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Need to Know
23 : 08 : 17

23.08.2017 Travel : Hospitality : Branding

In today’s daily digest: Vice Media and Airbnb collaborate, Gentle Monster’s post-tsunami interior, and how print publications can best engage their readerships.

1. Small club night adopts a film noir aesthetic

Smala visual identity by Imantas Selenis, Lithuania Smala visual identity by Imantas Selenis, Lithuania
Smala visual identity by Imantas Selenis, Lithuania Smala visual identity by Imantas Selenis, Lithuania
Smala visual identity by Imantas Selenis, Lithuania Smala visual identity by Imantas Selenis, Lithuania

Lithuania – A new, sinister identity has been developed by visual artist Imantas Selenis for the Smala electronic and techno night at Opium nightclub in Vilnius. The long-running music night has become well known for its use of red neon lighting, which Selenis has incorporated into the visual identity for Smala’s new photo-poster series.

Shot with cinema-grade lighting at various locations around Vilnius, the scenes are reminiscent of stills from a film. One photo poster features an obscured female figure provocatively trailing a red coat out of an old-fashioned lift, while another shows legs and heels protruding out of the top-floor window of a residential house. For more on the brands that have taken inspiration from traditional cinematographic tropes and given them a modern twist, see our Golden Age design direction.

2. Vice Media offers curated Airbnb experiences

Vice Experiences by Airbnb and Vice Media

Global – Vice Media is working with Airbnb to offer holidays that tap into the media company’s subculture approach. As part of Airbnb’s new Experiences feature, the collaboration will be launched with a competition that offers 100 winners complimentary customised tours of South Africa, Paris, New York or Tokyo.

Winning holidaymakers travelling to Cape Town will participate in a tour of the electronic music scene, led by DJs Spoek Mathambo and Yolanda Fyrus. In Tokyo, guests will receive a tour of the city’s LGBTQ nightlife culture. After the competition, there will be a charge for tours, with profits going to Airbnb, after paying Vice to market its Experiences service and other products.

A change is occurring in the way that media companies present themselves. Whereas they once strived for independence, now partnerships are welcomed as a way of ensuring brand reach. For more on the evolution of media, see our Internet Age Media 2017 microsite.

3. Amazon launches almost-instant delivery service

US – The online retailer is introducing a new speed-focused delivery service that aims to eliminate almost all friction from the last mile. Amazon Instant Pickup, which sells snacks, drinks and other everyday items, allows Prime subscribers to pick up their items only minutes after placing the order via their smartphone. Customers are notified when their purchase is available from an Instant Pickup locker, using a barcode to gain access.

With the initial launch at five college campuses, and with plans to expand to 22 university locations by the end of the year, the brand’s re-invention of the convenience store has been designed to target digitally engaged, younger consumers. For more on how brands need to diversify their omni-channel service offering to remain relevant, download our free report here.

Instant Pickup by Amazon, US Instant Pickup by Amazon, US

4. Gentle Monster store offers a post-tsunami look

Gentle Monster store, Chengdu Gentle Monster store, Chengdu
Gentle Monster store, Chengdu Gentle Monster store, Chengdu
Gentle Monster store, Chengdu Gentle Monster store, Chengdu
Gentle Monster store, Chengdu Gentle Monster store, Chengdu

Chengdu – A dramatic new retail space for South Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster has been themed around ‘a vision of what the world and life would look like after an apocalyptical tsunami’, while remaining aesthetically similar to the brand’s previous offerings.

On the ground floor, black and grey hues dominate, and sparsely placed spiny, metal sculptures evoke the desolation of a post-apocalyptic landscape. A black spiral staircase in the centre of the space, representing the tsunami, leads the visitor up to a brighter upper level, where mushroom-like sculptures sprout from an iridescent surface to symbolise the dawning of new life, evocative of the emerging generation of Chinese luxury consumers. For more on the mindset of young Chinese consumers, see our Emerging Youth: China market report.

5. Hispanic parents influenced by their children

Hispanic Millennial Americans are more than one-and-a-half times as likely to be parents as non-Hispanic Millennial Americans (53% versus 32%), according to new research from Univision. With US Hispanic GDP ranking seventh in the world, above countries such as India, Brazil and Canada, this is a market that forward-thinking brands such as Mazda are specifically targeting.

6. Thought-starter: Do print publications need augmented reality?

With new technologies readily available for use by print publications, journalist Josh Walker asks whether augmented reality is doing print and the reading experience any favours in the long run.

With advertising sales falling, and the relentless pace of the digital world, there is no denying that the print industry is struggling. As a result, it is having to be creative. For some publications, augmented reality (AR) appears to be the answer. Garage magazine used it to bring its publication to life in 2015 and W’s September issue is AR-ready.

But rather than imposing AR on top of print, as a way of enhancing the reading experience, what is stopping publishers from using it to create a more meaningful, independent experience? US Vogue, for instance, recently teamed up with Google to launch Supermodel Closets, a 360-degree virtual reality (VR) look inside the wardrobes of supermodels.

As we move into an era in which AR, VR and other realities become more commonplace, brands will need to cater for a more marketing-savvy consumer. Instead of jumping on the digital bandwagon, something we warned against in our Anti-authenticity Marketing macrotrend, perhaps it would be better to let AR stand on its own, as supportive but separate digital content, and let print be print.

For more, read the full opinion piece here.

W Magazine September 2017 issue W magazine, September 2017 issue