January 7, 2011

Weekly Roundup: The new media landscape, men’s skin care in China and science is big in Brazil

Posted by: in North America

Note to readers: Due to office closures over Christmas and New Year’s, this roundup covers our must-read stories for the past two weeks.

-Everything CES 2011: Follow the Consumer Electronics Show on Ad Geek, a blog from JWT’s Kyle Monson. Wired’s Gadget Lab spotlights their top stories; for shorter attention spans, there’s a video wrapup. So-called smart TVs, which can run apps, are this year’s theme for television manufacturers, reports The Wall Street Journal. BusinessWeek suggests tablets are the new PCs.

-The year ahead in media: Today’s media landscape “looks profoundly altered and punished,” observes The New York Times, while The Wall Street Journal says digital technologies have “laid waste to traditional media.” Both forecast the changes that 2011 will bring.

-An HSBC senior economist on “What Awaits European Business in 2011,” in BusinessWeek.

-Mashable looks at five major trends we’ll see from tech startups in 2011, including private location services and the rise of object tagging. Business Insider lists 25 New York-based startups to watch (among them: Solve Media, pioneer of CAPTCHA advertising).

-Brazil is “an emerging power” in scientific research, says The Economist, and looking to become “a hot destination for seekers of science.”

-Wired looks at the newest wave of artificial intelligence machines, “built to accomplish specific tasks in ways that people never could.”

-The Atlantic takes a graphic approach to show how the recession “upended” life in the U.S.

-Films are starting to reflect the recession’s impact on the middle class, says The New York Times’ A.O. Scott, with more class consciousness onscreen.

-A Pew Internet survey finds that 65 percent of U.S. Internet users have paid to access online content. Music and software were most popular, followed by apps and games.

-“2010 was a very bad year for trying to sell music,” says NPR, which outlines some music-sales trends based on Nielsen SoundScan numbers.

-Now that “the first serious contenders for a mass-scale electric car are on the road,” a BusinessWeek cover story asks, “will they change the world?”

-Ad Age examines Best Buy’s steps into content creation as the company rolls out a multichannel network that includes in-store programming and an online magazine.

-The Economist looks at how “Britain’s embattled newspapers are leading the world in innovation” via several divergent strategies.

-Clive Thompson argues that “tweets and texts nurture in-depth analysis” in Wired.

-Ad Age’s Simon Dumenco outlines how Twitter culture shifted in 2010, becoming a source of entertainment in itself.

-Japanese Tweeters sent a record-breaking 6,939 tweets per second while ringing in the New Year.

-In Pakistan, inflation is pushing more young, poor women to get service-sector jobs, “pitting their religious and cultural traditions against economic desperation,” say The New York Times.

-Almost 7 in 10 Mexicans are overweight/obese, the highest percentage in the world, and CNN takes a look at the issue.

-A market for men’s skin care products blossoms in China.

-Facebook gains popularity among Kenyan, Nigerian and South African youth.

-The “culture of play” is fading for American kids, reports The New York Times, but a movement to restore playtime is gaining momentum.

-The Guardian takes a look at one family’s six-month de-teching stint.

-The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof argues it’s more important for American kids to learn Spanish than Chinese.

-NPR examines the rise of regional distilleries that craft small-batch spirits for discerning drinkers.

-The fastest-growing Web startups of the last three years—Gilt Groupe, Zynga and Groupon—have women as their core audience; Business Insider explores what this means for the Internet.

-Check out our annual 100 Things to Watch in 2011 list, a compilation that in part reflects broader shifts we’ve been tracking over the past few years, along with a little bit about what makes each item worth watching.

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Things to Watch

  • Brands + Google Glass
    July 15, 2014 | 6:09 pm

    SPG

    As Google Glass makes its way into the hands of more people (last month it became available in the U.K.), brands are experimenting with the new possibilities that the platform affords. In March, Kenneth Cole became the first to launch a marketing campaign—the “Man Up for Mankind Challenge”—through a Glass app. Users were challenged to perform and document good deeds for the chance to win a prize.

