Step right up and witness the wisest, weirdest and most wondrous web findings around, all nicely crammed into one place. (We know, it boggles the mind!) Without any further ado, we present our weekly list of 5 things you might have missed.
1.) Spaghetti Tacos: This food oddity was featured as the top trending topic on Yahoo, received a full write-up in The New York Times and wound up in thousands of Twitter feeds. It makes our list for its sheer “ewww!” factor and because spaghetti tacos demonstrate the strength of branding to children. Turns out the meal that only a kid could love is actually a byproduct of Nickelodeon’s hit tween show iCarly. A character mentioned it was his favorite meal – and low and behold, a national food phenom took root. If there was any doubt how powerful the tween influence is on everything from what we buy to what we eat, spaghetti tacos and Nickelodeon, by proxy, has erased it for good.
2.) PSAs Gone Viral: This week saw a surge in Public Service Announcements chatted about in blogs and posted on Facebook. The rash of teen suicides from gay youth prompted everyone from Sarah Silverman to Project Runway’s Tim Gunn to post web videos conveying messages of hope and outrage. Also, other PSAs like this one from England about climate change ended up on everyone’s lips simply because they were so bizarre. This week proved web PSAs are more effective today because they can be shared around the globe at lightening speed.
3.) That Doggone Lottery Ad: This one, which we tweeted and retweeted, is simply an ad that tugs at the old heartstrings. Plugging the New Zealand Lotteries, the spot features a pooch named Wilson who viewers instantly fall in love with. In our age of snark, it’s refreshing to find a commercial that genuinely makes us smile.
4.) The Thin Line Between Children’s TV & One Giant Commercial: Media watchdogs and marketers alike pondered the merits of Hub network, the Discovery Channel and Hasbro partnership that has folks in an uproar even though the darn thing hasn’t premiered yet. Why the fuss? Some are concerned the programs, many of which are set to feature Hasbro’s popular toys as stars, are not of any real value other than to sell dolls and toys. It’s a new media branding conundrum and a story that poses all kinds of ethical questions. Confession: We’re just happy the channel will be showing Fraggle Rock reruns.
5.) We Survived a FourSquare Outage: Our addiction to FourSquare was put to the ultimate test on Monday when the geolocation site was on the fritz for several hours. Despite the initial panic, we lived (!) and the planet continued to turn. Which is fabulous, since cool FourSquare collaborations with the NHL and Pee Wee Herman just launched this week.