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. Watch two episodes and call me in the morning
Millennials and Gen Z are turning to TV/video as a coping mechanism for psychological and emotional woes. Why should you care? According to YPulse, “90% of 13-36-year-olds consume media when they are unhappy.” While this may be meditation or ASMR on YouTube, it could also be a favorite show or a new one that fits their mood. While Netflix doesn’t do targeted emotional marketing (yet), the New York Times does and is seeing “1.4x higher click-thru-rates” in articles where emotion-based advertising is used. Knowing their audiences use media to cope with stress, for example, opens the door for streaming services to implement similar techniques either through targeted marketing or reorganization around “moods” instead of genres. [YPulse]
2. Dystopian Theme Parks
Lionsgate will be opening an “adult-oriented” theme park in China based on popular movies. Why should you care? Get your mind out of the gutter. We’re talking about young adult fiction turned into movies like “Twilight”, “The Hunger Games”, and “Divergent”. Aside from the recent viral online rant against childless millennials enjoying Disney Theme Parks, we are seeing growing opportunities for adults to immerse themselves in all types of beloved fictional universes. We’ve known for years that millennials prioritize experiences over things, so immersive worlds that allow for escapism and nostalgia is the perfect fit for this audience. Even so, should we be worried that people want to experience dystopias for fun? [The Points Guy]
3. From stain to sensation
PrettyLittleThing, a UK-based fashion retailer, released a burgundy tie-dyed jumper this week inspired by a mishap with red wine. Why should you care? At racetrack last week, a young woman decided rather than fight or hide a red wine stain on her white jumper, she drenched the whole thing in red wine and hoped for the best. Shockingly, when she dried the outfit, it not only looked okay, but received complements. It could have ended there, but the woman’s friend, and co-dyer, joked on Twitter that it could be a great new addition to PrettyLittleThing’s “festival line.” PrettyLittleThing quipped “Wine not?” and added it to their website. This is a great example of a brand seizing a viral moment with a clever, authentic and quick response. [The Cut]
4. Pink seesaws and politics
Pink seesaws were installed between steel beams along a small stretch of the Mexican-American border on Sunday. Why should you care? As the election ramps up, it is going to be increasingly difficult for brands to avoid political issues. While consumer sentiment has changed and often requires brands to take a stance (when they would have stayed silent in the past), brands may still struggle to find the right way to engage in political discussions. These seesaws weren’t a brand activation, but an art installation. For brands who feel they must speak on an issue, but are uncomfortable taking a stand, a well-designed and thought-provoking installation like this might provide another more neutral option. [NPR]
5. Game Night with Alexa
Amazon is making significant investments in the growing voice-controlled gaming industry through Alexa. Why should you care? The labs designing games for Alexa see opportunities in this medium because it is so easy to use. With the advancements in natural language processing, people can play games like an “escape the room” scenario, alone or with a roomful of people, simply through conversation and voice commands. While other platforms cater to the skilled e-sports industry, voice-technology opens the doors to make gamers out of everyone else. [MIT Technology Review]
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