    Starwood’s new Glass app, billed as the first such app from the hospitality sector, lets people voice-search its properties, view photos and amenities, get directions and book rooms. An array of other marketers have turned out apps for early adopters, from Sherman Williams’ ColorSnap Glass (easily create a paint chip that mirrors anything in view) to Fidelity (delivers daily market quotes for Glass wearers). —Tony Oblen

    Image credit: SPG

  • Ugly produce
    July 10, 2014 | 2:45 pm

    Intermarche

    Ugly Produce, on our list of 100 Things to Watch in 2014, is proliferating in Europe, thanks in part to government efforts to reduce the 89 million tons of food wasted in Europe each year. In France, Intermarché has been getting buzz for creating a produce section dedicated to “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables”; a whimsical ad campaign reportedly drove a 24 percent rise in store traffic.

    U.K. supermarket Waitrose recently began selling packs of tomatoes that are misshapen or have fallen off the vine naturally. And in Portugal, Fruta Feia (“Ugly Fruit”) is a cooperative launched in late 2013 that sells unsightly produce that would have gone to waste. Per The New York Times, the group already has a waiting list of 1,000 customers. In line with one of our 10 Trends for 2014, Proudly Imperfect, watch for ugly produce to catch on with both retailers and shoppers. —Jessica Vaughn

    Image credit: Intermarché

  • The $1.25 Cube
    July 3, 2014 | 12:30 pm

    As we outline in Immersive Experiences, one of our 10 Trends for 2014 and Beyond, entertainment and narratives are becoming more enveloping in a bid to capture consumers’ imagination and attention. An immersive project from JWT Israel, a winner of the Cannes Chimera challenge, aims to help people experience what it’s like to live in extreme poverty. Once it’s created, the cube will create a multisensory experience that uses tools like augmented reality to simulate sights, sounds and smells and elicit certain feelings. Participants can exit only when the person in line behind them inserts $1.25, a metaphor for the collaborative efforts needed to fight poverty. The aim is for the cube to travel to international events like the Davos conference in order to influence global leaders. —Hallie Steiner

    Image credit: JWT Israel

  • Google’s Android Auto
    June 26, 2014 | 3:00 pm

     

    Android

    The connected car is rapidly becoming a reality. Fast 4G LTE connections are turning vehicles into hot spots that come with a data plan, while Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android are making their way onto dashboards. This week Google introduced Android Auto, with the first compatible cars expected by year-end. Apple’s similar CarPlay, which turns the car into a platform for an iPhone’s content, was announced in March and is included in new Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo models.

    Car-based app ecosystems will provide relevant info (traffic, maps, vehicle diagnostics, restaurant suggestions) and entertainment, combined with safety precautions like voice control. As we outline in our mobile trends report, connected cars—complete with Internet hot spots, a suite of apps and sensors that communicate—will eventually link up with drivers’ homes, mobile devices and other gadgets to form a seamless system. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Android

  • American Eagle Outfitters’ recycling boxes
    June 19, 2014 | 3:45 pm

    American Eagle

    In a bid to create a more closed-loop production cycle, retailers including Puma and H&M are partnering with I:CO, a Swiss reuse and recycling firm that sets up collection points in stores for used clothing and shoes. The latest retailer to link up with I:CO is American Eagle Outfitters, which has added collection boxes in all its North American stores. Customers who participate in the “Live Your Life. Save Your Planet” initiative get a $5 credit toward AEO jeans. Any proceeds gleaned from the program will be donated to the Student Conservation Association.

