Couture of Wearable Tech

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Photo credits: Melissa Chow and Smartpjs.com

Prada, Gucci, Versace, Google. Yep, these days your clothes could be designed by Armani, Apple, or both depending on if you want the latest fashions…or the latest smart fashions. Wearable tech is emerging at lightning speed, so much so that Google Glass now seems like a classic pair of Levi Jeans — even before it hits the market.

But what about the weirder gadgets at the forefront of fashion? We’ve rounded up five of the strangest trends — the couture of wearable tech:

Taser Bra: This bra gives new meaning to Girl Power. Designed by aeronautical engineering student Manisha Mohan, it has the ability to shock attackers. One grope and the bra activates pressure sensors that deliver an electric charge of 3800kv. Ouch. It can also send a text message to police with GPS coordinates.

Smart PJs: With these interactive pajamas, your kids may actually volunteer to go to bed. They feature dot designs that act as QR codes. Parents can scan a code with their smartphone to unlock a different bedtime story every night. Because, you know Mom, Kindles are sooooo last year!

Like-a-Hug: Who needs a real hug from a real person? This extra poofy jacket gives you a great big squeeze every time someone likes a post on your Facebook page. The perfect gift for someone who was neglected as a child, or those suffering from anthropophobia — the fear of human company.

Transparent Dress: Talk about a hot date! A dress created by the brand Intimacy becomes increasingly transparent based on close and personal encounters with other people. In other words, it becomes see-through when you’re turned on. Let’s just hope it doesn’t activate before you get home from dinner.

Scented Undies: Yep, they exist. They’re called Shreddies and they’re specifically designed to filter the smell of farts with a carbon back panel, so people around you can’t smell it. Now we can all fearlessly eat refried beans at the office for lunch — ah, the smell of progress!

 

 

 

 

 

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Written by Christopher Skinner
Christopher Skinner

September 19th, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Gatorade: The Unreal Final Journey Around the World

Barca_CoverPhoto credit: Luiza Iacava

*Note: the use of the word “football is used throughout this post, in reference to what Americans call “soccer,” and we are sticking to the global term since well … you see the title, don’t you?

As you may remember, on May 26 and May 31 at Emirates Stadium in London and Sinatra Park in Hoboken, NJ, respectively, MKTG INC gave an unreal experience to 240 local athletes (http://blg.mktg.com/2014/05/the-real-work-of-gatorade/) to build excitement around the UAW online contest.

The winners were finally announced in June, and we took them on the football trip of a lifetime. Our fabulous winners represented the United States, Canada, England and Brazil. As we got to know them and their guests over our 17-day trip, we all became a second family.

And now … the details!

Bradenton, Florida – Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) at IMG Academy (July 28 – 30)

GSSI_01Photo credit: Mariusz Kaczmarek

The boys received full fitness testing, including physical and psychological, with the experts at GSSI. A full report was given to them on their last day, along with the recommended Gatorade formula for them to use moving forward while sweating on the pitch. Of course, all that hard work had to be rewarded, so we had a special guest come and work out with our winners on the last day – none other than USMNT player Graham Zusi!

GSSI_02Photo credit: Eric Nalpas

Graham competed with the boys in a “crossbar challenge” to finish off the session. Our Canadian representative won, and got to keep Graham’s boots!

Liverpool, England – Liverpool FC (July 30 – August 1)

Jetlag be damned! After about a day’s rest, the boys suited up and made it over to Anfield for a full tour of the stadium, taking in some facts about Liverpool FC’s history and hearing insider stories from LFC legend Jason McAteer.

After a quick lunch, we scooted over to Melwood, the official training ground of Liverpool. The Junior U16 coaches ran a highly individualized training session for our winners, with specific instruction on spatial awareness on the pitch. Let me say that again, we were at Liverpool! Training with the pros! You could almost hear the opening chords of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” ….

Liverpool_02Photo credit: Mark Waugh

London, England – Arsenal FC (August 2 – 4)

The express train from Liverpool was smooth and luxurious (well, compared to the LIRR), and two hours later we were in London, heading straight for Emirates Stadium. The Emirates Cup was going on during our visit and the boys had VIP treatment with a tour of the facility and then access to a luxury suite to watch the matches. But don’t be fooled … London was not all relaxation.

The next morning we woke up to beautiful sunny skies and about 75° F (24° C) temperatures – the perfect morning for a football workout at Battersea Park! The Community Coaches from Arsenal met us and ran the session, focusing on overall fitness and one-on-one drills. We even got our client to join in on the workout, although as a former NFL wide receiver, he gave our winners no shot at the final sprint challenge.

