Wake Up And Smell the Bacon

Brookwood-Cafe-Maiden-Bacon-crisp-on-frying-pan-300x225Smell-O-Vision and Odorama are so very last millennia.

But in a nod to today’s iPhone-toting consumer, Oscar Mayer is deploying not only an iPhone alarm app, there’s a compatible plug-in to emit the smell of bacon frying. And media is squealing. Just Bing it or Google to check it out.

It’s all part of Oscar Mayer’s (Kraft Foods division) latest bacon campaign, titled “Wake Up and Smell the Bacon,” which debuted last month just in time for Daylight Savings Time. An iPhone alarm app replaces beeps with the sizzle of frying bacon (natch) to wake up the user, while a connected scent device emits bacon “perfume.” But—and this is a big one—the device can only be won, not bought. Continue reading →

Larger Than Life

Caribou Coffee Mall of America EventCompanies are constantly finding creative new ways to amp up their marketing efforts, and Minneapolis-based Caribou Coffee Co. Inc. recently turned its dial to 11. To promote its new “Real Inspiration Blend,” Caribou created an enormous “Living Pinterest Board” in partnership with the Minneapolis’ Mall of America and Colle+McVoy, the coffee company’s advertising agency of record. The five-story, interactive billboard was composed of two mega screens that displayed images submitted by Caribou enthusiasts to help the company develop the “Real Inspiration Blend.”

The Living Pinterest Board was displayed the week of Valentine’s Day in the Mall of America Rotunda, but Caribou Coffee fans worldwide could participate in the fun by sharing their favorite inspirational photos on Instagram and Twitter using #Caribouinspires, which would then automatically upload to the Living Pinterest Board. Continue reading →

A New Retail Read

RetailSchmetail_Front Cover.jpgHere’s a little message that caught our attention recently: It’s a book: “Retail Schmetail.” Born Feb. 4, a 33.8-ounce, 7.5-in.-by-9-in.-by-1-in. tome. Book and author doing fine; publisher in treatment. Available at Beaver’s Pond Press, Amazon, B&N and great indie bookstores near you. Follow on Twitter @schmetail

Well, the note is from indie retail design vet and RDI member Sandy Stein (Stein LLC, Minneapolis), announcing the arrival of his 328-page history of retail. While another book tracing retail history is always of interest, Stein added a memoir. The subtitle of his book, “ONE Hundred Years, TWO Immigrants, THREE Generations, FOUR Hundred Projects,” tells you exactly what’s between the covers. Continue reading →

Healthy Vending Machines Hit Chicago

saladIt’s time for a road trip.

This could be the smallest shop in Chicagoland, but the good news is you’ll be able to grab a bite. Farmer’s Fridge is actually a refrigerated kiosk/vending machine stocked with several varieties of salads made daily. The Chicago-based company actually prefers the term “veggie machine” when referring to its two area installations.

The kiosk itself is cool—it’s made from reclaimed wood (Modern Urban Woods of West Chicago) with touchscreen technology that’s quick, easy and entertaining to use. It also accepts all major credit cards and emails a receipt.

But, the key ingredient is presentation.

The salads come layered in a Farmer’s Fridge logo-ed recyclable jar (which can be immediately recycled at the kiosk, although we hear most folks are taking them home) to be mixed by the customer. Continue reading →

Mannequins Get Real

article-2488259-193B871000000578-775_306x423Who knows if it started with those Dove soap campaigns using “real” women, or if it’s the popularity of reality shows like “The Biggest Loser” or “Girls,” but there’s a movement trending to better reflect today’s female body types. Realistic mannequins are becoming more reality-sized, too—some are even sporting body art (tattoos) and body hair.

Last month, the Associated Press reported that retailers have cut back on mannequin expenses for years, going with the white, headless, one-size models. But that’s been changing with some embracing “fully” realistic mannequins with thicker waists, saggy breasts and back fat (aka love handles). And it’s happening in stores from the trendy—and body conscious—American Apparel to a bit more staid Saks Fifth Avenue to special occasion David’s Bridal. Continue reading →