Our Take: This Week in the News

culture Posted on Nov 13, 2018

Thanksgiving Goes Digital With Alexa

Butterball’s ingenious 24-hour turkey hotline has made reliable headlines during every Thanksgiving since its launch. Still, we think it’ll probably see one of its biggest exposure boosts yet with the announcement that home chefs in 2018 will be able to consult the turkey experts directly via Alexa.

Along with new capabilities to calculate cooking and thaw times for different turkey weights, Amazon’s digital assistant will be loaded with video and audio clips providing expert tips for the most common questions fielded by the hotline every year.

Branded stunts with Alexa can be hit or miss, but with such a perfect intersection between event, brand, and device-oriented DIY advice, we think this marketing move is worth toasting to!

The Science of Instagram Stories

With so much handwringing about the mixed reception toward IGTV this summer, we were excited to finally see some actionable data about how Instagram Stories have been performing for brands over the last two years.

As one of the original “plus-up” features the app has used to poach functionality from its competitors, Instagram Stories seemed to have solid traction from the start, but thanks to Buffer’s latest research we can now confirm that the feature is a genuine success for marketers.

With more than 400 million daily users around the world, Stories are officially a primary engagement avenue for many brands, but we were especially happy to see that annual growth has been consistent across every major vertical. With branded content holding its own alongside other verticals, we see a lot of tactical opportunity for using crossovers to amplify brand engagement—especially when it comes to partnering with sports and entertainment voices.

The Hunt for Sneaks Goes Digital

Every marketer dreams of an audience as engaged and fanatical as the universe of sneakerheads, so we’ve been really enjoying these write-ups about how the big brands are leveraging that enthusiasm using digital techniques.

As one of the earliest powerhouses of the “sneaker drop,” Nike knows how to get its fans frothing at the mouth, and these days it’s doing so with all the mobile tricks it can manage. Its latest drop-enablers come courtesy of its SNKRS app, which includes semi-hidden features for initiating an AR treasure hunt that culminates in unlocking purchase opportunities. For the slightly less zealous, the brand also offers spur-of-the-moment push notifications alerting fans to nearby storefronts selling buzzworthy kicks.

FootLocker has also embraced treasure hunt enthusiasts by ramping up its use of AR scavenger hunts, paired with mobile pop-up shops and other FOMO-driving drop tactics.

We’ve long known that AR has a unique ability to amplify hype, so it’s gratifying to see the biggest names adopting the tricks we’re leveraging for our own brands every week.

Liquor: The Woman’s World

Gender parity is a core value here at XenoPsi, so we’ve been loving this series of interviews with some of the brightest female names in the world of beverages. We were especially gratified to see how many of those names are blazing the same trails as our own beverage teams in making sure that millennials find a lifelong home in the world of modern liquor brands.
We’ll raise a glass to that!