JCPenney Partners with thredUP in New Business Model Expansion

Image result for thredup
ARTICLE LINK

In 1999, our supreme leader, Jeff Bezos suggested that physical storefronts would survive only if they could provide at least one of two core features: entertainment value or immediate convenience. (Business Insider)

BUT this article is about a third need, likely born or emboldened by social media – the growing demand for unique (Hello streetwear) or customized (Ex. AE Studio) items. Something thrift shopping provides, along with the entertaining thrill of the hunt, all with an eco-friendly twist (separate conversation). 

So here we are in the midst of the retail apocalypse (for some – shout out TJ Maxx) and many are trying to figure out how to survive.  

I don’t personally believe this alone (or anything) will save JCPenney, but at this point, it’s worth a try…

Disney’s new Streaming Service

Disney recently announced it’s new streaming offering – and it’s pretty competitive.
It combines Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+ for $12.99 a month.

The success of the package is interesting when you consider two interesting statistics.
1. 47% of Consumers Think There Are Too Many Streaming Services to Manage
2. The average American subscriber watches 3.4 services ($8.53 each)

Even with 3.4 subscriptions, the monthly total still comes in substantially lower than most cable packages – so the question is, will people put up with feeling overwhelmed and subscribe to one more?  If not what does Disney need to do?

Why it’s hot:
This is a big moment in the battle for streaming eyeballs and important to keep an eye out for as advertisers.

‘Claw is the law’

“If you think about it, LaCroix is just a virgin White Claw”

For years we’ve contemplated craft beer’s impact on big beer – and thought long and hard about Aeperol Spritzs and Natural wine, but this summer, a new trend has made itself (very well known) – Hard seltzer.  (Forbes, Esquire, Business Insider, Bloomberg, Yahoo Finance)

“The category, currently worth $550 million, could grow to reach $2.5 billion by 2021, said Sean King, an analyst at UBS. That implies an annual growth rate of 66% and a jump in consumption from 14 million cases in 2018 to 72 million cases in 2021.” (BI)

“Hard seltzers will continue to take share from: 1) wine & spirits (especially vodka/soda, as hard seltzer in cans is more convenient), 2) non-beer drinkers who don’t like the taste/calories in beer, and 3) domestic light beers, plus Corona Premier/Michelob Ultra drinkers,” (Yahoo)

Why it’s hot:
It’s hot because it’s a pretty monumental trend in the beverage world

To me, this is one of those ‘it was all so obvious’ sort of things, where key players noticed the continually growing health and wellness mentality colliding with peoples love of drinking.
+ It feels reminiscent/parallel/likely related to the success of La Croix and development of ‘Bubly’ by Pepsico.

Chase commits to AI after machines outperform humans in copywriting



“Chase is getting more creative with its marketing language—by tapping machines to write it. The bank announced Tuesday it has signed a five-year deal with Persado, a New York-based company that applies artificial intelligence to marketing creative.”

Welp …. ummm… hmmm…

Article Link
Agency Link

Why it’s hot: 
The conversation around automation continues to evolve – and it has countless implications.
At a SUPER high level, relative to our industry, it feels important to consider how our value proposition can remain unique in a world in which writing copy can be automated.

Area51, Memes, and brands

AREA51 Memes:
The internet is a funny place – full of overlapping references that can be challenging for the casual fan to appreciate and brands to activate against (without ridicule).

Recently a joke event page was made pushing people to ‘storm area 51’ (This phenomenon dates back to at least 2016 Ex. Tool @ Home Depot) 

Brands, particularly ones focused on the ‘youths’ all took a shot at getting on the joke.
LINK: We regret to inform you that brands are storming Area 51 memes – Mashable

Why it’s hot: 
If you try to please everyone, you’re going to please no one – something mass-market brands are / will continue to struggle with against smaller niche brands.

It’s interesting to pay attention to where brands will go.  Take for example Slim Jim’s recent success hiring a man who ran account making fun of slim jims are their new social media manager.

The WeWork for therapists

Alma: 
With increasing dialogue and concern about mental health in America, Alma, the recent recipient of $8m in funding, is aiming to improve the experience for both therapists and patients.

Providers can apply for membership then book rooms, flexibly – at their own convenience.
Additionally, “Alma provides members with a suite of services, such as billing, scheduling, and tools for treating patients over video chat”.  It also gives providers a place to create community. 

On the patient side of things, “Alma has a “matchmaker” on staff who specializes in mental health counseling, and is devoted to pairing patients with professionals that suit their specific needs.”

Why it’s hot:
As the idea of seeing a therapist and discussing mental health becomes increasingly normalized in society – few entities are doing anything to simplify and bring some level of uniformity to the experience.