WATCH OF THE WEEK
Since the presidential election, consumers have become more aware of their personal biases and are striving to see things from other points of view. Enter Otis, an interactive web-series experience that allows viewers to alternate characters’ perspectives with the click of the button. Director Casey Stein set out to create a new genre of entertainment that acknowledges how every individual in a story can see a situation very differently, completely changing the narrative. Accordingly, viewers of Otis can click “A,” “S,” or “D” to swap between characters, giving them complete control over the story without changing how the events unfold. Part choose your own adventure, part interactive video, the first episode is a must watch and we can’t wait to see the remainder of season 1, which is set for release in 2018.
While L’Oréal is dealing with a bungled influencer partnership, Almay is rising above the influencer marketing trend altogether… sort of. Rather than jump on the blogger bandwagon and hire an “influencer” for their latest campaign, the brand tapped Rashida Jones to poke fun at this popular strategy. The spot starts with Jones introducing herself as a “major influencer” and “Millennial whisperer” before going on to further describe herself using ridiculously combined social media buzzwords, such as “crystal entrepreneur,” “FOMO survivor” and “all around authentic person.” The tongue-in-cheek ad is reminiscent of this year’s satirical film Ingrid Goes West starring Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen, which also explores the ridiculous yet powerful nature of social media and Millennials’ obsession with both influence and their personal brands.
Lonzo Ball, the polarizing point guard who is becoming the NBA’s newest superstar, has had a big year—from being drafted to the Los Angeles Lakers to launching his own shoe brand to his most recent endeavor: rap music. In his first official single, “Melo Ball 1,” the athlete/artist raps about his little brother, LaMelo Ball, who is following in his brother’s sneaker steps and is currently considered to be among the top basketball prospects in the country. Though some were surprised by the drop, Ball’s fans and followers were eagerly anticipating the single’s release after he performed at LaMelo’s birthday party earlier this month. The general verdict? Not bad! Love him or hate him, Lonzo Ball is shaking things up both on the court and in the studio.
IN OUR CARTS
Merging digital design with traditional footwear production, Nike has launched Makers’ Experience, an invite-only, limited-time retail space that creates custom sneakers in less than 90 minutes. Located at the Nike By You Studio in New York City, Nike + and Swoosh family members can use the four default patterns from Nike Heritage or generate graphic options from on-the-spot phrases, which are then expressed in different shapes and colors. While the experience is limited to only one shoe type (the Nike Presto X) and the labor supply of actual humans working very hard to glue and stitch in real time, Mark Smith, VP of Innovation Special Projects, hopes to automate the process with technology and bring the collaborative design process to the custom hungry masses.
Social publishing platform Wattpad is complementing its other apps for sharing original stories and chat fiction with the launch of free iOS app Raccoon. Raccoon focuses on video-based storytelling with the mission to connect, entertain, and inspire people in 60 seconds or less. Each week, new story challenges are featured on the front page, prompting users to stick to a theme such as travel or “your biggest Tinder fail.” Users then upload personal stories that can be liked or shared but not commented on. Already ranked #7 in the Books category on the app store, and with over 300,000 stories since its initial launch in late August, we see Gen Z continuing to gravitate towards these easy-to-consume narratives and video stories.
Yoga, as it exists in the US, has been heavily criticized in recent years for both whitewashing and a lack of diversity within the practice. While the billion-dollar industry has been incredibly influential in shaping modern exercise trends, it has become increasingly synonymous with affluent, thin, Caucasian women despite its Southeast Asian heritage. Thankfully, Sanchia Legister, a devout yogi, and person of color decided to do something about it by creating Yogahood, a studio that offers classes designed for body types and preferences of more diverse communities. Adopting a no pressure and highly accessible culture, Yogahood is further proof that in today’s multicultural world, things certainly don’t have to NamaSTAY the same.