London_01Photo credit: Felippe Imperatriz

Barcelona, Spain – FC Barcelona (August 4 – 5)

Barcelona was the favorite club among most of our winners, and you can imagine the excitement they felt as we pulled up to Camp On. The boys had the opportunity to train at La Masia with the Barcelona Youth Coach. Fully kitted up in their training attire, the winners were instructed in drills that were team-based with passing and moving as the center of the activity.

Barcelona_02Photo credit: Luiza Iacava

Milan, Italy – AC Milan (August 5 – 7)

At AC Milan’s training facility, better known as Milanello, we were welcomed with open arms. As soon as we walked in, we were offered an array of Gatorade beverages, biscuits and, of course, espresso.

After a full tour of the grounds and workout facilities, we were served lunch and then bid the boys off to do another set of fitness testing. Different from GSSI, these tests focused on reaction time, plyometrics and balance.

What better way to prepare for a 17-hour flight…

Buenos Aires, Argentina – Boca Juniors (August 8 – 9)

Our last day in Buenos Aires had us training with the Boca Juniors B-Team coach. It was a fantastic session; the boys had the freedom to play some small-sided games against each other with some of the guests joining in.

BA_02Photo credit: Federico Peretti

Rio de Janeiro – Brasil (August 9 – 12)

The final send-off! We had to show these boys we know how to celebrate football!

The first day took us to Maracanã for a Flamengo match, which was high-intensity the whole way through. The crowd and the chants did not stop.Finally, the next day we were off to Granja Comary, the home of CBF.

Rio_03_MarPhoto Credit: Derek Mangabeira

Our friends in Brazil had a surprise in store for us; they brought in a local Nike academy to have a full-sided match! This is the first time we had the opportunity to play 11 v 11 on the pitch; a real treat, especially since we were again able to involve our guests.

Rio_05_MatchPhoto Credit: Derek Mangabeira

On our last day, we wanted to show the boys local beach culture. Gatorade provided their local experts in the sport of futevôlei, and they ran through a full workout and tutorial. The winners picked it up immediately, and practically owned Copacabana Beach…well, their attitudes said they did anyway ;-)

Overall, it was such an honor to work with Gatorade on such a special project, and communicate the message of putting in real work for an unreal performance. Thanks to everyone who made this program such a success, from the Gatorade clients to the contest champions to all the MKTGers around the globe! Just a reminder to #makeitunreal every day, no matter what you do.

RIo_Final_JumpPhoto credit: Derek Mangabeira

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A Worldly Cup of Pepsi at the World Cup

_L5A5679For football fans all over the world, the only place to be this summer was Brazil.

As part of Pepsi’s Dream Prize campaign, 40 lucky prizewinners from all over the world touched down in the heart of the 2014 World Cup to experience the cultural highlights of Brazil.

To deliver this once in a lifetime experience, Pepsi called on MKTG INC to create an agenda that captured the country’s passion for life, color and of course football.

To celebrate our guests’ arrival into Sao Paulo and to mark the opening game of the World Cup, MKTG INC created The Pepsi House Party. Within this luxurious villa, we had a viewing area that provided the perfect setting for our guests to watch Brazil beat Croatia 3-1. To add to the Brazilian flavor, we hosted a Churrasco (traditional Brazilian BBQ) complete with samba dancers, live music, caipirinhas and a DJ to keep the party pumping into the night.

The following day started at the crack of dawn, when our guests flew to the cultural heart of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro.  They were treated to a breakfast meet-and-greet with football legend Fabio Cannavaro, arguably one of the greatest football defenders of all time and captain of Italy’s 2006 World Cup winning team. The day trip continued with a tour of Corcovado, Rio’s iconic mountain peak, and an afternoon on Copacabana beach before returning to Sao Paulo.

Within Brazil, Sao Paulo is generally considered to be the current center of inspiration for many graffiti artists worldwide. Our winners had the opportunity to tour the bohemian neighborhood of Vila Madalena, one of the most remarkable graffiti locations in the world, before putting paint to canvas themselves under the guidance and direction of some of Brazil’s leading graffiti artists.

With a group united in their passion for ‘the beautiful game,’ we decided to put their skills to the test. We put together a football day at Arena Neymar where they competed against each other in a special Pepsi World Cup.

After five days of experiences that also included Capoeira Classes to VIP nightclub parties, we said goodbye to our guests. We all agreed that Pepsi delivered on their promise of a once in a lifetime experience.