    “The vision is for all products to be designed with future uses in mind, so materials can be 100% reused in a truly endless cycle,” explains a post from I:CO on American Eagle’s blog. An array of brands are taking steps toward a similar vision, as detailed in our upcoming report on the circular economy. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: American Eagle Outfitters

  • Marriott’s #LoveTravels
    June 11, 2014 | 1:45 pm

    Americans are now largely open to seeing LGBT characters or couples in ads, as recent JWT research confirmed, and thus “advertising is coming out of the closet, with visible and innovative LGBT Pride campaigns from a diverse range of brands,” writes GLAAD’s Rich Ferraro in Brandchannel. One of the more notable campaigns this Pride month is Marriott’s #LoveTravels, featuring portraits of people including gay NBA player Jason Collins, transgender model Geena Rocera and two dads with their kids. The campaign includes print and display ads and building wraps at five Washington, DC, hotels; a microsite details the individual stories.

    “This is one of the most diverse and inclusive campaigns to have ever run in mainstream advertising,” writes Ferraro. Meanwhile, rival Hilton has revamped its LGBT-focused site and is hosting a wedding reception at the Beverly Hilton for the co-plaintiffs in California’s Proposition 8 gay-marriage court case. —Marian Berelowitz

  • Vogue’s shoppable Instagram
    June 4, 2014 | 2:36 pm

    As we outline in Everything Is Retail, one of our 10 Trends for 2013 and Beyond, shopping is shifting from an activity that takes place in physical stores or online to a value exchange that can play out in multiple new and novel ways. Instagram, a platform ripe with potential, is among those new ways. Vogue’s Instagram feed is now shoppable for consumers who have signed up with rewardStyle’s Like to Know service; liking certain images triggers an email with instructions on how to buy featured items.

    RewardStyle tells DigiDay that more magazines will be signing up shortly. Other firms helping brands monetize Instagram include Soldsie and Hashbag. —Marian Berelowitz

  • Ethically sourced electronics
    May 29, 2014 | 10:45 am

    Last year’s launch of Fairphone, an ethically sourced and produced mobile phone, put a spotlight on the raw materials in our digital devices. Currently taking orders for a second batch of 35,000 phones, the Dutch company ensures that minerals come from conflict-free areas so they’re not helping to fund armed groups. Now a two-minute spot from Intel showcases the company’s commitment to using conflict-free minerals in its microprocessors. Intel’s website delves into the issue, and CEO Brian Krzanich also spoke on the topic at this year’s CES.

    Alongside sourcing sits labor issues, another ethical consideration that Fairphone addresses. Expect more tech companies to start improving their track record when it comes to how their products are made. —Will Palley

  • ‘Look Up’ and the ‘Heads-Up Movement’
    May 20, 2014 | 3:45 pm

    As noted in our new mobile trends report, people are developing a love-hate relationship with our phones. We’ll see a “heads-up movement”—something we forecast in our 100 Things to Watch for 2014—as people try to become better attuned to their real-life environment. The video “Look Up” from Gary Turk, a British writer-director, dovetails perfectly with this idea, with lines like “Look up from your phone, shut down the display, take in your surroundings and make the most of your day.”

    After its release in late April, “Look Up” quickly went viral; it’s now accumulated some 38 million views, approaching the numbers racked up by last year’s similarly themed “I Forgot My Phone,” and inspired a few parodies. —Marian Berelowitz

  • RIFT’s immersive ‘Macbeth’
    May 15, 2014 | 1:00 pm

    As we explain in Immersive Experiences, one of our 10 Trends for 2014, entertainment, narratives and brand experiences will are becoming more immersive and enveloping in a bid to capture consumers’ imagination and attention. An upcoming production of Macbeth, created by British theater company RIFT, puts the audience in the middle of the drama via an unusual overnight performance that runs from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

    Located on the top floor of an east London tower block, the show assigns audience members to rooms, where they settle down to sleep following the first several scenes. Overnight, characters visit the rooms to enact events from the play, with the final act taking place at dawn. Coincidentally, one of the best-known immersive theater pieces, Sleep No More, also takes inspiration from Macbeth. —Will Palley

    Image credit: RIFT

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