Posts tagged with "Fast Company"

Want to get a job as one of Biden’s 20,000 climate workers? Here’s what you need to know!

April 3, 2024

The jobs board for the American Climate Corps is set to officially launch this month—and it’s likely to be flooded with eager applicants, reports Fast Company.

.Since President Joe Biden announced the New Deal-inspired program last September, more than 50,000 people have expressed interest in joining. But space is limited: The program will launch with just a few hundred positions.

Given that most jobs won’t require relevant experience, how will the program select its first cohort?

“I think the idea is to make it as broad as possible, so all young people can find something, whether they’re at a 7th-grade reading level and they’re coming out of the foster care or juvenile justice system, or whether they’re a PhD candidate at a university,” says Mary Ellen Sprenkel, president and CEO of The Corps Network. Her association represents 150 corps, including AmeriCorps, that will host many of the ACC projects.

The first list of job openings will likely include things like installing solar panels, restoring vulnerable habitats, and fire hazard prevention. While some positions will require math and science skills, or higher degrees in things like environmental science or natural resource management, others will be looking for “basic 21st century work readiness skills like communications, conflict resolution, teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving, reliability,” Sprenkel says.

There’s an interview process, although Sprenkel says that the interviews aren’t usually extensive. “They just want to make sure the young person is a good fit,” she said. The “young person” definition is flexible, too. There’s no official age cap that she knows of, but the typical age range for corps members is between 16 and 35.

Funding for the Climate Corps projects is subject to Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, an executive order requiring at least 40% of the benefits from certain federal programs to go toward disadvantaged communities. “So there will be an emphasis to support project work in environmental justice communities and underserved communities, and enroll young people from those populations,” Sprenkel said.

Each post will vary in length depending on the project at hand. Some corps run summer programs that last three or four months. Others run year-long programs. But all corps members will be compensated no matter how long the position lasts.

This could come in the form of a stipend, living allowance, or a wage, though the Corps Network is strongly encouraging programs to pay at least $15 per hour. Payment will vary depending on state minimum wage requirements. Some projects might have a benefits package that includes money for transportation or housing.

Climate Corps members will receive training that allows them to enter the workforce with essential green skills needed to address the climate crisis and aid in the energy transition. And the corps will help members make that leap into the workforce by connecting them to potential employers and arming them with industry-recognized credentials.

“They are definitely focused on giving the young person experience that will help them find a career,” Sprenkel says.

Research contact: @FastCompany

This heat map shows what women experience when they walk home alone at night

February 15, 2024

In the United States, gender gaps remain firmly ingrained in the culture —whether it’s salary, time spent on household chores, or just feeling safe. Indeed, fully 85% of men report feeling safe when walking alone at night, compared to 64% of women, reveals Fast Company.

Now, a new study published in the journal, Violence and Gender suggests that this fear translates to significant behavioral differences between men and women.

Researchers at Brigham Young University, George Washington University, and University of Utah School of Medicine analyzed data from 571 college students at Brigham Young—56% female and 44% male. The students were asked to fill out a survey on walking home and safety.

The researchers gave the students 16 pictures of different locations at different points in the day and asked them to picture walking alone through the picture. The students were then asked to click the ar

Above, men tended to focus on walkways while women tended to focus on what surrounded the path, such as bushes or dark areas. This was particularly true at night. (Visual source: Martino Pietropoli/Unsplash]

eas of the picture that stood out most to them, creating a heat map.

The researchers found stark differences based on gender. Men tended to focus on walkways while women tended to focus on what surrounded the path, such as bushes or dark areas. This was particularly true at night. But even when there were lighted paths, women still focused on areas around the path.

“Despite attempts to improve environment, such as lighting; it is likely these findings represent a more systematic problem, rippling into other areas of women’s lives,” the researchers wrote.

“The results presented here can be a useful conversation starter for recognizing different lived experiences and to begin reclaiming everyday spaces for free mobility.”

Research contact: @FastCompany

 

EVs work fine in the cold in Norway. Here’s how they do it.

January 19, 2024

With a cold snap causing below-zero temperatures across Chicago this week, electric vehicle drivers in the Windy City have been struggling with charging issues, reduced battery life, and plummeting range.

It’s part of the learning curve of adapting to EVs, but drivers could look to Norway, the Scandinavian country that’s a leader in electric vehicle adoption, for reassurance that their battery-powered cars can handle freezing weather, reports Fast Company.

