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. The music of life.
Spotify and Ancestry.com have partnered to create customized playlists based on users’ results from an AncestryDNA test. Why should you care? Customized products based on DNA tests has been buzzworthy this year for both the scientific possibilities and for the niche applications and implied “catch-all solutions” of these technologies. This is different and a little unexpected (which makes the partnership even more fun.) On the one hand, music can be a great introduction to a new culture. However, if done wrong, this could also feel stereotypical or fall into cultural appropriation. I would hate to think that Riverdance would automatically be on the playlist of anyone who is a wee bit Irish. [Quartzy]
2. Put on your jeans and vote.
Levi’s released an ad this week featuring voting practices and voters (sporting Levi’s) from all over the world to encourage people to vote in the upcoming elections. Why should you care? Over the past year, we’ve seen several brands wade into more activist and political spaces. This has taken many forms including overt stances to simply doing, what would have one time been, a CSR initiative, but is now considered political. Voting has largely been a nonpartisan issue. It will interesting to see after Nike’s ad featuring Colin Kaepernick, if an ad featuring voting will still be viewed as apolitical. [AdAge]
3. Trading dieting for wellness.
This week, Weight Watchers announced that they would be changing their name to WW and refocusing their brand positioning away from dieting and towards holistic wellness. Why should you care? This is exactly the right move to reflect the mindset shift we’ve already seen in society where health and wellness is not only about bodily appearance or a number on a scale, but includes mental and spiritual well-being. Though new programs and partnerships represent the shift towards encouraging wellness activities like meditation, they have not mentioned any changes to their points program. Without incorporating these behaviors into their points system, a significant way that their consumers interact with the brand, their commitment to wellness may appear subservient to weight loss. [Fortune]
4. Blazing the trails from sideline to chief commentators.
Last night, Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer, became the first female team of commentators to call an NFL regular season game on Amazon Prime. Why should you care? As #metoo has made women’s issues top of mind this year, this should be regarded as an important step for female sports journalists in a male-dominated industry (but should also not overshadow the personal accomplishments of these women and the perseverance it must have taken to be trailblazers). However, it is interesting that this broadcast will be available on Amazon Prime rather than a major television network. Does this signal that major television networks are behind? Or does this signal a shift that was already reflected in the Emmy’s – a new era of television led by streaming services? [Bleacher Report]
5. Proudly staying in on a Friday night.
Ketel One Vodka is the latest brand to target millennial women with a self-care focused campaign emphasizing the joys of staying in. Why should you care? According to a study conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Millennials spend 70 percent more time at home than the general population.” Vox has deemed this the “homebody economy” and attributes millennials’ staying home to necessary frugality (given a combination of low wages and high debt) and a commitment to self-care. As millennials age and their purchasing power (theoretically) grows, it will be interesting to see if they continue to stay in. However, brands should consider if their propensity to stay in fits their target market and reflect it in the imagery and occasions highlighted itheir campaigns. [Vox and PSFK]
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