Ben & Jerry’s changing the “whirled” with Kaepernick, and Hyundai buys the (scary) dog robot company

Ben & Jerry’s partners with Kaepernick on new flavour
Former (?) NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has connected with Ben & Jerry’s on a new ice cream flavour. According to the brand, the new “Change the Whirled” flavour will be a “caramel non-dairy frozen dessert with fudge chips, graham cracker swirls & chocolate cookie swirls.” A full-time addition to the Ben & Jerry’s portfolio, the vegan product is launching next year, with all proceeds going to Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights camp. In a release, Ben & Jerry’s said that the new flavour celebrates the NFL star’s “courageous work to confront systemic oppression and to stop police violence against Black and Brown people.”

The Office’s Brian Baumgartner is killing it on Cameo 
Brian Baumgartner’s character on The Office, Kevin Malone, was a man of few words. But Baumgartner has turned those few words into a lot of money on Cameo, a service that allows people to pay celebrities to create customized messages for friends and family. Baumgartner did more than $1 million in bookings on Cameo this year, the most of any celebrity. The actor charges $195 to deliver personalized messages for birthdays, holidays, etc. and has amassed a perfect five-star rating across more than 1,900 reviews. His cost, by the way, is lower than that of Tiger King’s Carole Baskin, who charges all of her cool cats and kittens $199 to record a personalized message.

Hyundai takes over Boston Dynamics
Hyundai has acquired an 80% stake in the mobile robot firm Boston Dynamics, best known for the quadruped robot Spot, in a deal that values the company at US$1.1 billion. According to Forbes, Hyundai—the second largest conglomerate in Korea after Samsung—has “ambitious” plans to invest more than $50 billion over five years to become a “smart mobility solution provider,” a plan that is said to include driverless cars. Hyundai also plans to eventually expand into the humanoid robot market, with an aim of developing robots for sophisticated services such as caregiving.

UK charity apologizes for sick Santa ad
The U.K.’s NHS Charities Together has apologized for an ad depicting Santa Claus as unconscious and receiving urgent medical care. The 90-second spot for the group, which raises money for Britain’s National Health Services, was meant to highlight the hard work of NHS staff in a difficult year, focusing on a nurse who provides care to Santa. Despite a happy ending and positive intent, media found enough comments on social media from people outraged about kids possibly seeing a sick Santa that the charity clarified its intent and apologized. “[The ad] isn’t aimed at children and hasn’t been shown on TV,” it said in a statement released Saturday. “However, we are sorry to the parents of any young children who have been upset by watching the ad and to the young children themselves, they were not the intended audience for it.”

Could Jony Ive slide behind the wheel at Ferrari?
Jony Ive, the designer behind some of Apple’s most revered products, is reportedly being considered as chief executive for another world famous brand: Ferrari. The speculation arose after the sudden retirement of Ferrari’s chief executive officer Louis Camilleri late Thursday. Reuters reported that Ive and another Apple exec, CFO Luca Maestri, were being considered for the position. Ive was the crucial design partner to Steve Jobs, responsible for ground-breaking products from the iMac to the iPhone. While he’s never been a CEO, Ive is a well-known car enthusiast and there is a precedent for such hires within Ferrari, with Camilleri similarly having no automotive experience when he took over. “Ferrari is often seen by analysts and investors as a luxury goods maker rather than an automotive specialist,” said Reuters. “[L]ast year Camilleri launched a plan to widen the brand to include apparel, accessories, entertainment offers, luxury products and services.”

LinkedIn testing ads in Stories
LinkedIn is testing ads in its still new “Stories” format, which launched globally in October. Like those pioneered by Snapchat and copied by Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn’s Stories are ephemeral, allowing users to post photos, video and text that disappears in 24 hours. Gyanda Sachdeva, vice-president of product for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, told The Wall Street Journal that Stories’ visual nature will appeal to luxury-goods marketers and media companies that haven’t spent much on LinkedIn advertising in the past. But will the more personal nature of Stories work on a platform focused on business and networking? “[I]f people are using them for conversations about business, it totally makes sense,” Tim Fullerton, vice president of content for WeWork, told WSJ. “It’s like TV channels: A cable news channel is different from TNT, but they are still both channels.”

David Brown