Monday jumpstart: Scarecrows, Bad Habits, and Basement Jaxx
And on that note here are some fun, fresh, curious, and inspirational people (and companies) from around the globe:
As someone who takes her dessert very seriously, a trip to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is literally the highlight of my visits home! Jeni Britton Bauer launched her ice cream business in the mid-90s, at a time when the focus was more on dot coms, and less on artisanal ice cream flavors such as Goat Cheese with Cherries, Corn and Black Raspberries, or Queen City Cayenne (a mesmerizing blend of cayenne pepper, dark chocolate, and cinnamon). But by going with her passion, Bauer built up a strong, local, cult following not only through the originality of the flavors, but by also using organic, locally sourced produce (which in turn benefits the local economy). Today Jeni’s is distributed all over the US, Bauer has penned a best selling cookbook, is a role model for other female entrepreneurs, and is touted as one of the most creative “cooks” out there.
“Chipotle is on a mission to change the way the world thinks about and eats fast food”. That’s Mark Crumpacker, Chief Marketing Officer for the fast food chain, Chipotle, talking about the company’s future, as it continues to rebrand itself as a healthly, and socially conscious, company after parting ways with previous owner, McDonald’s. To help drive home its message, the company worked with Louisiana-based Moonbot Studios to create Scarecrow, an iPad and iPhone game set in a world where the traditional guardians of farms, scarecrows, have been forced to become servants of the industrial giant that controls production of all food. Food that is, of course, genetically modified. Hmmm, is it possible this is a not-so-thinly veiled jab at their previous owner? Politics aside, it’s a fascinating rebranding effort. And even more fascinating is the gorgeous, 3-minute Scarecrow film/commercial, featuring music from Fiona Apple (yes, she still makes music!). The team at Moonbot has definitely created a beautiful rebranding package.
California and Paris
Using a combination of wireless ground sensors, mobile applications, analytics tools, and real-time parking data, Streetline is looking to help city-dwellers with a very basic, daily dilemma: finding a parking spot. Streetline works with anyone who has traffic management needs – university campuses, train stations, city councils – and they’ve partnered with telecom provider, Orange, to bring their services to cities across France. With cities around the world suffering from over population, companies such as Streetline are definitely in a booming market. While their products and services don’t offer a solution to the core problem overly crowded cities, they do offer a very practical solution for day-to-day city living. Or driving, rather.
London & Johannesburg
British duo Basement Jaxx has been making infectious, hip-shaking music since the 90s and their latest single proves they’ve still got it. The song’s video, filmed in Alexandra, a township in Johannesburg, also showcases Pantsula, a dance style that emerged in South African townships during the apartheid era. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to master the fun Pantsula footwork!