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. KFC x Crocs at New York Fashion Week
KFC and Crocs partnered to create a platform Bucket Clog that global artist Me Love Me a Lot (MLMA) wore to New York Fashion Week. Why should you care? Well, I don’t know about you, but this combination caught our attention. And although the “avant-garde” clog isn’t available to purchase, its debut on influencer MLMA’s heels helped kick off the fried chicken-themed Classic Clog available in the spring. This collaboration is the latest quirky, light-hearted stunt from KFC. Brands should consider what an unexpected partnership like this could mean – whether it’s introducing a new audience to your product or broadening the conversation with your current followers. The news release strutted its limited-edition stuff with this statement: “Featuring a realistic Kentucky Fried Chicken pattern and a nod to the iconic red-striped bucket, they’re sure to fulfill all your finger-lickin’ fashion dreams. And don’t forget the sides – this clog also comes with two removable, chicken-scented Jibbitz™ charms that look like a fried chicken drumstick.” [Marketing Dive]
2. Budweiser changes labels to make them better for selfies
The SelfieBud label is printed backward so it appears normal in social media selfies. Why should you care? For the Super Bowl, Budweiser launched an experiential three-day BudX Hotel takeover of the Nautilus by Arlo hotel in Miami. These specialized beer bottle labels designed for selfies were among the marketing strategies, by a “King” of Super Bowl advertising, aimed at reaching younger audiences. Hotel takeovers like this one may continue to grow in popularity as brands look for ways to provide unique experiences – especially around high-impact events – for consumers and influencer marketing partners. [Mobile Marketer]
3. The 1975 tackles gender inequality in festival line-ups
UK chart-topping band, the 1975, has taken a stand and will only perform in gender-balanced festivals with equal billing for female and non-binary musicians. Why should you care? Front man Matt Healy wants to align with festivals that feature musicians that are more representative of its fans. He believes “this is how male artists can be true allies.” The 1975’s commitment to festival inclusivity challenges individuals and brands to take action when they see an issue like lack of representation within their industries or communities. [The Guardian]
4. Video games are being used to help educate players on climate change
Indie gamers are creating worlds “to reflect injustice and encourage change” such as facing the climate crisis. Why should you care? Bee Simulator, Temtem, Endling and Beyond Blue are all games bringing awareness to environmental issues. Attracting multi-generations of players and providing more than just pure entertainment value, these games are inspiring. For brands, this is a great example to remember the power stories hold when told in new ways and with creative experiences. [The Verge]
5. San Diego’s airport has been invaded by “monsters”
The San Diego International Airport has a performing arts program that brings live performances into the terminals. Why should you care? Performers use the airport terminals, baggage-claim areas and security checkpoints as “workshop spaces” for new music, dance and theater. The current residency by the Beck+Col group features “monsters” in colorful lumpy costumes delivering surprising and entertaining performances. There are a few airports with similar programs, and it will be interesting to see how far the initiative travels. But for many brands, providing a “pop-up” experience in a space where you wouldn’t normally be associated could be a strategic addition to your marketing programs. [The Points Guy]
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