Help My Mom!


We love our moms and we know you do too. BUT, don’t you sometimes wish you could put your mom’s social media usage on timeout? Us too. We’ve seen everything from accidental Facebook shares, to tweets that should be @replies. Hashtags? Don’t even bother! So, in honor of Mother’s Day and to show how much we care about all the wonderful mothers in our lives, Digital Royalty University is offering a helping hand through our “Help My Mom!” campaign.

We’re awarding three lucky moms a personal online session with a Digital Royalty University instructor to help them get their social media presence dialed in. Additionally, we will be selecting 30 additional moms to participate in an upcoming Digital Royalty University live social communications webinar and thanks to our friends at, those 30 mom’s will also receive a $30 gift voucher to

Whether it’s to help with understanding the difference between a public tweet or an @Reply, how to use Google Hangouts or FaceTime, or just some best practices on what to post and what not to post on Facebook (emphasis on what NOT to post), your mom will go through the same social communication training exercises that we’ve put Digital Royalty University graduates through for the past five years. Included with the one-on-one session is a Team Renegades toolkit: a Digital Royalty t-shirt, an autographed copy of The New York Times Bestseller Renegades Write The Rulescomplimentary access to the suite of our online social communication classes and a $100 gift voucher for a flower arrangement from 

So, how can you nominate your mom? Use our hashtag, #RoyalHelp on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and include an example, a quick sentence, or if you’re really brave, a screenshot of a funny social media blunder your mom has made. Here’s some examples.

Help My Mom Learn Social Media

The winners will be selected and announced on Thursday, May 8. Lastly, we’re hooking you all up with a 50%-off promotion code for our Digital Royalty University classes and a $15 gift voucher to so that you can give the gift of education (and pretty flowers) to your mom this Mother’s Day. Use the code “HelpMyMom” at checkout on Digital Royalty University and to redeem. Offer expires on May 11.

Together we can turn your mom from a social newbie into a social rockstar.


Cheers to 5 Years and Many Lessons


By: Amy Jo Martin

Digital Royalty just turned five! In social years, which is like dog years, that’s more like 35 years old. As we approach our 5th anniversary as entrepreneurs, we realize there are some things that we wish we knew back then that we (kind of) know now when it comes to entrepreneurship:

1. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. When you start your company, there will be a thousand things each day that you’ve never done. That’s okay.

2. Beware of shiny object syndrome. More companies fail from lack of focus vs. lack of business.

3. Your team is everything. Spend a great deal of time making sure the right people are on the bus and in the right seats.

4. Entrepreneurs tend to wait too long to hire and too long to fire.

5. Just because you can do it all, doesn’t mean you should. Realize what you’re uniquely qualified to do and delegate or outsource the rest as soon as you can.

6. Don’t forget why you started your company. Remind yourself daily. (Or hourly if needed!)

7. Being an entrepreneur is like the Chicago weather. If you don’t like the way something is going, wait 15 mins. It will change.

8. Your plan is important but accept the fact that it’s going to change and you will need to adapt.

9. When recruiting and interviewing talent remember this rule as you evaluate candidates: If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.

10. You can’t turn your business off, but if you don’t take time to go off the grid every once in awhile your business will suffer.

11. Focus on the long game. Society has romanticized start-ups that burst overnight – yet, that’s not the norm. Steady as she grows.

12. A diverse support system is critical. You’re going to need more than just family and lifelong friends. It’s lonely at the top.

13. You can color outside the lines without crossing the line. Disruption and destruction create two different outcomes.

14. When we practice humility, our growth is accelerated.

15. The people you choose to do business and the people you decide not to do business with will be the important decisions you make.

16. Celebrate lessons. Lessons + blessings = Blessons. Accelerate the process of learning by sharing mistakes.

17. Try to learn the difference between when to make things happen vs. letting them happen. Gas vs. brakes.

18. Always call people back and return emails. Figure out a system for doing so if you’re “too busy.” It’s worth the time and effort.

19. A five-degree shift changes your entire trajectory.

20. Read outside the box. Don’t just read your industry trade articles. Explore beyond.

21. The company can’t love you back. Logos don’t have feelings. Your team and partners have a human capacity but your logo does not. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t passionately dive in head-first, just manage your expectations.

