ONE TO WATCH
Already infamous for their government’s airtight control of the media, China is getting even more sci-fi. Xinhua, a Chinese media company, recently debuted an AI influencer created with Sogou, a Chinese search engine company. The simulated anchor is visually indistinguishable from a real person except for its voice, which has a robotic tone that harkens back to the early days of Siri. While virtual personalities mean lower costs and ease of production for brands and media outlets, many are uneasy with the idea of such a human-like simulation as well as what it would mean for the jobs these AI are now inhabiting. For now, Xinhua has no formal plans for the AI to present on air. More on this story as it develops.
Already a favorite among sneakerheads, the sneaker resale app GOAT is launching the greatest of all time Black Friday hunt. The campaign features an interactive map through which users can explore 125 destinations around the world, ranging from historic sites tied to athletes like Michael Jordan to famous places like “Sneaker Street” in Hong Kong to coordinates of the oldest known leather shoe. When visiting designated locations, the AR-enabled app allows users to project graphics onto the real world, learn more about each location, and share to social media. Plus, each site visited means more chances to win prizes like $10,000 in GOAT credit and rare sneakers such as the Jordan 1 Retro High OG 'Shattered Backboard.
Best friends and co-stars on the Brat YouTube channel, Emily Skinner and Lilia Buckingham—yes, that name may sound familiar—are releasing the first song under Brat’s new music label. Their catchy pop tune, "Denim Jacket,” will make its debut on Friday and is currently available to pre-save on Spotify. Additionally, Brat has promised fans the same-day release of the music video if the single hits 20,000 pre-saves, which seems all but inevitable. While Buckingham and Skinner star in different Brat series (Dirt and Total Eclipse, respectively), a crossover episode sent the audience into a “shipping” frenzy, dubbing their characters—Autumn and Diana—“Dautumn.” Is “Denim Jacket” perhaps an ode to Dautumn? No one's saying for sure. Either way, the talented teens are donating a portion of proceeds to GLAAD so make sure to pre-save now!
IN OUR CARTS
Mood-based marketing, color therapy, and experiential hotels all come together in St. Louis’s Angad Arts Hotel. Opening its doors earlier this month, the innovative new hotel asks guests to choose a mood when they check in. Depending on their response, they are assigned one of 4 rooms designed in a single color to inspire the desired mood. For instance, red is to ignite passion, green is to rejuvenate, yellow is to boost happiness, and blue is best to inspire. More than ever, people are making mood-based decisions in their content choices, so why not travel as well?
Tick-tock, TikTok! It was only a matter of time before Facebook debuted their own version of the app formerly known as Musical.ly. In an effort to both win over Gen Zs—who are using Facebook less and less—and appeal to their love of Vine-style content, Facebook has launched free app Lasso for iOS and Android. Similar to TikTok, users can record themselves lip-syncing to music and apply filters, stickers, and other effects. Lasso users can also upload their own short-form content under numerous topics ranging from comedy to fitness (so long as it’s 15 seconds or less). Making it easy for users to sign up with their Instagram or Facebook accounts, the app also allows them to share their creations straight to Facebook stories, and soon Instagram as well.
At the 7th annual 3% Conference in Chicago, Deloitte-owned ad agency Heat challenged fellow industry attendees to check their privilege at the door in a clever way. At the company’s coat check, located just before check-in, attendees were given tickets stubs with a scratch-off list of “privileges” such as “I am not nervous in airport security lines” and “I have never had to ‘come out.’” When users scratched off the privileges that apply to them, they found revealing statistics about marginalized groups. While the list of privileges varied from ticket to ticket, each ended with the statement “I want to do better,” which, when scratched off, revealed an inspiring takeaway: “By acknowledging our privileges, we can work to create opportunities for everyone, building a more diverse and inclusive world.”