Spotify Spotlight || Best Coast - California Nights

It takes a lot of music to stimulate the creative nerve and/or drown out the frequent outbursts of bro songs in agency life, so here's a recommendation.

Remember Garbage? Joydrop? Letters to Cleo? There were tons of killer lady-led alt rock bands during my highly formative years in the 90's. I'm not sure why music migrated from badass women with bands to manicured pop girls feat. autotune, but I just can't stand all the "dressing room" music out there. I don't care if that makes me sound like a granny, either.  

I first heard the title track from this album after a late night out, sitting in my car in the dark, where I was particularly vulnerable to her haunting voice dragging out listless lyrics as I processed a headful of ghosts. Bass players don't get enough credit and I'd really like to learn to play. I just love those deep, melancholy basslines. Between the crunchy grunge guitar that immediately drives into my veins and the effortlessly melodic, yet powerful vocals, California Nights was bound to immediately end up on several playlists.

Top tracks: Feeling Ok, In My Eyes, California Nights, Sleep Won't Ever Come, Wasted Time.

Play Best Coast's California Nights now. What's got you rocking out lately? 

 

#👍 - Instagram Supports Emoji Hashtags

  #PARTYPOPPER

#PARTYPOPPER

Following the natural progression of digital communication and proving that hashtags are far from dead, Instagram announced that users can now hashtag emoji. 

"Over the past few years, emoji have become part of a universal visual language. And just as we share photos and videos, we use emoji to communicate emotions and feelings in ways that anyone can understand, regardless of language or background. With emoji hashtags, you can discover even more by adding them to your own photos and videos, searching them on the Explore page and tapping on them when you see them in captions.” – via Instagram.

It makes perfect sense for a highly visual platform to allow users to hashtag their favorite form of visual expression. Now it's a race to see which brands accounts and companies will claim relevant emoji hashtags first. McDonald's has a clear leg up with the all-but-golden-arches branded french fries. Chips Ahoy FINALLY has something Oreo doesn't. Will Tiffany's rock the diamond? Who will hit the nail on the head with #🔨 ⎯ Lowes or Home Depot? 

As of now, Instagram has only banned one emoji ⎯ 🍆 ⎯ over "Eggplant Friday" concerns that it would be used to tag NSFW images of the male anatomy. Really? The eggplant? I always go for the banana. Also, the straight up obscene 🍑 remains searchable... for now.  

UnReview: Azure Striker Gunvolt

I spent my weekend traveling which meant breaking in my shiny Majora's Mask edition New Nintento 3DS XL with Mega Man style run-and-gun platformer Azure Striker Gunvolt

 Fast-paced electrifying action!

Fast-paced electrifying action!

You start off with a basic gun that allows 3 "tags." Tags deal minimal damage, but when you stack them on your enemies and then use your electrical charge to inflict serious pain - as long as your charge holds. You can double tap down to recharge, but this can get difficult during boss battles where the damage comes thick and swiftly. As you progress, you'll be able to synth new weapons and armor with found items or challenge rewards. 

I like that you can choose which missions to complete in any order. Each mission comes complete with various obstacles, enemies and puzzles. This game is perfect for speed runs. Until you get to the bosses- each with their own unique abilities and impossible to dodge, crazy powerful attacks. 

 I'll find a way to get hit by every single fireball. 

I'll find a way to get hit by every single fireball. 

Challenges give the game great replay value. The boards are tons of fun to play anyway, but trying to beat them in a given time or chasing a high score adds another dimension of frantic sweaty palmed button mashing. 

I am the Nintendo generation. Give me a quirky 16-bit platformer with a good story, witty dialogue and challenging boards with fairly simple gameplay and I'm entertained for hours at a time. I appreciate a game that allows me to figure out the controls and puzzles and strategy as opposed to forcing me through some drawn out tutorial stage and walking me through details I'd much rather discover on my own. 

 MOAR MISSLES!

MOAR MISSLES!

Verdict: Yes. Buy this. 

I was not compensated to write about this game. I just liked it and wanted to share it. That is all.

Meerkat Hype - Is Yellow the New Blue?

There's a new digital darling in the app store. 

