The New Netflix for Influencers
WATCH OF THE WEEK
Streaming and social may be the next frontier of TV, but a new network called Zeus is making a play for the creative edge. Cofounded by reality TV producer Lemuel Plummer and Vine-turned-YouTube stars DeStorm Power, King Bach, and Amanda Cerny, Zeus Network is looking to be the Netflix of influencer content. The platform offers content creators a place to monetize with complete creative freedom and control. Meanwhile, viewers pay just $3.99 a month for access to series like the Emmy-nominated Caught, Power’s musical drama, Your Best Life (the YouTuber’s answer to cribs hosted by King Bach), and countless others. Though its July 13th launch was plagued by a few bugs, the combined influence of its roster of creators exceeds 100 million, making Zeus Network worth keeping an eye on.
Last week we covered the lighter side of San Diego Comic-Con with Fox’s Bob’s Burgers x Shake Shack activation, but over the weekend things took a dark turn. In honor of both the upcoming The Purge TV series and the recent release of The First Purge film, USA Network created Purge City, a spoof of Party City where customers could stock up on supplies for the annual Purge, a fictional 12-hour event during which all crime (even murder) is legal. As such, Purge City was filled with items like masks and armor for those looking to partake in the lawlessness as well as emergency candles and water for those looking to wait it out in the safety of their homes. With a friendly staff, catalog, and plenty of swag and “Purge Dollars” (the Purge City currency) to go around, this activation was not only one of the creepiest at SDCC, it was also one of the most creative.
Chief Keef is going on tour as any musician would but with one distinct difference: he’s touring as a hologram. Designed to work around Keef’s restrictions that ban him from visiting both the UK and Chicago, Keef’s “Icons of American Music Hologram Tour” begins in London on August 31st and will conclude in the United States with stops in his hometown Chicago, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Foxwoods, Connecticut. Keef collaborated with Hologram USA Inc.—the same tech company that was behind Tupac’s infamous visit at Coachella—in order to serve up Swissx CBD-infused snacks and provide epic performances from other hologram recreations of legendary artists such as Biggie, Tupac, Snoop Dogg, and NWA. A sneak peek at the possibilities of what’s to come in the realm of live performances, we can’t wait to see what other artists make use of this technology.
IN OUR CARTS
Middle Eastern food is all the rage among health-conscious foodies, and now Republic of Booza in New York is offering a sweet Arabic treat that is going viral. Traditional and tasty, booza is a delectable taffy-like frozen dessert common in the Levant that forgoes ingredients like eggs and cream found in gelato. Instead, booza is made by pounding and stretching milk, mastic sap, and sahlab (powdered Orchid roots), which makes for a sticky consistency that won’t drip down one’s hand like regular ice cream. The Brooklyn storefront offers Ashta, a traditional piney flavor topped with pistachios, and other inventive globally-inspired flavors like Horchata de Chuca, Saffron Peppercorn, and a Bloody Mary Sorbet. Providing a new experience and the cultural capital Gen Zs and Millennials crave, this stretchy and refreshing treat might just become this summer’s It dessert.
Fitness influencer Bethany C. Meyers can now add “app creator” to her already impressive resume with the launch of her new mobile platform, the be.come project. Like all of Meyer’s endeavors, the app has an emphasis on inclusivity and body positivity, championing the idea that people should be “working out because we love our bodies. Not because we hate them.” Each week be.come features a different 25-minute workout called “#thisweeksroutine,” which is designed and taught by Meyers herself based on her knowledgeable background in boutique fitness such as SLT, the Lagree Method, and the Bandier Studio. In a nod to mental health as well as physical, the app asks users, “How are you feeling?” at the beginning and end of their workouts so that they can see for themselves the mood-boosting power of a good sweat. At $35 dollars per month, this app is bringing its users luxury boutique-style fitness classes for a fraction of the cost.
Music industry icon Jason Flom and his daughter Allison recently published the heart-warming children’s book Lulu is a Rhinoceros. Illustrated by Sophie Corrigan, the book tells the tale of a bulldog named Lulu (named after the Floms’ real-life pup) who truly believes she is a rhinoceros and is on the search for a makeshift rhino horn, whether that be from an ice cream cone or a banana peel, to match how she looks on the outside with how she feels on the inside. In addition to drawing attention to an endangered species that Flom had first-hand experience with on a trip to Africa with nonprofit VetPaw, the story explores complex topics such as identity and acceptance in an appropriate way for today’s young Gen Zs and Alphas. Even better, a portion of all proceeds from the book will be donated to the African Wildlife Foundation.