The Sunnier Side of the Office – November 9, 2015

f234901d-e423-4397-b3fa-ebe7cf14c65eVirtual Reality Comes to The New York Times
In a front page spread, The New York Times shed some light on the 60 million displaced people of the world, 30 million of whom are children. The piece, called “The Displaced,” was published along with a beautiful virtual reality video that anyone can view with the Times’ new app, NYT VR. The app briefly immerses readers in a snapshot of the lives of some of the displaced, one piece shows an American airdrop of food from the perspective of the grateful families below.

Download the app here to watch “the Displaced” and other pieces (Google Cardboard headset not required, although there are some lying around the office you can probably find). NYT VR also gives advertisers the wherewithal to explore the VR space. Mini has already partnered with NYT VR to tell a few short stories from behind the wheel.

70c32ba1-ce1a-4b65-bbf6-9d84671447e2Pinterest Introduces New Visual Search Function
Today, Pinterest has released a new function that allows uses search for specific items within photos. Pinterest has made repeated efforts to be viewed as a search engine over a social media platform, as many users use it to find clothes/furniture/random tchotchke that spark their fancy. Essentially, users looking at a picture of a room can zoom and enhance on any item within the image.

4e6f4e9e-233a-4d18-82d8-c8df24ba64adIn the Age of Streaming, Some Old School Stations Thrive
With the rise of Spotify and Pandora, it may seem like traditional radio is dying, but many traditional stations are actually thriving. Stations like Seattle’s KEXP and SoCal’s KCRW have recently moved to multimillion dollar facilities and helped launch the careers of the Lumineers and Macklemore. Many stations tie their growing popularity to listener’s desire for curated music, rather than music compiled by fancy algorithms. Indeed, Apple was keen to the trend, making curated playlists and radio stations a key element of their offering. In a related piece, MIT Tech Review published a wonderful article exploring why the creativity of mixtapes and user playlists cannot be superseded by algorithms. 

Apps like iHeartRadio make listening easy, by giving access to stations like KEXP thru their mobile devices. Thanks to iHeartRadio, KEXP has expanded its listenership nationally, illustrated by the map above, which shows a pin for every city KEXP has received a letter from.

Media Partner of the Week: iHeartRadio

6f7ee169-aae2-4084-be81-e45e3e3a0522What does iHeartMedia do?

iHeartMedia represents a vast network of more than 850 terrestrial radio stations across the U.S., making it the nation’s largest owner of radio stations. The company also leases two channels on Sirius XM, and uses its app, iHeartRadio, to make stations accessible to users across desktop/mobile. What makes working with a company like iHeart so compelling is that in Q1 of this year, radio surpassed TV for the first time ever as #1 in reach for across adults 18+. Whether on-air, on social, on iHeartRadio, or across stages (think #iHeartRadioJungleBall and iHeartRadio Music Festival) iHeartMedia reaches 245 MM unique consumers each month. Curious how brands can get involved? Check out how Coca-Cola teamed up with iHeart to produce First Taste Fridays

This Week in Social

jack-toast-snap-post-hed-2015A Toast to Ol’ Blue Eyes
Jack Daniels took to Instagram for a UGC contest that features fans’ best toasts to Frank Sinatra. Winners will be treated to a trip to LA and Vegas for a Rat Pack-esque experience of their own.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 2.35.13 PMAsics Creates World’s Largest Selfie Stick
To celebrate the New York City Marathon, Asics hosted #mashmeet, an event where photographers got together to create beautiful event photos using a 90-foot tall selfie stick.

sprite2Sprite & Snapchat Partner
Sprite Brazil launched a social campaign in which the can itself is the medium – with 15 different snap stories activated, they’ve garnered more than 2 million views in a few days.