 

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SMIRNOFF ULTIMATE HOUSE PARTY

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Tired of seeing the same vodka commercial on repeat portraying an exclusive and lavish lifestyle that you can’t relate to? Sick of waiting in the cold for hours praying the bouncer will allow you inside a club you can’t afford? Smirnoff understands, and its new “Exclusively for Everybody” campaign proves it. So did their experiential Smirnoff Ultimate House Party tour, which partnered with Spotify to offer “everybody” to host their very own Ultimate House Party. Once the 4 lucky winners were selected, MKTG INC designed a house party specifically for the winner and threw it in their home town. Several entrants also won a three-month premium Spotify membership, furthering Smirnoff’s dedication to inclusivity – music for everyone. The winner invited attendees through a tactic called “Six Degrees of Smirnoff” – 19 of the winner’s closest friends were invited and then asked to invite 6 friends of their own. This, together with residential venues and decor, gave each event the feel of a real house party. While Smirnoff’s official DJ JayCeeOh spun the summer’s hottest hits, guests enjoyed snacks and Smirnoff cocktails served in mis-matched glassware. The winner’s bedroom was re-created and decorated with pictures and personal items along with posters reflecting their interests or hobbies. Each house was equipped with a game room, bottled cocktail and punch station, large graffiti wall for guests to sign and a movie theater.

The event series kicked off in New York for Colorado native Hannah Small and featured a surprise performance by Kelis. This event was followed by winner Justin Day’s Ultimate House Party in Dallas and and Meghan Reynold’s in Portland. The final event will take place in Warren, Michigan in October. Smirnoff partnered with Uber and Broadway Cab Company (in Portland) to ensure all guests arrived in style and got home safely.

Remember – for your next house party, grab a bottle of Smirnoff. Everybody’s invited!

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Movies, Marketing and the Evolution of Man

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What do movies and marketing have in common? Turns out, quite a bit. While my background is in fiction film and postproduction, after four years making videos in the marketing industry, I’ve realized that movies and marketing share an important common goal: emotions. The goal of marketing or branding is to emotionally connect with people, something that movies have done from the start.

Emotional connection is how innovative brands like Apple or Nike create cult followers. It’s also how films — and all forms of storytelling, really — develop followers, too. That’s certainly how I became such a big follower, fan and, eventually, maker of films.

Never was this made clearer to me than when I recently took a class on branding by Dan Formosa, an award-winning designer and design research consultant. In the class, Formosa talked about branding in the context of the evolution of the species. Just how long has branding been with us?

That depends a bit on how you define branding. One definition of branding focuses purely on the logo or mark that represents a product. By that definition scholars might put the beginning of branding at 1777 with the creation of the Bass beer red triangle. But if we think of branding as any packaged product available for public consumption, we might look back to 1100 BC, with an Indian herbal paste called Chyawanprash. Still, even then, that’s only 3,115 years ago. If modern man has been around for 200,000 years, that means we’ve been building brands for a mere 1.5% of our existence as a species.

In other words, evolutionarily speaking, we’re not built for branding. We did not evolve to love products, companies or brands.

We did, however, evolve to love people. We’re built for connection.

And this is why people gravitate so intensely to stories, because they express the complexities of human relationships. The brands that understand this are the most successful brands out there.

A brand doesn’t win people over by explaining how great its product or service is; it wins people by building human relationships with them and, in turn, humanizing the brand itself. What’s interesting is now, thanks to the omnipresence of social media, brands can engage with consumers in entirely new ways — ways that can truly focus on two-way emotional connection. Marketing can be about building relationships, telling stories and inspiring emotions in both consumers and in brands. Yup, in this new world, brands can have feelings, too.

Imagine if marketers began to think of themselves less as marketers and more as relationship coaches between clients and their consumers; imagine if we spent less time “grabbing attention” and more time nurturing it. What an emotional evolution that might be.

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What’s in Your Wallet?

Have you looked at your business card recently? If not you should. MKTG INC’s cards are known for their unique perspective and purpose (the latter being expressly to embarrass their bearer, natch). In our new column, we take a look at the business cards of our coworkers and hear the stories behind them.

As artists go, Ryan’s kind of weird.
I think it’s fair to say that the “weirdness” is not exclusively tied to being an artist… I am just odd in general.

He’s that rare breed that can blend high-minded artistry with hunker-down work ethic.
The stereotype of lazy artists needs to be shattered, and I am working tirelessly on breaking that glass ceiling. This is what everyone is referencing when they say “glass ceiling,” right?

