Thursday Thinky: New, Naughty & Nice

If you’re reading this, you made it into a new decade!

Let’s start the 20’s on a familiar note, with the first Thinky of the year. We have innovating takes on the “Naughty or Nice” list, a surfboard wax that saves the oceans while mocking Donald Trump, a plant-based sneaker, and the first “post to donate float” courtesy of Chipotle. We also wanted to share Google’s paper phone… You should see it for yourself!

Happy New Year!



Tackling Big Issues


National Alliance on Mental Illness – Santa rethinks “naughty or nice” because kids aren’t just one thing or the other (Muse by Clio)

So whether you have kids or not–this is powerful. In any other context this could come off as a little preachy, but delivered by Santa, who is coming to his own realizations through a remarkably well-written and acted soliloquy, somehow it doesn’t feel overbearing or unwelcome. NAMI, the mental health org who created this, is only tagged at the end. But for me, the power of the narrative was enough to carry me through, and be genuinely interested in wanting to know more. Loved it but wished the landing page was as good as the ad…



Clean Ocean Foundation – Creating a surfboard wax that mocks Trump, and saves our oceans at the same time (The Stable)

Love this example of product development to help solve an issue. I’m also very curious about the real impact it has. How do you reach the immense parts of the ocean where people don’t surf at? Are there partnerships that they should look into to have an even bigger impact? That’d be fun to know. And of course, the Trump jab doesn’t hurt, either. Well done!



Brands That Caught Our Eye


Carnival Cruises – Becoming “sensory inclusive” for guests with Autism, ADHD, PTSD, Down Syndrome and Sensory Disabilities (3BL Media)

Carnival’s goal (and brand mission) is to make cruise vacations more accessible for everyone. So very smartly, they’ve partnered with an Kulturecity and are leveraging their resources to train their team members on how to best interact with/help adults and kids with sensory issues, and outfit their ships with special sensory kits to make sure the guests enjoy their stay.  This is a great example of a brand going beyond Checkbook Charity to really live their values and include their employees in support of an issue, not just an NPO. They’re actually augmenting their business and product offering in service of social and human good. Way to go, Carnival.



Reebok – Debuting its first plant based running shoe  (Campaign Live)

They’re replacing oil based plastics in the shoes with plant based materials (Its midsole is built from sustainably grown castor beans), while also trying to maintain high performance for runners. Adidas also went down a similar route recently with their Futurecraft shoe, which is intended to be 100% recyclable. I hope more brands, and more athletes, start getting in on the action.



Chipotle – Creating Rose Parade’s “First-Ever Post-To-Donate Float” supporting young farmers (

You remember their “Back to the Start” video that was, and is, still iconic and way ahead of its time, positioning the brand as a champion of small farmers, and the overall sustainable food movement, WAY back in 2012? This has notes of that simpler time for Chipotle, mixed in with a pretty cool Cause Marketing angle to get people engaged with their Rose Parade float rather than just watching it, well, float by on New Year’s Day.  “As a part of its mission to cultivate a better world, Chipotle is donating $1 to the National Young Farmers Coalition for every post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #farmers on January 1, 2020.”


The Many Facets of Creativity


Google – Making a printable paper phone…to help you detox from your real one. (Google Experiments)

Which I guess is interesting… except then you’re wasting paper by printing out the info for your day instead of just looking at your phone. The reviews on the Android store are also not that great. Thank you for the efforts Google, but I will probably find some other ways to disconnect.



2019 Agency holiday card roundup (The Drum)

Because of course, it’s that time. We were excited about the idea for the Xmas Ad Generator from MullenLowe, but the execution was a big letdown. The Hive’s Self-Care Calendar (with proceeds going to the Canadian Mental Health Association) is lovely. Curiosity’s kid-driven gifts is super fun. Stranger Things is still a thing (why?). And oh, there’s so much more. Have a look for yourself.  Which ones are your favs?


That’s it for today’s Thinky. See you next week!

PS: If any of the above made your wheel spin, we’d love to hear your thoughts–get in touch with us!

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