Disconnect to Reconnect

In the footsteps of other big brands like Budweiser and Amazon that create tear-jerking ad campaigns around the holidays, Ikea Spain recently released their latest commercial. Pulling on heartstrings across the globe, the video instantly went viral with over 9m+ views on YouTube alone.

The video starts out with families gathered around a dining room table playing a game that asks all sorts of questions such as “What animal filters can you find on Instagram stories?” and “What is the’ Swish Swish’?” If the question is answered correctly, they get to stay at the table, and if they get it wrong, they leave.

The families seem to be having a great time until the media and pop culture questions go from “How did [Spanish celeb couple] Los Javis meet?” to “How did your parents meet?”

Image Source: IKEA Spain

One of the teenage girls in the commercial could easily answer the celebrity trivia, but couldn’t find the words to answer personal questions about her parents. As the game continues with more questions about the family members at the table, the table empties. It becomes clear that they don’t know as much about their own families as they do about celebrities.

As the video says, “Social media is always there, it always will be, but your family won’t always be there, so take advantage.” So take time this holiday season to put your phones, tablets, and laptops away and enjoy the time you have with your loved ones.

“Would you play with your family?”

Image Source: IKEA Spain

Happy Holidays!

Posted by Julia

Baby Names or Salad Toppings?

I think we can all agree, 2018 has been a weird year. Mercury is in retrograde, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan split, romaine lettuce is lethal, the President is still Don – I’ll just stop there.

And just when we thought we were going to make it into 2019 safely, BabyCenter reveals a new study: naming your children after salad ingredients is on the rise.

No, this is not some cruel joke that mom and dad are playing on their kids. Expecting parents are really planning to name their children after the toppings they eat each day for lunch. BabyCenter’s recent data claims that the name Kiwi has risen a whopping 40% and Clementine is up 15% with names like Kale, Maple and Saffron getting an honorable mention as well.

Gone are the days of four Matthews in your childhood classroom and instead, one little boy named Avocado. While the names are said to be connected with mindfulness and flavors, I can’t help but think this is just another keto-esque fad that may have gone too far…

Now who am I to judge, but whatever happened to a simple Emily? Maybe a nice Laura? Anything? Bueller?

Oh, what a time to be alive…

Image Source: Giphy

Posted by Carolyn

Millennials: Now Ruining the Tuna Industry

Image Source: RTE

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, StarKist’s Vice President of Marketing and Innovation Andy Mecs specifically cited young people’s supposed distaste for a household device as one of the many reasons the tuna market is struggling. “A lot of millennials don’t even own can openers,” he told the paper. While he didn’t give any solid evidence on millennials owning can openers, the article did provide information from the Department of Agriculture: per capita consumption of canned tuna has dropped 42% in the three decades through 2016.

The problem: Canned tuna is struggling to connect with younger generations who favor fresher, less-processed options.

Image Source: gfycat

Century-old tuna companies like StarKist Co., Bumble Bee Foods LLC and Chicken of the Sea International are trying to reboot demand for tuna fish, selling it in cans, pouches and meal kits with trendy flavors or as a healthy snack, like Hot Buffalo Style, Sriracha and Spicy Korean Style with Gochujang. These brands have also launched their own premium brands in recent years, promising higher quality fish.

The solution: apparently, tuna sold in pouches is what’s keeping the industry afloat, with sales going up 20% in the past few years. However, the ease of not having to use a can opener is not enough. Tuna’s potent smell is a turn off for most people (including myself), and consumers have trouble finding diversity to make it a dish worth preparing.

Maybe it would help if one of the Kardashians shared it on the ‘Gram (don’t forget, Kylie Jenner’s recipe for Ramen noodles was revolutionary).

Posted by Cat

The One Where Netflix Gave Us A Heart Attack

Image Source: The New York Times

Who doesn’t love the sitcom Friends? No matter how many times you’ve seen all ten seasons all the way through, it never gets old, and it’s the perfect show for multi-tasking. I usually listen while I’m cleaning my apartment, doing homework, going to bed, or any other time that it’s just too quiet and I need background noise. It’s basically America’s comfort show.

