Frisk #189

Snakes alive, it’s Frisk #189! Puerto Rico Highway 189 runs from Caguas to Juncos. Y’know, in case it comes up in a pub quiz or something.


Sexy adverts
As our latest McDonald’s ‘Love Affair’ ad demonstrates, the outmoded oversexualisation of everyday products is ripe for parody. The simple fact is that sexy ads don’t shift units. It’s not the 1970s. You can’t just drape a scantily-clad sylph over the item in question and call it an early lunch.
A recent study published in the International Journal of Advertising found that although ads with an overtly sexual element are more likely to be remembered, people are a) no more likely to remember the actual brand and b) more likely to view the brand in question in a negative light (if they do remember it).
Sex sells? Only if you’re flogging Pirelli tyres in the sepia age.

Edeka diversity
The modern world can be a troubling place. Brexit, Trump, UKIP, Front National, the slow-creep of the far-right, neo-Nazi marches (don’t call them ‘alt-right’, that’s just them trying to normalise their position, they’re Nazis) – it’s no longer taboo to be xenophobic. