Catching Up With...Mike Alcutt!

Today, we're catching up with Associate Creative Director Mike Alcutt, who works out of our Darien, Connecticut office. We asked him a few questions about life in and outside of Alcone.  Here's what he had to say.

The Young Guns

September was a reset month for me, a time to creatively recharge. Now that it’s over, I want to share out a few epiphanies that came to me after spending some time with a few groups of young marketers.

Macy's Playground for Millennials

(Photo cred: Digiday)

Millennials.  Seems like we can’t go a day without hearing the word.  If you’re a marketer, you’re especially familiar with the term and if you’re a retailer, you’re doing anything you can to appeal to this important group.   A quick reminder as to why we’re so obsessed with millennials: the group is expected to collectively spend more than $200 billion annually beginning in 2017 and $10 trillion in their lifetimes (Ad Age).  We know a lot about millennials at Alcone and our Retail Lab tracks new technology and innovation in retail, which is often directed at millennials. 

The latest innovative idea aimed at millennials that we’d like to discuss today is from Macy’s called “One Below”.

Beacons in Year 2020

Alcone’s EVP of Activation Planning, Jim Zembruski, participated in an End-to-End Beaconing panel at Media Post’s IoT: Shopping conference recently in New York City.  A lot of interesting information was shared concerning beacons and the future of timely messaging.   One question particularly piqued our interest, yet the panel ran out of time before answering.  So, we posed the question again to our own Jim Z. who said the following:

Netflix & Chill: How One Brand Used Viral Content to Captivate Consumers

What will the Internet come up with next? This year, the phrase “Netflix and chill” entered the vernacular of virtually everyone. Shortened from “Would you like to watch Netflix and chill out?,” this once innocent invitation to come over and watch movies somehow devolved into a not-so-subtle way to request an intimately casual encounter.

The Art of the Agency Chemistry Check

Attention all marketing and advertising agency comrades out there:  let’s face it, the new business “pitch” process can sometimes be brutal, long, and an expensive investment for the agency.  The mutual courting process of client and agency can feel antiquated and impersonal.  However, in our recent experience, nailing the critical step of a chemistry check can be rewarding and a way to pull your agency ahead of the pack.

A New Take on a Window Display

As an agency focused on retail innovation, Alcone is constantly searching for new ways to advance our in-store displays. However, one of the problems we face is establishing a successful window display. Likely, if you use a window display, chances are you won’t be able to see whatever product is inside because the poster will be blocking the view. You also can’t project moving images onto glass while seeing what’s inside because the light will just shine through, deeming the projection useless. A team at MIT has come up with ingenious technology to solve these problems.

Snapchat: A New Frontier

Snapchat exemplifies an ever-changing sphere that is social media in the 21st century. Whereas Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram represent various degrees of a semi-archived virtual existence for users looking to document their thoughts and memories, Snapchat is the pinnacle of being "in-the-moment", with its messages gone in the blink of an eye.

The Lean, Mean, IPhone Cleaning Machine

At the beginning of August, an online shopping site based in Korea called Gmarket (that boasts, "The #1 Korean Shopping Site") came up with an idea for an in-store promotional piece for coffee shops. Months of planning ultimately led to the development of an odd device-a smartphone-sterilizing toaster.

The toaster, which materialized with the help of British product design company Kinneir Dufort, uses UV lights to clean phones in a matter of minutes. Designed to cultivate interaction between people, the Green Toaster can accommodate cleaning two phones at once, thereby allowing it to fit seamlessly into coffee shop conversations.

Soofa: The Solar-Powered Bench Coming to a City Near You

Solar power isn’t exactly new but using it to charge phones in public spaces? Now that’s something on the rise. Let’s face it-pretty much everyone is attached to their phones, and who hasn’t faced the inevitable desperation from a drastically low battery (that dreaded 1%) with no place to charge?  Fear no more-meet Soofa.  Soofa is a bench with solar powered phone charging capabilities.  Brilliant!