22. There’s a big difference between true business partnerships and vendors. Alignment is key for longevity. Transactions are short-lived.

23. Find a team of mentors and make sure you’re coachable. Then return the favor and mentor others.

24. Your hustle factor is often your differentiating factor. Work hard.

25. Where passion, purpose and skill collide, bliss resides.

This post originally published on

#HudsonRules and So Does Social Media

Post by @AlanaGolob

Last week I witnessed first hand the true force of social media when people come together for a single cause. I was in Vegas at the dR corporate headquarters and received a call from my husband in Scottsdale telling me that Hudson got out of the house and his collar wasn’t on. Being miles away, I felt extremely helpless and feared the worst as my husband and my friend searched the entire neighborhood for hours looking for Hudson.

Fortunate for me I work with an incredible team of people who dropped everything they were doing to help me track down Hudson using the best tool at our disposal, the internet. Thanks to Amy Jo’s suggestion, I started posting photos of Hudson on my personal accounts as well as the Digital Royalty accounts – encouraging people to help spread the word. Amy Jo took to Twitter using the hashtag #FindHudson, while tweeting every Arizona shelter, news station, anchor, oh – and even encouraging Arizona Cardinals pro football star, Larry Fitzgerald, to help us spread the word. This is a perfect example of how influence can be scaled for good.

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I was completely humbled by the overwhelming support of past co-workers, old high school friends and hundreds of complete strangers on each social channel. People genuinely wanted to help find Hudson and I couldn’t be more grateful of their support.

Below is a graph to illustrate the social impact. On the day Hudson went missing there was a significant spike in online conversation. More than 70% of the total conversation surrounded keywords associated with Hudson and the highest amount of mentions originated from Arizona and Nevada.

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While my co-worker/friend, Erinn Ray, searched the internet to find the most useful resources to find lost pets, she came across the site, Lost Dogs Arizona and joined. Within minutes they posted a Facebook post on their page with a photo of Hudson. Then a complete stranger (thank you, Susan!) stumbled across the post of Hudson, searched Craigslist and found a lost/found ad with an exact description of Hudson. As I boarded my flight home to Phoenix, I received a call from Susan telling me about the listing and giving me a phone number to contact the people who had Hudson the whole day. (Helpful tip for pet owners, always look on Craigslist first to see if anyone found your pet. Who would have thought?! Not me.) 

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Thankfully this story had a very happy ending thanks to the internet and the kindness of each person who played a helpful role. All of us at Digital Royalty had a bit of an “ah-ha” moment from this experience and were further reassured of why we’re in the business that we are in. Social communication is a scalable, unstoppable force without limits when we work together to combine our influence for a good cause. If we can find a lost dog using social media, just think if we used that influence to help find missing children? Food for thought.

My key takeaway from this experience is first and foremost that there are still tons of really, really great people in the world. Secondly, the internet can be a beautiful thing when it’s used to help people. And lastly, it sometimes pays to be that obnoxious dog owner that constantly posts photos of their dog on the internet…#HudsonRules. Hey, even dogs need personal branding (wink-wink).

A big THANK YOU to everyone was involved and supported. Watch the news segment on 12 News by anchor, Bryan West. If you’re a pet owner, there’s some helpful tips about how to use social media to find a lost pet.


Humanization Leads to a Hole in One

Post by @AlanaGolob

When brands lead their social media strategy with humanization, it often leads to successful results. The LPGA has made a commitment to humanize the players of the Tour through on-going Digital Royalty University education, regular communication meetings with select players and their willingness to take risks within the social space. And their efforts aren’t going unnoticed (read espnW article). The LPGA used last weeks Founders Cup Tournament as the perfect opportunity to go big and give fans exclusive access into the tournament and exposing the players through the following social event activations:



1.) Google+ Hangout with Jessica Korda:  The LPGA hosted their first-ever Google+ Hangout with superstar golfer, Jessica Korda live from the Founders Cup. The Hangout was hosted by the LPGA’s Chief Communication Officer, Kraig Kann, alongside Stanford Golfer (and our Royal Intern), Danielle Frasier and golf blogger Neil Schuster. Fans had exclusive access to Jessica for 45-minutes to ask questions through Twitter and the Google Hangout Q&A feature directly on the Hangout. Watch the full Hangout, here. Big hit.

