Each week, Padilla’s Insights + Strategy team stands at the intersection of people, culture and brands to bring you five stories that you can read in five minutes.
1. Taking off the kid gloves.
Adventure playgrounds, which allow kids to explore activities like hammering raw wood planks together with real hammers and nails, are beginning to pop up around America. Why should you care? In stark contrast to helicopter parenting, “adventure playgrounds” encourage parents to step back, take a deep breath and let their kids be exposed to more “danger” than society has previously deemed appropriate. This is part of a larger debate happening in pockets around the country about “free-range parenting,” or allowing younger children to do age appropriate things on their own, like walking to school, without the parents being charged with neglect. The debate on the appropriate balance is ongoing, but this is important to keep in mind with marketing to parents because while they’ll still want products to keep their kids safe, the meaning and boundary of “safety” may evolve. [NBC]
2. Fast fashion that lasts.
H&M put fast fashion on the map, but have now introduced new products and services focused on caring for their apparel including a laundry product line and in-house seamstresses to repair clothes. Why should you care? Ready-to-wear apparel has long thrived on a business model where people are encouraged to ditch their old clothes at the dawn of a new season. H&M’s new approach is the ideal intersection of sustainability as it aligns with younger consumers: affordable clothing that lasts longer which allows them to reduce their carbon footprint without spending a fortune. [Mintel]
3. Co-working in nature.
L.L. Bean has launched outdoor co-working stations that allow people to enjoy nature during the workday without compromising on any of the workplace necessities. Why should you care? This is a savvy proposal that combines the trends of evolving workplace perks and new research that shows the power of nature in elevating analytical thinking, all while promoting their mission to get more people outside more often. If this takes off, L.L. Bean has placed themselves in an excellent position to be the face for indoor/outdoor business attire. [Matador Network]
4. Pushing boundaries at Cannes.
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity took place last week and among the ads highlighted by AdAge, forward, unapologetic, casual and vulnerable seemed to be key elements. One ad that captures all of the above, plus taps into a broader trend around depictions of women in the media was Libresse (a feminine products company) which unapologetically depicts menstruation. Why should you care? Ads like the one put on by Libresse and others like KFC in the UK are challenging what can (or should) be said in “polite company.” These ads are honest, vulnerable and make what might have been controversial in the past central to the campaign. Certainly this is about knowing your customers and speaking to them, but also creating new spaces for brands to push beyond what is “acceptable” and remember that what is taboo for one isn’t always taboo for all. [AdAge]
5. I’m thinking Arby’s.
Arby’s now holds two Guinness World Records by having the largest (212,000 square feet poster in a farm field) and smallest (735.36 square micron printed on a sesame seed) advertisements to announce that they are switching from Pepsi to Coca-Cola. Why should you care? This is a nice contrast with the work coming out of Cannes. Arby’s ad is fun, simple and completely in line with Arby’s brand. [Adweek]
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