Uber Gets Uber Political
ONE TO WATCH
Subscribers to The Trendera Files know all about TikTok. Having recently absorbed the app formerly known as Musical.ly, the Chinese video app is the latest Gen Z craze sweeping the globe. For those wondering “What the heck is TikTok?” controversial YouTuber PewDiePie has your very cynical answer. In a 10-minute YouTube video that’s racked up over 2 million views, he explains what the app is as he makes fun of it, the people who use it, and the cringe-worthy “challenges” it has spawned, from last month’s “Why do good girls like bad guys” to this month’s Tom & Jerry strutmeme. Filling the hole left by Vine in the app store, TikTok expanded Musical.ly from a lip-syncing app into a general video sharing app chock full of Gen Z’s faves: memes and music.
Swedish athleisure brand Björn Borg is encouraging customers to get high… naturally. As part of its “Chase the Exerhighs” campaign, which extolls theB euphoric effects of exercise, the brand opened a pop-up shop dealing in a rather unique form of currency. Located in drug-friendly Amsterdam, the pop-up was decorated like a club, complete with flashing neon lights to catch the eyes of passersby. Upon paying for their purchases, patrons were informed that the store only accepted drugs as payment, a trade many actually took the brand up on as they exchanged joints, shrooms, and more for gear. Taking an open-minded approach to drug culture while promoting a healthier drug of choice, Björn Borg’s Exerhighs activation put a new spin on the branded pop-up experience.
The Void, a VR company and graduate of the Disney Accelerator incubator, has launched a Haunted House experience just in time for Halloween. Currently in eight VR centers across the country, thrill seekers are lining up for Nicodemus: Demon of Evanishment, a hyper-reality ghost tour. Unlike other VR setups, where a user simply stands in an empty room with goggles on, The Void takes VR one step further and allows users to touch, smell, move around, and interact with others within the environment. Featuring gruesome rats, an ancient ruin maze, and a paranormal presence, the immersive experience is sure to make this Halloween one of the scariest for adrenaline junkie Gen Zs and will likely increase their fear threshold for future horror experiences and entertainment.
IN OUR CARTS
Bitten, the conference about all things food, is back November 1st in New York City. As always, the carefully-curated list of speakers will cover timely topics that explore the space where food and culture intersect. For instance, NYU student and farmer Sophia Hampton is set to speak “On Why a Gen Z-er Farms” while writer and chef Tunde Wey is set to give a talk “On Justice Through Food Experiences.” The ever-innovative conference is also mixing it up this year when it comes to pricing with an honor-based tiered system. With 4 ticket pricing options ranging from $175-$400, Bitten is inviting attendees to pay what they can afford to welcome people from all walks of life, industries, and company sizes. Whether you’re looking for inspiration to network or just love food, you don’t want to miss it!
Easter may be six months away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hide eggs. New app Heya allows users to “hide” digital message-filled eggs using AR technology. Through the app, users can place a virtual egg with a secret message inside (either a video, text, or photo) and leave it to be found. When another user finds an egg they can add their own message to it, creating a location-based chat of everyone who has visited the area. While still relatively new, the app has infinite possibilities for tourism tips, scavenger hunts, and even targeted marketing for brands. Infusing technology into geocaching, the location-based app is part of the next generation of technology that seamlessly blends the digital and physical world.
Taylor Swift isn’t the only one getting political this week. Besides providing voter registration information for its users, Uber has also announced that they will be partnering with #VoteTogether and Democracy Works to bring passengers to the polls for free on Election Day. On November 6th, users can select the newly added “Get to the Polls” option within the app to find their nearest polling location and hail a free ride to it. With more than 15 million people registered to vote but citing transportation issues as their reason for not voting in 2016, Uber’s effort to go the extra mile this year will not only give the brand some much-needed positive PR, but also help get slacktivist Millennials out to the polls.