Love it or hate it, you're going to be hearing a lot about Meerkat as the internet flocks to this new app and discovers incredible ways to use it. Meerkat allows you to stream live video across Twitter where your followers (or anyone) can watch and comment live directly on your broadcast. Since I spend an embarrassing amount of my time on Twitch, I'm jumping right onto this little yellow hypewagon. 

As a digital marketer with several social media accounts, I am truly grateful for Meerkat's one-click login. It's incredibly easy to switch between twitter accounts start broadcasting. Take notes, Instagram. As long as you have all your twitter accounts connected to your device, you just need to open Meerkat, tap your username in the upper right, tap "log out/log in" and select whichever account you want. Boom. Done. Broadcast your commute. 

Today I tuned into Mark Hoppus at band practice with Blink 182, watched some nice folks at NJ.com discuss their favorite television shows and broadcast some of my Tomodatchi Life gameplay. I'm fairly confident that Meerkat will become the lens through which we consume lots of concerts and events. I'm certain the app will play a major role in future news events. 

For brands, there's a lot of content potential here. From behind-the-scenes streams to factory tours to interviews to promotional events and stunts to product announcements, Meerkat essentially gives everyone the power to disrupt social media with their own brand of live breaking news. 

So far my biggest gripe is that your streams are not archived for replay, so if you click on a Meerkat link on twitter and that user is finished streaming, there's nothing to see. I'm hoping future functionality pulls a selection of recent broadcasts to visit if the user is not currently live. Fortunately, you can save your streams to your camera roll and from there create a YouTube or vimeo archive if you're so inclined.  

I'm looking forward to seeing how Meerkat fares among the constantly expanding social media menu (and rolling up my sleeves on some Meerkat content ideas for some of my clients). As SnapChat reaches the peak of its popularity and Facebook declines among the younger demo, will yellow be the new blue? 

3 Reasons No One Needs an Apple Watch

1. Do you know who still wears watches? Old men.

2. The watch's apps are stored on your iPhone. So... you could just use your phone. 

3) It's an infuriating example of how out of touch brands are with what my generation wants and needs. As we're drowning in student loan debt and spending our precious money on travel and experiences, Apple introduces a $10,000 watch that can't run apps without the iPhone. Cool, guys. 


The "Buy" Button is Coming!

Instagram just announced a new flavor on its advertising menu. Carousel ads allow advertisers to tell a story through a series of images users can swipe through with a "Learn More" functionality that links out to the CTA. Take a look.

This is how the SPCA plans to empty my wallet. 

Considering the functionality, it certainly won't be long before "Learn More" turns into "Buy Now" as users swipe through a carousel of products and you'll be able to immediately click through and buy all of those beautiful #ThingsOrganizedNeatly. 

3 Ways Brands Can Use Yo

Is there anything more effective at getting your attention than a notification on your mobile device? With a recent update, the Yo app has become a rich notification platform that brands can creatively leverage to engage users.

1. Product Awareness With Yo's attachment functionality, brands could yo a link to coupons and offers. Yo your hashtag with the offer to add a level of brand awareness and measure your redemption rate.

2. Research Monster.com created a Yo campaign asking users to yo "ILOVEMYJOB," "IHATEMYJOB" or "INEEDAJOB," allowing Monster to interact with their audience and also get some great insight and statistics.

3. Consumer Engagement with Yo Service FedEx uses Yo to alert users when a package is delivered, but this could easily be a great opportunity to brands across many industries. An ice cream brand might set up a service that will yo users when their pint is softened and spoon-ready. Baking product and frozen food CPGs could revolutionize the kitchen timer by creating a YoCookie service to yo users 10 minutes after they slide a tray of cookie dough into the oven.

3 Ways Brands Can Use Yo first appeared on Bfgcom.com

4 Google Alerts That Would Actually Be Useful

Alert: An ex Googled your name. Google Search displayed your most recent successes and top 10 hottest photos.

Alert: Those flirty photos you sent were forwarded to a third party. Retrieve and delete?

Alert: 1245 middle aged “Girl Collectors” have added you to their Circles on Google+. Would you like to block them now?

Alert: Your “Sent Mail” folder contains items over 5 years old, most of which are super embarrassing. Empty folder now?