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. Pandemic Playsets

In response to the pandemic and millions of parents working remotely, Fisher-Price is creating toy collections including a work-from-home playset. Why should you care? Besides being able to role-play with the “My Home Office” playset, which includes a laptop, headset and coffee cup, Fisher-Price also is launching a “Baby Biceps” fitness set and a “Cutest Chef” cooking set. The new toys for infant and preschool-age children underscore how the coronavirus has affected everything from how we work to how we play. [Markets Insider]

2. Finger Lickin’ (Not) Good

KFC is pausing use of its “Finger Lickin’ Good” slogan because of the pandemic. Why should you care? The company acknowledged that its well-known phrase doesn’t really mesh well with safety recommendations to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. KFC has plans to bring back the iconic message when appropriate, but for now, KFC will keep the famous phrase blurred on its packaging. [BBC]

3. Olay’s STEM Stance

Olay is launching a cause-related campaign continuing its support of women in STEM fields. Why should you care? The campaign debuted on Women’s Equality Day with four real women – and role models – working in STEM industries. Olay has taken a stand “by making a financial commitment to elevate underrepresented groups in a historically male-dominated industry.” [Marketing Dive]

4. Hardware Store Fashion

Lowe’s hardware store is showing at New York Fashion Week. Why should you care? Designers such as Jason Wu and Christian Siriano will include Lowe’s products in their fall fashion shows. Home improvement and DIY projects have spiked during the pandemic, and this unexpected hardware fashion mash-up reflects our need for self-expression and the focus on home. [CNN]

5. Spotify Sound Effects  

With travel limitations, Spotify summer sound effects allow users to “get away” for a much-needed mental break. Why should you care? The “Wish You Were Here” digital music experience lets you choose your destination – a beach, a BBQ, a carnival or a park are among the options. Pair your place with a song, and then send it to a friend as a digital postcard from your “summer vacation.” It’s a fun way to find a few minutes to escape the confines of your bedroom – at least in your mind’s eye. [Mashable]

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