No matter what he sets his mind to – whether he’s making cleverly crafted, artfully executed videos or baking up a batch of the best damn Irish Soda Bread you’ve ever had in your life.
My family is originally from Waterford, Ireland, and we have a family recipe for Irish Soda Bread that has been passed down for more than 150 years. My mother still has the original recipe in Gaelic, hidden in a safe box in our attic (probably next to my Star Wars figures).

This guy goes whole hog.
The expression “whole hog” had never entered my vocabulary until after this business card was written; I now use it daily. This is just to prove how “whole hog” I really am.

His recipe for success is simple: one part creative instinct, one part technical know-how, and one part good old-fashioned nose-to-the-grindstone. And the recipe works on film and in bread. 
Although the description here says it is simple, let me be honest with you: it’s not. The Irish Soda Bread recipe is extremely hard, which is why I only make it once a year. The film part is really simple; that stuff you can just shoot on your iPhone.

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Guest Q&A: George Dickel Ambassador Douglas Kragel

George Dickel Ambassador Douglas Kragel  The title “Whisky Ambassador” sounds like a dream job. What’s your background, and how did you find your way to George Dickel?
My background is in both service and sales. I have worked every position in restaurants and bars since my first job as a dishwasher. Before becoming the National Ambassador for George Dickel, I worked as a sales representative for a liquor distributor in Baltimore, MD.

You must love whisky. What’s your favorite way to drink it?  What do you drink when you’re not drinking whisky?
There are so many great ways to enjoy whisky that it’s hard to choose a favorite, but currently I’ve been drinking a good amount of whiskey sours. When I’m not drinking whisky I’m most likely drinking a cold beer.

American whiskey is really hot right now. Why do you think that is?
I think one of the factors behind the rise in the popularity of American whiskey is the rise of craft in the beverage industry. Craft beer has paved the way for consumers looking to quality American products, and craft cocktails have brought attention back to the use of American spirits from the pre-Prohibition era.

Traditionally people think of whisky as a cold-weather spirit. How do you teach people to think differently?
I tell people to drink what they like and not to follow convention. What’s better than a cold whisky sour in the summertime?

What kind of trends are you seeing, either among bartenders or consumers?
I think the biggest trend I’m seeing is honesty. That means bar programs that are upfront and have a genuine identity, and consumers who aren’t afraid to forgo that list and order what they really want.

In July you participated in Tales of the Cocktail, which is like the Super Bowl of the spirits industry. Any favorite moments/experiences?
It’s hard to pinpoint any one particular moment at an event as lively as Tales. What I do love the most about that week is the opportunity to work alongside all of the Diageo Masters of Whisky, and tap into the vast network that they have built across the country.

Whisky brands have been doing a lot to bring new in consumers, including women. What are you doing with the brand?
Generally, to get new consumers to try your product, you have to make it more accessible. Whisky can be an intimidating category. For us, it’s all about educating folks on what George Dickel Tennessee Whisky is, and how it differs from other spirits. For instance, our unique charcoal filtration process produces a smooth sipping whisky that goes down easy.

What’s your favorite meal (or flavor) that people might not think to pair with whisky?
Seafood. I think the rich flavor of say, oysters, can be complemented nicely with the dry nature of rye whisky, for example.

If you could enjoy a glass of whisky with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Eddie Vedder. For the simple reason that it would give me a chance to spend a little time with an idol, and talking while drinking whisky would help me feel a bit less nervous.

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Guinness ICC 2014: Soccer, Smirnoff Ice and Setting Records

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With the excitement of a thrilling World Cup still in the air, soccer fans across the US had little time to catch their breath as the largest soccer tournament in America was upon them. For the second year in a row, Guinness was the title sponsor of the International Champions Cup (ICC), a two-week tournament pitting some of the best soccer clubs from around the world against one another right here in the United States. This year, Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid sought to defend their 2013 title against Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, FC Inter, AC Milan, AS Roma and Olympiacos.

The tournament spanned 12 US cities, drawing in over 640,000 passionate fans to the stadiums and exponentially more through live broadcasting on NBC Sports, Fox Sports 1 and Fox Network Television. The ICC made its presence known, appearing several times on ESPN’s Top 10 plays (including Wayne Rooney’s awesome goal in the final match). Most impressive, perhaps, was the Manchester United vs Real Madrid match in Ann Arbor, Michigan where 109,318 fans filled “The Big House,” accounting for the largest crowd to ever watch a professional soccer game in the US. The irony of Guinness setting a record is not lost here.

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All ICC stadium events featured a Guinness Beer Garden providing avid fans with cold beer, giveaways and MKTG INC staff. MKTG INC also executed 161 events at designated local Fan Hubs across the ICC cities, where consumers competed in prop pick contests to win premium Guinness soccer swag and received complimentary beer samples. These events coincided with televised ICC matches and drew even more viewers for the tournament.

