Thursday Thinky: Lemonade, Perspective & Screaming

We have an abbreviated edition of the Thinky for you today, but this is a good one. We touch on Covid-19 and social distancing through various lenses. We are embarking on a journey with JFK to reflect on the current social climate. We dive into the Ocean with a new project aiming at protecting our most precious weapon to fight the climate crisis. And last but not least, we are screaming our way to Iceland… You’ll want to try this one out.

Enjoy your Thinky!

Creative & Brand

From Amy (SVP Brand + Creative): Small businesses have been hurting big-time since the pandemic began affecting our economy in March. But while much of our attention has been focused on local restaurants, salons, independent store owners…there’s a whole subset of even SMALLER businesses that had been completely overlooked—until now, that is.

Country Time Lemonade, the unofficial sponsor of so many kids’ summer entrepreneurial dreams, recognized how hard the front lawn lemonade stand “industry” has been hit by the COVID crisis, too. And they decided to do something about it. Their “The Littlest Bailout” campaign, which is a sweepstake that will award 1000 randomly selected kids to each receive a $100 gift card to replace their lost summer lemonade wages, is absolutely delightful. The idea itself is a ray of sunshine, and perfectly on-brand. The entry mechanism of asking the kids to imagine what their lemonade stands would have looked like–if they could have created them–taps into a world of imagination that’s sorely needed right now. And the bright refreshing messaging and design can’t help but bring a smile to the faces of parents and kids alike.

This campaign is SO well done, that even though I don’t typically let my kids have sugary drinks, I may just be tempted to add some Country Time to my next Instacard haul. After all, it’s summer. And we could all learn from the project video’s sentiment: “When life gives you social distancing, make lemonade!”

JFK Presidential Library – JFK Library Tries to Turn Kennedy’s Famous Words From 1960 Into Actions Today (Muse by Clio)

From Amy (SVP Brand + Creative): “Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.” These were only a few of the galvanizing words from President John F. Kennedy’s 1960 “New Frontier” speech, yet they ring more true today than he could have possibly expected.

Inspired by this powerful call to transcend the political rhetoric in pursuit of a greater good, the JFK Presidential Library and Museum, in partnership with the Martin Agency, launched a platform and campaign based on this historic speech, with a stated goal (at least according to the Muse article) to help more people discover the power of respectful conversation in bringing differing viewpoints together. The website itself is a call-to-action for Americans to share their vision of what a better, less divisive future might look like, which is a tactic we’ve honestly been seeing from a lot of brands and organizations recently. The overall design and user experience of the site is also relatively flat, and given how inspiring JFKs words are, is disappointing to see.

The Martin Agency’s planning director, who worked on the project, said “we wanted to go beyond inspiration and get people to do something because they are the ones who are going to create the new normal, not the people in charge.” EXCEPT…that this project doesn’t actually go beyond inspiration. There are no resources for how to start conversations with physical or online connections, no links to contact city councilmen or other government officials. While the intent behind the idea was no doubt noble, the delivery and follow-through doesn’t do justice to JFK’s legacy. Martin Agency folks–if you happen to be reading this, we’d love to help you turn this into an initiative that does more than gather content, but that actually creates change. Give us a shout.

From Amy (SVP Brand + Creative): Over the pond in England, where the Coronavirus has been mitigated much better than here in the US, the country’s many pubs have just begun opening their doors to patrons again. To help with social distancing, some licensing laws in the UK have changed, allowing more pubs to sell food and drink for takeout. Because of this, more people are beginning to enjoy their meals (and alcoholic beverages) outdoors. Of course, this creates a secondary issue of outdoor spaces, like sidewalks and parks, getting overcrowded.

Enter Stella Artois, a brand that always seems to have a little unexpectedness up its sleeve. To bring some much-needed joy to a potentially frustrating situation, and remind its customers that you don’t have to be physically close to share a great social experience (and a beer), the company created an enormous ground mural in one of London’s most popular districts that’s not only a beautiful work of are but also shows people where to sit to maintain a safe space around them, while still enjoying each other’s company.

It’s a pretty simple concept, executed on a highly visible canvas, in a moment where it makes undeniable sense. It clearly wasn’t an effort that the brand had planned for at the beginning of 2020, when life was still “normal,” but likely an idea that came up over the last few weeks as the country began to reopen. When brands (and organizations) are able to pivot quickly and embrace challenges as opportunities rather than risks or roadblocks, there are pretty incredible things we can accomplish.