That cold temperatures affect an electric vehicle’s range isn’t new information; experts have been studying this effect for years. Cold temperatures actually make gas combustion cars less efficient, too—reducing the amount of mileage they get out of a gallon. But EVs are especially affected thanks to their reliance on the battery for both mileage and features including heating and defrosting.

In lower temperatures, the chemical and physical reactions in the vehicle’s battery slow down. This reduces both the amount of charge the batteries can hold and their range. (Batteries are also affected when parked in the cold; just like they’re affected by extreme heat, even while still.)

The use of cabin heating to keep a car’s passengers warm can affect an EV’s performance in the cold, too. While gas-powered cars can use the waste heat from their engines to warm the car’s cabin, electric engines don’t generate the same amount of heat. That means turning the heat on inside an electric vehicle takes away energy from the same battery powering the car’s range.

According to the Norwegian Automobile Federation, cold temps can reduce an EV’s range by about 20%, although this can vary a lot by model. Some EV makers are adding heat pumps, which help heat the EV while reducing how much its range drops; as well as pre-heating abilities, which let drivers warm up their car while it’s still plugged into a home charger. Still, winter weather affects an EV’s battery in other ways: Recharging, for example, takes longer in cold temperatures.

Norway, which tested how the cold impacts EV range, is a leader in terms of global EV adoption; in 2022, all-electric vehicles made up 80% of passenger vehicle sales there, and in October 2023, EVs hit a 91.3% share of auto registrations (84% of which were full electric vehicles).

The country’s winter temperatures—which average around -6.8 degrees Celsius, or around 19 degrees Fahrenheit, but can reach as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit—have also been a test for the technology. So far, EVs have largely passed—as long as drivers are prepared. Ståle Frydenlund, test manager for the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, told the Globe and Mail in 2023 that EVs are “quite able to cope with winter if you know what you’re doing.”

How can EV drivers protect their cars’ batteries from the cold?

Drivers of gas cars have likely heard that they shouldn’t let their gas tank get dangerously low in freezing temperatures—more air in your tank, experts say, means more moisture that could condense and freeze, blocking fuel from flowing. Similarly, EV drivers are having to learn how to protect their vehicles against winter weather.U

In a blog post on an Audi dealership site, one Norwegian family shared tips for using their Audi EV in the winter, like pre-heating the car while it’s still plugged into their home charging (this is also called preconditioning), or using just the steering wheel or seat heating as a way to stay warm, and save range, on short trips. (These types of heating use less energy than warming up the entire car’s cabin.)

Experts say that drivers should park EVs inside a garage to protect it from the cold, and keep an eye on the battery temperature (lithium ion batteries perform best between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit). If your battery is too cold and can’t be stored indoors, you could use a battery blanket to warm it up. Just like with internal combustion cars, you should also check the tire pressure, which may drop in the cold.

EV drivers should also keep an eye on their battery level and ensure it doesn’t get too low, as bringing it back to a full charge will take longer in the cold (many EVs actually limit charging speeds when the battery is cold, in order to protect it from extreme temperature fluctuations). Home chargers are helpful for this, as drivers can keep their EV plugged in overnight (with a maximum charge setting around 70%), which will keep the battery at a warm temperature.

Research contact: @FastCompany

In January, Flovent will disappear from U.S. pharmacies

December 29, 2023

There’s a big change coming for asthma sufferers, starting on January 1. On Monday, Flovent, a widely used asthma inhaler made by GSK, will no longer be available in U.S. pharmacies. In its place will be an authorized generic version of the inhaler, reports Fast Company.

The company says the replacement will work just as well as Flovent. However, there’s growing concern in the medical community about how widely it will be covered by insurance providers.

As the change looms, doctors are starting to advise patients to hurry up and get their prescriptions filled now, and look into their coverage options for the new inhaler. While depending on an inhaler that will no longer be available is nerve-wracking, the fact that the changeover is taking place during cold and flu season—when respiratory struggles surge—is another chest-tightening worry.

In a November 2023 statement to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), GSK said, “It’s important to understand that the transition from branded to authorized generics will not have an impact on our ability to supply the market and we expect minimal disruption for patients.”

The statement continued, asserting that the inhaler “contains the same medicine, in the same familiar device, and with the same instructions for us as Flovent HFA.” The company also contended that the generic version may even “be a lower cost alternative to patients, depending on their insurance coverage and benefit design.”

