This week we’re cooking up the secret sauce for TV branding, blending up some juicy collabs, debating socialist AI, staying far away from the desert, and honoring the Margaritaville idol.
We’re also excited about a new Heroica interview with our founder Jolene Delisle about all things entrepreneurship — give it a read!
From paper to soup to cigarettes — this fascinating read outlines the creative freedom designers have when thinking up a brand meant to exist for TV. These brands, like Duff Beer in the Simpsons or a Campbell’s-inspired brand for Wes Anderson, use the same principles of real brands. Yet, if done right, they are both extensions of the characters but have enough imagination to “transcend the confines of the fictional world,” which might be every designer’s dream.
Smoothie and beverage collaborations are the latest trend to generate word-of-mouth buzz. But, like all great smoothies, great collaborations begin with a recipe. Karin Eldor, outlines these steps for a successful smoothie collab: 1. Align with a noteworthy, popular founder, creator or brand. 2. Create a flavor profile that’s both delicious and highly Instagrammable. 3. Offer the drink for a limited time. Because at the end of the day, the last thing you want is your collaboration to blend in.
Last week, Chinese company Baidu announced the release of their AI intelligence bot — Ernie. While the name evokes nostalgic memories of Sesame Street, that didn’t stop it from being downloaded 1M times within 19 hours (Chatgpt reached 1M downloads after five days). Unsurprisingly, the tool is required to adhere to China’s core socialist values, which means that many prompts are met with “Let’s talk about something else.” With more regulations surrounding AI, we’ll be interested to see whether Ernie lives on.
Burning Man is a festival otherwise known as the desert’s annual transformation into a haven for “free spirits” who ditch their day jobs, don feathers, and dive into an exhibition of self-expression (notably with some hallucinogens). The festival culminates in the burning of a wooden sculpture (traditionally a man), and this year’s sculpture was set to be a beautiful upside-down flower made of 640 porous wooden, lacey panels. However, with the intense rainfall trapping attendees in the muddy desert, it seems that is the last thing on anyone’s mind, and we just hope everyone makes it out alright.
No one knew how to sit back nibblin’ on sponge cake, watching the sun bake quite like Jimmy Buffet, who sadly died Friday, September 5. In fact, he defined the laidback, coastal hippie look that became widely accepted and loved by all. If you’re donning a Hawaiian shirt, strutting in Crocs, and some cut-off jean shorts, Jimmy would say you’re doing something right. That same self-confidence has continued in a lasting legacy — just search “Jimmy Buffet culture” on TikTok, and you’ll find videos like this one. Jimmy was not only an extremely talented musician but a lifestyle brand — one that says be yourself and have the most fun doing it.