Given it is the end of the year, this week’s stories include several holiday themes, including an inside look at the PR strategy behind Hatchimals, a great strategic idea from Hasbro UK and an app designed to reduce food wastage. Other stories I selected this week include Amazon revealing its bold ambitions to transform the trucking industry and Oculus sharing new plans to socialize VR. This will be the final newsletter update of the year (I’m taking the week off next week!), but the first email of 2017 on January 5th will be straight from the trade show floor at CES in Las Vegas. In case you will be there, let me know and we can get together. Otherwise, happy new year to you all and thank you for your time and attention reading this email every week!
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Hasbro Aims To End Monopoly-Fueled Holiday Family Fights
After polling players and uncovering that disagreements about Monopoly rules were commonly creating family arguments during the holidays, Hasbro UK hatched the perfect solution: a hotline with rules experts available 24/7 to solve conflicts. As you might expect, this PR friendly idea is getting lots of attention … a testament to the power of a good idea.
The Marketing Strategy Behind The Hottest Toy Of The Season
Every holiday there is always a must have toy – and this December it is clearly Hatchimals. In this intriguing interview from PRWeek, you can take an inside look at the marketing strategy that helped drive the toy’s success, including its unique idea of secretly launching on a single day and driving interest through the passion of superfans and their wildly popular unboxing videos on YouTube.
Are You Going To CES 2017 In January? Let’s Meet In Person!
If you will be at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January, I would love to meet you. I will be doing a book signing and short talk on stage in the middle of the Convention Center as part of Gary’s Book Club and will also be there at the show for several days. If you are there, please reply to this email and let me know – I would love to meet up in person!
Amazon’s Creates An Uber For The Trucking Industry
This past week Amazon’s plans to disrupt the $800 billion trucking industry emerged, and they are significant. While it may not be as sexy as drone deliveries, this story is a must-read look at the retailer’s ambition to reinvent the global supply chain industry and perhaps down FedEx and UPS in the process.
Oculus Announces Plans To Make “Social VR” A Real Thing
Given the growing popularity of VR, it was only a matter of time before technologists and content creators found ways to make it a less solitary experience. This week Oculus announced two new initiatives to allow people to interact with one another through VR – a move that will simultaneously open up new potential uses for VR while also reducing the current content challenge of finding enough interesting things to watch once you have a VR device.
How To Make Money On Your Mobile Gaming Obsession
There a growing number of online gaming competitions, but they are usually focused on complex multi-player games. Two Dots is one exception, partnering with Sparcade to create a mode where players can compete head to head and actually make real money on their gaming skills. If it works, look for other addictive mobile games to follow their lead.
The Leftover App That Wants To Reduce Food Wastage
If you have ever been bothered by seeing food wasted in restaurants (particularly at buffets!), you will love this idea to connect restaurants with extra food with the people who need it. Food wastage is a huge global problem, and one that will need smart solutions like this. I love the mission behind this app – definitely an idea worth spreading.
How Are These Stories Chosen?
Every week I review more than a hundred data sources to curate the best and most under appreciated marketing stories of the week. The aim of this email is to spotlight these “non-obvious” stories, along with a quick take on why they matter for you. I hope you find this email interesting and useful … and am always open to your suggestions on how I might make it better!