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. Pokemon Go … to bed

The Pokemon Company announced on Wednesday that it would be launching a new app next year where players’ sleep would affect the gameplay. Why should you care? According to the Pokemon Company, with this app, they hope to “turn sleeping into entertainment.” While they are the first company we’ve seen working the entertainment angle, they are not the first to provide sleep-specific products such as ice cream formulated to promote better sleep. This seems to be part of a larger trend prioritizing and acknowledging the importance of sleep. This is an interesting play for the Pokemon Company and so long as it encourages people to get the sleep they need, this could be a great thing. [CNN]

2. Camp influencer

Kids as young as nine can now sign up for $1,000/week summer camps designed to teach them how to be a YouTube sensation. Why should you care? This isn’t really so different from elite sports or performing arts camps, so even with the high prices, accusations of snow plow parenting really don’t apply. Why not sign up your kids for something they love? Aside from concerns (proven and unproven) about young kids and technology, there are privacy concerns. While these camps allow kids as young as nine, companies like YouTube don’t allow anyone under the age of 13 to sign up for an account to comply with children’s online privacy laws. As the next generations grow with these technologies at their disposal, this is another area where brands and parents will have to find the right balance. [Business Insider]

3. Arby’s sticking to the meats

Arby’s released a statement this week stating the future addition of plant-based “meat” to their menu was “absolutely impossible.” Why should you care? While some of their fast food peers are embracing meat alternatives on their menu, we like their bold and playfully brash rejection of it. Not because we are anti-meat-alternatives, but because it fits for Arby’s. With a current slogan of “We have the meats” complete with a sassy tone, this refusal to incorporate meat-alternatives in their menu will help them standout in a way that is on brand. [Food&Wine]

4. Musical beers

SingleCuts Beersmiths, a craft brewery in NYC is using QR codes as labels so their consumers can play a trivia game. Why should you care?
This brewery, which is inspired by Japanese gaming culture wanted to share their love of Japanese culture and music with their customers. To accomplish this, they decided to pursue an interesting collaboration with Spotify. When beer drinkers scan the QR code, they will be given clues about the song and will be directed to the song on Spotify. This is a great example of a brand sharing its values in a fun way. [PSFK]

5. Banning Styrofoam in Maine

Maine has announced a ban on Styrofoam containers and plastic stirrers going in effect on January 1, 2021. Why should you care? Though bans like this have been controversial, Maine tends to lead the way in environmental efforts. With more consumers demanding brands take action to reduce plastic and other materials that lead to waste, brands using Styrofoam and other single-use plastics should consider how they might proactively reduce (if not eliminate) their reliance on these materials. [U.S. News & World Report]

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