LPGA Instagram Takeover

2.) Instagram Takeover:  Instagram takeovers are a great way to give a look into the average day of someones life through photos and videos. LPGA golfer, Danielle Kang took the “keys to the castle” of the LPGA Instagram account and gave fans a sneak peak into her life, which even included a round of golf with Bruce Jenner and her recovery session off the course.

Side note: Keep an eye on our Digital Royalty Instagram account, as we plan to do #dRRoyalTakeovers on a regular basis to give you a look into what we’re up to.

LPGA golfie

3.) #LPGAGolfie:  Taking the selfie to the next level, the LPGA is using GoPro’s to capture a unique perspective from each of the tournaments by placing a GoPro in the bottom of a golf hole. These #LPGAGolfies are captured by using the timer setting on the GoPro combined with the wifi feature on the camera that connects to the iPhone app. Pretty rad, right? We think so.

To help further inspire the game of golf, GoPros are also being used to give fans an up-close vantage point to players swings and putts on the course. Here’s a look at golfer Karrie Webb teeing off.

4.) #LPGAMeetUp:  The LPGA hosted their second player meet-up with Azahara Munoz at the Founders Cup. Fans were able to find out the location and the time of the #LPGAMeetUp by following the LPGA social media accounts. The first fans to arrive had a chance to win SkyBox tickets to the tournament, as well as meet Azahara. When fans are able to meet their favorite players all because of social media, it’s a beautiful thing and they instantly rise the fan ladder.

LPGA Meetup

Interested in learning more about event activation strategies? Give our Digital Royalty University class, “The Art of Event Activations” a spin. It will walk you through how to develop your own storytelling strategy and execute social media stunts.

The Voice of the People

Post by @AlanaGolob

The strength of social media is that it gives everyone and anyone the platform to have a voice and make it heard. It’s scalable, it’s impressionable and it’s impactful. Social media doesn’t discriminate, you don’t have to be a celebrity or a congressman to be heard. We all have the ability to own our voice if we chose to do so.

For those of you not aware of the recent controversy in Arizona, the SB 1062 Bill was proposed that would have allowed individuals/business owners to refuse to serve customers based on religious grounds, i.e. the right to discriminate based on sexual preference or marriage views.

What did the people do when they heard about the new bill? They turned to the internet to express their opinions on the bill. Floods of tweets and Facebook posts poured in and people updated their avatars with statements expressing support for equality. I think we can all agree that Arizona took a slight PR hit this week.

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#SB1062, “Jan Brewer” and “Arizona” were all trending on Twitter and Facebook for most of the afternoon. There are more than 63,000 posts including the hashtag #SB1062. 

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Amongst those posts included official statements from the MLB and the NFL even went as far as to threaten to pull the Super Bowl out of Arizona next year.

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Influencer and regular activist, Sophia Bush rallied her more than 1.5 million combined followers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to help spread the message of equality.
Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 6.19.51 PMCorporate America also stood up to Arizona lawmakers and joined the fight against the bill via statements including Apple, Delta, Petsmart and others – which also sparked conversation on Twitter and was covered on several major media outlets.

Gov. Jan Brewer also turned to Twitter to share the outcome of the bill minutes after she publicly announced the veto through a televised press conference.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 6.34.25 PMWhen the veto was announced, what did the people do again? They turned to social media and this time around their posts had a slightly different sentiment.

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We’ve seen this time and time again with social communication channels. When controversy arises, people turn to the internet to express their opinions, whether to spark a revolution in Egypt or lobby to bring back their favorite latte.

What does this new way of communicating suggest? That perhaps the government should evolve it’s procedures and practices. Yes, I realize it’s not a new concept to suggest that the government is operating with an outdated model – but what if the government turned to the internet (the people) to crowdsource bills and collect votes vs. the senate? It seems to be an effective practice for the people and brands around the world that are turning to the social space to improve their value offering and build lasting relationships.

Power to the people!



Thanks to LinkedIn, Now We’re All Influencers.

