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. Flaming Haute Cheetos
Cheetos hosted a fashion show featuring rapper Saweetie as part of New York Fashion Week.Why should you care? Cheetos hosted their first ever fashion show. In addition to the show itself, guests were served drinks and hors d’oeuvres made with Cheetos (or Cheeto crumbs) and offered Cheetos-themed makeovers. Cheetos already enjoys a bit of a cult following with celebrities and has collaborated with retailers like Forever 21, so pushing to high fashion seems like a natural, albeit fun and creative, way to advertise their brand. [The Hollywood Reporter]
2. Colonel Sanders: Single Sim
KFC is currently finalizing a simulation game where players can date Colonel Sanders. Why should you care?We’ve disproportionately discussed KFC on these posts, but that’s because they keep thinking outside of the box. While this new video game they’ll be launching is admittedly odd, we like the ingenuity and willingness to take risks on wild ideas. Especially since, for a brand that’s established themselves as quirky, it tends to work out. [Polygon]
3. Modern speakeasy at Newark Airport
United Airlines has an invitation-only restaurant hidden in Newark Airport. Why should you care? This speakeasy of sorts, named “Classified,” is accessible only by invitation and with an escort who takes guests to the restaurant located within the restaurant Saison. United would not confirm how they decide who to invite, but they did develop the restaurant to provide “top-tier United Airlines customers a private, intimate dining experience.” Whether as a loyalty program or as an inducement for new customers, secret and exclusive experiences are a great way to cut through the noise in today’s attention economy. [Forbes]
4. Fashion on Amazon
Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty fashion show will be available to stream on Amazon next week. Why should you care? When guests arrived, they were banned from posting anything about the show until after Amazon airs it with some guests stating that their phones had been sealed in bags. While fashion shows are typically exclusive events, streaming her show on Amazon fits with Rihanna’s mantra about being inclusive and “celebrating everyone.” There has been a lot of buzz about the show and Amazon has claimed it is a “radical departure from tradition” and full of “exciting surprises around every corner,” but we’ll see if streaming is a good way to keep the buzz alive after its release next week. [BBC]
5. Alexa Answers for anyone
Amazon’s Alexa Answers program will now be open to anyone. Why should you care? Last week Facebook announced how they will be helping users connect with factual information from trusted sources on vaccinations. Amazon’s initiative seems to be moving in the opposite direction. As we (society) deal with the problems of misinformation, alternative facts and biases in a world where anyone can position themselves as “experts,” tech companies (as prime disseminators of that information) will become key mediators. Although crowd-sourcing may be an effective way to fill in gaps about obscure information, as a leader in voice, Amazon needs to be diligent in ensuring crowd-sourcing doesn’t worsen the misinformation and hate speech issues social media companies have been grappling with the past couple of years. [The Verge]
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