Selfie Endorsements, Spotify Redesign, ChoreMonster and Boston Food Trucks


Top Story: Endorsement by Selfie


The global phenomenon of the selfie reaches an all-time high.

The self-portrait of the digital age has enraptured everyone from teenagers to celebrities and beyond.  Even politicians – Sasha and Malia Obama here; Hillary and Chelsea Clinton here; and astronaut Aki Hoshide here are getting in on the fun.

And marketers are looking to cash in on the trend.

The most recent selfie to take the spotlight is Red Sox hitter David Ortiz’s snapshot with President Obama taken this past Tuesday.

What an honor! Thanks for the #selfie, @BarackObama

— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) April 1, 2014


The seemingly serendipitous selfie turns out to be not so serendipitous after all, as Ortiz was encouraged to take photos with his Galaxy Note 3 phone when the Red Sox visited the White House as a Samsung Brand Ambassador.

Ortiz, however, told The Boston Globe the idea for the selfie was all his own:

“That was one of those things that just happened. I gave [President Obama] the jersey, and the photographers were going to take their pictures and I thought, really at the last second, maybe I should snap a shot with my phone while I have the chance. It had nothing to do with no deals.”

Regardless of the motivation behind the snap, the result is an undeniable success with 40,000 retweets and counting.

“When we heard about the visit to the White House, we worked with David Ortiz and the team on how to share images with fans. We didn’t know if or what he would be able to capture,” Samsung said in a statement. “Similar to the selfie Ellen was able to capture during the Oscars, this was an opportunity for David to share the incredible moment with his fans.”

It’s a marketer’s job to communicate the value of a brand to its customers in the best way possible. When a phenomenon captures the world’s attention as fervently as selfie does, you can be sure that marketers will find a way to join in on the fun.

What do you think?


Under the Radar: Spotify Steps into the Darkness


Spotify reveals a darker look with a major overhaul to its user interface. Even Spotify is hitching onto the content marketing bandwagon by updating design to put content first.

According to the Spotify blog:

Content is king. Our new design makes accessing your favourite music smoother than ever before. The new dark theme and refined interface lets the content come forward and ‘pop’, just like in a cinema when you dim the lights.

It’s Your Music collection. Save albums and browse their beautiful cover art, gather your favourite artists and create playlists for every mood and moment. Found a song or album that you like? Just hit save to add it to your collection. It’s that simple.

We know you’ll love it. We’ve listened to all your great feedback to ensure that everything looks and feels just right. You told us you preferred a darker interface – so here it is.

“The best-looking Spotify ever” features a darker theme, refreshed typography and rounded iconography.

The Browse feature also underwent long-awaited improvements, now delivering more relevant and localized content to help users find the right music for every moment. For the first time, all users will be able to enjoy collections and save albums straight to their library, rather than as playlists.

“Welcome to the dark side.” Are you a fan?


Tool of the Week: ChoreMonster


Getting kids to do their chores is a chore in itself. Cincinnati startup ChoreMonster makes it easier for parents to assign and incentivize the completion of those chores.

Launched at the turn of last year, ChoreMonster is website/mobile app ecosystem where kids collect points, as well as Monster characters, for each completed chore. These points can then be exchanged for rewards – designed and approved by the parents.

“Kids, in general, are more interested in collecting the monster characters than getting rewards,” Co-founder Chris Bergman said. “Actually, 63% care more about collecting monsters than they do about getting rewards from their parents for their chores.”

This idea takes the classic loyalty rewards model of game-ifying chores in the hopes of developing good habits and a sense of responsibility.

ChoreMonster has clocked 3 million chores since January 2013. The newly updated version is now completely free (it originally cost $4.99 per month) and includes social media integration (for bragging), Amazon integration (for streamlined incentive redemption) and features like Point Boost (awards for helping siblings complete their chores).

What do you think – will it work for your kids?


Around the Hub: Return of Food Trucks

food truck

They’re back! Boston Food Trucks have officially returned in full force after a long winter hiatus, unofficially marking the start of spring.

While a few trucks – including Chicken and Rice Guys, Baja Taco Truck, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese and Frozen Hoagies – braved the cold to stay open year-round, this Tuesday initiated the return of both a full fleet and late-night hours.

Late-night hours last until midnight on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Copley Square, Boston University and Northeastern University.

In the release, Mayor Walsh stated:

Food trucks are an innovative small-business model for many in Boston, and we will continue to engage the public and expand the program to other locations around the City.

The Boston Food Truck scene welcomes several new vendors this season, including Evan’s NY-Style Deli, Lilian’s Smokin’ Rack BBQ, Mediterranean Home Cooking, Moyzilla, Stoked Pizza Company, Tea Station, Tenoch Mexican, The Bacon Truck and Zo on the Go.

What will you try?

451 Labs

451 Labs conducts experiments in creative design, advertising, public relations, digital marketing, media buying, experiential events, and content marketing to give you the inside scoop on the latest in digital marketing.

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