Still, doctors are worried and are voicing their concerns, particularly when it comes to children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the discontinuation could “lead to higher co-pays and the need for prior authorizations that delay access.” But the group says there are already big challenges for kids who suffer from asthma and allergies when it comes to treatment options and coverage.

They believe the discontinuation highlights the fact that some insurers only cover breath-actuated inhalers, which aren’t recommended for children suffering from eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). They also believe they can be difficult for younger children with asthma to use.

The North American Society For Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition (NASPGHAN) has released guidance for clinicians—recommending using generic fluticasone HFA. In the case that insurers won’t cover the generic inhaler, the group says oral viscous budesonide and swallowed topical Asmanex HFA or Alvesco HFA are the alternatives.

Flovent is being discontinued due to Medicaid rebate changes that would result in GSK having to pay penalties for increasing prices. Since 2014, the price of Flovent has gone up by around 47%.

Research contact: @FastCompany

Streetwear for strollers? Kith x Bugaboo is among this season’s hottest drops for babies

October 30, 2023

Becoming a parent can feel like a loss of identity. Your carefully curated adult life is suddenly flooded with strange brands and objects—Why is everyone obsessed with a giraffe?—that are key to your child’s survival, lifelong happiness, and, most importantly, ability to get into a magnet school.

And this sensation isn’t simply true to you or me: It even applies to Ronnie Fieg, founder of the footwear, fashion, and streetwear brand Kith, who upon learning of his family’s pregnancy, called up the stroller brand Bugaboo to collaborate, reports Fast Company.

Two years later, Kith is releasing its first two strollers in a limited-edition drop with Bugaboo. Each is a customization of an existing Bugaboo model: the lightweight foldable Butterfly (which is Bugaboo’s best-selling stroller globally) and the all-terrain Fox 5 (which is particularly beloved by the U.S. market).

The strollers are available today for $650 and $1,450, respectively, meaning the capsule collection runs a few hundred dollars more than your typical Bugaboo. A $130 changing tote is also available for purchase.

The project began with an invite from Kith, a company that’s certainly no stranger to collaborations, be it with the NFL or Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Still, Fieg insists that Kith is particularly careful about how it delves into products for youth (and yes, Kith will sell you $100 utility pants for your newborn).

“I’ve been very selective about our kids partnerships since launching the line in 2016,” writes Fieg over email. “Establishing our own design ethos and getting our product to the level it is now has been the focus.”

Similarly, Bugaboo has teamed with what it calls “unexpected” partners in the past, like the Van Gogh Museum, but it hasn’t collaborated with another brand for the past five years. “When Ronnie approached us, it was a matter of right place, right time,” says Jeanelle Teves, Bugaboo general manager North America. Upon their first meeting, Fieg presented a clear vision of how he imagined a Kith stroller product.

What the teams have developed are classic Bugaboo strollers, albeit remade in the muted neutral colorways of Kith. For the fabric pieces, that’s a simple enough challenge, but the colors extend from the wheels and wheel caps to the aluminum frame. Getting tones like these just right, across multiple materials, is always a challenge—and it required a significant amount of back-and-forth with their factory.

“Kith & Kin” is embroidered on the canopy, while the bumper bar is embossed with the brand in script, adding a finishing touch of brand cachet that whispers to your friends, “No, you can’t get one too; this stroller is already sold out.”

While most of us would consider Bugaboo’s strollers at least a little luxurious already, Teves believes that the collaboration is the first that really propels Bugaboo into the luxury lifestyle category—and she hopes to see her brand build off this momentum.

“Kith does an incredible job connecting with the next generation of parents, so I hope this introduces Bugaboo to a new wave of parents-to-be,” she says. “And I think we’re going to learn a lot.”

Research contact: @FastCompany

This Texas building has self-cooling walls

September 6, 2023

When Houston hit 109 degrees in late August—tying an all-time temperature record for the city—26 of the previous 27 days also had been over 100 degrees. As the hot city gets even hotter because of climate change, it also keeps using more energy for air conditioning, reports Fast Company.

But in the suburb of Conroe, one new building is pioneering a strategy to stay cooler: “self-cooling” concrete walls with a scalloped shape that helps repel heat. The deep grooves in the corrugated pattern give more surface area for heat to move away from the wall.

