Need to Know
18 : 03 : 20

Covid-19 recession fears run high among Millennials, Adidas’ phygital insole elevates the beautiful game, and Dazed’s beauty counter of the future.

Adidas’ smart insole shapes virtual skills

adidas GMR

Global – Adidas, Jacquard by Google and EA Sports have introduced an innovative insole that enables football players to affect their virtual gaming performance through real-world play.

The Adidas GMR concept amalgamates Google’s advanced machine learning algorithms with a smart shoe insole that detects physical movement. As footballers move, their on-pitch technique – including kicks, shot power, distance and speed – is recognised and documented by EA Sports’ FIFA Mobile gaming platform.

FIFA Mobile allows players to complete challenges and milestones through their performance, encouraging them to unlock in-game rewards and rank in global leader boards. In this way, Adidas GMR encourages users to play more football in real life in order to boost their fitness while enhancing their digital gaming experience. ‘Adidas GMR lives at the intersection of gaming and the material world because that’s where the audience is,’ says Moritz Kloetzner, director of business development at Adidas Football.

With physical sports increasingly blurring with digital or gamified experiences, both brands and sporting bodies are providing football innovations for fans, from wearables to virtual experiences.

Dazed Beauty curates a beauty counter for Generation Instagram

Dazed Beauty Space, Selfridges Dazed Beauty Space, Selfridges
Dazed Beauty Space, Selfridges Dazed Beauty Space, Selfridges

UK – Dazed Beauty has teamed up with retailer Selfridges on an interactive beauty buying experience.

The pop-up store aims to lure Dazed Beauty’s digital community offline through a series of events, talks and shoppable content, challenging the conventions of traditional beauty counters. In this way, it hopes to meet the changing needs of Generation Z consumers, combining phygital retail with Dazed’s own hyper-futuristic aesthetic, allowing shoppers to try on looks using AR and AI filters.

Recognising the popularity of face filters among its target demographic, Dazed Beauty is questioning how beauty counters can most effectively cater for online audiences. As Bunny Kinney, editor-in-chief at Dazed Beauty, says: ‘This is the beauty counter of the future: where the digital and physical collide, and beauty is not simply what we wear on our faces, but what we project on our screens.’

While Instagram has long played a role in the beauty conversation, brands are going a step further to transform their physical spaces to reflect their online presence. For more, explore our Instagram Beauty Market.

Panera pours unlimited caffeine on subscription

US – Bakery chain Panera is launching a hot drinks subscription delivering unlimited refills to customers.

Offered at £7.55 ($8.99, €8.27) per month, the MyPanera+Coffee service allows customers to enjoy all-day takeaway drinks, including iced coffees and teas, as well as larger pours. The deal was created with the aim of increasing customer loyalty, and will also allow customers to use their own re-usable cups.

Using QR codes during ordering, Panera’s subscription service is the first of its kind in the fast food industry. It represents a new model for coffee chains to boost visits and increase spending. Sara Burnett, vice-president of wellness and food policy at Panera, explains: ‘It’s about providing true value to the guest that really matters to them, especially things that are part of your daily ritual, like coffee.’

With loyalty an ongoing challenge for brands, more are using mobile platforms and data to elevate the customer experience, something we explore further in the Loyalty Market.

Panera, US Panera, US

Stat: Covid-19 sparks recession fears among Millennials

According to research by Global Web Index, younger consumers in the US and UK are particularly anxious about the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While more than 90% of respondents said they are worried in general about the virus, strength of concern varies greatly by age. Millennials, in particular, are reported to have made the most drastic changes to their spending habits amid fears of a looming recession.

In fact, 19% of Millennials says a recession is 'extremely likely' as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, compared to just 7% of Generation Z. Meanwhile, high income earners in the US and UK are twice as likely as lower earners to think a recession is extremely likely.

As concern about the coronavirus spreads, look out for our multi-sector round-up exploring the immediate impacts and future consideration for brands and organisations during these uncertain times.

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