Each month, fans of the brand, called Kindaholics, can log on and commit to a Kinding Mission. These missions ask for one small but specific act like giving a warm beverage to someone else during the cold winter. If enough users commit to an action, the company will jump in with its own thematically significant Big Kind Act like donating a mass shipment of coats to homeless shelters. Through these missions, KIND’s volunteer corps has committed more than 200,000 deeds, inspired 16 Big Kind Acts, reached an estimated 500,000 people. Kindaholics as brand ambassadors is a triple win for the company because it creates great word of mouth and an emotional payback for both the good deed giver and receiver. KIND is literally having their consumers live out the company motto: Do the KIND Thing for your body, your taste buds, and the world.
Ruckus Sports Builds New Business Model Around Adult Play – Ruckus Sports, a company known for building obstacle courses, unknowingly created a new business model in creating The Walking Dead Escape. The Escape, built for this year’s Comic-Con, was an obstacle course filled with zombies chasing after survivors in which people would pay to be chased (survivor) or the chaser (zombie). With this project, Ruckus inadvertently created a new opportunity: mashing up entertainment and play with sports. The inclusion of a loose narrative allows participants to create their own plot points and turns running an obstacle course into more of a play activity than a competitive sport. Ruckus knew that obstacle courses were a growing business as mass participatory sports have grown as much as 30% with the popularity of Cross-Fit and P90X. The instant success of the inclusion of entertainment and game play into the course showed Ruckus there is a growing market for adult play. With this new need, Ruckus foresees an expansion of the brand through the creation of playful events that would create a new platform for anyone (fans, sports enthusiasts or people just wanting to play) to immerse themselves in.
ON THE RADAR
Learn This: Brandalism – (noun) an art movement gaining ground in the U.K. that aims to push back against corporate advertising. The 2012 Olympics in London saw an increase in brandalism as over 25 street artists, including infamous British street artist Banksy, reclaimed more than 30 existing billboards around the U.K. Existing billboards were covered by subversive images that aimed to challenge the authority of the ad industry. Examples of brandalism artwork can be viewed here.
Watch This: IKEA recently released an augmented reality app to complement its 2013 print catalog. The hope is that this layer of interactivity will extend the shelf life of how long a consumer keeps the catalog in their house before tossing it. Users can access different experiences ranging from access to photo galleries, video stories about product designers, or even an x-ray feature that shows what’s behind cabinet doors. For more information watch this video or download the app.
Try This App: If you’ve ever been to Whole Foods, you probably noticed that eating healthy can get a bit pricey. Zipongo is a new app that’s similar to Groupon but focuses exclusively on healthy food items at local grocery stores. Customers can purchase items at a 50-90% discount through the app, and they can get useful information like nutritional facts and recipe suggestions.