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. Virtual Toy Museum

For its 90th anniversary, Fisher Price has created a virtual toy museum via Instagram. Why should you care? The virtual museum will feature 90 toys with selections from each decade, leaning heavily on nostalgia – a very prominent theme in 2020. Virtual experiences have been a cornerstone for brands, with museums and in-person activations having to go virtual due to the pandemic. Launching right as consumers will begin thinking about holiday shopping, Mattel hopes this hybrid toy museum/gift shop will get people in the holiday spirit with a healthy dose of nostalgic toys. [Business Insider]

2. Fried Chicken-Scented Fire Log

Halloween has not yet commenced, but KFC has already moved on to Christmas with an early re-release of their fried chicken-scented fire log. Why should you care? In partnership with Enviro-Log and Walmart, the fire log usually launches in December, but with the chaos of this year, KFC decided to spread some Christmas, err, Chicken cheer early. It will retail exclusively at Walmart for $15.88 and likely sell out as it did the previous two years. So, if making your house smell like fried chicken is your favorite holiday tradition, you better get to it. [Yahoo]

3. Grown-up Play-Doh

Play-Doh has created a line geared specifically for adults. Why should you care? The product line includes adult-themed scents such as “Overpriced Latte” and “Mom Jeans” and if you don’t feel seen right now, then we can’t be friends. The concept of Play-Doh for adults harkens to its origin story – it was never meant for kids at all, but was invented as a way to remove soot and dirt from wallpapered walls. Similar to adult coloring books and grown-ups playing with Legos to de-stress, it just makes sense that Play-Doh would come full circle in what’s likely the most stressful year we’ve seen in our lifetime to create something for adults again. [HuffPost]

4. Google x Associated Press

Google is partnering with the Associated Press for election results. Why should you care? After Google announced that it would ban election-related ads after the polls close on November 3rd, this is another attempt to prepare for the likely scenario of a chaotic voting and vote-counting process. This comes at a time where more digital platforms are coming under pressure to provide accurate information in relation to the 2020 election. Twitter and Facebook have also added alerts/banners notifying users that election results might be a bit delayed this year. It remains to be seen if these actions will stop or slow the spread of fake news/unverified stories following the election. [The Verge]

5. Blobs

Freeform shapes and colorful squiggles are the latest décor trends to gain popularity amidst the pandemic. Why should you care? In a complete reversal of the Kinfolk/minimal aesthetic we’ve been so accustomed to seeing, designers are now embracing “more is more.” Leaving behind super tidy, all-white and unrealistically perfect interiors, we are instead seeing colorful, maximalist spaces that actually look lived-in. In a year rife with tragedy after tragedy, we’re looking for levity wherever we can get it – and namely, at home – since we’re spending more time there during lockdowns. [Vice]

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