From Amy (SVP Brand + Creative): When I was working on an awareness campaign for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation about 8 years ago, one of the most striking realities we uncovered was that people with CF typically have to stay 6 feet away from friends and colleagues in the outside world–including others with the same condition— in order to avoid contracting germs and viruses that would only cause mild symptoms for healthy people, but could be life-threatening for them. We actually built an entire experiential activation around it, called Six Feet of Separation (cue Kevin Bacon reference here), where everyday people in public spaces would be outfitted with suits that had 6-foot poles radiating from all sides, simulating the physical and emotional toll of having to navigate in a world where you were constantly forced to be aware of your distance from others, and not be able to experience the beauty of everyday human contact.

Flash forward to 2020, where we’re ALL in the position of having to stay 6 feet away from each other to protect our health. Of course, these last few months have been especially tough on kids, who rely so heavily on routine and familiar circumstances to thrive. But for kids with CF who have been practicing social distancing for years, this situation is nothing new. FCB Health Network agency Area 23, in partnership with 5 CF organizations, recognized the unique perspective they could bring to this challenging moment and created “The Social Distance Squad,” a league of kids with CF who have banded together to show the rest of us the 6-feet-of-separation ropes. The concept and content are as genuine as it gets–bringing real stories and connection FROM real kids TO real kids, all in the name of helping them deal with our unexpectedly challenging reality, and showing them that physical separation doesn’t have to mean that their lives come to a halt.

The project and its CF Experts have a candid voice that we don’t hear all too often, with one of the squad members even telling viewers that ‘Hell, I’ve been doing this since I was 3. Surely you can do it for a summer.’ When so many kids have struggling with the realities of no graduations, no summer camps, no birthday parties, no vacations, and possibly even no “back to school,” this campaign is exactly what they need to show them they’re not alone—and bring an unexpected spotlight to CF along the way.

 


Marketing

Visit Iceland – Let out your quarantine frustration by screaming in Iceland’s breathtaking landscape (Visit Iceland)

From Melvin (Account Director): I’m in love in Iceland. It’s my happy place. I’ve been trying to find ways to go there during the health crisis but can’t because people coming from the US are not welcome there (or anywhere else it seems) at the moment. So instead of going there, one of my teammates sent me this campaign from Visit Iceland as a proxy.

The idea is very simple: Visit Iceland posted a few speakers all over Iceland and gives you the opportunity to let out your COVID frustration and record yourself screaming. The audio file is then played on the speaker of your choice. And people are loving it. I just listened to Max from Australia screams his heart out while looking at a breathtaking Icelandic landscape. It is a stunt, but a clever one backed by science (google scream therapy), that makes me think of what the Faroe Islands did a few months ago with their Remote Tourism campaign to let people know about their country.

So, from my point of view, kudos Iceland! This is funny, this is a great way to insert Iceland into people’s lives and keep it top of mind for when traveling picks back up. Even though you won’t see me in Iceland in the near future, you may hear me there… at least virtually.

 

Project Zero – Let’s get the ocean, the biggest weapon in the fight against the climate crisis, back in shape (Project Zero)

From Melvin (Account Director): The impact of the ocean on our daily lives is massively underestimated. Every second breath we take comes from the ocean. It is the world’s largest carbon sink, holds 50-80% of life on earth, and represents 99% of the liveable space on the planet. But, the ocean is in trouble. If temperatures continue to rise it will set off a catastrophic and irreversible chain of event. To put it simply, no ocean, no life. And yet, only 2% of it are protected and 0.2% of global charitable giving goes to the ocean.

Enter Project Zero, “a global movement supported by renowned scientists, business leaders, campaigners, culture-makers, and ocean experts, who are all working together to awaken the fight for the ocean.”  Last week, they launched the “Turn The Tide” campaign to help secure a global network of ocean sanctuaries that will provide resilience to the devastating effects of climate change. Their main call to action at the moment is to support their Kickstarter, with a clever mechanism letting you claim your unique ocean coordinates and share it on social to amplify awareness around the campaign. The project also comes with an impressive network of celebrities that are helping spread the word on social media.


Thanks for reading today’s Thinky. See you next week!

PS: If any of the above made your wheels spin, we’d love to hear your thoughts — get in touch with us!

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