5 in 5: Picture Day, streetwear, hot sauce, public transit, Modelland

Each week, Padilla’s Insights + Strategy team stands at the intersection of people, culture and brands to bring you five stories that you can read in five minutes.

1. Ready for my touch-up

The classic awkward school photo will soon be a thing of the past now that school photography companies are offering options to touch up or Photoshop their children’s photos. Why should you care? This is an interesting counterpoint to recent iterations of the body-positive movement, especially the unapologetically honest and real tone we’ve seen develop over the past year. There are interesting arguments for both sides. On the one hand, puberty can be especially cruel to some kids and having the option to alter some things that a kid is already insecure about, like acne or braces, may help their self-esteem. On the other hand, doing so also suggests that kids have “problems” that need to be fixed, which could damage their self-esteem. As Gen Z and Gen Alpha grow older, both who will experience many, if not the majority, of their adolescent milestones through a screen or with a digital device handy, it will be interesting to see what body positivity means to them. Brands should monitor this because it will become increasingly important to understand the nuances of the inherent contradiction of calling for campaign portrayals to be honest, while privately enabling individuals to use filters on their own photos. [Glamour]

2. A side of streetwear

Restaurants from fast-food chains to chic cafes are partnering with streetwear brands to sell branded merchandise. Why should you care? As Bon Appetit points out, wearing restaurant merchandise isn’t exactly new – the Hard Rock Cafe has been successfully selling t-shirts for years. What makes this different is the collaborative partnership between restaurants and high-end streetwear brands. They aren’t doing this to bring in another revenue stream. Instead, restaurants are hoping the association with these fashion labels will make them “cooler” and create organic hype on social media and beyond. [Bon Appetit]

3. We aren’t quite done talking about the Super Bowl yet…

Rather than running a television ad during the Super Bowl, Frank’s RedHot (a hot sauce) ran a contest on Twitter and live-trolled other brands’ commercials during the broadcast. Why should you care? Frank’s RedHot campaign on Twitter asked their fans to “put a cayenne pepper emoji on everything” as an homage to their tagline of of putting their sauce on everything (as well as #FranksSweepstakes). This straight-forward ask drove “the highest percentage of brand conversation among brands that did not have a national TV spot during game day.” When Frank’s teased other brands following the airing of an ad, the brands bantered back. Overall, “fifty-four thousand people used the hashtag, and…followers increased by 9.5 percent.” Television spots during the Super Bowl can certainly get peoples’ attention and create conversations about a brand. However, Frank’s RedHot illustrated in today’s world, a TV spot isn’t the only way to get consumers’ attention during the Super Bowl. [Adweek]

4. Public bus drivers as the new delivery man

Amazon was recently awarded a patent for “Mobile Pickup Locations” which would turn public transit into another pickup site for Amazon packages. Why should you care? Amazon’s business model is dependent on being innovators in logistics. We’ve already seen proposals and offerings to drop off packages in car trunks or in a front entry with a special code. Amazon believes this scheme would benefit public transit systems that struggle to be profitable by adding new revenue streams and drawing greater attention to public transportation. However, it is unclear how this benefits riders or consumers and how it could even work. The key to succeeding with an idea like this will be timing the transaction perfectly when most public transit systems struggle with maintaining consistency. Not to mention, finding a way to not entirely disrupt the normal functioning of a bus when adding the complexity of package deliveries happening while customers get on and off the bus will be key to getting cities to sign on. Buy-in from the cities, the transit workers, rider and consumers will be key to making this successful. However, it may be a harder sell if pulling this off requires more personal data than consumers are ready to share (given all of the privacy issues and data breaches over the past couple of years).  [Retail Dive]

5. Speaking of body image…

Tyra Banks has announced plans to build an attraction in California around modeling called “Modelland”. Why should you care? According to Banks, she was inspired by Disneyland and Universal Studios and “wanted to bring that spirit of adventure and storytelling to the world of modeling.” Banks sees Modelland as another opportunity to spread her mission to “bring modeling to the masses” and “redefine beauty.” After the success of America’s Next Top Model, we don’t doubt Banks’ ability to put together a hit. Ultimately, this may be a challenging time to create any attraction like this as society is pushing for less perfection and idealism and more reality in modeling for campaigns. Getting the elements, imagery and tone of the attraction will be critical to its success. However, if she succeeds in creating a body-positive attraction, it could be not just a good business idea, but could genuinely help people in an entertaining way. [Variety]

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