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. Written in the stars
In 2021, PepsiCo will partner with startup StartRocket to advertise in the night sky via satellites. Why should you care? Yes, you read that right. Advertising will now be in the form of artificial constellations. (Talk about the opposite of targeted marketing.) Kudos for the creativity and props for the cool tech, but seriously? Think about it, Orion’s Belt now brought to you by…Men’s Wearhouse? Old Navy? We’ll see how this goes, but at least it isn’t available for the 2020 election cycle. [Gizmodo]
2. Bathe like a man
Axe’s new campaign “Bathsculinity” seeks to break down harmful stereotypes of masculinity. Why should you care? Axe joins a growing list of brands including Schick, Just for Men, Bonobos, and Gillette, attempting to redefine masculinity by addressing stereotypes. This particular campaign features 15-second spots of comedian, Lil Rel Howery (“Get Out” and “Bird Box”) enjoying a bubble bath to illustrate their overarching message, “there’s no one way to be a man.” Axe seems to have managed the right balance of exemplifying this value while organically reinforcing it through other brand initiatives. This is likely the reason it has not seen the same criticism as others, such as Gillette, who have waded into this space. [Marketing Dive]
3. Self-imposed carbon tax
Allbirds has implemented a new “carbon tax” on themselves. Why should you care? They estimate each pair of shoe equates to 10 kg of carbon emissions. Now, they could have stopped there because that is below the industry average and they’re already environmentally-friendly. Instead, they gave their customers an easy way to support a cause they already care about – 10 cent charge on their shoes to offset the carbon emissions. This is a great example of a growing trend we identified earlier this year where consumers are looking for companies to take responsibility for their impact (environmental and otherwise) and help their customers act positively through them. Their self-imposed carbon tax is ideal because it is simple, built into the price and demonstrates an authentic commitment to the causes their customers care about. [Fast Company]
4. Pretending to go to Coachella is the new Coachella
A couple of influencers admitted to faking their Coachella posts to make a point to their followers. Why should you care? Both of the influencers who faked their Coachella trips mentioned a couple of different reasons for doing so such as showing how fake social media can and illustrating that being an influencer at those events means you don’t enjoy them. These admissions coupled with a few other articles on changing aesthetics on Instagram suggest we may be at an inflection point where transparency, honesty and imperfection (aka IRL) becomes a higher priority on social media. [PAPER and Matador Network]
5. When you aren’t in the mood for a “Happy Meal”
Burger King is now offering “real meal” boxes for Whoppers featuring a range of emotions including the “Pissed Meal, Blue Meal, Salty Meal, YAAAS Meal and DGAF Meal.” Why should you care? All hail the king of shade, BK. Not only does this cleverly troll their rival without going too far, this campaign checks a lot of cultural boxes. The combination of increased mental health awareness and the pressures of social media, people want brands to speak to real life and the emotions that come with it. While this ad is obviously tongue-in-cheek, it is a masterful way to meet their consumers where they are while also promoting greater awareness for mental health (as May is Mental Health Awareness Month). [The Drum]
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