“In a way, the wall is working a bit like a very large radiator,” says Phu Hoang, founding director of the architecture studio, Modu, which worked on the design with a climate-focused engineering firm called Transsolar. In tests, Hoang and cofounder Rachely Rotem discovered that the patterned material could stay as much as 18 degrees cooler than a flat wall.

The newly-completed building, a 14,000-square-foot commercial space that will soon house retail stores and medical offices, also has white walls to reflect sunlight,—another design choice that keeps the interior cooler. Since white paint can sometimes look dirtier, the architects chose a type of paint that repels dirt. “You get the environmental performance without the associated maintenance,” says Hoang.

Two dozen architectural fins also help shade windows. In front of each store, there’s a pocket garden with plants that can provide more shade; some plants, like jasmine, will grow onto the fins.

“We are trying to find solutions for the social dependency on air conditioning,” says Rotem. Since air conditioners pump heat outside, as AC use grows, it’s literally making cities hotter. And the massive amount of electricity used by air conditioners is contributing to climate change, leading to more extreme heat. Air conditioners are responsible for nearly 2 billion tons of CO2 emissions annually, or more than the airline industry. By the middle of the century, global air conditioner use is expected to roughly triple.

The shift to renewable energy will help reduce the carbon footprint of AC, but it’s still key to cut energy use from cooling both because it’s expensive for consumers and because it’s straining the grid at a time when there’s also growing demand from electric cars, induction stoves, and other parts of the broader energy transition.

Passive design can help, and can be adapted for any location. In Modu’s other projects, “we always have passive energy design strategies that we incorporate with the overall idea of reducing energy use,” says Hoang.

In the new development in Texas, tenants haven’t moved in and the HVAC system isn’t running, which means there’s isn’t data yet on energy savings. But owner Anh Gip says the difference is already noticeable. “In Texas right now, we’re in triple digit heat,” she says. “I haven’t run the air conditioning at all. But when I walk inside the building, it feels cooler.”

Research contact: @FastCompany

Is your job ‘performative’? Why workers can’t quit the timeless art of looking busy

April 19, 2023

There’s work, and then there’s the performance of work—but how much time do employees spend on the latter? People analytics firm Visier surveyed 1,000 full-time employees to understand how much time people spend on “performative work”—work that isn’t necessary, but is done to appear visible to managers, reports Fast Company.

Here’s what they found:

  • The majority of people believe performative work is important: Fully 75% of respondents said performative work—such as attending unnecessary meetings, staying on chat apps after hours, or scheduling emails for before or after hours—was at least somewhat important for their professional success. Over 33% of respondents said they attended unnecessary meetings and more than 25% said they kept their laptop screen awake while not working.
  • Which means the majority of people do performative work: Indeed, 62% of respondents said they spent more than six hours a week on performative work, and 43% said they spent over ten hours per week on performative work.
  • Because they are worried about how they are perceived: 70% of respondents said they did performative work in hopes that their manager would notice, and 59% said they were somewhat to very concerned about how their work compared to that of their peers. Meanwhile, 44% of employees said their employer used monitoring software to track their productivity, and 61% of employees who were being monitored said they were more likely to prioritize visible tasks.

“Employees with employers who use surveillance tools were also more than twice (and in some cases three times) as likely to commit the most egregious performative behaviors, like keeping a laptop screen awake while not working, asking someone to do a task for them, and exaggerating when giving a status update,” the report’s writers noted.

Research contact: @FastCompany

Those ‘forever chemicals’ on our furniture don’t actually prevent stains

April 7, 2023

When it comes to furniture, so-called forever chemicals have one job to do: repel oil and water to make textiles more stain-resistant. But a new study finds that, on top of the already established adverse health effects these chemicals have been known to cause, they can’t even do that one job properly, reports Fast Company.

 

The peer-reviewed study, published in th  AATCC Journal of Research, compared how six fabrics (three treated with forever chemicals; three, untreated) performed against two kinds of stains (coffee and oil-based salad dressing).

 

The result? The treated fabrics worked only marginally better at first, but had limited to no effectiveness after just a couple of years.

 

Forever chemicals, also known as PFAS (for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), have been around for decades and will be around for decades more. That’s because these particular types of human-made chemicals don’t break down naturally—meaning that they accumulate in water and soil, polluting the environment; and stack up in our bodies, increasing our risk of cancer, decreasing fertility rates, and more.

 

This year, more than a dozen U.S. states are implementing laws and regulations restricting the use of PFAS in food packaging and various textiles. But, for now, these chemicals can be found in a wide array of products, from your sofa to your nonstick pan to your lipstick.

