All 👀 On Instagram
WATCH OF THE WEEK
The launch of Instagram’s IGTV has influencers, content creators, and even movie industry insiders flocking to the platform to test out the new vertical, long-form format. While IGTV’s first week saw many watch-worthy uploads, some of the most noteworthy were the clips teasing A Love Story, the platform’s first horror film starring Selena Gomez and directed by Petra Collins. The teaser clips (posted by Collins) show Selena Gomez sucking on an eyeball and eating icing off her leg with a knife, drumming up buzz for the film as well as hinting at the potential of the platform’s longer (up to an hour) video capabilities. While the jury is still out on how scary the film actually is, IGTV alone is likely enough to have YouTube quaking in its boots.
In a timely response to Nigeria’s win against Iceland last week, Nike released a moving film called This is Naija: A Nigerian Football Story, shot and directed by filmmaker Andrew Dosunmu. Naija, or “pride,” is characterized in the context of the film by “an unbridled, optimistic, confident approach to football—and to life—that sets Nigeria apart.” Featuring shots of bustling streets, markets, and interviews with Super Eagle players Odion Ighalo and Wilfred Ndidi, the film shines a spotlight on the 500 different ethnic groups in Nigeria that all connect through the language of football. Focusing on a powerful story and distributing it online rather than spending loads on a small spot at the World Cup, Nike’s commitment to showcasing sports stories with a deeper narrative is a definitely a score in the marketing world.
Facebook recently launched a quarterly magazine in the UK and Northern Europe titled Grow by Facebook. Born from a marketing program of the same name that cultivated an exclusive community of thought leaders and idea sharing, Facebook aims to use the new publication to share some of these valuable insights with the rest of the world. The first copy has been released, with physical copies being distributed directly to business partners as well as select airport and train business lounges. For the rest of us, Grow can be accessed online. With pieces like “The Millennial Whisperer,” a profile on Swedish retail guru Oscar Olsson, or “The Middle East is Having a Tech Moment,” which features insights from Linda Rottenberg, CEO and co-founder of Endeavor, it seems there’s something for everyone to “like.”
IN OUR CARTS
Digital payment app Venmo recently announced its highly-anticipated IRL offering: an app-supported debit card. The Venmo debit card allows users to link their digital account to a physical card and make purchases in-person and online anywhere MasterCard is accepted. Users will also be able to use the app to split purchases with their friends and withdraw cash for free from MoneyPass ATMs. Plus, they can choose from 6 colorful options. As we discuss in our most recent issue of The Trendera Files, many older consumers are still wary of digital transactions over safety concerns. However, this new debit card could be just what Venmo needs to bridge the generational gap.
“Playing games” used to be a dating no-no but, with on new dating app Crown, it’s not only encouraged, it’s the entire experience. Dreamt up by Match Group employee Patricia Parker for the company’s “ideathon,” the app was chosen as the winner and went on to be developed by an all-female team. Rather than swiping endlessly through a series of people, users are presented with 16 potential matches per day. From there, matches go head-to-head in a bracket-style contest, with users picking their favorite of two options and ultimately giving one the “Crown.” Not only is there always a winner, but winners have the added bonus of knowing they were selected over a handful of others. The app is currently only available in Los Angeles but hopes to add more cities soon!
Two days after firing PR chief Jonathan Friedland for using the n-word in the workplace, Netflix debuted their Strong Black Lead commercial during the BET Awards. Dreamt up by Netflix’s internal Strong Black Lead team, the same crew behind the @strongblacklead Twitter handle, the spot is a veritable who’s who of Netflix stars. Narrated by Stranger Things’ Caleb McLaughlin, the spot features both black stars and black creators from Netflix original series culminating in a star-studded group shot inspired by the iconic 1958 photo titled “A Great Day in Harlem,” which featured prominent Jazz musicians of the time. While some have alluded to the suspiciously convenient timing, the streaming giant maintains the plan had been in place for months before the Friedland scandal. Regardless of the timing, we applaud Netflix for practicing what they preach when it comes to representation and diversity.