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10 things I loved about November; Starbucks, Mac Cosmetics and more


By Lindsay Pattison, chief client officer

December 2, 2019 | 5 min read

Each month, WPP's chief client officer Lindsay Pattison will share her favourite client developments in the world of creativity and technology. Here she takes a look back at what caught her eye in October.

Lindsay Pattison

10 things I loved about November; Starbucks, Mac Cosmetics and more

1. Another month, another excellent podcast. This time it’s Martin Renaud, CMO Mondelēz, talking all things mindful snacking, streamlining the agency model and that holy trinity of data, media and creative. Oh, and being absolutely obsessed with building brands on strong, strategic foundations.

2. Starbuck’s is piloting a ‘micro-café’ in NYC bereft of the usual coffee shop hallmarks: menu boards, comfy chairs and long queues at the cash register. Instead, the space is designed for customers to order via phone (I imagine the Starbucks app will get a whole lot of new users) and then pick up their order on arrival. The space is only 28 square metres (300 square feet) - a smart move to keep sales moving but cut down on rent and staff costs.

3. Unilever has successfully finished trialling ethical ad tech where people who watch video ads online can pick a charity to donate the 50% of the ad revenue to. First up was Knorr and Lynx on traditional advertising sites (powered by the technology Good Loop), now it’s Dove on Instagram stories. Watch out for the swipe up to donate to either UN Women or the local Dove Self-Esteem Project.

4. Mac Cosmetics has taken the intersection of beauty, tech and physical retail to the next level with the Shanghai Experience Centre. With customers invited to use WeChat instore to augment the experience, virtual makeup mirrors that allow you to try 18 different lipstick colours in 30 seconds, and social reviews available at each product station - this is a space that seamlessly blends product discovery, social engagement and purchase.

5. This is so neat and incredibly powerful. Using old black & white war footage juxtaposed with familiar icons and sounds from the gaming world, gamers are being asked to #PauseToRemember on 11 November, 11am (Remembrance Day). The message? War is not a game.

6. Livestream shopping generated $4.4bn in Chinese sales in 2018. One of H&M’s brands, Monki, has embraced it with a recent livestream, filming their editor-in-chief and chief buyer discussing trends and inspecting Monki products live to 19 markets. It was hosted on Monki’s website instead of a third-party app, which meant customers could interact with their host and shop the products.

7. It feels like the beverage arena is as hotly contested as the streaming one right now. That arena has a new player in the form of Coca-Cola’s new flavoured seltzer water brand - AHA. It's Coca-Cola’s first new drink in more than a decade, and it’s well worth the wait. I love the packaging, the crisp-sounding flavours (think lime & watermelon, citrus & green tea) and the splash of caffeine is right up my street.

8. Like many of you reading this column, I’ve long been a fan of Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder and CEO of Bumble. Well, former CEO of Bumble – because she’s now moved up to CEO of MagicLab, Bumble (and Badoo’s) parent company, recently valued at $3bn thanks to Blackstone taking a majority stake.

9. I’ve always thought C-suite titles are a good reflection of industry trends. Today we have chief people officers, chief ethics officers, and at Google, a chief decision scientist. What is a chief decision scientist? Cassie Kozyrkov uses applied data science, AI and behavioural science to create better tools and products - a discipline that she calls decision intelligence. In real life, it also means letting “well thought-out projects flourish, as well as identifying ill-advised projects so these can be shut down before they begin.”

10. And to finish, Prada and Adidas have confirmed a long-term collaboration, with the first products dropping this December. The projects aim? ‘Investigate the realms of heritage, technology and innovation - and to challenge conventional wisdom through unexpected strategies.’ One for all sneaker-heads to keep their eye on ahead of Christmas…


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