By @ErinnRay

LinkedIn has opened up their publishing platform to all members…or eh, they will be within the next couple weeks or months. Back in the fall of 2012, LinkedIn Influencer started with only a select group of influencers, the likes of Bill Gates and Richard Branson, who had the capability to publish their long-form content posts. Now LinkedIn plans for a staged rollout starting with 25,000 members who have access and will expand soon to all 277M members worldwide. The Influencer network component will still exist comprised of thought leaders, but with the new open access to publishing it has the potential to allow other individuals to join the ranks of these influencers.

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These long-form blog style posts will have no word count limitations and can include images, videos and SlideShare presentations. The posts are pushed out to the LinkedIn homepage and featured items are rotated between 4 top-level positions as well as the email digest and in the Pulse app. The Influencer posts will also reach a much broader audience as members not within your immediate network can follow your influencer posts and like and share within their networks as well – all to help expand the reach of your content.

Seems as if LinkedIn is looking for ways to evolve the platform to be “stickier” on a daily basis vs. networking solely when in need of a new job. They’re jumping on the user generated content bandwagon. As a LinkedIn member you have access to many connections and experts to help you grow professionally and further your education in your field – making you a more productive employee, more marketable, and solidifying your personal and professional brand. In the end this gives individuals an avenue to not only grow professionally but also to get creative with how they market themselves and let their personality and expertise shine through.

From a brand perspective, these long form posts can help humanize the brand and showcase the person and thought-leadership even more, allowing for the heads of large companies and big brands to tell success stories and share their advice. Whether that be by providing learnings, advice on case studies, overcoming challenges to score big victories, even sharing their struggles and background for how they achieved their current role.

Whether you are the head of a successful worldwide brand or just starting off your career we are all at some point along our professional path and can add value to those who connect with us on LinkedIn. One could think of this new feature set as tools for reverse mentoring. Do you think you’ll go to LinkedIn daily as a resource for professional content targeted to your interests and expertise? Or do you feel there are already too many sources for this type of self-publishing out there? Let us know on Twitter @DigitalRoyalty.

Winter Olympic Hashtags: The Best Of The Best

Post by @MeganPura 


In honor of Jimmy Fallon’s latest masterpiece, the #hashtag2 video featuring Jonah Hill, we thought we would revisit the always entertaining topic of the hashtag. Our team has enjoyed many laughs over the hashtags that have developed throughout the Winter Olympics in Sochi. This is a look at our favorite Winter Olympic hashtags, and which ones we believe deserve the Gold Medal.

Without further adieu, here are Digital Royalty’s top Winter Olympic hashtags:

1) #SochiProblems: Long before journalists and athletes arrived in Sochi for the Winter Olympics, there was much skepticism about Sochi. Concerns included safety, budget, and civil rights issues.  Would Sochi be ready? As guests poured into Sochi, Journalists turned to twitter to report their troubles with Sochi which included incomplete hotel rooms, open construction zones on public streets, and stray dogs. Enter #SochiProblems.  As of today, @SochiProblems has close to 100k more twitter followers than the official Winter Olympic handle, @Sochi2014.




Clorox saw an opportunity with #SochiProblems and jumped on it while it was trending. Though many companies remained silent on this controversial topic, Clorox spun #SochiProblems into something positive and offered an authentic solution with one of their products. With over 1,100 retweets and 915 favorites, the tweet was well received.

2) #OlympicPickupLines: Maybe it’s because Valentine’s Day landed in the middle of the Winter Olympics. Maybe it’s the 100,000 condoms that are available to athletes in the Olympic Village. For whatever reason, Jimmy Fallon, the ultimate social media wingman, asked his followers to tweet their favorite #OlympicPickupLines to him. The result, 36,000+ Olympic Pickup Lines in tweet form.

THE GOLD MEDALIST: Jimmy Fallon for the win.


We already know that Jimmy is a master at social TV. With #OlympicPickupLines, he proves our theory correct by tapping into the Olympic momentum and putting a Jimmy Fallon spin on it.

