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. Turbo Relationships  

Research is showing that there is a rise in ‘turbo relationships’ occurring in quarantine. Why should you care? Over a third of couples have equated two months together in quarantine to the equivalent of two years of commitment. But why is that? “In wider periods of societal unrest, couples often pull together,” explains Relate Counselor, Peter Saddington. In addition, it’s not just new relationships that are seeing positive results on the impact of COVID-19. Studies also are showing long-term love strengthening in this crisis. Coronavirus has fast-tracked a lot of things from tests, vaccines, digital-everything and acclimating to new normals – so it’s really no surprise relationships have gone down the same path. [Good Housekeeping]

2. Pandora for Pride

Pandora has launched Qmunity music station for Pride 2020. Why should you care? Due to the cancellation of most IRL Pride events, Pandora has jumped on the wagon to help celebrate digitally with this new radio station that will celebrate not only the LGBTQA+ community but also Black musicians. Alongside this launch, there also will be a Snapchat Pride lens that will enable users to remix the music and effects to create their own anthem. COVID is pushing us further and further into the digital realm and amidst a racial injustice movement, has been creating a more inclusive environment. [Music Ally]

3. Drive-In Sports

The Tennis Channel has held its first drive-in viewing event as sports have returned with fanless stadiums. Why should you care? The sports and music industry has begun using drive-in theaters  as a vehicle (pun intended) to showcase their games/concerts, with the Tennis Channel broadcasting its first tournament and artists like Garth Brooks streaming their concerts across drive-ins all over the country. As we explore new digital possibilities during COVID-19, we’re also turning to old forms of entertainment like drive-in theaters to accommodate social distancing requirements. [Adweek]

4. Opera Plants

Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house reopened Monday and performed its first concert since the coronavirus lockdown to an audience of… 2,292 plants, one to accompany each seat in the theatre. Why should you care? Born out of Spanish artist Eugenio Ampudia’s new-found connection with nature during the pandemic and remarked that after his 8-minute performance, human applause was replaced with the sound of leaves and branches blowing in the wind. It will be interesting to see how we will continue to foster this new-found appreciation for nature as we prepare for life with COVID for the long haul. [AP News]

5. Representation in Animation

White actresses, Kristen Bell and Jenny Slate have both announced they will no longer voice characters of color on animated shows, Central Park and Big Mouth. Why should you care? We’re seeing the spread of the BLM movement across all different industries, big and small, with animated production being no exception. As the world continues to recognize their privileges and prejudices, we can only hope that this time, we enact change that is permanent and purposeful. [BuzzFeed]

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