MKTG INC also managed the sampling of portfolio-partner Smirnoff Ice at the Dallas and Miami events. Over 2,400 consumers (21+) sampled Smirnoff Ice Original, Screwdriver and Watermelon Mimosa across these two events. Many had never tasted the brand before but eagerly welcomed the ice cold product on those blistering hot days. Both Guinness and Smirnoff Ice saw impressive sales at the stadiums, further establishing them as drinks of choice when watching soccer.

In the end, Manchester United faced off against its heated rival Liverpool in front of a roaring crowd of over 50,000 fans in Miami. After a slow start, Wayne Rooney and his Manchester United team rallied an exciting comeback to win 3-1, claiming the 2014 International Champions Cup as their own. Once again, Guinness treated fans to some of the best soccer the world has to offer right in their own backyards. While it may have only been considered a friendly, the passion, records and bragging rights are certainly real.

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London Beats

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Every year Beats by Dre welcomes European distributors to London to talk about anything and everything Beats.  The International Distributors Conference gives Beats the chance to engage with their distributors, showcase the latest products and talk best practices. The two-day event is made up of presentations, breakout meetings, hands-on training sessions and an unforgettable Beats by Dre party. Each room was assigned to different Beats departments to cover a full range of topics. MKTG INC then turned existing meeting rooms into themed rooms, each with its own personality and product showcase.

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MKTG INC was tasked with creating a consumer journey that flowed from room to room and gave each distributor a new experience throughout the day. Each group of distributors were provided with a Beats Brand Ambassador to offer a concierge-type service to the conference by escorting groups to the meeting rooms, greeting them when they came out and answering any questions they might have throughout the event.

Monday evening was the Beats World Cup Viewing Party at Skyloft in London. Located on the 28th floor of Millbank Tower, distributors and Beats got an opportunity to get away from talking business and relax for a night of food, drinks and football.

From finding the venues to selecting the right staff, from designing the rooms to building out all the spaces, MKTG INC offered a full-service event for Beats and their distributors. Now it is on to Hong Kong for Round 2 of Beats IDC 2014.

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Written by Carter Parrish
Carter Parrish

July 30th, 2014 at 2:41 pm

The All-Star Treatment from Nike

Nike ASG

Fans from all over the country flocked to Minneapolis in mid-July to watch the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Between Yankees legend Derek Jeter’s last appearance and a city with such passion for the sport, the energy was palpable in the Twin Cities.

Nike was right in the middle of the action, spreading their “Future Gets Faster” message through events for young athletes and the launch of the Nike Lunar Vapor Spectrum Collection. Over the course of two days during All-Star Game week, Nike gave Minneapolis-area youth baseball athletes the opportunity to learn, train and compete, and fans of the game got some love as well.

On Monday, July 14 Nike’s Future Gets Faster baseball competition provided all-star treatment to two age groups of 220 elite athletes at Cretin-Derham Hall (Twins star Joe Mauer’s high school). The players tested their speed in running, swinging and fielding – highlighting the importance of speed in the game. Between high school and youth sessions, the young athletes got a surprise visit from Milwaukee Brewers centerfielder all-star Carlos Gomez. At the end of each age group’s session, the athletes competed for a spot in a homerun derby (complete with fireworks, of course). After their competition sessions ended, the athletes checked out the new Nike Lunar Vapor Trout cleat, which they would see on Angels all-star Mike Trout during the All-Star game the following day.

That same day, baseball fans at the Nike Mall of America store reaped the rewards of their scavenger hunting skills with a VIP athlete Q&A experience with St. Louis Cardinals all-star Matt Carpenter. The day before, Carpenter released a tweet with clues for fans to find, photograph and tweet – all clues could be found in Mall of America. Fans who completed the hunt were rewarded with a VIP bracelet to come back to the Nike store the next morning for the Q&A. Carpenter shared his philosophy on work ethic and his appreciation for his teammates.

On Tuesday, All-Star Gameday, 20 elite high school baseball players were invited to a true insider experience to learn what it takes to develop the incredible speed that Mike Trout is known for. At the Train Like Trout event, Nike treated athletes to a full VIP experience with locker set-ups complete with apparel and footwear. After gearing up, Trout’s own personal trainer, Dan Richter, led the athletes through a full workout of speed and strengthening drills. Once the workout was over, a healthy-food truck pulled up, and athletes enjoyed a premium viewing experience for the All-Star Game, as they watched Mike Trout’s American League team kill it.

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