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. Blockbuster Airbnb

The world’s last Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon is now an Airbnb with an ode to the 90s. Why should you care? The Blockbuster-turned-Airbnb was born out of an alternative way to celebrate the store’s 20th anniversary despite the pandemic. This nostalgic overnight experience includes: a living room within the store with decor from the decade, a gigantic era-appropriate television, a VCR and all the store’s VHS tapes. Following the theme of yearning for the past during the pandemic, this Blockbuster Airbnb proves that we all just want to go back to the good ole days – the 90s. [CNN]

2. COVID Breakups

We’ve entered the breakup phase of lockdown romances. Why should you care? As restrictions are lifted, “turbo relationships” are ending as fast as they began. People are meeting IRL and realizing they aren’t really attracted to each other as much as they were attracted to the idea of comfort and companionship in a time of self-isolation. When it comes to love – even in the age of COVID – you win some, you lose some. [Mashable]

3. Burger King Masks

Burger King is creating masks that can communicate customers’ orders for them. Why should you care? We’re all adjusting to “new normals” in the pandemic, one of them being the struggle of making yourself heard while wearing a mask. Burger King has come up with a clever solution for its customers: masks with menu items emblazoned on them – which will be available in September by commenting on their social posts. Though it’s funny to imagine a silent interaction when it comes to ordering fast food, maybe letting your mask speak for itself will become the newest normal. [Adweek]

4. RZA Jingle

In yet another interesting collaboration this year, RZA (of Wu-Tang Clan) has teamed up with Good Humor to replace the iconic ice cream truck jingle that we grew up hearing – and making it available for free. Why should you care? What you probably didn’t know was the jingle, “Turkey in the Straw,” has racist roots and was often paired with offensive lyrics. As we have all been witnessing a social uprising of historic proportions for Black rights, this reflects an effort to rid society of old and archaic traditions that no longer serve us. [Adweek]

5. REI Remote

Outdoor retailer REI is selling its newly built headquarters. Why should you care? COVID-19 is continually changing the way we work and now where we work. REI is an example of a company realizing the productivity of remote employees and the potential savings of removing a central location. With more and more companies announcing extended work-from-home timeframes for employees and now, a major company getting rid of its new brick & mortar HQ completely, it will be interesting to see if COVID-19 cancels office culture for good. [WSJ]

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