Pulse Capsule Vol. 2

June 4, 2021

Welcome to our Pulse Capsule, Volume 2, a curated snapshot of interesting stories in culture from the previous month. Stories that are driving conversations, making waves or changing perspectives, all through the POV of our strategy team. This month, we’ll talk about what free speech at school looks like in a remote world, a Spanglish remix of a literary classic, and...Cheetos. What you see here is a highlight reel of some of the stories we include in two client newsletters sent throughout the month. 

So with that, let’s dive into the highlights from May—

Free Speech or Detention?

As schools continue to rely on remote learning, the lines of "in school" and "out of school" become blurry. As one student recently learned, something she posted online was grounds for intervention from her school. Or was it? The student countered with the argument that what is on her social media is protected by freedom of speech. Are we now moving on from hall monitors to 'gram monitors? And could this impact how young adults interact with brands online? Read more from NPR here

Down the Spanglish Rabbit Hole 

"Alicia's Adventuras en Wonderlandia" is the latest Spanglish remix of a literary classic by Latinx scholar Ilan Stavans, whose previous works include "Don Quixote of La Mancha" and "El Little Príncipe." Spanglish gets a bad rap for being "improper," but here's a scholar acknowledging its importance in helping a story hold true for the Latinx audience. Spanglish isn't easy to pull off, but the juice is worth the squeeze for brands. And the proverbial squeeze involves getting more creative at organically capturing how your audience talks about your category (Informal recorded chats?) and then writing around that rather than jumping immediately into a script. Read more from NBC here

The Great Cheeto Debate Heats Up

Janitor-turned-executive, Richard Montañez, became a Latinx hero as the inventor of the uber-popular Flamin' Hot Cheetos; but Frito-Lays recently released reports challenging his claim to this title. Now parent company, Pepsico, just challenged Frito-Lays' challenge, affirming that Montañez did indeed play a crucial role. This new development is validation to many in the Latinx community who stood by Montañez, even in the face of what seemed like overwhelming evidence against him. The reality is Latinxs crave inspirational stories like these, which they know are out there but rarely get told. Should more brands be looking in their own backyards to find their own Richard Montañez? Read more on Remezcla here

And that’s it for our second edition of Pulse Capsule, here on our website and LinkedIn—thanks for reading! Check back around the start of every month for new trends, content, and perspective on interesting things happening in culture.