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Playboy brings humour to social distancing, Vodacom connects rural Africa, and Flat Agers will be the first in line at British salons.

Covid-19: Playboy’s play on safe social distancing

Practice Safe Six by Playboy, US

US – Playboy’s latest campaign draws on the similarities between social distancing guidelines and safe sex.

The campaign, Practice Safe Six, was created to drive greater awareness of social distancing measures in order prevent the spread of Covid-19, particularly with many cities beginning to lift quarantine restrictions. To communicate its advice, Playboy taps into clichés of sex education, featuring advice such as ‘wear protection’ and ‘ask permission’. The animated narrative and voiceover are a playful nod to advice more commonly shared in the context of practising safe sex.

As Rachel Webber, chief marketing officer at Playboy, explains: ‘A cheeky PSA ripe with innuendos is the perfect playful way to encourage our audience to be safe and protect each other and themselves, and the wink to the clichés of a high school sex-ed class are a nice nod to some of our other initiatives to re-invent the way we talk about sex as a society.’

During the inter-Covid period, those looking to meet new people will particularly benefit from this increased awareness. In Socially Distant Dating, we explore how apps sparking new connections can maintain safety messaging in a lighthearted and relatable tone.

Haptic advertising for touchless interactions

Ocean Outdoor in partnership with Ultraleap Ocean Outdoor in partnership with Ultraleap
Ocean Outdoor in partnership with Ultraleap Ocean Outdoor in partnership with Ultraleap

Global – Ocean Outdoor is introducing touchless advertising in place of touchscreen activations.

The out-of-home media company will soon be deploying mid-air haptics technology to allow consumers to trigger content via natural hand interactions. Functioning with virtual technology, which doesn’t require any wearables, the screens will be introduced in key experiential spaces. Ocean Outdoor will also be working with Ultraleap to facilitate the roll-out of touchless advertising across its premium retail and city centre locations.

According to Catherine Morgan, director of Ocean Labs: ‘The introduction of touchless screen technology across our portfolio is timely. People are understandably cautious about using any kind of touchscreen technology in public places. Haptics is an ideal solution. It is hygienic, safe and will add a whole new dimension to Ocean’s experiential offer and immersive brand experiences.’

Particularly as we enter the inter-Covid world, advertisers will need to embrace touch-free solutions like Mid-air Haptics to create interactive and experiential marketing.

Vodacom balloons bring internet to rural Africa

Mozambique – Loon, a unit within Google’s owner Alphabet, is expanding the South African mobile operator’s network in Mozambique.

The service uses high-altitude balloons, powered by an on-board solar panel, to provide 4G coverage that supports data, voice, SMS and quick codes. Using Loon, Vodacom can expand its mobile network access to Cabo Delgado and Niassa, two provinces that have proven hard to cover in the past due to their size, topography and low population density.

Shameel Joosub, group CEO at Loon, says: ‘This is even more pertinent in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, where more Mozambicans will now have access to healthcare information through our Loon partnership.’ The brand’s initiative in Mozambique also marks the start of a larger partnership to enable internet usage for millions of Vodacom subscribers throughout Africa.

As we uncover in our interview with digital anthropologist Payal Arora, as the internet reaches its next billion users, brands will need to consider their diverse needs.

Loon in partnership with Vodacom, Mozambique Loon in partnership with Vodacom, Mozambique

Stat: Older Britons prioritise salon visits post-lockdown

Digital Salon by Bleach, London Digital Salon by Bleach, London

A study by Mintel has shown that senior British women in particular are looking forward to visiting salons when they re-open.

As of May 2020, 25% of Britons said they were most looking forward to visiting a hairdresser or barber when social distancing measures are eased – a figure up from less than one in five who reported the same at the end of April. And while British women are twice as likely as men to want a professional salon experience, over-65s are likely to be the first to attend salons when they re-open.

While younger consumers may be more likely to engage with virtual consultations and DIY haircuts, it appears that senior women are missing the engagement of being in a physical salon. With Flat Age Beauty consumers seeking more beauty products and services, physical salons with professional expertise still resonate with this group more than at-home solutions.

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