Pandemic tributes, viral cookie video, experimental shopping zone and more

Trollish Marketing
These days, the No. 1 rule of viral marketing for brands seems to be dragging a competitor. Columbus-based Value City Furniture jumped on that bandwagon by announcing Feb. 1 as National #DumpYourHex Day—referring to the hex keys, also known as allen wrenches, that often come with build-it-yourself furniture from stores like Ikea. Customers could exchange their hex keys to receive $150 off their purchase of $999 or more. The impetus? A VCF survey in which more than half of Americans admitted to arguing with a significant other while assembling such furniture.

Pandemic Tributes
We’re not sure why anyone would want to remember Covid-19, but those who want to honor Gov. Mike DeWine and former Ohio Department of Health director Dr. Amy Acton’s efforts to flatten the curve have a number of quirky options: a “Not All Heroes Wear Capes” shirt from Homage; a bobblehead of ASL interpreter Marla Berkowitz, who went viral for her expressive signing during DeWine’s daily press briefings; and even wine glasses emblazoned with the city’s new mantra for said press briefings: Wine with DeWine.

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Viral Cookie Video
Let’s be honest: Girl Scout Cookies basically sell themselves. But Westerville’s Amory Vargo, age 9, wanted to give herself an extra edge, so she wrote and starred in a parody video of “Truth Hurts” by Grammy-nominated singer Lizzo. “Yeah, I got some S’mores, that’s the Girl Scout in me / Cha-ching, I sell ’em, now I’m going camping,” she sings in the 88-second video. Shots include Vargo lounging among packages of cookies and even appearing in a Lizzo-esque fur coat before dancing to the outro, beaming.

Experimental Shopping Zone
At Easton Town Center, new retailers are, well, nothing new. But one shopping experience is setting itself apart: Experimental storefront Shop/Lab allows international and online brands to test a brick-and-mortar location in the shopping and lifestyle center’s main building. Easton provides analytical tools, adaptable fixtures and even staffing for tenants, which have included Orlando-based Rock ’Em Socks and Italian leather goods retailer Campo Marzio. The current occupant, handbag and accessory shop R. Riveter, arrived in February; Easton leadership hopes it will stay in the space for about a year.