 

 The study focused only on PFAS in furniture, but as Jonas LaPier, a PhD candidate in civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University and coauthor of the study, says: “To have a healthy suspicion of the touted performance benefits of PFAS compounds [more broadly] is a good strategy.”

 

 To be clear, when LaPier’s team conducted the study—pouring liquids onto fabrics, then using soap and warm water to clean them per standard recommendations—they found that treated fabrics did perform better than untreated ones, but only when the fabrics were brand-new (in other words, when no one had yet sat on them for any length of time, which, unless you bought that couch to simply look at it, means absolutely nothing).

 

 In a real-life scenario, when people dared to sit on their furniture, and, say, the fabric of their jeans rubbed against the fabric of the couch, the differences between a treated and untreated fabric were found to be negligible.

 

Indeed, on a 5-point scale, untreated fabrics scored a 4.2 regardless of how old the fabric was or how recently it had been stained. PFAS-treated fabrics, on the other hand, scored a 4.7 if the fabric was new and if the stain was wiped away immediately. But if the fabric was older and the stain already baked in, it scored a 3.9. (It’s hard to quantify how old is too old, but LaPier says the benefits of treating fabrics with PFAS last only half as long as the standard warranty for textiles and upholstery, which are typically covered for five years—so roughly two and a half years.)

 

The biggest difference in test results, LaPier says, came down to the type of fabric. And while the study wasn’t big enough for the team to confidently recommend one type of fabric over another, LaPier says that of the three types used (all sourced from textile company Maharam), a polyester that mimics the look and feel of wool performed the best, while a monochromatic polyester with a smooth surface performed the worst.

 

 Ultimately, one thing is clear: Forever chemicals are causing more harm than good on our upholstered items, and furniture companies should stop using them. As LaPier puts it: “It’s a clear case of nonessential use.”

 

Research contact: @FastCompany

Epic Gardening’s epic quest to win the booming grow-your-own and homesteading movements

March 24, 2023

Kevin Espiritu’s first foray into growing his own food was hardly an auspicious one. This was back in 2013—just after the Epic Gardening founder and CEO had graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Espiritu was kicking around at home in San Diego when his mom suggested that he and his younger brother find a bonding activity for the summer. Although they knew nothing about gardening, they decided to give and go and “hit the nursery together,” Espiritu recalls. And with that casual choice, he found his purpose, reports Fast Company.

“I went full nerd,” he says. “I got like a five-gallon bucket and tried to grow hydroponic cucumbers—so no soil, pro lights, and stuff. They were really, really bad. My brother said he almost threw up when he ate them. But for me, it kind of hooked me because of the science-y angle to it. That’s when I decided, hey, I’ll register the [Epic Gardening] domain and kind of journal about it.” (His brother, he said, watched in delight as his bucketful of basil exploded into a giant bush.)

A decade later, Espiritu is hardly winging it anymore. What started as a hobbyist blog that chronicled Espiritu’s coming-of-age as a green thumb has morphed into a direct-to-consumer gardening empire with original content on YouTube, TikTok, and other social media platforms; podcasts; and a line of products—from root pouch fabric pots to raised garden beds—available to buy online.

Last year Epic Gardening, which has an online audience of about 6 million, acquired the seed packet company, Botanical Interests, opening up a distribution pipeline to 4,500 stores around the country. This boost helped Epic Gardening generate $27 million in revenue last year. (Ironically, the cucumber seeds from that forgettable first experiment were from a Botanical Interests packet.)

Espiritu understands that he’s tapped into the culture’s back to the basics movement that has caused an uptick in home chicken coops and homemade bread, particularly amongst sustainably-minded young people. The trend was already underway before the pandemic, but went into overdrive once people were in lockdown mode.

“COVID was crazy,” Espiritu says. “The lockdown was announced on the 10th of March, and on March 11th I woke up and the main Epic Gardening YouTube channel was at like 220,000 views and we were getting 15,000 new subscribers a day.” He acknowledges that “partly it was because we’re named Epic Gardening, so if someone types in ‘gardening,’ we’re just there.”

But Espiritu’s relatable, I’m-just-a-regular-guy tone—accentuated by his uniform of a hoodie, baseball cap, and thin layer of stubble—has clearly struck a vibe with viewers. In a video about what mistakes to avoid when creating a raised bed garden, he says, “I kind of grew up just like a SoCal skater rat kid,” so “I’ve made just about all the mistakes I’m going to show you. And so I know the pain of them, so that gives me the experience to say, really avoid them.”

