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30 : 03 : 22

Apple uses narrative marketing to tap into the zeitgeist, Dig World brings construction careers to kids, and debt drives divorce in the US.

Apple joins the Great Resignation in its ad trilogy

US – The latest instalment of Apple’s Underdogs video series – which charts the career journey of a team of under-estimated employees – uses narrative-driven content to explore the opportunities that come with starting afresh.

With the series having previously tapped into the Silicon Valley zeitgeist by showing the Underdogs scrabbling to pull a prototype together and, in 2020, working from home, the latest film shows the team packing in their full-time jobs to launch their own decentralised start-up. This act of risking it all to follow their passions has been dubbed The Great Resignation, as the pandemic spurred people to rethink their purpose in life.

The ad also features several of Apple’s devices, which are used to help the Underdogs achieve their ambitions. By turning one successful ad into a trilogy, Apple is recognising the importance of replacing traditional advertising with narratives that weave product placement naturally into the story. ‘In these films, there’s no such thing as too many product demos as long as they’re natural extensions of the story,’ Tor Myhren, vice-president of marketing communications at Apple, tells Adweek.

Strategic opportunity

Use episodic and character-driven advertising to show how your brand is keeping abreast of – and responding to – constant changes in the market.

The Kenyan store growing community – not profits

Distance Iten by Distance, Kenya Distance Iten by Distance, Kenya
Distance Iten by Distance, Kenya Distance Iten by Distance, Kenya

Kenya – Parisian sports company Distance is paying homage to East Africa's rich running heritage with its latest retail location in Iten, a town in Kenya that is known as the Home of Champions.

As well as expanding opportunities for local aspiring athletes, the new location, which is the retailer's third shop, will operate on a business model designed to benefit the residents of Iten. The store will equip members of the village with quality running gear at reasonable prices, bolstering the town's running culture.

The goal of the project is not to generate money, but to create more jobs in the region, support athletes and provide a fair income to Wilfried and Ladisha, Distance's two Kenyan employees, as well as rent to Mama Jeruto, the landowner. Customers are even encouraged to sit and stay a while, enjoying a Kenyan tea with the sales associates.

With an emphasis on growing community as opposed to profit, Distance is an example of Post-growth Society in action, as brands recognise the value of staying small.

Strategic opportunity

What can brands do to make a lasting impact on communities? Take inspiration from Distance and develop permanent charitable initiatives rather than one-off pop-ups

A construction theme park educates kids on skilled jobs

Texas – As the latest theme park to open in the US, kids won't find any rollercoasters at Dig World. Instead, it will offer the opportunity for children and adults to get hands-on with heavy construction equipment in a safe and fun environment. With interest in skilled jobs waning, the theme park acts as a first-hand learning experience for America’s next generation of workers.

The first-of-its-kind theme park, which sits alongside the Katy Mills mall, is targeted at all members of the family. The experiences on offer include driving full-size Caterpillar Mini-Excavators, Skid Steers and UTVs (utility terrain vehicles). Children can also explore a gem mining station and turf field with lawn games such as Cornhole and TowerBall.

By re-imagining the family-friendly theme park as a space for education, Dig World is helping to court the construction workers of tomorrow – a demographic that comprises a large chunk of The American Middle but is rarely spoken to by brands or entertainment spaces. ‘We wanted to build something that kids and families could enjoy, creating the best and most unique consumer experience in TX,’ explains Dig World’s founder Jacob Robinson.

Dig World, Texas Dig World, Texas

Strategic opportunity

Spaces for entertainment can have a dual use as de facto classrooms. Position these play experiences as opportunities to learn new skills that could help to reinvigorate forgotten careers.

Stat: Debt is delaying marriage in the US

Bilt Rewards Bilt Rewards

As a growing number of young people put off their weddings, new data from National Debt Relief reveals that debt plays a significant role in Americans' decision to marry. What's more, 54% of Americans cite a partner’s debt as grounds for divorce.

As both the social attitudes towards and expectations of marriage change, young Americans are taking a more pragmatic approach to their nuptials, prioritising financial security over romance. This study coincides with escalating debt levels in the US – in the past year, the national debt rose by 6.2%, leaving the average family with £118,518 ($155,622, €140,018) of debt (source: New York Federal Reserve).

In addition to creating financial stress, debt is a significant mental health burden, as seven out of 10 respondents report that debt has had a permanent emotional impact on their lives.

As national debt levels rise, so too does American stress, pushing couples to put their Financial Wellness ahead of their wedding plans. As a result, we could foresee a new era of Uncoupled Living.

Strategic opportunity

Mental health problems are rising with financial issues. Banks and retailers should consider developing drop-in therapy services to boost accessibility to care

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