Each month, WPP's chief client officer Lindsay Pattison will share her favorite client developments in the world of creativity and technology. Here she takes a look back at what caught her eye in September.
1) New York Fashion Week is always a spectacle but this month Rihanna’s lingerie brand Savage x Fenty smashed the constructs of a traditional catwalk show apart. Not only is Rihanna the first African-American woman to head up an LVMH Maison, she was also savvy enough to stream her epic show on Amazon Prime – allowing her to reach 100 million Prime members in the US alone and redefine the traditionally exclusive boundaries of fashion week.
2) Whisky and ginger, earl grey and marmalade – that’s just three of 1500 flavors KitKat connoisseurs will be able to choose this Christmas as Nestlé nudges one of their biggest confectionery brands into the premium space. For those in the UK, these will be made to order and available either via a D2C commerce play or a pop up at John Lewis.
3) There’s always that question around much-hyped tech – will it won’t it, will it won’t it? It’s safe to say blockchain is firmly in the ‘it will’ category, transforming our media practice amongst other things. This is a great read on Unilever, who are working with IBM and GroupM to effectively cut wasteful ad spend at scale and have so far seen savings of 2% to 3%.
4) Stylish, sustainable, Swedish – tick tick tick. Check out this bike made from 300 Nespresso pods, showcasing the creative possibilities in aluminum coffee pod afterlife. But the coolest bit? The attention to detail: the frame’s plum color echoes a Nespresso Arpeggio capsule, its bell is in the shape of a coffee pod and the carrier basket has two nifty straps for securing to-go coffee cups.
5) September’s fashion theme continues with the launch of YouTube’s dedicated vertical - /Fashion. It’s an exciting response to Instagram’s increasing grip on the world of fashion and is set to include style videos from top creators (think Naomi, Huda Beauty and Rosie Huntington-Whitely), live streams from the runway, inside looks at the fashion industry (Vogue & LOVE magazine) and behind-the-scenes footage.
6) Ford has chosen Austin, Texas as the third site for the commercial roll-out of their autonomous cars. Ford and Argo AI will begin mapping the city in mid-November, followed by data validation and actual testing of self-driving vehicles in the coming months. Austin was chosen in part because its growing downtown population is increasing city congestion. Fingers crossed self-driving cars will come to London soon, although I have a funny feeling the city’s roundabouts could prove problematic…
7) The CPG industry may have its challenges, but beverages are booming. Hard seltzers (carbonated alcoholic drinks to those in the UK) is a young category already worth $550m and set to reach $2.5bn by 2021. But to do that, the category needs to reach new users. Which is why I like Anhueser-Busch’s Bon & Viv’s clever Autumn partnership with the NFL to reach the 60% of Americans who aren’t aware of hard seltzer yet.
8) This is cool – two of our clients, Microsoft and Vodafone have teamed up on Project xCloud - research that will enable ‘true gaming on-the-go’ so players can enjoy their favorite Xbox games on their phone or tablet. Vodafone’s 5G network will underpin gamers’ ability to stream and play Xbox favorites directly from the cloud. They’re calling the initial tests ‘Technical Previews’ and if you’re an Android user, you can sign up here.
9) Great design - it’s almost always the key to making me reappraise a forgotten brand and a beautiful thing certainly makes me more inclined to buy it. Danone’s brand Actimel UK have released fruit and veg-based cultured yogurt shots with a whole new look and feel that speaks perfectly to both Instagram and IRL consumption.
10) And finally, Fast Company has published an interesting piece asking if P&G’s new six-part documentary with Nat Geo is the marketing model of the future. Each episode in ‘Activate’ tackles a social issue, blending a mix of influencer tactics (Pharrell appears in one), brand purpose and brand placement while maintaining editorial authenticity.