WATCH OF THE WEEK
Every brand wants to market themselves as a lifestyle brand. But one agency, Roundhouse, is walking the walk by sending a copywriter, Lee Kimball, out into the wilderness for five whole days with only products from brands the agency represents for survival. Kimball, who had access to the internet during his wilderness stay, utilized social media, like the live streaming app Periscope, to get advice and tips while out in the wild. Roundhouse recorded the copywriter-turned-survivalist’s adventures and released a 16 minute film. It’s Into the Wild with more product placement and-spoiler alert-Kimball relies heavily on trading his products with others in the wilderness with access to food and water. Moral of the story? The best survival tool is beer.
Instagram is shaking things up online yet again, this time in the e-commerce sphere. Starting next week, Instagram will begin testing a seamless shopping experience by allowing users to shop twenty select brands directly from the brands' posts on the app. The new feature will allow brands, and potentially influencers, to tag up to five products in every post. Their audiences can then click “view more” to see product details and-if they are interested-a “shop now” button which will take them directly to the products page on the brand’s website. Instagram is already a mecca for consumer discovery and inspiration and this new offering with position the brand as a go-to place for e-marketing and e-commerce. Your move, Snapchat.
In our Ever Evolving trend in the most recent issue of The Trendera Files: The Entertainment Issue we discussed how, thanks to the rise of digital, artist and creators are able to continue to modify their content after it has been released à la Kanye’s The Life of Pablo. Musician Bill Baird is taking the concept a step further with his new album, Summer is Gone, which is unique to each user. Baird spent hundreds of hours producing a ten song-album and then spent even more time creating 250 remixes to those songs. All of this content lives on the album’s website, which takes into account visitor’s location as well as the time of day to generate a mixture of 10 tracks that is 100% unique accompanied by unique artwork and only available for one hour and then never again. With over 11 trillion possible album combinations, each user will truly have a unique album each time they visit, so check it out to see yours.
IN OUR CARTS
We’ve already touched on the sleep revolution and the products that are coming out of the movement as a result. One of the latest and greatest is Sense, a sleep augmenting device and app with the goal of optimizing your sleep be as restful and rejuvenating as possible. The device monitors sleeping patterns to give insights to ways to get better sleep, acts as an alarm that gently wakes you at the optimal moment, and plays ambient noise to help you fall asleep. Sense is now accompanied by another feature we’re seeing trending right now, voice control. Much like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Assistant, Sense now is complete with voice technology that allows it’s users to speak directly to the device making users feel like they have a personal sleep therapist.
After tweeting about his thoughts on the news of Vine’s demise, Rus Yusupov, along with Vine co-founder Colin Kroll, wasted no time launching their new video sharing platform, Hype. What makes Hype stand-out are it’s innovative new features such as allowing users to post content from their camera rolls while live-streaming and flair-adding aspects such as emojis and music integration. It’s clear that live video is the next frontier in social media. But, with the death of Meerkat looming ominously and tough competition from Facebook and Instagram (rumored), Hype has several obstacles to overcome before reaching Snapchat status.
Chinese news anchor Jun Xing is making headlines this week here across the Atlantic for being the first person to undergo gender reassignment surgery publicly in China. Xing, who is being called the Oprah of China, has a weekly variety show that garners an estimated 100 million viewers weekly. In addition to her impressive television success, Xing has also been an army colonel and a prima ballerina. Now a wife and mother of three, Xing is a role model for a large population who, until now, haven’t had any transgender role models.