Unplug to Recharge

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It was at a recent Dave Chappelle concert when it dawned on me the importance of disconnecting from the world. In between the profanities and lewd, vulgar, yet funny content, I found myself socializing and engaging with those around me more than usual. Was it because we shared a common emotion of laughter? Or the increased consumption of alcohol? NOPE! It was mostly due to the privacy and security precautions the venue took as part of the concert experience. (Really?!)

Before entering, each patron was asked to “lock” their phones in a sack, making them inaccessible until after the show. Part of this was to avoid anyone sharing the contents of the event. The other, which was not as overt, was to bring us back to a simpler time — a time when engaging and socializing with a human being was all we knew. A time when our eyes and ears were glued to a live event or conversation, rather than a screen in the palm of our hands. (Ahhh, the good old days!)

While some may think “down time” should be time spent being productive — I beg to differ. It should be time used to reconnect and recharge. I personally love when I am taking a flight somewhere and have to go into airplane mode. I am disconnected, and able to put my mind at ease for those few hours. I look at it as a reboot — an escape from the flood of information and content that invades my headspace almost every waking moment of the day.

Our brains already consume way too much information (11million bits per second to be accurate), and are more than likely overwhelmed and exhausted. Imagine a hamster on a wheel, at some point it’s little legs get tired and has to get off. Now imagine that hamster never getting off… that’s our brains. So it’s important to find ways to disconnect. If that means taking a walk outside, while leaving your phone at your desk, or just going into silent mode for a bit, I highly recommend it. You’ll find yourself and mind refreshed, making you a more productive and sharper you.

So let’s see if you can integrate this into your everyday. Try allotting 15min to your schedule for that walk, or going into silent mode (label it “Unavailable” on your shared calendars). See if you can make it a routine, and let us know how it’s working for you. I know from our side, it helps everyone here think clearer, which results in bigger ideas, better creative, and happier clients.

Pepsi Recycling goes Live!

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This summer, Live Nation, Pepsi, TerraCycle and Canopy teamed up to generate fan excitement and help increase the recycling rate of plastic water bottles and aluminum cans at Live Nation venues.

The experience included two new interactive bin concepts developed by Pepsi and TerraCycle that help “game-ify” recycling. Concert-goers at the Jones Beach Amphitheater over the course of 5 shows (Dave Matthews Band, Train, and others) were encouraged to join in on the fun, and boy did they!

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As agency of choice, we were completely focused on getting fans to not just engage in the game, but more importantly, to understand the importance of recycling. And while rewarding them with tangible prizes for their involvement was great, the emotional reward of helping sustain the health of our world was that much more.

“It’s great to work with a team that focuses on not just doing the activation, but one that proactively looks to refine and improve it as it’s live. Canopy’s team was able to do this in more ways than one. Always thinking of ways to engage and educate. Making for a very successful pilot with Live Nation and TerraCycle.” says Lawren Cooper, Manager, Environmental Sustainability at PepsiCo

For a broader look at what we did, check out the highlight video.

Thanks again for reading! Hope this inspires you to get involved. And as always, feel free to drop us a line if you want to talk about this, or any other needs you might have.

Digitizing Otter Pops

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Remember the days when you opened your freezer to grab an icy, refreshing and tasty Otter Pop?  

If not, then hopefully this email will serve as a reminder. A few months ago, we were delighted to be selected as the agency to bring theOtter Pops brand into the digital world. Being fans and consumers of the brand, needless to say, this was a great treat!

Now, this is not your typical frozen treat. This is a nostalgic brand, that carries some fun history with it. From the retro pin stripes and ‘hang loose’ attitude, to their iconic characters*, Otter Pops has been bringing good vibes across the country since 1970.

(*Iconic Characters include: Strawberry Short Kook, Sir Isaac Lime, Lil’ Orphan Orange, Poncho Punch, Alexander the Grape, and Louie Bloo Raspberry, help spread the flavor and fun to people of all ages.)

And from a digital perspective, we are all about finding immersive ways to get users online and into stores to purchase products. So the trick was to find a way to capture the essence of this brand, and appropriately showcase it online. To do this, we capitalized on its fun, cool, retro tone-of-voice, vibrant colors and beach-themed imagery to tell the story of ‘summer time, leisure time and chill out time’.

From our client’s perspective…
“Canopy demonstrated their ability to download the Otter Pops brand positioning and messaging in a timely manner, then bring it to life on our new branded website. It was comforting as a Brand Manger to work with a team that was passionate about getting all the brand elements integrated and visually depicted correctly on the site.” 

So, thanks to Otter Pops for letting us do what we love to do, and including us on your journey. And thanks to all of you for reading. We hope this email takes you out of your everyday, and encourages you to grab an Otter Pop and chill out a bit.

Recycling is a Slam Dunk!

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Every once and a while, we get the opportunity to create things that have a purpose. Well, recently we were lucky enough to be able to do this in collaboration with two amazing brands, the NBA, Mountain Dew and Pepsi Recycling.

At this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, we developed and introduced ‘Recycle & Recharge’, an interactive experience designed to educate consumers on the importance of recycling.

The trick with this activation was to get people excited and engaged through gameification. So, we turned recycling bins into basketball hoops on one end, and had them partake in a shootout to win prizes. And on the other end, we setup a “green” screen, where they could show off their dunking skills, and then share through social media.

The result: over 3,000 participants and premiums distributed, with an estimated 85,000+ views on social media. And more importantly, an experience that left people smarter on what it means to recycle.

With this, and other upcoming initiatives just like it, we hope to use our creative thinking to broaden awareness for environmentalism, and continue to make recycling a slam dunk!

What Sparks Our Fire? Working with great brands to create ideas with a purpose, and leave an everlasting impression. What about you?!

It’s called a brief, so let’s keep it that way.

mens-underwearOkay people, let’s get down to business here. How many of you have written creative briefs for your agency that included page-upon-page of research, data, analysis and much more? I’m assuming most of you. Now, this is NOT a bad thing. In fact, it’s a GREAT thing to provide. So we applaud you for overdelivering on the background info we might need.

BUT… when it comes down to the heart of what you want the agency to deliver for you creatively, it’s best to keep it short and sweet. The immersion is the key area where we intend to learn anything and everything about your brand, business, category and consumer. This is where the data-dump should take place.

Whereas the actual initiative we are working on should be able to be interpreted in one-page or less. References to examples that you’d consider benchmarks are always a plus.

If you do this and hear crickets, then the agency just doesn’t get it and maybe the long-form is necessary. However, more times than not, the agency will appreciate the synthesis of your objectives, and be able to move ahead much more efficiently with the task at hand.

So the next time you’re getting ready to pull the trigger on that brief, try and remember this tip. It will save you time on both ends.

Thanks for reading, and let us know if this was helpful, or if you need help crafting that brief.