 3) #SochiSelfie: The Sochi Selfie is one event that almost all of the Winter Olympians have participated in, and for good reason. In our experience, photos which feature a public figure such as a celebrity or an athlete get higher engagement than those that do not. The official “venue” for #SochiSelfie knows no bounds. Athletes posted pictures of themselves walking the Opening Ceremony, hanging out in the village on their off days, and practicing at official olympic venues. Those athletes who were lucky enough to walk away with Olympic hardware, such as Julia Mancuso, took to Instagram to post a #SochiSelfie with their medal. The athletes in Sochi have embraced the selfie and fans around the world are benefiting by gaining an inside look at the world of an Olympic athlete never seen before.


 THE GOLD MEDALIST(S): The athletes of Sochi 2014 are the clear winners here.

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By giving fans exclusive peeks behind the scenes of this global event, they are leveraging their star power, which may fade in the coming months. They are “being the media” and following one of Amy Jo Martin’s 8 Royal Rules of Social Media.

4) #WeAreWinter: Team Canada utilized social media to take a different approach to their team pride strategy this Olympics. Unlike the official hashtag of Team USA (#GoTeamUSA), Canada’s official hashtag doesn’t mention “Canada”. Instead, Canada puts a stake in the ground with their statement of winter ownership.




Team hashtags are tired. Remember #TeamJacob and #TeamEdward from the Twilight era circa 2008? With a strong statement hashtag like #WeAreWinter, athletes and fans alike are more likely to use it and engage with it.

 5) #LoserKeepsBieber: It didn’t take long for the hashtag to trend on twitter after an electronic billboard with a photo of Justin Bieber and the caption “Loser Keeps Bieber” went up in Chicago shortly before the Canada vs. USA Gold Medal women’s hockey game.


THE GOLD MEDALIST: The public. Because this is funny. *Disclaimer: We don’t support bullying of any kind. However, we see the humor in this #hashtag.

An Open Letter to Instagram


Are you there, Instagram? It’s me, @ChelseaHartling.

Let me start off by saying, I really like you. I think about you all the time when I’m taking pictures, and I can’t stop checking you out all day long. We have a pretty good relationship that grows every day, and I’d like it to continue. But you’ve got some flaws that are getting harder and harder to overlook the longer we’re together. And much like with any long term relationship, it’s time to point them out.

For starters, you say you’re trying to become more brand-friendly, but you’re not really making it easy for brands or social media managers to use you. Why can’t I toggle back and forth between multiple accounts yet? Logging in and out each time I need to post a picture on a different account is old school and not efficient. And you’re pretty much the only platform whose not on board with it yet. I say this in the most loving way possible: it’s my number one pet-peeve.

When you rolled out web-pages, I thought it was a big step forward and I got really excited! But I’m realizing there’s no real value to it. You can’t search for hashtags. You can’t upload photos or videos from your desktop. Basically you can only do half the things you would do within the app, rendering it pretty much useless.

And those ads you’ve been teasing us with for the past few months? Come on, man! Purely from a brand perspective, I know quite a few people who would love to get their hands on it. They want to throw their money at you and you’re just not letting them. Why won’t you take our money, Instagram, why?!

A few other minor details I’d also like you to work on:

  • Being able to add clickable links to the captions of photos/videos – this simple feature could be the difference between a brand seeing value in using your platform to reach their target audience, and making the executive decision to focus their efforts on Facebook & Twitter.
  • The ability to edit my caption if and when I misspell a word, which happens quite frequently. Auto-correct is not very forgiving, and hey, I have flaws too! If I screw up, I don’t want to have to start all over from the beginning.
  • A re-gram feature within the app instead of having to use an external app to re-post other people’s awesome photos. Just imagine how many more photos would be shared each day! It would definitely take my addiction to the next level, and I know I’m not alone on that front.
  • Would it be too much to ask you to open up a little? I’m talking about your API of course. Third party softwares need love, too. I’d like you to meet some of dR’s friends: SOS, Expion, and Crimson Hexagon. We kick it with them every day. They want to get to know you & be your friend, too. And not to bring up dead 90′s cliches, but… if you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends?

So, Insta (can I call you Insta?). I want to be your friend. The brands & softwares we work with want to be your friend. Can you help a sister out? I don’t expect you to change over night, but since we’ve been together for a couple years now, if you could start working on some of these things, I think it would be mutually beneficial for everyone involved. You have so much to offer. I see your potential, and I want you to realize it too.

