Need to Know
21 : 08 : 20

Orthodontists discourage at-home dental treatments, Reebok lets customers choose future footwear, and gaming is shown to boost human connections.

Dental parodies bite back at DTC brands

 Happy Mouth Now by The American Association of Orthodontists, US

US – The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is taking a stand against unreliable at-home dental products with its Happy Mouth Now campaign.

In a series of parody videos, the association warns customers against do-it-yourself home dental treatments, which have proliferated through tele-dentistry services. The AAO’s flagship video focuses on a woman creating her own mould for a teeth-straightening retainer at home, and the mess and discomfort experienced when not left to the professionals.

By taking an exaggerated and comic approach to its backlash advertising, the AAO hopes to reach a wide audience, having already released the videos through email marketing and social media. ‘We didn’t want this important message to fall on deaf ears with a typical PSA, so we knew we needed to do something truly creative to break through,’ says spokeswoman Brynne Cramer.

While start-ups have been trying to rework dentistry in recent years with novel products and experiences, professional services are stepping in to reaffirm the importance of expertise.

Pocket-friendly hosiery that’s biodegradable

Pretty Polly, UK Pretty Polly, UK

UK – The Eco-Wear range from hosiery brand Pretty Polly is a response to growing awareness of the waste associated with lingerie and tights.

The sustainable range is made from the world’s first biodegradable polyamide yarn and has been produced in an Oeko-Tex-certified factory. By excluding wires, plastic and seams, the lingerie and hosiery are designed to disintegrate in three to five years, once they are in contact with microorganisms found in landfill. As a result, tights from the Eco-Wear range will decompose 10 times faster than traditional or even recyclable tights.

Priced from £10 ($12.60, €10.60), the collection includes bras, shorts, tights and leggings, is both eco-friendly and affordable: ‘We are passionate about making a real difference for the future and believe that sustainable options should be accessible to everybody,’ states Caroline Wright, hosiery product manager at Pretty Polly.

As brands innovate to overcome the environmental issues associated with the fashion industry, many are turning to innovative, bio-based materials.

Reebok’s First Pitch minimises sneaker waste

US – The sports brand’s digital platform enables consumers to collectively determine whether a sneaker goes into production.

Future shoe designs will remain open on the First Pitch website for between 72 hours and 30 days, allowing sneaker fans to show their interest and determine whether Reebok should produce the shoe. Each sneaker is priced at £0.75p ($1, €0.83) and will go up by the same amount with each commitment made to produce the shoe, until it hits its retail price. Reebok's goal is to hit 500 pairs as a minimum before putting each shoe into production.

Aiming to minimise waste in the production cycle, the system sets an example for other fashion labels, while also allowing Reebok to learn more about its audiences’ preferences. ‘First Pitch arrives at a time when the industry is at a unique but critical junction, where consumers are demanding great digital experiences that also enable them to make more mindful and considerate purchasing decisions,’ explains Matt Blonder, global head of digital at Reebok.

By tapping into continuous consumer feedback, Reebok is able to improve on its practices – something we identify in Post-purpose Brands.

Reebok, US

Stat: Playing video games increases empathy

Deutsche Telekom in collaboration with Saatchi & Saatchi  and Billie Eillish, Germany Deutsche Telekom in collaboration with Saatchi & Saatchi  and Billie Eillish, Germany

A new survey by the UK's National Literacy Trust and the Association of UK Interactive Entertainment finds that playing video games can positively increase empathy in children.

While past research and conversation have highlighted the negative impacts that gaming has on young people, this latest study shows that playing video games can support mental health as well as social competencies. Of the 4,626 young people in the UK aged 11–16 surveyed, 76% say they talk to friends about gaming and this can help build better social connections.

Another 65% say playing video games helps them to imagine being someone else – helping them to understand others’ feelings and situations. In turn, three in five parents say that games have been helpful for their child’s mental health during the pandemic.

As we explore in Relationship Games, both players and developers are pushing gaming’s potential to build positive, meaningful bonds between people.

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