WATCH OF THE WEEK
After research revealed that 44% of 16-24 year olds in Britain stream more than an hour’s worth of video content on their phones daily, British telecommunications provider Three UK launched the initiative Go Binge, a feature that allows customers to stream films, TV shows, and music without impacting their monthly data limit. To promote the plan, creative agency Gravity Road produced the short film “Streaming Consciousness,” which showcases a fictional workshop for binge-watching addicts to help them achieve a higher stream of consciousness. The workshop is set in an electronics store where the owner encourages attendees to embrace streaming and to become one with their device. Exaggerated and comical, this video makes us want to “namastay” on the couch and watch it one more time.
Popular Japanese messaging app LINE recently opened a flagship store in Times Square filled with merchandise featuring its Line Friends characters. With humble beginnings as stickers in the app’s messaging feature, the Line Friends characters have gone on to star in their own TV shows and video games, inspire character-themed cafés, and of course, serve as the primary draw for their many brick and mortar stores worldwide. The app even has plans to turn the characters into AI assistant speakers à la Amazon’s Echo. While LINE has huge influence abroad, it has yet to permeate as thoroughly in the US and hopes that this store can convince a larger American audience to fall in love with the characters just as much as Japan has.
Beloved off-beat comedy Rick & Morty recently premiered its much-anticipated third season and is enjoying some free publicity thanks to the creative minds of Paul Kehrer, Sean Schulte, and Allie Young. The three creatives are the minds behind Frinkiac, a searchable database of quotes and gifs from The Simpsons, and now they have created Master of All Science, the same concept for the Rick & Morty universe. The site is just a latest in a string of events that has the Internet abuzz over the show, from McDonald’s sending the show’s creators Szechuan Sauce to an Exquisite Corpse trailer that showcased the work of 22 animators. Not only is Master of All Science a testament to how engaged the show’s audience is, it’s the perfect example of how fandom is extremely influential in today’s content landscape.
IN OUR CARTS
Move over La Croix and Simpler Wines, an even cuter canned beverage is trying to steal your girl (aka Millennials) and caffeine is their secret weapon. New Brooklyn-based beverage startup Keepers is making waves for creating a canned coffee drink infused with a bit of citrusy fizz. Aptly named Keepers Citrus Coffee Soda, the idea was born when two coworkers bonded over their shared affinity for experimenting with the office soda stream and stumbled upon the citrus coffee pairing. The beautifully-packaged and Millennial-friendly concoction is available for preorder and shipping later this month—and to be honest we can’t wait to try it!
Still in Beta, Replika is an Android app that hints at a future where AI is intimately involved in our day-to-day lives. The app is essentially an AI-assisted journal that takes on the persona of a friend to help users learn about themselves. Not only does the app offer writing and conversation prompts via text called “sessions,” it also delves deeper by asking intelligent and interesting follow up questions (not unlike a therapist). The app also awards “achievements” as it learns about users’ personality traits like “extroverted” or “inspiring.” Currently available by invite only, the app has over 100k downloads and growing.
To encourage guests, staff, and the public to take on an active role in politics, the Standard High Line in New York City has installed a customized phone booth that encourages people to contact their representatives. Titled “Ring Your Rep,” the booth located in the Plaza dials directly to the U.S. Capitol Switchboard prompting users to simply punch in their zip code, choose their desired representative, and leave a message. For those needing guidance on how to speak with their representative, The Standard has created a basic script with simple instructions that will quickly turn any newbie into a seasoned pro. Emboldening people to speak up on important issues such as health care, the environment, immigration, LGBTQ rights, and education, The Standard’s integration of politics allows guests to easily do their part.