Love always,

Ps. We also need to talk about your last 2 filters: 1977 and Kelvin. They’re kind of hideous. Does anyone even use them? Let’s just replace those with a toggle feature and call it even.

Social TV: Late Night Edition

Post by Stephanie Caragan


Late night TV history is happening and we’re all about to witness it! Jimmy Fallon will kick off The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 3 days, which will be a great Presidents Day holiday to remember for the 39 year old New York native. Fallon’s premiere week guests will include Will Smith, Kristen Wiig, Jerry Seinfeld, First Lady Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Will Ferrell, BFF Justin Timberlake and more. The show will return to its original home in New York City where it all started in 1954. For the first time ever, both The Tonight Show and Late Night franchises will be in the same city. It’ll be the show’s 60th anniversary run this year – and my, how the times have changed.

From reporting news in stand-up style to casually catching up with Hollywood stars, there are exciting things to come as the Tonight Show dons a new host yet familiar face like Jimmy Fallon. Check out the latest Ask Jimmy video where he answers what’s coming to The Tonight Show (if he’ll bring The Roots, Higgins, #latenight hashtags, Thank You notes, and more Late Night activities) and plugs The Tonight Show App that may give us a new second screen experience when tuning in to the nightly show.

My favorite part: ”I can’t tell you what social media has done for our show… It’s a way of reaching fans that no one ever dreamt possible. I can actually connect with you – through the web. I love your notes back, when you say you like something or you don’t like something. Haters gonna hate, but I don’t mind it. I don’t care if you say something you don’t like – be honest. I really appreciate your thoughts on this. Let’s do it together. And, let’s make a show we all like.”

Fallon definitely shined a special spotlight on social media as a host at Late Night. It was exciting for me – and perhaps most social media enthusiasts – to see a talk show host embrace social media like he did (and will) simply because he loves it just as much as we do. Though other night talk show hosts have worked social media into their program, I’d have to say Jimmy’s segments have been my favorite.

The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon airs Monday, February 17th (12/11c).
From all of us at Digital Royalty: Good luck, Jimmy!

Dumb Starbucks: Why It Worked and What’s Next


Post by Royal Intern, Sara Farr

This week your news feeds were probably overflowing with posts about Dumb Starbucks. Mine were. People were taking road trips and lining up for hours to experience the unprecedented stunt. (Or was it?) Those who were there were busy posting it on their networks to inform the masses. Dumb Starbucks went viral and gained national attention thanks to Twitter. On YouTube, the account was gained over 10,000 views per hour and with over 14,000 followers on Twitter, people were curious and busy speculating.

Who was behind this? Numerous people on Twitter and Facebook thought Banksy, a UK street artist, could be behind this parody stunt. Days later, it turns out Nathan Fielder, a comedian, is the mind behind the art of free coffee and pastries, all in the name of brand mockery.

So, why did it work?

  1. The name was clever. It was playing off a brand we all know, love and one that many have strong opinions about.
  2. Social Media (primarily Twitter) brought life to what some thought of as only a parody account. Traditional media also covered the story, fueling the fire and making this into a legitimate must-see attraction.
  3. The reason and people (person) behind it was mysterious and people wanted more because they did not know what was going on.
  4. It is a new, different kind of parody – because of the brick and mortar location.

The conspiracy theories keep coming, too. First, credit was given to Banksy, and now people are saying this could possibly be a PR stunt  - by Starbucks – who paid Nathan Fielder to spice up there content. Time will tell…

So, what’s next?

  1. According to the comments on social networks, people have taken an international interest, and it looks like there may be more pop-ups coming from across the pond. Depending on how parody laws are interpreted here in the United States, it is likely we will see more of these stores in the future here, as well.
  2. This is a great opportunity for up and coming comedians/ celebrities to get on the map.
  3. Brand partnerships for free publicity.
  4. This might have started with coffee, but look for new products to be tested in the market through parody pop up shops.

My personal predictions: Keep an eye out for Dumb Facebook, Dumb Burger King, Dumb Wal-Mart, Dumb McDonalds, Dumb Delta.

Do you agree that this type of parody will continue? Or do you think Dumb Starbucks was a one hit wonder? Tweet us @DigitalRoyalty and let us know!