Emojis, Emotions, and Edeka
WATCH OF THE WEEK
In an effort to promote radical self-acceptance, fashion, and lifestyle website StyleLikeU created the powerful web series “What’s Underneath,” where participants open up about issues ranging from fat shaming to rape all while shedding their clothing. In the latest installment, activists, models, influencers, and actresses discuss their personal encounters with racism in America. As they tell their stories, the women expose their bodies, both literally and figuratively showcasing their vulnerability, pain, and courage. This honest discourse is ever important as younger generations increasingly seek more diverse perspectives and strive to honor the experiences of each individual.
Last year Twitter introduced emoji targeting, which allowed for advertisers to determine users’ moods based on their tweets and then target particular users with relevant ads. A big game changer in mood marketing, Toyota utilized this tool for their “Sensations” campaign to serve Twitter users videos that showcased the emotional appeal of their Camry sedan rather than highlighting the more practical and economical features. If a user tweeted a smiley face icon, they would be shown a promoted tweet featuring a Camry driver with an emoji head that was excited, while if they were relaxed they would be sent a video featuring an emoji catching some Zs. Meant to raise brand awareness, this mood based marketing campaign helps people feel like Toyota understands them—a connection that could one day close the deal when they’re ready to buy.
Technology has made hyper-personalization so easy that consumers now expect customization from as many aspects of their experience as possible. Online suit rental company The Black Tux is utilizing AI to do just that with Couple’s Mixtape, the first ever AI mixtape generator. Users simply upload a photo of themselves and their partner and Couple’s Mixtape’s facial recognition software gets to work, identifying key aspects of the photo and tags such as “nature,” “happy,” and “adventure” to craft a completely custom Spotify playlist. Not just for couples, users can also put in photos of their favorite show’s OTPs (one true pairings) to find out what exactly Game of Thrones power couple Jon Snow and Daenerys would listen to while they’re out riding dragons.
IN OUR CARTS
After noticing that Gen Z and Millennials were engaging in a wardrobe revolt, Serena Rees, founder of Agent Provocateur, launched a gender fluid lingerie and streetwear line called Les Girls Les Boys. With consumer attitudes surrounding sexuality shifting and an increasing acceptance of intersexuality, the 100-piece collection is designed to be worn by both men and women. Moreover, Rees hopes this affordable label (prices start at just $25) will help combat the fixation on unobtainable and hypersexualized bodies that the Internet and social media have fueled.
Free iOS app Polygram is a new photo sharing social network powered by AI facial recognition, detecting users’ facial reactions and allowing them to respond to content with an emoji based on their actual expression. Putting Instagram and Snapchat filters to shame, Polygram has also incorporated augmented reality makeup features designed by plastic surgeons. Additionally, a cunning “wipe-to-reveal” function protects users from unwanted screenshots by requiring recipients to wipe away a fog covering images that rapidly reappears so recipients can never see a full picture. While people will no doubt love the fun features, only time will tell if the app has what it takes to join the ranks of other social media stalwarts before getting bought (or ripped off) by Instagram.
By no means is the United States the only country struggling with immigration issues right now. Germany has had its fair share of conflict recently, with the country divided over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s enactment of an open door immigration policy for refugees. To make a statement about the importance of diversity, the Hamburg location of German supermarket chain Edeka pulled all imported products from their shelves and replaced them with signs featuring phrases like “our selection knows limits today” and “so empty is a shelf without foreigners.” The bold stunt is meant to draw attention to the importance of embracing other cultures by showing customers just how much they enjoy and rely on them. The efforts seem to be working, as photos of the store are going viral on social media worldwide and many are applauding the company for its unique way of taking a stand.