Global – Nine-year-old Ryan Kaji has become the first YouTube creator to build an interactive virtual world for his fans, housed within the hugely popular game creation platform Roblox.
The virtual version of Ryan’s World – a YouTube show that has rapidly become a successful Gen Alpha media franchise – will take a more interactive approach to children’s content. Fans who enter will explore a city centre, school and ‘fun zone’, with the chance to shop for gadgets and challenge their friends to games.
It is also being described as Kaji’s biggest meet-and-greet ever, with the chance for fans to interact with the star inside Roblox and win exclusive prizes such as a digital car designed by Kaji. ‘We’re excited to be able to bring together kids from around the world who love Ryan, while also bringing the brand to new platforms making Ryan’s World ubiquitous among kids,’ says Chris M Williams, founder and CEO of pocket.watch, Ryan’s World’s studio partner.
As explored in our Gen Alpha Money Market, today’s children are confident using in-game currencies as kids’ entertainment – and retail – breaks through into the virtual realm.
FaZe Clan launches influencer talent incubator
FaZe Academy by FaZe Clan, US
FaZe Academy by FaZe Clan, US
US – FaZe Clan, one of eSport's most prominent organisations, is unveiling a new talent incubator that ensures all future members are aligned with its core values.
Dubbed the FaZe Academy, its in-house talent management team will use the platform to mentor new FaZe Clan recruits, with members working through a variety of gaming and content creation lessons as part of its programme The Journey. Beginning with a five-day immersive bootcamp, the programme covers areas such as cultural and sensitivity training, mental health awareness, content strategy and creation, and audience development.
Candidates then complete a three-month apprenticeship before being firmly accepted into the group. ‘FaZe Academy is seeking the best in the world – from the undiscovered charismatic vlogger to the elite multi-hyphenate global content creator who is already making waves,’ explains Jaci Hays, COO of FaZe Clan.
As we explore in our microtrend Accredited Influencers, the influencer model is being upended as it gains status as a legitimate career path, with training and dedicated content creation programmes becoming more common.
Route visualises online orders in real time
US – Route is a visual package tracking service that allows shoppers to view and track multiple orders in real time.
Through its efficient app, users can view and track each stage of their package's journey, uniting multiple orders and outlets in a single platform. The service also provides extra peace of mind for customers, with the ability to add insurance to an order, backed by insurer Lloyd’s of London, for just 1% of an item’s cost.
Evan Walker, CEO of Route, explains how the app ‘over communicates’ with consumers to ensure there’s sufficient transparency in locating packages. ‘The number one question for two billion people that buy things online is, ‘Where’s my stuff?’ We basically made shipping insurance digital across the internet,' he says. ‘In order for us to do that, Route really started evolving as this kind of post-purchase experience into a fully fledged customer experience platform.’
With an increasing number of consumers relying on online shopping, the need for secure and efficient logistics and fulfilment is paramount.
Stat: Chinese drinkers head back to physical venues
Le Café V at Louis Vuitton, Osaka, Japan
Chinese consumers are willing to go back to physical drinking and entertainment venues in the post-Covid era.
Research by CGA in China reveals that nine out of 10 consumers in the country have already visited bars, restaurants or karaoke bars since the end of China’s lockdown. The study also shows that 42% of drinkers plan to visit on-trade venues more often in 2021 than they did in 2019, while 64% are now confident enough to visit large-capacity venues.
But as Chinese consumers return to their favourite spots, they’re also changing their habits – three in five drinkers say they would try to make healthy drinks choices when returning to bars, opting for low-calorie, low-sugar or nutritional drinks.
While some consumers in Asia may prefer virtual hospitality opportunities in 2021, those heading to physical locations are open to exploring new drinks and flavours, often with a health-conscious edge.