Each week, Padilla’s Insights + Strategy team stands at the intersection of people, culture and brands to bring you five stories that you can read in five minutes.

1. Burgers for equality.

In its latest campaign highlighting political issues, Burger King addressed the “pink tax” in a recent ad using a hidden camera to show real reactions when a store tries to charge women 42% percent more for Chicken Fries in a pink box. Why should you care? Brands may be hesitant to enter into political debates which is reasonable because a misstep in this space could certainly backfire. However, consumers, especially younger generations driving a resurgence of activism, like to support brands that align with their values. This ad strikes an excellent balance by humorously addressing the issue without undermining the seriousness of it. [AdAge]

2. Joann 2.0.

Joann Fabrics has dropped “Fabrics” as part of a rebranding effort to be a leader in the modern world of crafting. Why should you care? Legacy brands can find it challenging to reinvent themselves for the next generation (just Google “millennials are killing” and you’ll find a library of articles on brands millennials have supposedly ended). When talking to their customers, Joann learned that the expertise – through onsite staff and courses – was what they valued most. Education and sharing will become a central part of their rebrand, driven by the purchase of Creativebug, which they refer to as the “Neflix of DIY,” that customers can use through an app or in classrooms/studios at their stores. [Adweek]

3. Spotify goes visual.

Through a partnership with Nerdist, users can now stream motion comics featuring new Archie comics with music and voice-overs, on Spotify’s mobile app. Why should you care? This isn’t the first time that Spotify has looked to go beyond music with their content. However, this initiative marks the beginning of a new direction for Spotify and video, one that focuses on collaborating with media companies to make “visual podcasts” and “audio snippets.” The move away from original video content and into collaborations for visual podcasts is expected to be more popular because it better aligns with what users want from Spotify. [The Verge]

4. Written in smog.

Dell is now using ink made from smog in India on some of their packaging. Why should you care? Without undergoing a visual redesign, Dell made a substantial, but virtually invisible change to their standard packaging. This falls nicely into broader trends of more sustainable packaging and thinking creatively about what that means. [Fast Company]

5. The voice of Vancouver transit. 

In the next few weeks or so, Seth Rogen’s voice will become the new announcer in the Vancouver’s public transit system, TransLink. Why should you care? TransLink stated that they started this initiative to add a celebrity voice to their transit system as a way to provide a “better customer experience and to share pride in the region.” This is a remarkably straightforward way to dramatically change a customer experience by infusing just the right amount of whimsy into an otherwise mundane part of the daily commute. [CNN]

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