Edition 91

This week, we bring your valuable attention to a new flavour of job perk, a brand hoaxed by fake PR, a brand that faked its own campaign’s demise, and a visionary bit of tech that makes ancient architecture more real. Enjoy.

Finger lickin’ good… job perks

Image: KFC

How does a fast food chain reduce staff turnover? Fast food jobs are famously basic, and restaurant workers are usually happy to move on in short order. Well, KFC have a truly tasty solution. The chain has taken its basic, bland restaurant job, and coated it with a tasty combination of education and opportunity. 

The KFC Foundation has announced that it will partner with one of the USA’s leading online universities, to offer restaurant employees paid tuition to earn their college degrees.

KFC staff in the US can choose from more than 60 different bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and certification programs offered by Western Governors University (WGU) in the fields of business, IT, education and healthcare.

This partnership is a true demonstration of industry leadership that will make a real difference to people’s lives. We hope it works for both the company and the employees. Well done, KFC.

Sweet lies, and total nuts

Image: Mars Incorporated

Early last week M&M announced the retirement of their surprisingly controversial “Spokescandies”. The company’s official account seemed to concede defeat, confessing that changes they had made to their Spokescandies’ appearance was something “America could not agree on”. In their place, it would introduce Maya Rudolph as a brand ambassador America could agree on.

Where did this all come from? Well, a little over a year ago, M&M changed the footwear of some of the characters in order to make them more relevant and inclusive. Most notably, it swapped out the thigh-high go-go boots on the green M&M to a more comfortable trainer. 

These changes were somehow picked up by the far-right’s leading Chicken Licken, Tucker Carlson, who promptly, and predictably, accused the brand of being – you know what’s coming – too woke. 

“M&M’s will not be satisfied until every last cartoon character is deeply unappealing and totally androgynous, until the moment you wouldn’t want to have a drink with any one of them”, he warned, seemingly unaware that he was discussing how attracted he is to a coated nut. But he succeeded in putting branded candywear firmly on the nation’s political agenda, eventually forcing M&M to retire their spokescandies. 

Or… not.

The following Friday, just five days after the announcement, M&M reversed the decision to remove their Spokescandies, claiming it was just a stunt to drum up some excitement for its upcoming Super Bowl advert where the Spokescandies are set to be joined by Rudolph. 

Was this the plan all along? Or was it a knee-jerk reaction to a bit of controversy? To us, it feels like a pretty short stunt but we’ll let you make up your own mind on that one.

Fast Fashion Furore

Image: Realitywear

Adidas was recently the target of a PR-worthy PR hoax. To draw attention to what they claim are serious human rights abuses, campaign groups The Yes Men and the Clean Clothes Campaign, released fictitious press releases in Adidas’s name, and even held a ‘fashion event’ in Berlin.

The fake press releases presented a “revolutionary plan to overhaul the company”, and a new clothing line called ‘Realitywear’, that shows the reality of the working conditions in Adidas. The release included celebrity names, like Pharrell Williams and Bad Bunny, that were said to have contributed to the line. 

The activists urged Adidas to sign the Pay Your Workers agreement by the Clean Clothes Campaign.

Adidas has denied the allegations and insists that its workers are paid fairly.

What we want to know is… did the stories land? See the full story here.

Drone to life

Image source: DRIFT

We love a bit of speculative art, and we love seeing big ‘what if?’ questions answered with pizzazz and style. So of course we love the latest project by Amsterdam-based studio DRIFT, who asked themselves “What would the Sagrada Familia look like if it was finished?” and then answered their own question. With a drone-created lightshow. 

The drones were used to dramatically outline the completed shape of various incomplete monuments – including the Colosseum, Whitby Abbey in the UK, Plovdiv Amphitheatre in Bulgaria, the ruins of Soli in Turkey and, yes, a completed Sagrada Familia. 

It’s a pretty incredible marriage of art and technology, both beautiful to look at AND potentially a new tool for architects to visualise the future. See more here.

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