WATCH OF THE WEEK
YouTuber Safiya Nygaard conducts an interesting social media marketing test in her new video, “I Bought The First 5 Things Instagram Recommended To Me.” Inspired by a previous experiment in which she purchased and reviewed whatever Facebook recommended to her (within reason), Nygaard again takes the plunge to see how well the photo-sharing platform knows her. One of the most interesting findings? Compared to Facebook, Instagram’s suggestions tend to be more expensive, a testament to the highly aspirational nature of the platform. What’s more, Nygaard demonstrates the sophisticated marketing savvy of today’s consumers as she analyzes how her activity in each app informs the ads being served to her. A fun twist on the classic haul video, we think this one is worth a watch from marketers and social media lovers alike.
A follow up to their successful Sounds of the City campaign a few years ago, European train operator Thalys recently debuted Scents of the City, a pop-up travel agency held within a Brussels art gallery. Tubes filled with scented beads hang from the ceiling to create a beautiful interactive display, allowing visitors to smell signature scents from all over Europe: latex from the Erotic Museum in Amsterdam, waffles from an iconic food truck in Brussels, and fresh baguettes from the Rue Paul Bert in Paris, to name a few. After visitors decide which scent smells the most captivating, they match the number on the tube with its corresponding place on a map to identify the destination and book their next trip on the spot.
Stockholm has long been a trend-setting city for lifestyle and décor inspiration, further proven by its new boutique hotel that offers guests much more than a good night’s sleep. At Hobo, each room is interactive: a stylish headboard turns into a useful desk, peg walls double as art and utility for guests to hang their belongings, and pocket synths are provided for guests to create their own in-room soundtrack. Meanwhile, the artisanal pop-up store downstairs collaborates with local creators and the intricate aquaponics system right next to the hotel restaurant provides guests with fresh fare grown just steps away. Illustrating the capabilities of Swedish innovation, Hobo perfectly balances thoughtfulness and effortless cool—anyone else down for a Sweden Trend Trek?
IN OUR CARTS
With podcasts and voice-activated assistants increasingly on the rise, audio is shaping up to be the new interface of choice. At the same time, we’re noticing a surge in people being more willing to pay for quality reporting given the controversy surrounding fake news. These two trends combine in Audm, an app that makes long-form journalism accessible to a headline-skimming audience. Tapping some of the world’s best audiobook narrators, Audm reads the news to users, making it easy for them to stay informed on current events by making the process a more passive experience. With subscriptions starting at $7 a month, we think it’s a small price to pay for convenient, high quality journalism.
The Jenner sisters are making headlines yet again this week, this time for the release of Drop Two, their new fashion line, and some particularly buzzworthy pieces within it. The sartorial standout? “Call Me” t-shirts, which are emblazoned with the fashion moguls’ names and phone numbers (sort of). Available in both long sleeve fitted and short sleeve standard, the tees list phone numbers for each sister that, when dialed, play a voice recording and give fans the chance to leave a message and pseudo-interact with K+K. Perfect for those looking for a way to reach the famous duo beyond DMs and Insta comments, the tees are a fun way to further keep up with the Kardashians.
As we highlighted in our latest report, artificial intelligence is leading the charge on evolving life as we know it. Despite all the doomsday predictions surrounding the technology, creative agencyWe Believers is showing how it can be used for good with AI buddy, an innovative system designed to comfort children whose parents are away in combat. Though still a prototype, AI Buddy provides a set of characters who are fueled by an intelligence system and trained by psychologists and pediatricians. Designed to be a virtual member of the family, AI Buddy stays in contact with kids throughout the day through messages to any smart device and even plays with them through VR, ensuring that there’s always someone around to keep them company and comfort them in times of crisis.