5 in 5: modeling, karaoke cab fares, student debt game shows, selfie filters, glasses for motion sickness

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. A model like me.

This week Aerie (American Eagle’s lingerie brand) launched the #AerieReal campaign featuring models with various disabilities and chronic illnesses. Why should you care? This is another step in a continued evolution driven by organizations like American Eagle to not only represent more than just a singular vision of beauty, but reflect reality. Reading through Twitter responses of elated young women seeing themselves and their experiences represented in a model, many for the first time, it’s pretty clear how impactful broader representation can be. [USA Today]

2. Singing for your shuttle.

A “Singalong Shuttle” transported rock festival goers around Finland from July 6-8 only accepting karaoke for the payment. Why should you care? BMW implemented this stunt to educate and excite consumers about electric cars. Every element was intentional and served a purpose to get people to overcome any concerns they had about driving in electric cars. (The karaoke was used to show how quiet the cars are, because of the little background noise, making it fun and easy to sing along with your favorite songs on the radio.) This is a great example of using unexpected approaches to familiarize consumers with new products. [Lonely Planet]

3.  Welcome to debt or no debt!

TruTV is launching a new comedy game show this summer called PaidOff where contestants with student debt will answer different trivia questions to compete for cash prizes or to have their debt wiped out. Why should you care? While this may be on-point culturally and incredibly relevant, it is an interesting approach to tackling $1.5 trillion of student debt. However, when approaching sensitive issues like this, tone matters. The right tone could create empathy and understanding to this issue, but a misstep with this concept could come across as oblivious or even cruel. [Forbes]

4. Emotion recognition to select selfie filters.

Facebook has recently made public a patent which selects selfie filters based on the emotions it senses from your facial expressions. Why should you care? This is probably a glimpse into the future of marketing as facial recognition software that can identify emotions would be an incredibly powerful tool both to sell products, but could also have valuable humanitarian solutions (what if you could identify someone who is suicidal and intervene?). While Facebook does not have plans to implement this patent, the timing of this release is challenging because they haven’t rebuilt enough trust after their data privacy scandals for this to not feel just a little creepy. [Mashable]

5. Eliminating motion sickness.

French car maker, Citroën, has designed special glasses to combat motion sickness. Why should you care? This was easily something they could have written off as “not my problem.” Instead, they saw a consumer need and addressed it outside of their normal product line. The SEETROËN glassless frames are a unique “car accessory” to improve the passenger experience for those who tend to get motion sickness. These glasses are already sold out and will have another production run in September 2018. [CNET]

But wait! There’s one more – a bonus article curated by our Insights + Strategy summer intern: 
Affirmative fashion.

The fashion industry is now taking its direction from consumers rather than defining itself. Why should you care? Consumers are now able to convey their preferences as to what constitutes fashion through a variety of social media platforms. This new dynamic between the producer and the consumer is slowly driving designers into submission. Accordingly, as consumers both create and represent trends, this role-switching cat and mouse game suggests that the industry will have to give up its deciding role and let the consumer body take charge. [The Washington Post]

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