Yet his videos are hardly glib, clickbait clips. A recent one about starting a chicken coop (“Raising Chickens: Everything You Need to Know!”) runs more than 20 minutes long; and delves into everything from space requirements to different hen breeds and which are suited for warmer or colder climates. A video about how to grow ginger in a container gets into such nerdy details as what ginger roots are technically called (rhizomes) and how photosynthesis affects faster growth. The video has racked up over 10 million views.

With a $17.5 million investment from the Chernin Group behind it (that deal closed in late 2021), Epic Gardening is attempting to expand as steadily as well-fertilized bougainvillea. In addition to online articles, there are now two podcasts and four YouTube channels—including one devoted to regenerative gardening; and one built around Espiritu’s former assistant Jacques, who delves into farm-to-table cooking and sustainable practices. Espiritu’s started the Epic Homesteading channel two years ago when he bought a new house.

Unsurprisingly, Espiritu has talked to production companies about a TV show but says, “It would have to be really juicy, because we have no creative limits on us now.” Instead, he says, “I think a lot of what’s on the focus at least in the next year or so is looking at the industry and saying, ‘Okay, what awesome products could we develop and distribute through our network?”

Research contact: @FastCompany

Snapchat’s trippy new brand campaign aims to answer the question, what is Snapchat for?

January 27, 2023

When former Wieden+Kennedy executive Colleen DeCourcy joined Snap last year as the company’s chief creative officer, she said it was “the best known, least understood” social platform, reports Fast Company.

A new brand campaign, called “Wait’ll You See This,” is aimed at remedying that problem.

Whether it’s Apple pulling heartstrings or Amazon getting a bit celebrity silly with Alexa for the Super Bowl, we’re now accustomed to seeing tech brand advertising that includes very elaborate product demonstrations. Snap’s new ad is no exception—except that it feels more like a product demo inside a fever dream.

People with horse heads, dogs with three butts, the dead-eyed goofy gaze of fellow commuters on the subway: It’s all in there. For some, it will be the stuff of social media dystopian nightmares—for others, a peek into the funhouse of creative possibility. The brand is aiming for the latter.

DeCourcy says one of the primary goals is to start a conversation between people who use Snapchat and those who don’t. “As a non-broadcast platform, which is the beauty of it, if you’re not there, you don’t know. So, we’re trying to get people there,” DeCourcy says. “We’re trying to punch a little hole in the Snapchat box and let it leak out into the world so that people can see what it does.”

This is not just a one-off campaign, but the start of what DeCourcy says will be an ongoing brand platform. It was created in-house, under Snap Executive Creative Director Eric Baldwin, who joined the company last August, and previously worked with DeCourcy as ECD at Wieden+Kennedy.

New brand work already has started to trickle out, with a New Year’s Eve billboard in Times Square and a float in the Rose Bowl parade. This work will get its national TV debut during the NFL’s AFC Championship game on Sunday, January 29. “It’ll hopefully be this moment, with people watching a game together, where those who know will get excited and show the others in the room what it’s all about,” Baldwin says.

Snap reports that more than 250 million people engage with augmented reality (AR) on Snapchat every day, with more than 6 billion daily AR plays. The platform has 300,000 AR creators and developers who’ve built more than 3 million AR Lenses for the platform.

“There is this Super Bowl-sized audience on the platform every day,” says DeCourcy. “In a very cynical world, though, people have to experience it to get it. I don’t want to make things about the platform; I want to make things with the platform.”

That’s where this new work gets most interesting. Baldwin and DeCourcy’s creative team worked with Snapchat’s Arcadia Creative Studio to make the spot fully integrated with the app’s AR lenses. Every single frame of the spot, whether you view it online, as a screen shot, or during an NFL game, is scannable and will take you to a new suite of lenses, with a few surprises like a limited edition merch drop mixed in.

Arcadia Creative Studio’s Global Director Resh Sidhu, says Snap’s AR technology is world-class, and the spot itself is the perfect platform to show off how it all works. “We wanted AR to be at the heart of this campaign, and this was the perfect way to do that,” Sidhu says. “What excites our AR team is how this creates a platform for us to continue to share our work with the world. It’s all about getting it in the hands of people and allowing them to experience it.”

Research contact: @FastCompany