If you identify with what I just described, you probably ALSO had a truly overdramatic meltdown, like myself, when the news recently spread that Netflix was going to remove the show from its platform by the end of 2018. I could basically see the sky falling, for it was essentially the end of the world as we know it. Petitions were made, social media users were utterly outraged… it was just a devastating time, as you can imagine.

Well, folks, you can stop your panicking because Netflix has come through for us and re-signed the show for another year, and let me tell you, it was not cheap. According to People magazine, what used to be a $30 million a year contract has now become a whopping $100 million. Yes, that is an insane jump in price, but are we really going to act like Friends isn’t worth it?

I’m trying to live in the moment and not think about the possibility that we may have to go through this all over again once this new contract expires in 2020, because at least we have this victory. So, for now, we can all sleep soundly again to the sound of our favorite six amigos. It’s truly a holiday miracle!

Posted by Cayla

Goo-Goo for Gaga

Image Source: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images via Vanity Fair

Back in October when A Star Is Born was released, I told my besties, “Mark my words, Lady Gaga will be nominated for ‘Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama.'” Last week, the 2019 Golden Globe nominations were announced, and the American singer, songwriter and actress made the cut, joining fellow nominees Nicole Kidman (Destroyer), Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Glenn Close (The Wife) and Rosamund Pike (A Private War).

Bradley Cooper, who produced, directed and co-starred with Gaga in the film, is also nominated for ‘Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama’ and the film is also up for ‘Best Motion Picture, Drama,’ competing against Black Panther (a personal favorite), Bohemian Rhapsody, and others.

The 76th Golden Globe Awards will be held on January 6, 2019, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles and will be hosted by Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh. I think of the Globes as a pre-Oscars gala, the Miss USA of Miss Universe — a preview of what’s to come. To be completely honest, the Golden Globes are the AFC Championship Game to my Super Bowl (Oscars). And as a ‘little monster’ I want mother monster, Lady Gaga, to win it all.

As expected, the list of nominees is full of surprises, but A Star Is Born is not of them. The remake of the 1976 American musical drama starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson exceeded critics’ expectations. “Bradley Cooper has something new to say in this version, and Lady Gaga belts it out loud and clear to make this a definite contender in numerous categories during award season,” said Neil Soans of the Times of India.

This award season will certainly feature some tight races with films like Vice and Black Panther, and terrific performances by leading actors and actresses like Nicole Kidman and Glenn Close. But biased, fan-boy me knows Gaga will win – mark my words.

Posted by Jovanny

An Activist and a Chef

Image Source: Esquire 

It’s that time of year – nominations are being submitted for the Nobel Peace Prize, famously awarded in Oslo to the person who has “done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” Illustrious recipients in the past include Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, and Barack Obama, among many others. In order to win this prestigious award, you have to be nominated, and not just by anyone. There is a specific set of guidelines that rule over who is qualified to have the power of deciding who will be a Nobel Peace Prize potential. Essentially, even getting nominated in the first place is a huge win!

One of this year’s nominees is not a politician or a nun, but a chef! José Andrés is a well-known, Michelin-starred, D.C. area chef who not only runs nearly 30 different restaurants, but also established the nonprofit World Central Kitchen in 2010, after the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Over the past eight years his tiny team of chefs has expanded worldwide, helping to create solutions to hunger and poverty, especially when caused by natural disasters. Chef Andrés has successfully provided millions of meals to people in need from Indonesia to Puerto Rico during the aftermath of devastating disasters.

This nomination is not the first time José Andrés has been recognized for his efforts — he was the recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year earlier this year. If you are as entrenched in the food world as I am, you already know how big of a deal that is! While we won’t know until next year who the recipient will be, I am hoping that José Andrés will be the first chef in history to become a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Posted by Catherine S.

How Much Would YOU Pay for a $20 Pair of Shoes?

Image Source: AdWeek

Trick question? Maybe. Payless, the discount shoe chain, wanted to find out, so they created “Palessi,” a pop-up-disguised Payless shop within a former Armani store location. They then invited influencers to a luxe opening party for the pop-up, which was filled with traditional Payless pumps and boots (products ranging from $20-40).

