September 27, 2013

Weekly Roundup: ‘Friends Without Benefits,’ the ‘replay Web’ and permissible indulgences

Posted by: in North America

Find our roundups collected in magazine form on Flipboard, the iOS and Android app; download the app to view this week’s edition here: http://flip.it/J6Fj

-Mexico is becoming an “immigrant destination” for both executives and laborers as its economy powers ahead, reports The New York Times.

-A special report on Brazil in The Economist includes a look at how domestic brands, from Natura to Havaianas, are prospering.

-Designer labels are on the rise in Latin America, reports The FT.

-Nielsen has a look at how the Great Recession has changed shopping behavior for global consumers.

-The UN’s Broadband Commission outlines mobile broadband growth in a new report and says broadband use in developing countries will soon outstrip that in wealthier countries, via The New York Times.

-Ad Age reports that e-commerce is starting to negatively impact big packaged-goods brands.

-E-commerce is picking up significantly in Egypt, reports The Wall Street Journal.

-Big brands are tapping into crowdfunding to align themselves with their customers’ causes, according to Adweek.

-Adweek takes a look at how responsive design affects advertisers.

-In The Telegraph, Tesco’s chief executive outlines why companies must keep pace with the radically new habits of the next generation.

-Retailers are doing more to crack down on returns and refund fraud, according to Businessweek.

-A study by WSL Strategic Retail contradicts the old notion that men don’t bother with sales and coupons, and that they don’t like to shop, via CNBC.

-Bloomberg takes a look at the boom in men’s grooming products.

-The Washington Post takes a look at how retailers like Brooks Brothers are leveraging Big Data.

-The Guardian spotlights the rise of Nigerian videogame creators, who are winning fans with “experiences that are uniquely African.”

-Robots may supplant workers in Chinese electronics plants within five years, transforming the manufacturing industry, per The Wall Street Journal.

-In “Friends Without Benefits,” Vanity Fair examines how social networks, dating apps and Internet porn are affecting teen girls.

-A new Pew study examines “Who’s Not Online and Why” in the U.S.

-The New York Times takes a look at how people are carving out smartphone-free spaces in their lives.

-The New York Times’ Jenna Wortham observes that “the replay Web” exists as a counterpoint to the real-time Web.

-YouTube is trending up and Facebook trending down when it comes to British teens’ favorite websites, reports the FT.

-American teens are optimistic about their future, but their parents are pessimistic, according to a new report covered in Time.

-Flavorwire argues that popular notions about Millennials are far too simplistic.

-A report from Complex Media says Millennial males rebel against mass culture but are also highly brand-conscious, via Ad Age.

-The Economist takes a look at how generations are coexisting (or not) in the workplace.

-A new study of religious views among American college students finds that a “remarkable degree of indifference to religion” is on the rise.

-The New York Times takes a look at why divorce is growing more common for Americans 50 and up.

-As Chinese diets change, packaged foods are on the rise, and so are health issues, as The Atlantic reports.

-A growing category of snacks made with seaweed, vegetables and other healthy foods cater to desire for “permissible indulgences,” reports The Wall Street Journal.

-Chocolate prices are on the rise as dark chocolate (which requires more cocoa beans) becomes more popular, per The Wall Street Journal.

-India, one of the fastest-growing markets for beer, is embracing brews with higher alcohol content, per Reuters.

-As we’ve noted, kids are getting into gourmet cooking, and The Wall Street Journal spotlights the rise of these junior chefs.

-NPR covers the growing popularity of rooftop farms in New York City and Chicago.

-USA Today takes a look at America’s spreading “pretzel mania.”

-The FT spotlights “25 Chinese to Watch” and takes a look at China’s booming “success studies” industry.

-The New York Times reports that high-speed trains are transforming China, sometimes in unexpected ways.

-“100 Pop-Culture Things That Make You a Millennial,” via Vulture.

-Snazzy, attention-getting sneakers are striking a chord with today’s fashion-conscious men, reports The New York Times.

-From YouTube to Popular Science, websites are re-examining their approach to user comments, via The Guardian.

-USA Today looks at how digital technology is changing travel for vacationers, for better and for worse.

-According to Census data reported on by Pew, nearly one out of every two dollars earned in the U.S. goes to a college graduate.

-With nursing home care much cheaper in Eastern Europe than Germany, Bloomberg Businessweek spotlights the “grandma export trend.”

-Whatever became of Second Life? The Verge examines the alternative world’s “second life.”

-Our latest trend report spotlights findings from a wide-ranging study of Millennials in the BRIC markets.

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Things to Watch

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    July 24, 2014 | 1:15 pm

    Tianjin

    China, home to the world’s second largest rural population, is expected to add close to 300 million more urbanites by 2030, when Shanghai and Beijing will likely account for two of the world’s Top 5 mega-cities, according to new UN research. “We are observing one of the most significant economic transformations the world has seen: 21st-century China is urbanizing on a scale 100 times that seen in 19th-century Britain and at 10 times the speed,” notes a new McKinsey paper on cities and luxury markets. China’s wealth will be concentrated in these urban areas: Over the next decade, McKinsey expects Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Shenzhen, in addition to Hong Kong, to join the list of “top luxury cities.” —Marian Berelowitz

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  • Brands + Google Glass
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    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

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  • 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

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  • The $1.25 Cube
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    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

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  • 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

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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
    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

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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

  • ‘Look Up’ and the ‘Heads-Up Movement’
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    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

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