Smunday

With a viewing audience that exceeds 100 million people, it’s easy to see why brands want to be a part of the big game, but many aren’t ready to pony up $5 million for a spot during the game. Heinz has found a unique way to still be a part of the game and conversation. Citing research that states over 16 million people will call in sick to work on the Monday after the game, they’ve started a Change.org petition to get the Monday after the Super Bowl declared a national holiday, known as Smunday (over 50,000 people have signed it). Showing that they’re serious, Heinz has already declared Monday as a holiday for their employees.
Full article from Change.Org

Pepper

The Pyramid Ale Taproom at the Oakland Airport is testing Pepper the Robot as a new way to engage guests as they walk by. Pepper is specifically tasked with providing information and entertainment and has facial recognition capability to discern gender, age and mood, allowing for more appropriate interaction with each traveler. Pepper is already popular in Japan, appearing in over 100 stores and many homes. It will be interesting to see if Pepper catches on in the U.S.
Full article from MediaPost

Soofa

Boston is one of the first cities to try out the new Soofa smart benches as outdoor furniture in public places. The benches come equipped with solar panels and charging ports. They can act as a Wi-Fi hotspot as well as collect data and transmit to the city about foot traffic, weather conditions, etc. Additional screens can provide news and information to those nearby. While not intended as an advertising medium now, there will surely be opportunities for nearby retailers in the near future.
Full article from Boston Globe