News 16.08.2021

Need to know

Shopify’s new hub supports New York’s entrepreneurs, War Paint’s London store normalises men’s make-up and Touchland makes hand sanitiser sexy

Touchland positions hand sanitiser as provocative

Touchland, US
Touchland, US
Touchland, US

US – Responding to the desire for physical touch in the inter-Covid period, hand sanitiser brand Touchland is taking a subversive approach to marketing its latest product line. Its video campaign, Touch Like in the Before, shows an underground party scene with groups of people in intimate positions after applying Touchland hand sanitiser.

In this way, the brand recognises a growing sense of fatigue among consumers in relation to pandemic-induced restrictions and ongoing health anxiety. This alternative approach to communication reflects a shift in mindsets and a yearning for physical touch. ‘We want to enable people to live passionately, curiously and fearlessly, but not recklessly,’ explains Andrea Lisbona, founder and CEO of Touchland.

Such visual narratives echo the ideas we explore in Unrefined Intimacy, with brands embracing sex and pleasure as part of a new era of raw and confrontational advertising. Meanwhile, in Synchronised Care, we identify the importance of Pleasure Health as a key tenet of achieving holistic wellbeing.

Strategic opportunity

Everyday healthcare brands can take cues from unconventional campaigns like Touchland’s and tap into more human approaches to advertising. Don’t be afraid to avoid sterile cues where appropriate

Shopify’s New York hub bolsters entrepreneurial success

Shopify, New York Shopify, New York
Shopify, New York Shopify, New York

New York – E-commerce company Shopify is supporting small business owners through the launch of an entrepreneurial hub in New York’s SoHo area. Dubbed Shopify New York, the two-storey space will offer workshops and events, one-to-one business support and access to on-site podcast and photography studio spaces, among other elements. The space and expert advice are free to access, with bookable services charged at hourly rates.

Shopify is responding to the needs of a growing number of entrepreneurs, recognising that many would benefit from supportive networks to bolster their business operations. ‘Much of NYC’s heart and soul comes from its entrepreneurs,’ says Harley Finkelstein, president of Shopify. ‘To keep NYC as one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the world, we’re giving New Yorkers the resources and tools they need to build successful businesses.’

As more people embrace craft culture, there are opportunities for larger brands and businesses to support makers in transforming their personal creativity from being a hobby into owning a fruitful small business.

Strategic opportunity

Large brands and retailers can open up their operations and expertise to support individual creators. Think about how you can facilitate networking events or offer technical support to start-ups

The world's first men’s make-up store

London – Men’s beauty brand War Paint for Men has unveiled a physical retail space in London’s Carnaby Street.

Marking a first for the men’s beauty industry, the store features the brand’s full range of products, as well as a customisation service offering bespoke foundation or tinted moisturiser made for any skin tone in-store. A screen-based digital Q&A feature, Ask Danny, also allows shoppers to submit product questions to founder Danny Gray.

By creating a real-life destination to discover and interact with make-up products, the brand is further normalising the landscape of beauty for men. ‘I wanted to create a relaxed, inviting place to help men feel comfortable to have a conversation and learn more about make-up, get a haircut or even talk about mental health,’ says Danny Gray, founder of War Paint for Men.

Through this retail space – and its central London location – the brand caters for burgeoning interest in the Middle Man Beauty Market.

War Paint for Men, London

Strategic opportunity

In future, beauty brands can occupy branded spaces as part of a wider push to promote confidence among men. Consider hosting dedicated events that encourage healthy conversations about men’s make-up

Stat: In-game luxuries drive physical product sales

Zalando #Sneakernet by Superimpose Zalando #Sneakernet by Superimpose

As the worlds of luxury and gaming continue to collide, there is growing evidence that in-game sales are also translating into physical sales. This insight comes as part of an annual study by Altagamma-Boston Consulting Group that explores global luxury consumer behaviours.

The report finds that among the 39% of luxury consumers who are aware that brands interact with customers in virtual online games, one in two have bought luxury in-game items. Of this group, a majority (86%) have then purchased the corresponding physical version. Consumers in the US and China are most aware of luxury brands interacting with customers in games, with 53% and 51%, respectively, agreeing. Brands could focus on these markets and create targeted campaigns around the fusion of gaming and luxury.

To discover more about the opportunities for phygital luxury activations, join us on 9 September for exclusive debates and discussions on the luxury and hospitality landscape.

Strategic opportunity

While many luxury gaming activations have so far come as part of the fashion sector, the wider industry can also begin to experiment. From beauty to alcohol, brands can offer digital twin products

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