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Maximum Effort takes an anti-authenticity approach to sugar, luxury fashion embraces OnlyFans and the importance of human touch in wellbeing.

Maximum Effort’s satirical take on sugar marketing

HighKey ad campaign by Maximum Effort

US – Ryan Reynolds’ quick-witted ad agency has rolled out a comedic campaign for sugar-free biscuit brand HighKey.

In the campaign by Maximum Effort, an agency founded by Ryan Reynolds, the actor takes the part of Sugar Panda, an animated bear that communicates the cautionary tale of a high-sugar diet. In the campaign films for the sugar-free snack, Sugar Panda’s dishevelled appearance and foul-mouthed demeanour deviate from the traditional brand mascots employed by high-sugar food brands, showcasing the negative health effects of a sugar addiction in a playful fashion.

Alongside the campaign, Maximum Effort has announced the partial ownership of HighKey as part of the agency deal, a strategy that will continue to be employed with its clients. ‘We like relationships that have a deeper level of investment, structurally and emotionally,’ says George Dewey, president of Maximum Effort.

Straight-talking brands like Maximum Effort are adopting defiant, anti-authentic voices that cut through the noise of the crowded marketing world.

Vans becomes a broadcaster for local communities

Channel 66 by Vans, US Channel 66 by Vans, US
Channel 66 by Vans, US Channel 66 by Vans, US

US – The footwear brand has launched Channel 66, a digital live-stream designed to engage with its consumers through community-first broadcasting.

The platform will showcase live performances alongside workshops and curated conversations about music, art, sports and street culture – all of which emphasise the voices of local communities in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Mexico City. ‘Vans is such an IRL, grassroots brand, things like Vans Warped Tour and House of Vans, that really is our strength and preferred approach,’ says Brooke Burt, Americas lifestyle brand marketing lead at Vans. ‘So this was definitely a muscle we had to build and learn to flex.’

Vans is also teaming up with independent skate shops, music venues and labels, providing support for local businesses and creatives. The initiatives are part of Vans' continuing commitment to being a youth- and community-centric apparel brand.

This strategy is explored further in our Feedback Frontiers macrotrend, which delves into the ways in which brands are implementing multimedia and broadcasting formats to better connect with consumers.

Rebecca Minkoff creates exclusive content for OnlyFans

OnlyFans account by Rebecca Minkoff OnlyFans account by Rebecca Minkoff

New York – Fashion brand Rebecca Minkoff has joined the content subscription platform, offering viewers a glimpse into the inner workings of the brand.

The fashion house's OnlyFans page will be free for consumers to access, offering behind-the-scenes videos and exclusive access to upcoming collections, as well as entrepreneurial advice from the brand’s founder. ‘As a company, we always want to be a part of emerging platforms to better connect with our customers,’ explains Minkoff. ‘Joining OnlyFans offers a new way for us to leverage our loyal fanbase as a brand and provide exclusive content that otherwise may not be available on other platforms.'

This runs alongside an announcement that OnlyFans is looking to target more fashion brands as a way to expand its services. The platform has created guides that show brands and influencers how OnlyFans can be used to upload and monetise fashion content, including styling videos and hauls.

Luxury fashion brands such as Rebecca Minkoff are finding creative ways to appeal to consumers' ever-more Omnilux Lifestyles, as consumers turn away from the traditional places and spaces of luxury.

Stat: Skin touch is recognised as vital to health

Love Sleep by This Works. Campaign by ODD Love Sleep by This Works. Campaign by ODD

Global lockdown periods have resulted in many people experiencing a lack of physical touch, according to an 12-country survey by Beiersdorf's Nivea brand.

The survey found that 75% of people said isolation made them realise how important physical touch is for overall health. Furthermore, nine in 10 respondents consider human touch as key to having a happy and fulfilled life. The results vary depending on family structures and life stages – 23% of single parents voiced strongly that they feel alone, while 24% of teenagers stated the same, versus a global average of 16%.

In response, Nivea has launched the Care for Human Touch campaign, which aims to inspire togetherness by pledging to invest £17m ($24m, €20m) in local skin touch projects around the world. It also hopes to raise greater awareness on the subject – aiming to make 100m people aware of the proven benefits of skin touch by 2025.

The long-term health impacts of socially distant lifestyles – and particularly a lack of skin touch – will lead to more consumers engaging in the rituals of Recuperative Living.

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