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. BK UK x McDonald’s

Burger King wants you to order from McDonald’s. Why should you care? Burger King U.K. never thought it would be asking customers to support their rivals, including other fast food chains and smaller independent restaurants as well, but its usual plea comes as a cry for help as tons of restaurants around the world are struggling to survive during the ongoing pandemic. [CNN]

2. Voter Turnout

2020 voter turnout is on track to break records. Why should you care? Of the voting-eligible population, the turnout this year is projected to hit 66.3%, which would surpass the last time turnout was this high, which was over a century ago – 1908 to be exact. With these numbers, we can all agree this has been a historical election and hope that this will be a continuing trend where citizens feel empowered to take part in their civic duties. [Washington Post]

3. Emoji Update

Another iOS emoji update has arrived. Why should you care? This round includes a trans flag, genderfluid weddings, and more gender-inclusive emojis among other random items like an accordion and bubble tea. Though it seems trivial, emojis are a big part of how we communicate since a lot of it is done via texting and social media. So as they expand their library to be more inclusive, we can appreciate it as a small push toward a more equitable society and how we frame future conversations. [Mashable]

4. Online Christmas Trees

Lowe’s and Home Depot announced they will now offer free online delivery of live Christmas trees (if you spend a certain dollar amount). Why should you care? In the year of COVID, everything has gone virtual – and that includes getting your Christmas tree. Consumer behavior has changed drastically this year because of the pandemic and this is just another way brands are shifting to accommodate. Director Analyst Claire Tassin says retailers are, “making decisions that make sense for [them] and the risk factors that [they] can tolerate and what [they] think [their] customers need.” [Adweek]

5. Flying Cars

Spain announces plans for flying taxi service in Barcelona. Why should you care? As a new way to appreciate the country’s urban architecture, Spain’s air navigation authority has announced plans for flying taxis in 2022. “We need to move urban mobility into the third dimension: airspace. And we need to do it as efficiently and sustainably as we can,” the authority’s director general, Ángel Luis Arias said of the project. Crazy or not, the future is here and it’s giving us something to look forward to when traveling is the norm again. [The Guardian]

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