The Weekly Debrief

From MBE’s to burger trolls

We’re a creative bunch. Ideas are what get us up in the morning, and when we see a good one, we can’t help but share it. Whether it’s on a lengthy email chain, a scrap of paper left in a meeting room, or a post on our Workplace group – ideas are always flying around the We are Vista Studio.

This is our round up of the best of them. This is the Weekly Debrief.

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New Year’s Honours list 2019

Just when we thought Lieutenant Scott Sears, 1st Battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles couldn’t get any more inspirational – he’s only gone and made the New Year’s Honours list 2019! This prestigious honour will see him awarded an MBE.

We first met Scott last year during We are Vista’s ‘James Meets’ film series – watch it here. At the time he was preparing for his especially cool mission – to become the youngest person to reach the South Pole, unassisted. He successfully raised more than £40,000 for the Gurkha Welfare Fund, while conducting the record breaking feat in his own time.

A little over a year later and he has made the New Year Honours List 2019 – being recognised for his service and dedication to the military and the nation.

Scott was in Nepal in 2015 when an earthquake hit. It was during his time working with the Gurkha Trust repairing veterans housing that he decided he wanted to help raise money for their cause, rebuilding schools and homes. It’s fantastic to see the efforts of such a devoted, motivating individual being recognised.

Cooking up fresh beef

Burger King are causing a stir over in the US, with their latest marketing ploy aimed at encouraging customers to download its app.

In a bid to push app downloads, Burger King’s latest promotion coined ‘The Whopper Detour’, harnesses geofencing technology to make it possible for customers who are within 600 feet of a McDonalds to order a Whopper for one cent. After ordering, they’re then “detoured” to the closest Burger King to pick up the sandwich.

Despite the overly complicated trolling attempt, Burger King’s latest antics demonstrates the abilities of geofencing technology – which is sure to excite someone right? And rumour has it, the company spent a whole year geofencing 14,000 McDonald’s locations across the US in order to pull off the campaign.

So, was it worth it? Surprisingly more than 50,000 people redeemed the deal in less than 24 hours, pushing the Burger King app to first place in the iTunes App Store’s food and drink category. But c’mon – it’s hardly fast food if you’ve got to drive to two separate places before you can tuck in!

Creating a more accessible Instagram

Instagram’s two latest improvements is set to see the platform become more accessible for its visually impaired audience.

First up, using AI-driven object recognition technology, posts will now generate alternative text with automatic photo descriptions. This allows users to hear descriptions of photos through a screen reader and will be accessible on Feed, Explore and Profile.

Secondly, users will also benefit from custom alternative text, allowing them to add more detailed descriptions while uploading photos. Those using screen readers will also be able to audibly hear their descriptions too.

It’s great to see Instagram are following in the footsteps of its parent company Facebook, who has been using AI to offer descriptions of photos on its social platform since 2016. The future of social media certainly looks to be more inclusive, with the internet no longer out of reach for the visually impaired.