February 8, 2013

Weekly Roundup: The world’s social media capital, stressed Millennials and luxe closets

Posted by: in North America

-The FT looks at how the rise of megacities is “shifting the world’s centre of gravity.”

-The Wall Street Journal outlines why Brazil is “the social media capital of the universe.”

-“A global protest movement, based on social networks, is here to stay,” according to an excerpt from Paul Mason’s Why It’s Still Kicking Off Everywhere, in The Guardian.

-A study out of Rutgers found that nearly all American households have been affected by layoffs in some manner over recent years, The New York Times reports.

-Baby Boomers are the downturn’s biggest victims, reports The New York Times, as their earnings are declining as pressures to support both parents and kids increase.

-A new report on American Milliennials finds, among other things, that “the economy is having a crushing impact” on this generation, as the Washington Examiner reports.

-USA Today reports that Millennials are disproportionally suffering from high levels of stress and anxiety.

-Increasingly, it’s not just women who are seeking greater workplace flexibility, according to Fast Company columnist Lisa Witter.

-A Guardian columnist spotlights the rise of local currencies and ponders whether these alternative financial systems can advance global sustainability.

-The New York Times takes a look at how America’s Boomers are shaping travel trends.

-The Economist spotlights the rise of mobile apps that offer last-minute hotel discounts.

-More retailers are using security cameras and other tools to closely monitor, and better understand, their shoppers, reports The Economist.

-The Guardian looks at the rise of private-label brands in U.K. grocery stores.

-American restaurant chains are offering healthier choices and reducing portions, reports The New York Times.

-Businessweek says fast food chains are adding smaller bites to their menus.

-Several courses offered by online education company Coursera are now eligible for college credit.

-Fitness instructors are “the new DJs,” says The Wall Street Journal, as customers choose classes based on playlists and music labels pitch gyms.

-The Wall Street Journal looks at how this year’s Grammys reflects the ways in which digital media and technology are changing the music business.

-A global study by PwC finds that not many consumers are purchasing through social media, but more are using it to connect with brands, MediaPost reports.

-A new Pew Research Center study on Facebook usage finds that two-thirds of users take long breaks from the social network, as The Guardian reports.

-A Cisco study finds that on average, mobile users worldwide doubled their data consumption year-over-year in 2012, according to GigaOM.

-A comScore study examines the potential for adoption of digital wallets by American consumers and potential barriers.

-The Wall Street Journal looks at the rise of luxury closets, a “trophy accessory.”

-CNN reports on “cougars in training,” young women who are dating even younger men.

-Urban yodeling is gaining popularity in Berlin, according to The Guardian

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    July 29, 2014 | 5:00 pm

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    As spotlighted in our 10 trends for 2014 report, people are becoming more interested in Mindful Living, including the notion of eating more mindfully. And with consumers showing declining interest in dieting, the idea of “intuitive eating”—paying closer attention to the body’s hunger signals rather than following a strict regimen—has been steadily gaining traction. Recent media mentions include articles in Fitness and New Zealand’s Stuff, and a Refinery 29 writer is blogging about adopting the practice. With a recent analysis of studies finding that intuitive eating can be a successful strategy for people who are overweight or obese, watch for more consumers to embrace this anti-diet philosophy. —Allison Kruk

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  • Chinese mega-cities
    July 24, 2014 | 1:15 pm

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  • Brands + Google Glass
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  • Ugly produce
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    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

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

     

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    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

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

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    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

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  • Marriott’s #LoveTravels
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    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
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    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
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    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

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