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Despite its convenience for shoppers, e-commerce inevitably falls short on one key metric: speed. Sometimes even overnight shipping isn’t fast enough, with consumers seeking the immediate gratification that brick-and-mortar shopping brings and increasingly less inclined to wait patiently, as we recently noted. “Once the offering is ubiquitous, speed will be the killer app,” Noam Paransky, a […]

Old-fashioned monthly subscription services—think Meat of the Month’s modern makeover—are on the upswing, as The New York Times recently noted. Subscribers to New York-based startup Birchbox, for example, fill out online beauty profiles, then pay $10 a month to receive a “birch box” filled with suitable sample-size makeup and skin care products; customers can buy full-size […]

One of our “10 Trends for 2011” is the emergence of a post-recession Non-Commitment Culture. Now more than ever, consumers are reluctant to commit to discretionary or big-ticket purchases. Flexibility is the way to a customer’s heart—or wallet. Verizon FiOS is capitalizing on this trend with its contract-free plan. This offer allows Verizon customers to […]

One of our 10 Trends for 2010 is Maximum Disclosure—the idea that brands will be pressured to provide more information about everything from ingredients to carbon footprints and sourcing. In the food industry, we’re now seeing rising demand for disclosure about provenance—not only because of interest in buying locally but because of fears around food […]

Technophobes, rejoice—new technologies are taking people back to some pre-digital habits. Handwriting—which has been shown to “boost the brain”—is making a comeback thanks to touch-screen technology and apps such as ABC Tracer and iWriteWords. ABC PocketPhonics, designed for children, instructs users to draw letters with a finger or stylus, then cheers correct entries. And for […]

Increasingly, the hyper-social, digitally savvy Millennial generation is driving marketing strategies. After all, Millennials represent the future of purchasing power, and they are more inclined to spend than older consumers. American Millennials cut back less than other demographics during the Great Recession, and according to consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow, have high expectations of their earnings potential, […]

In our digitized world, the office watercooler—a place to socialize and break from the workday—is just a click away. A poll by MyJobGroup.co.uk is the latest to stir worries about worker productivity, estimating that social media use by employees could be costing British businesses up to £14 billion annually. Needless to say, that’s a lot […]

2010 marks the biggest influx of personal care products for men to store shelves—and guys, especially younger ones, seem to be embracing them. According to surveys by both the National Retail Federation and Alloy, this year American college-age men will outspend women in personal care items (as well as other traditional “female” categories such as clothing and […]

Is your brain in the game? As the L.A. Times recently reported, “Mind Reading Is on the Market”—brain-wave monitoring technology, called EEG, is moving from the research lab to the consumer. From medical breakthroughs such as DARPA’s mind-controlled prosthetic limb and Toyota’s wheelchair to recreational applications, it’s mind over matter. Telekinetic games could be hot […]


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Things to Watch

  • Bistro In Vitro
    May 26, 2015 | 3:59 pm

    In Vitro Ice Cream

    A new virtual restaurant is serving up “food for thought,” using design to explore a range of possible futures for human interaction with meat. The project, dubbed Bistro In Vitro, takes the far-out idea of in-vitro meat and situates it within the world of online gastronomy as we know it—amid menus, chef interviews, critical reviews and the like.

    Continue reading “Bistro In Vitro” »

  • Bio-responsive spaces
    May 19, 2015 | 4:48 pm

    DynamicSanctuary

    At last week’s Sight Unseen Offsite event in New York, Ford partnered with indie design studio The Principals to create the “Dynamic Sanctuary.” The sanctuary is a sculptural space made out of plastic, Plexiglas and LED lights that connect to a heart rate monitor and fade in and out based on the wearer’s pulse. The space was meant to be a haven from the chaos of daily life and a “poetic metaphor for the design ideas behind Ford’s 2015 Edge vehicle,” said Sight Unseen.

    Continue reading “Bio-responsive spaces” »

  • Rosé’s normcore moment
    May 14, 2015 | 12:21 pm

    Rosé

    As summer nears, once again we’re on the cusp of “rosé season.” While late spring often sees attempts to elevate the red-headed stepchild of the wine world into a product worthy of connoisseurship, this year something different is afoot: a knowing celebration of rosé’s bland charm.

    For perhaps the first time, a wine label is emerging from the self-aware world of Instagram—and, no surprise, it’s a rosé. Continue reading “Rosé’s normcore moment” »

  • Snapchat TV
    May 12, 2015 | 5:25 pm

    Snapchat

    This summer, TV’s highest-paid female actress, Sofia Vergara, will star in a reality series launching exclusively on Snapchat. The series, titled Vergaraland, is co-produced by Fusion and Vergara’s production company, Latin World Entertainment. It will tell the story of her Hollywood life through the eyes of her 24-year-old son.

    Continue reading “Snapchat TV” »

  • Virtual reality theme parks
    May 11, 2015 | 4:12 pm

    TheVoid

    Some worry that the coming age of virtual reality could lead to an epidemic of digital shut-ins—why leave the house when you can “be” anywhere with the touch of a button? The Void, however, imagines a social space where virtual reality might draw people together—a 21st century take on the classic video arcade.

    Continue reading “Virtual reality theme parks” »

  • Intangibles
    May 7, 2015 | 6:37 pm

    Intangibles

    How much would you pay for a snap? A voicemail?

    Walker Art Center in Minneapolis has launched an online shop that could be considered a conceptual art piece itself. The shop sells what Walker calls “intangibles”—ephemeral, digital commodities such as personalized ringtones or custom avatars to use on social media. Prices range from $1.99 to nearly $4,000, for a virtual ocean-view property on the platform Second Life.

    Continue reading “Intangibles” »

  • WhatsApp marketing
    May 6, 2015 | 4:32 pm

    Clarks

    Clarks shoes in the UK recently launched a WhatsApp campaign to bring the brand to life for its fans. The campaign asked users to add three characters to their contact lists—“some of culture’s greatest innovators, rebels and fashion icons”—who were all fans of the shoes. The characters then sent messages, videos and Spotify playlists through the app, telling the brand’s story while interacting with Clarks enthusiasts.

    Continue reading “WhatsApp marketing” »

  • Facebook’s Anthology
    April 30, 2015 | 4:20 pm

    FacebookVideo small

    Video is king on social media—more than 4 billion are viewed per day on Facebook alone. To capitalize on that, Facebook has just introduced Anthology, a partnership with seven media companies with the aim of creating unskippable ads.

    Continue reading “Facebook’s Anthology” »

  • MyIdol
    April 27, 2015 | 4:55 pm

    MyIdol

    Social media is abuzz with tiny pole dancers. And rock stars. And pandas. All thanks to an app that takes the humble selfie to new heights of playful absurdity—and in 3D, no less.

    Continue reading “MyIdol” »

  • Tindergram
    April 17, 2015 | 11:03 am

    Tinder Instagram

    Swiping just got more interesting—with its latest update, Tinder lets users browse the Instagram feeds of their potential matches. The pairing (which, Adweek notes, seemed inevitable) offers “a sort of social diary, co-written by your friends and family” to help people better stalk their dates.

    Continue reading “Tindergram” »

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