READ OF THE WEEK
You know that saying, we’re all more alike than we are different? It certainly hasn’t felt that way lately. Everywhere we turn, there sadly seems to be an undercurrent of conflict, hatred, and divisiveness running through American culture. That’s why we’ve devoted our newest report to diversity and entertainment. In this issue, you’ll read societal shifts on how multiculturalism is becoming a status symbol, consumers’ fear-based shift toward tribalism, and the ways in which brands are handing over their microphones to let people speak on behalf of their own communities. In addition to the marketing, trends, and hot lists you’ll find in every report, we’re also featuring profiles on consumers of various ethnicities from each generation and have broken out statistics by ethnicity as well. We hope you enjoy this free sample and we look forward to keeping this important conversation going.
In honor of Halloween, Mars decided to treat consumers to bite-sized Black Mirror-esque mini horror films. Clocking in at a mere 2 minutes apiece, each film is “presented by” a different candy. “Floor 9.5” created for Skittles is about an office building with a cursed elevator, M&M’s “The Road” chronicles what happens when a father takes his two daughters ghost hunting, Starburst’s “Replacement” tells the spooky tale of a young boy coming across a clone of himself, and “Live Bait” presented by Snickers turns a day of fishing into a nightmare. The ads which total four so far have been running in their entirety on Fox and rumor has it there are 8 more to come!
It’s Black History Month in the UK and to celebrate the first ever Black Girl Festival is taking place on October 29th in London. Created by the co-founder of the I’m Tired Project and social media editor of online magazine gal-dem, Paula Akpan, and creator of Unmasked Women, Nicole Crentsil, the festival is completely free and meant to honor the hard yet beautiful experience of being a black female in the United Kingdom. Necessary in today’s political climate, the festival is a safe space for black women to uplift each other and savor their rich culture. Supported entirely by crowdfunding and sponsors, the festival has already hit capacity with 300 people RSVP’d and an ever-growing waiting list.
IN OUR CARTS
By now we’ve seen plenty of digital currencies pop up from Bitcoin to Ethereum to Whoppercoin and now, emCash is in development by the government of Dubai to be the country’s official digital currency. Like its bitcoin predecessor, UAE residents will be able to use the new government-sponsored digital currency via an app on their phones to do everything from paying their children’s tuition to getting their daily coffee. Made possible through a partnership with UK-based Object Tech, Dubai’s foray into digital currency further legitimizes the idea of blockchain based currencies and we’ll be keeping a close eye out for how it changes the digital currency landscape.
In the past month augmented reality apps that utilize Apple’s ARkit have been downloaded 3 million times. 53% of those downloads have been for gaming apps and at the top of that list is, AR Dragon, a free app that lets users train and grow a pet dragon. A modern day Tamagotchi, users can feed or play with their adorable one of a kind dragon and watch it grow in size each day. AR Dragon is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ARkit, which Apple CEO Tim Cook compares to the early stages of the App Store because it too initially grew slowly but has turned into an essential part of mobile phones.
When Netflix premiered Lily Collins' drama To The Bone, critics were quick to condemn the film for Collins’ unhealthy weight loss and its detailed depiction of weight loss methods. Some argue that the film unintentionally glamorizes anorexia and gives impressionable audiences a roadmap to participating in disruptive eating behaviors. BBC Three series “Overshadowed” is being applauded for just the opposite. The scripted series follows vlogger Imo as she struggles with anorexia that takes the form of an actual person, Anna, who follows her around and encourages her unhealthy behavior. Over the course of 8 twelve-minute episodes, audiences watch Imo fade into a shell of her former self as her anorexia grows worse all without showing how she’s losing weight or glamorizing her weight loss for a brutally honest look into the disease.