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. Robotic apartments
In 2020, IKEA will launch robotic furniture in Hong Kong and Japan as a space-saving mechanism. Why should you care? This is really cool. Who doesn’t want a transformer in their living room? Seriously though, this changes the possibilities of how much space is needed and the possibilities for spaces in our homes. That may seem trivial, but consider the kitchen. Once a place designed to be hidden, it is now a central gathering place in homes. Though our kitchens both changed and were changed by our evolving eating habits, brands that resonate with consumers today understand that modern meals have changed. The same will apply for brands who understand how robotics will change and be changed by our habits over the next few years. [MIT Technology Review]
2. Manicures by Dunkin’
Dunkin’ Donuts has partnered with vegan nail polish company, Lauren B. Beauty, to create a line of shades based on its signature and seasonal offerings. Why should you care? This is a bit unexpected and that’s why we like it. Having a partnership with a nail polish brand strikes the right tone for a summer campaign – lighthearted and fun. Plus, it screams matching latte/fingernail pictures on Instagram. [Marketing Daily]
3. Crowdsourcing credibility
New company, Credder, seeks to tackle misinformation in the media through a platform where journalists and individuals can review and rate articles. Why should you care? Only recently have organizations and governments began discussing in earnest what to do about this little misinformation problem we have. While tech companies are testing the waters on who gets to decide what is/isn’t misinformation or hate speech and what to do about it, this offers another alternative. Credder’s hope is to empower readers and journalists. According to Credder, “[the team] wants to provide readers a solution to clickbait and sensationalism that ‘doesn’t involve outsourcing their critical thinking’ to an algorithm or another person—like a Facebook moderator.” While Rotten Tomatoes has dealt with their fair share of trolls recently, this provides an interesting model to explore as the country grapples with balancing free speech, misinformation and hate speech. [Columbia Journalism Review]
4. Netflix hasn’t killed the luxury theater
Even with the growth of streaming services, full-service, luxury movie theaters are flourishing across the United States. Why should you care? For those unfamiliar with full-service theaters, they offer everything from childcare to steak tartare to private viewing pods modeled after first-class flight accomodations. In world of “Netflix and chill,” people are still going to the movies because they seek community and a unique experience. This is what these full-service theaters provide: something special they can’t replicate at home. It seems the lesson here is best captured by the attitude of one theater owner in NYC, “Offer a hell of a night out and we’ll be fine.” [Fast Company]
5. Millennials embrace the cloistered life
A program called “Nuns and Nones” was recently piloted in California where Millennials lived in convents. Why should you care? In this pilot, young professionals were offered affordable housing in a convent in exchange for helping care for the aging sisters. The project’s founder was looking for ways to create communities to support activists and thought of nuns after discussing some of his ideas with a minister. None of the Millennial participants were practicing Catholics (hence the name “none”), but were interested in how nuns were agents of social change in their communities. The article is full of interesting and heartwarming conversations of people from seemingly different worlds sharing a common interest in making the world a better place and learning from each other. The article alone is worth a read, but we picked this because it is a great example of creative problem-solving and a unique solution. [The New York Times]
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