News 24.08.2021

Need to know

Whiskas hacks into the sensorial preferences of cats, Riot Games creates a virtual record label and convenience trumps sustainability for US shoppers.

Whiskas tunes into feline frequencies with aural ad

Purr More by AMV BBDO for Whiskas

US – While sensory marketing is typically directed towards humans, cat food brand Whiskas has introduced an advert that uses sound to market directly to felines. The Purr More ad was created by advertising agency BBDO and features music by US National Symphony Orchestra cellist David Teie – an animal composer whose work has been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels among cats.

Alongside the advert’s soundtrack, Teie has also devised an accompanying playlist, available to stream via Spotify and YouTube. He explains: ‘Cats listen to sounds at different frequencies to humans, so we’ve created a piece of music that appeals to their unique audio range.’ In a similar vein, we’ve previously identified how dog food brand Jinx is taking a direct-to-pet approach with its scented billboards designed to attract canine noses.

While LS:N Global has been tracking the rise of sense-hacking in marketing to humans, Whiskas’ campaign provides inspiration for how sensory cues can similarly be used to target furry friends.

Strategic opportunity

Petcare brands have an opportunity to capture the attention of domesticated animals through multi-sensory communications. In turn, pet owners could engage more with adverts or activations that have direct appeal to animals

Riot Games’ in-house label generates virtual musicians

K/DA by Riot Music K/DA by Riot Music
K/DA by Riot Music K/DA by Riot Music

US – Responding to the growing influence of virtual creators, video game developer Riot Games is making a foray into the music industry with the launch of a virtual record label. The label, Riot Games Music, designs virtual artists, produces songs and creates social content. Within the label, the company is also partnering with IRL musicians to create Sessions – music collections that can be used by creators without concern of copyright issues.

Such a service recognises the changing landscape of the music industry and the need to evolve in line with a rise in Digital Fandom. Particularly at a time when gaming is an increasingly popular activity, there is burgeoning opportunity for the wider media and entertainment sector to find its place in virtual environments.

We've also recently reported the merging of human and avatar musicians with K-pop band Aespa. Looking to the future, digital labels like Riot Games Music could garner widespread interest as more creatives seek to build careers via virtual realms.

Strategic opportunity

Social media sites can take inspiration from Riot Games and create in-house creator programmes for generating advertising, virtual influencers and digital entertainment, while involving IRL artists in virtual content creation

eBay’s handbag vending machines promote authenticity

US – The online marketplace is promoting its Authenticity Guarantee programme for luxury items through the installation of limited-edition handbag vending machines Located in Brooklyn, New York, and Silver Lake in Los Angeles, the pop-up installations invite pre-registered customers to answer luxury-based trivia questions for a chance to win one of six bags. Brands included in the initiative include Hermès, Chanel, Prada and Louis Vuitton.

Through the initiative, eBay is reframing conventional customer journeys by offering a Micro-retail concept that showcases its platform as a trustworthy yet convenient destination for premium products. Tirath Kamdar, general manager of luxury at eBay, says: ‘In the same way that traditional vending machines offer convenience, eBay is making luxury instantly accessible, bringing designer handbags directly to enthusiasts in New York and Los Angeles – while also demonstrating the incredible inventory available on the marketplace.

As the luxury sector embraces changing behaviours among shoppers, such access points could become commonplace for brands as they align with digital demands. To find out more, join us on 9 September at our Luxury & Hospitality Futures Live event.

Luxury handbag vending machines by eBay

Strategic opportunity

E-commerce sites – especially second-hand marketplaces – have an opportunity to spotlight luxury brands and products through small-format outlets. Use data from digital touchpoints to understand and target shoppers with physical products

Stat: US shoppers opt for convenience over sustainability

Modular Mailbox by Klarna, Sweden Modular Mailbox by Klarna, Sweden

The lure of convenient delivery often outweighs the desire to shop sustainably for US consumers. According to a survey by Retail Brew and Harris Poll, there is continuing demand for fast shipping – despite its impact on the environment.

The research reveals that more than half (56%) of US consumers feel faster delivery supersedes shopping sustainably. This is despite seven in 10 of those surveyed saying they’re more likely to buy a product if it’s marketed as sustainable. Yet, as strong demand for convenient delivery continues, the report emphasises the knock-on effect for materials – the US produced a record 407bn square feet of corrugated materials for e-commerce deliveries in 2020.

Given these findings, brands must take greater responsibility and begin providing sustainable yet convenient delivery services. Discover an array of solutions and innovators in our Eco-venience Retail macrotrend.

Strategic opportunity

To meet the convenience needs of sustainably-minded consumers, consider how you can reach people at a local level through neighbourhood fulfillment centres. You can also incentivise customers by adding benefits to in-person collection

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