News 15.07.2021

Need to Know

Liquid Death uses horror to subvert brand purpose, Pantys launches its first non-binary underwear and UK consumers increasingly invest in eco-friendly phones.

Liquid Death’s horror film memeifies brand marketing

Dead Till Death by Liquid Death, US

Los Angeles – Liquid Death, Gen Z’s favourite canned water brand, is taking satirical marketing to the extreme by releasing its own horror film, Dead Till Death.

Leaning into well-worn horror tropes, it makes a case for purposeless advertising amid a brand landscape of sincerity. With a 45-minute run time, the tale of savagery and sustainability was unveiled on 11 July with its own Hollywood-style premiere and live-stream. From August it will be available to rent on streaming services including Amazon Prime, and superfans will also be able to buy Dead Till Death exclusive merchandise.

Expanding on its punk rock reputation in the marketing industry, the company is solidifying its status as a Meme Brand. Its comedic approach to advertising is part of a larger movement of pointless marketing, in which brands compete to stand for the least. Cleverly subverting an era of heightened brand purpose, its CEO Mike Cessario tells Adweek: ‘A concept this ridiculous almost has no business being taken this seriously.’

Strategic opportunity

Brand campaigns are shedding their sober tone. As Gen Z apply their memeification of everything to their shopping behaviours, be prepared to satirise your brand in order to win their custom.

Period underwear gets an inclusive update

Pantys transgender and non-binary menstrual underwear, Brazil Pantys transgender and non-binary menstrual underwear, Brazil
Pantys transgender and non-binary menstrual underwear, Brazil Pantys transgender and non-binary menstrual underwear, Brazil

Brazil – To ensure period inclusivity for everyone who menstruates, absorbent underwear brand Pantys has launched its first transgender and non-binary collection of underwear. The Boxer line has been designed to bring greater visibility, comfort and functionality to the menstrual cycles of trans men and those who identify as non-binary.

In development for more than a year, the Boxer line aims to make the conversation about periods more inclusive while catering for the underserved needs of the trans+ and non-binary communities. ‘Today, the menstrual products available on the market are made for women and reinforce the communication designed for a female audience,’ explains Maria Eduarda Camargo, co-founder of Pantys. ‘But this is also a serious issue for men who menstruate.’

While we have previously noted the rise in trans-positive beauty and wellness campaigns, Pantys is taking this further by working with members of the trans community throughout the manufacturing process to develop the product – from material and design to colour and testing.

Strategic opportunity

Brand communications should aim to include the experience of non-binary people in their messaging and new product lines should be developed to serve their needs and community.

Zara’s Store Mode drives clicks to bricks

UK – The fast fashion retailer has rolled out its Store Mode across all physical locations in the UK, enabling customers to browse items in a specific store to find out which garments are in stock.

Tailoring the online experience for shoppers, the feature will filter products and sizes available at their nearest store, as well as allowing them to buy clothes in advance for collection in 30 minutes, or book fitting rooms.

While the pilot programme was originally designed to help shoppers feel more at ease in stores during the pandemic, it is now becoming part of the retailer’s long-term strategy. ‘Our differentiation and strategic transformation towards a fully integrated, digital and sustainable model continues to bear results, supported by the commitment displayed by all the people who work at Inditex,’ says Pablo Isla, executive chairman of Zara’s parent company, Inditex.

In an age of Storefront Salvation, the combination of physical touchpoints and digital technology is future-proofing bricks-and-mortar spaces. As the latest addition to Zara’s omnichannel approach, its Store Mode functionality is not only designed to make shopping more convenient but also to give customers the ability to move through various stages of the path to purchase on their own terms.

Zara Store Mode, UK Zara Store Mode, UK

Strategic opportunities

Consider how physical stores could include services that complement online ordering, or how the functionality of search could be brought offline.

Stat: Sustainable Britons opt for eco-friendly phones

Stella McCartney's World of Sustainability Stella McCartney's World of Sustainability

British consumers are scrutinising the environmental impact of their mobile phones, according to research commissioned by telecoms company O2.

The study found that more than half of eco-conscious Britons are more likely to choose a mobile phone that’s rated better for the environment. This share rises to 75% among 18–24-year-olds, revealing the opportunities for sustainable technology brands to target values-driven Generation Z.

But the environmental footprint of devices is largely unavailable to customers, leading 50% of people to say that they would be more likely to research the eco-friendliness of their next phone if there was a simple rating system. This led O2 to launch its new Eco-Rating scheme, which provides accurate data on the environmental impact of producing, using, transporting and disposing of new devices, showing the importance of giving customers transparent and consistent information. Read our microtrend on Interactive Eco-labels to discover more ways that brands across sectors can promote product longevity.

Strategic opportunity

Although planned obsolescence is being phased out of the consumer technology sector, work is still to be done to give customers direct and straightforward information on the carbon footprint of their devices.

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