360i's new spot for HBO's "Westworld" unveils the show's new Amazon Alexa skill, "The Maze." Fans who ask Alexa to "Open Westworld" can play an audio interactive game where they choose their own path as a "host," encountering characters who offer clues, with up to 60 narratives available.
Brands must reflect a strong vision, exhibit their values and have a distinct personality, writes Alan Siegel, who offers 10 tips for marketers such as the authentic communication of a brand's conscience and being nimble enough to respond immediately to criticism. Ultimately, "all organizations with a distinctive voice have a visionary leader who is unwilling to compromise the brand's core values," he writes.
Something Massive created wellness brand iWi's first national push, which includes a TV ad that features a mermaid as the brand's ambassador to tout its algae-based nutritional supplements. The humorously high-maintenance "spokesmerm" is played by Beth Dover of "Orange is the New Black."
BBDO New York partnered with Getty Images and the International Rescue Committee to mark World Refugee Day with a dedicated site, Changethecourseofhistory.com. The site documents the historical timeline of those made homeless through conflict, ending with the total number of current global refugees, and gives viewers two choices: "Change the course of history" by donating to the cause or "do nothing."
Mischief and Instacart have released a new Google Chrome extension, Instacat, which gives users a playful feline friend to keep them company while doing their online shopping. "We decided to go with Instacat because people are familiar with the neighborhood cat that often hangs out at your neighborhood convenience store," Instacart's Guillaume McIntyre said of the feature, which is being touted via paid social.
The popularity of video means that Facebook Watch is an opportunity marketers cannot ignore, and its requirement that content is episodic and retains the same talent provides a way for brands to benefit from long-term relationships with the right influencers and creative partners, writes Lance Rios. The platform provides an unparalleled potential for sponsored content to go viral as its massive user base is able to see what friends are watching and share recommendations, he writes.
McCann's new spot for Verizon features a series of real young people making mobile phone calls to their parents to tell them they're gay, showing their fear and apprehension at delivering the news and their emotional reactions when they receive parental support and acceptance. The push also encourages people to take part in a digital Pride march, by providing a colorful background that social users can use to upload videos of themselves against and support the LGBTQ community using #ConnectedbyPride.
Goodby, Silverstein & Partners has debuted its first spot for BMW, "Relativity," which combines scientific facts about summer and shots showing people reveling in the warmth and freedom that the season brings before ending with the line "Summer On." A voice-over says, "The brightest star from 93 million miles away creates 93 longer days and 93 warmer nights -- 134,000 minutes of windows down and music up."
Lyft has released the second season of its sponsored content series, "Kevin Hart: Lyft Legend," in partnership with Lionsgate's Laugh Out Loud. The show features Hart in character as Lyft driver Donald Mac, and during its first season the brand experienced a 33% spike in social fans; the premiere garnered over 1.6 million social engagements and 52 million views.