WATCH OF THE WEEK
Watching a guy in an oatmeal turtleneck ramble about practicing safe sex in front of a white backdrop may not sound that entertaining, but leave it to Lil Dicky to do it in a way that is both funny and important. Condom brand Trojan tapped into the wordplay skills of David Burd—the rapper, comedian, and YouTube sensation better known as Lil Dicky—to educate viewers about STDs and the importance of condom usage. While the entertainer is often seen rapping, in this video he is simply chatting with the camera in a digressive stream-of-consciousness format. We’re giving major props to Trojan for the pared-back concept and letting Lil Dicky’s one-of-a-kind personality shine for a good cause.
Now that SXSW is over, we’re reminiscing about one of the most buzzed-about activations at the event. As part of a push for its revamped Take 5 candy bar, Hershey’s created a “Swag Exchange” that allowed attendees to swap all the free “swag” (cheap branded merchandise) they accumulated at SXSW for things they actually wanted and would use. Among the offerings at the Exchange were ponchos, flasks, iPhone projectors, and even reservations and gift cards to pricey local restaurants. In the spirit of a real stock exchange, the Swag Exchange also had its own algorithm that applied value to items based on rarity instead of price—meaning that a specific coaster could score you a Bose speaker!
The latest issue of lifestyle magazine Kinfolk is yet another example of The Waiting Game, one of our macro trends about the importance of anticipation in the modern age of instant satisfaction. Centered around the theme of “Adrenaline,” the issue features a photography series titled “In Anxious Anticipation,” which choreographs objects into precarious situations to explore a certain heightened state of mind in which apprehension and dread reign. The beautiful photos, which show stressful scenarios like a pen about to drip ink onto a crisp white shirt and eggs in midair, are the creation of Kyle Beanand Aaron Tilley and a major highlight of the issue. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: today, it’s all about lead-up and suspense.
IN OUR CARTS
In a brilliant twist of fate, artist Ariel Hart has created something that caters to both our ‘90s nostalgia and our love for New Age kitsch. The LA-based creative has gone viral thanks to her deck of tarot card designs in the style of Lisa Frank, everybody’s favorite maker of school accessories adorned with happy animals and neon rainbow colors. An example of true fandom, Hart’s work was inspired by other adult takes on childhood imagery like the Nihilisa Frank Tumblr and the Hello Kitty exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum. Lucky for us, Hart shared the full set with Huffington Post so anyone can print out the deck for free!
As homepages go increasingly unvisited, media companies are meeting people where they already are. And one place where people are spending a lot of time is Slack, the much-loved tool for companies’ internal communications and organization. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Digg has created DiggBot, a “Slack bot” that delivers news right to your Slack channel while you’re at work. With DiggBot, users can type in different Digg-specific Slack commands (“/digg + keyword”) to search Digg content, get trending news alerts, or pull up a curated news digest. For example, right now users can type in “/digg madness” to track March Madness information without ever leaving Slack.
Fast on the heels of Sweetgreen and Chipotle,Dig Inn is investing in the “farm to counter” concept that is bringing a wave of local, organic ingredients to fast casual lunch chains. The Manhattan brand has announced plans to buy a farm this year in upstate New York to be used as a “living lab” for training chefs and experimenting with recipes and agricultural techniques. While Dig Inn will still partner with other local farms, having its own will allow the brand to be a major innovator in the future of fast dining. And they are indeed moving fast: the chain is expanding quickly, even opening a location in Boston, and plans to harvest its first crops in 2017.