Hot Pockets, NHL & TikTok and WGA in Nashville

Can UGC Cut It, AR Shopping and Nashville Nights

"There is not list of rules. There is one rule. The rule is: There are no rules." Shonda Rhimes


First (newsletter) Milestone Unlocked

A quick update of what's going on and what's next for the WGA crew

We have hit our first milestone in the WGA newsletter. The tenth edition. I do have to say, the enjoyment of writing these articles brings me moments of peace and reflection. I consider it an outlet for the insane thoughts that sometimes (or maybe all the time), enter my brain. 

So here is a look back. Seven months ago Alex and I were working our 9-5 jobs. I speak for both of us when I say we were content with them but not complacent. We both knew there was something else out there for us to pursue and it has brought us to a place we never thought we would be. We still have so much more to do and so much more to prove. From adventures through traveling and meeting members of this wonderful community we are truly grateful for all of it. 


Hot Pockets + Twitch = Gamer Heaven

How Hot Pockets joined Gen Z gamer culture through Twitch Bits

Hot Pockets. My oh my. For any of you in Nashville, please go up to our friend Bryce (aka Bo) and ask him about Hot Pockets. Just do it and take in his response.

For ages, Hot Pockets have been the quick and easy solution for a somewhat similar version of pizza. Personally, I don’t want to know where the cheese and pepperoni is from, but I digress. I do believe these microwavable masterpieces are marketed towards a certain demographic. One of those being the “gamer bros” who have to do everything in their power to not leave their gaming console so their wizard, or whatever it is, doesn’t die. I never was one for video games. My attention span just doesn’t allow for it and I once broke a Wii controller when my 6 year old cousin beat me in bowling. 

A 2006 episode of "South Park" depicts the bratty character Cartman demanding the microwavable turnovers from his mom so as not to interrupt a marathon session playing "World of Warcraft" with his friends. In reality, the Nestlé-owned product had lost some of its sway with younger cohorts in recent years, particularly up-and-coming Gen Z males who might not even have been born when the now-legendary "South Park" instalment first aired. As gaming has evolved from a niche hobby to one of the most dominant drivers of pop culture, that relevance gap was being felt even more by brands. So how does a brand engage a group that's essential to its business, but that it hasn't directly marketed to before?

Enter Twitch. The campaign involved tying a national couponing program to Twitch "Bits," virtual tips that viewers can gift their favourite creators on the Amazon-owned streaming platform. Bits resulted in big paydays for creators, while Twitch's position as the de-facto platform to watch people play games was shored up by the pandemic, creating an opportune moment for Hot Pockets to experiment with something new. The campaign, launched in late 2020, asked consumers to scan a special QR code or visit a dedicated microsite to add a Pockets for Bits card to their mobile wallet. The surprise success spurred Hot Pockets to broadly rethink how it approaches campaigns in the gaming space, including a partnership with Microsoft's "Halo: Infinite" title that hit shelves in December 2021. Someone fire up the microwave. 


TikTok Partner with NHL on Exclusive Content Deal

Partnership combines music, fashion and entertainment into hockey content

It is no secret that the NHL has had to do some serious work to attract new viewers and tap into the younger generation of casual viewership. The recent TNT deal that brings on past players and exciting personalities certainly is a step in the right direction. Now, TikTok seems to be their next move on the agenda. 

They have amassed 1.7 million followers on their own account and I do have to say for myself that the content is much better than I would have expected. It isn't only the organization who has made strides, team accounts on the platform have amassed more than 546 million views around the world, and last year TikTok announced a partnership with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Now TikTok and the NHL will work together more broadly to deliver exclusive content, including player fashion interviews, “Who Wore It Best” and “Get Dressed with the Best” segments, and other programming designed to showcase player personalities and personal styles.  Content like trick shots, behind the scenes and off-the-rink activities, and anything to do with sports and pets are favourites of the community.

They will officially win the internet if Crosby pulls off a trending dance and sound. Concussion protocol might prevent that from happening, but I’d love to see it.


In the know: Nashville Edition

We're in the Nashville. Here's some straight up facts

The boys are in Nashville and it kills me to be writing this, as I am not there with them. Although right now, I can’t speak on why I am not there. For those of you who know me and know much I enjoy meeting you guys, if it wasn’t important, or a matter that will further help grow us and our mission, I’d be there ripping tequila shots and singing karaoke. Here are a couple fun facts and some things to know about the city of sin (I was there for 2 nights and trust me that’s what it is). 

Nashville is known for its bustling music scene, down home hospitality, and great food. We’re pretty excited about our Nashville trip, so please enjoy a list of interesting facts covering everything from history to pop culture.

1. Nashville’s Centennial Park is home to the only replica of the Greek Parthenon. A sculpture of Athena Parthenos inside the Parthenon is the tallest indoor sculpture in the western hemisphere at 42 feet high.

2. The first FM-broadcasting license went to Nashville’s WSM radio station in 1941. David Cobb, a WSM announcer in the 1950s, is credited with calling Nashville “Music City” for the first time.

3. Elvis Presley recorded more than 200 songs at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio B. There is still a string of Christmas lights on display that were hung when Elvis couldn’t get into the spirit while recording a Christmas album.

4. Nashville native William Walker became the president of Nicaragua in 1856. No other American has become president of another country since.

5. Nashville was named after American Revolutionary war hero Francis Nash. It was founded by James Robertson, John Donelson, and a party of Overmountain Men on Christmas Eve 1779.

6. President Richard Nixon performed on the Grand Ole Opry during its first show at the new Opry House in 1974. He played “God Bless America” on the piano.

7. “Jingle Bell Rock,” “The Bunny Hop,” and “Hokey Pokey” were all recorded in Nashville.

8. Blind Vanderbilt University student Morris Frank traveled overseas to investigate the use of seeing-eye dogs. He brought the first service dog back to the U.S. in 1928 and founded The Seeing Eye, Inc. in Nashville.


We Go Along Top Picks

Our favourite Food, Flix and Fact of the week

WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn | 2021 | Documentary

The rise and fall of one of the biggest corporate flameouts and venture capitalist bubbles in recent years -- the story of WeWork, and its hippie-messianic leader Adam Neumann.

Random fact of the week

Cotton candy was invented by a dentist. It is not known whether William Morrison had an ulterior motive for inventing the soft confection, but the dentist no doubt helped ensure others in his profession continued drawing in plenty of customers. In 1897, he partnered with candy-maker John C. Wharton to develop the cotton candy machine (which at the time was known as "Fairy Floss"), and it's been bringing kids cavities ever since.

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