Innovations We Love: September

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Our Thoughts
  • by Courtney PeGan Stevens

As the days get shorter, the air gets cooler, and the leaves transform into a symphony of color (at least in our neck of the woods!), Senior Vice President of Operations, Courtney PeGan Stevens, finds herself drawn to marketing and product innovations that evoke comfort and nostalgia. 

INNOVATION: McCormick's Surprise Pop-up Grilling Support for RV Travelers

Why We Love It:  With the demand for RVs at an all time high this year, McCormick found a brilliant way to reach consumers “where they are” by setting surprise pop-ups at three of the top fifteen Labor Day RV destinations in the United States. These one-day only “pop-ups” provided RV travelers and campers with everything they needed to make a great tasting meal on-the-road. For me, vacations often include comforting, delicious meals enjoyed together.  For the many Americans who may be new to RV travel this year, McCormick showed up big with this highly supportive marketing innovation to solve the tension of wanting to make memorable meals in an unfamiliar, mobile environment. “We wanted to ensure that every griller, expert or first-timer, had the tools and spices they need to confidently cook a delicious meal this holiday." - Jill Pratt, Chief Marketing Excellence Officer at McCormick.

INNOVATION: Red Lobster’s Dew Garita 

Why We Love It: This was a hot topic on our internal Microsoft Teams channel at SEEK. My husband is a Mt. Dew fanatic, so I immediately loved this innovation. My favorite thing has been how many people online are talking about how they’ve been making this drink for years out of thrift / DIY bartending. This announcement was met with some nice nostalgia and excitement to try (or make at-home since it hasn’t rolled out nationwide yet.) 

  • for one week straight I have thought about nothing but the dew garita.” - Twitter
  • I've always made my margaritas with dew. Makes it taste so much better. everyone thought I was weird for it until they tried it.” - Reddit
  • Red Lobster is now offering the “Dew Garita”, which is primarily tequila mixed with Mountain Dew. It turns out I "accidentally" invented this drink in college when I had no money and no taste for actual cocktails.” -Twitter
  • My local Red Lobster doesn't have this in stock yet, so I'm currently thinking of ways to concoct this at home. The rim will be the trickiest part, for sure.” - Reddit
  • I'll have a 'dew garita and your freshest tendies, good sir. Finally, a cocktail for a man of taste...” -Reddit 

(Note: online commentary was also heavily peppered with some skepticism, and I’ll say it: snobbery. lol)  

INNOVATION: Spotify’s Sound of Colleagues Website and Playlist

Why We Love It: For those who are still adjusting to working at home or working alone, Spotify is hosting a playlist and website called “The Sound of Colleagues” to help deliver a sense of normalcy for those struggling with the silence. This was developed by advertising agency Familjen STHLM and audio branding agency Red Pipe Studios during the spring shutdown. The website has the very cool feature of allowing you to “mix your own” perfect sound scape by dialing up or down specific types of noise. (e.g. I needed to increase the “Office Dog” noises to really get that SEEK feel.) While not a perfect proxy for being in a busy office, it stoked just enough nostalgia to make me smile and comfortably knock out my email in record time this morning. 

What are some innovative ways you’ve seen brands deliver comfort and nostalgia to the humans they serve?  Let’s keep the conversation going. Join us on LinkedIn or email me directly: