News 10.04.2024

Need to Know

McDonald’s Canada enrols rapper Lil Yachty for nostalgic menu, Dark & Lovely brings authentic avatars to The Sims 4 and why American drivers don’t trust self-driving cars.

McDonald’s Canada drops nostalgic menu and music with Lil Yachty

Menu Song Remix by Lil Yachty for McDonald’s, Canada

Canada – In a bid to harmonise the past with the present, McDonald’s Canada has unveiled the Menu Song Remix, a modern take on a classic jingle that has resonated with fans since its debut in 1989.

The revamped Menu Song, featuring rapper, singer-songwriter and former McDonald’s crew member Lil Yachty, aims to bridge generational divides while celebrating the iconic menu items that have become synonymous with McDonald’s. ‘Going from working at a McDonald’s in Atlanta to collaborating on the Remix Menu Song with McDonald’s Canada is a wild full circle moment,’ said the rapper.

Accompanying the catchy remix is McDonald’s Canada’s first-ever Remix Menu, showcasing innovative twists on classic favourites like the Surf ’N Turf Burger and the Sweet Chilli Junior Chicken. In a press release, Alyssa Buetikofer, McDonald’s Canada's chief marketing officer, said she hoped the new takes on the Menu Song would re-ignite the excitement Canadians felt decades ago. ‘It’s also a celebration of the love Canadians have for our iconic menu items,’ she added.

Fans are invited to sing along to the new tracks, available in both English and French, with karaoke versions accessible on the Remix Hub. In Is Essentialism the Future of Branding? we analysed how brands capitalising on nostalgia and paying homage to their roots could establish stronger connections with consumers.

Strategic opportunity

Can you use nostalgic elements of your brand’s history or iconic products to create new marketing campaigns or product offerings that resonate with both existing and new customers?

Les Mills and Adidas unveil workout rewards programme

Move, Earn & Swap Points Joint Incentive Programme by Adidas and Les Mills Move, Earn & Swap Points Joint Incentive Programme by Adidas and Les Mills
Move, Earn & Swap Points Joint Incentive Programme by Adidas and Les Mills Move, Earn & Swap Points Joint Incentive Programme by Adidas and Les Mills

Global – Fitness platform Les Mills and sportswear giant Adidas are deepening their collaboration with the launch of Move, Earn & Swap, a rewards initiative for adiClub and LES MILLS+ members. Participants accrue points by completing digital workouts, which they can exchange for Adidas products, exclusive Les Mills benefits and specialised training experiences.

The move builds on their established partnership, and signals a joint effort to engage Gen Z by aligning with their fitness preferences and motivations. Using the appeal of shared experiences, hybrid workouts and technology-driven training, the collaboration has already yielded immersive fitness events, apparel releases and innovative hybrid strength classes.

Recognising motivation as a key obstacle to regular exercise, this new rewards scheme aims to enhance the appeal of Les Mills workouts, providing additional incentives for participants to stay active and engaged, a topic we explore further in Mass Movement.

Strategic opportunity

Brands can tap into mass movement culture by engaging audiences across different markets. Explore online and social media channels to connect with them, translating their interests into real-life events combining movement and community bonding

The Sims collaborates with Ebonix and Dark & Lovely on new in-game hairstyles

In-game hairstyles by Dark & Lonely for The Sims 4 In-game hairstyles by Dark & Lonely for The Sims 4

Global – Maxis, the studio behind The Sims gaming franchise, has joined forces with L’Oréal beauty brand Dark & Lovely and gaming content creator Danielle ‘Ebonix’ Udogaranya to improve the representation of Black hairstyles in gaming.

In April 2024, inspired by Dark & Lovely’s new Immersive Bolds permanent hair dye collection, the team will introduce 24 colour combinations across two existing hairstyles to The Sims 4 game.

Then, in July 2024, Maxis and Dark & Lovely will launch a new locs hairstyle as part of a free content drop.

The campaign kicks off with a documentary on the Dark & Lovely YouTube channel. Featuring Ebonix, Anna Huerta, senior creative director of The Sims 4, assistant producer Kaelah Smallwood and Taireek Simms from the Dark & Lovely team, the short film explores a lack of representation in the gaming industry, particularly when it comes to Black hairstyles.

In our Authentic Avatars market report, we explored how users are seeking more inclusivity in avatar creation. To meet this demand, innovative brands and designers must take an intersectional approach to avatar development to represent womanhood and Blackness better.

Strategic opportunity

Businesses strengthening their presence in the virtual world should consider how to make their skins – a purchasable item changing the appearance of a character in gaming – and avatars more inclusive across body size, skin colour, hair and gender

Stat: Most American drivers have no trust in self-driving cars

BMW i Vision Dee, Germany BMW i Vision Dee, Germany

US – Amid the fervour of technological advancement, a recent American Automobile Association (AAA) survey suggests 91% of drivers don’t trust autonomous vehicles.

This widespread scepticism is attributed mainly to the notoriety garnered by high-profile accidents involving autonomous systems. General Motors subsidiary Cruise faced intense scrutiny due to its malfunctioning robotaxi programme in San Francisco, which culminated in a tragic incident in 2023. The survey, conducted annually by AAA, underlines a consistent sentiment of fear and uncertainty with regard to autonomous vehicles (AVs), with two-thirds of respondents (66%) expressing apprehension and a mere 9% saying they trust AVs.

Even as some drivers appreciate certain automated features like automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, a substantial number remain hesitant, citing concerns ranging from road safety to potential job displacement.

As the automotive industry races towards an autonomous future, the onus is on manufacturers to address these pressing concerns and foster a climate of trust. In Autonomous Vehicles: Moonshot or Reality? we analysed how, while the futuristic dream of a personal robot chauffeur might not happen any time soon, a hybrid offer represented by a robo-valet will have to do.

Strategic opportunity

Explore the integration of semi-autonomous features into existing vehicles, providing consumers with gradual exposure to autonomous technology and easing fears through familiarisation

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