According to AdWeek, “Party goers, having no idea they were looking at discount staples from the mall scene, said they’d pay hundreds of dollars for the stylish shoes, praising the look, materials and workmanship. Top offer: $640, which translates to an 1,800 percent markup, and Palessi sold about $3,000 worth of product in the first few hours of the stunt.”

By simply placing the products in a more visually appealing store and slapping a “designer” style name on the products, Payless successfully completed a social experiment, showing how image-focused consumers are.

Payless CMO, Sarah Couch told AdWeek, “the campaign plays off of the enormous discrepancy and aims to remind consumers we are still a relevant place to shop for affordable fashion.”

Who would have thought Payless could fool designer-loving shoppers? Maybe this will encourage consumers to think a little less about the name and more about the styles – all while saving a little money. Only time will tell!

Posted by Victoria

Amanda, Please

Image Source: Paper 

As I kid, I have fond memories of running to my TV to be able to watch The Amanda Show on Nickelodeon. My sister and I still make references to the various skits and to the rest of Bynes’ movies. So you could say I was more than pleased when Paper magazine revealed its most recent cover feature to be none other than Amanda herself!

After spending years out of the spotlight, and then reclaiming it in a negative (and very odd) way in 2012, the former child star is back and better than ever. In her interview with Paper, Bynes opened up about her struggles with addiction and the reasons she left the spotlight in 2007.

But, the interview wasn’t only about her low points. Bynes announced that she is now four years sober and is happier, healthier and already taking back her life. She’s currently a student at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles and, according to her professors, she is killing it. (No surprise there!).

Glad to see you back on track, Amanda!

Posted by Sonia

Christmas (Tree) in a Cup

Image Source: Today 

You’ve got to hand it to Starbucks when it comes to holiday-themed beverages. Every coffee shop can easily concoct a peppermint mocha, or even an eggnog latte (pro tip: just swap the milk for eggnog!). However, it’s not everywhere I can find a gingerbread latte or a cozy chestnut praline chai tea latte.

And they aren’t stopping there. To make sure they’re still #relevant and stay ahead of the game, Starbucks just announced the Juniper latte.

“What is a Juniper latte?” you might ask (I did).

According to the company, it is a latte with “a hint of juniper and sage, an evergreen aroma and citrus notes,” which means it may or may not taste like an actual Christmas tree. TBD. It has juniper syrup and “a dusting of pine-citrus sugar.”

A few headlines came out right away in regards to the taste; one most notable was from The Washington Post, titled “The new Starbucks juniper latte tastes like one too many gin and tonics.”

If it were to be more on the citrus side than piney, I would say “heck yes!” Why? If you’ve ever had a Terry’s chocolate orange around the holidays, you’ll understand. Add a pump of mocha to that and you have yourself a chocolate orange latte! (Starbucks: chocolate orange latte, please?).

To those who have tried it, let us know your thoughts! Hopefully it won’t be on the same caliber as the red cup controversy of 2016…

Posted by Cat

Hakuna Matata

It means “No worries!”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these days, you’ve heard the news, you’ve seen the trailer and you are counting down the seconds until The Lion King remake hits theaters.

Now, let’s be real – recreating a Disney classic is no easy feat, especially one that took home the Oscar and still has us tearing up from what was undoubtedly the saddest death in movie history (we’ll never forgive you, Scar). But it only took one minute and 32 seconds for us to jump on board with this remake, and the numbers prove it:

The star-studded cast doesn’t hurt either – Donald Glover as Simba, Queen B (Beyoncé, duh) as Nala, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and James Earl Jones back and better than ever, reprising his role as Mufasa.

Are we emotionally prepared to go through this again? Probably not. Will we still buy tickets on opening night? You bet. The new film isn’t out until July 2019, so for now, this quick teaser will have to do. And we won’t judge if you watch it a few dozen times either…

Posted by Carolyn

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Subscribe to m.blog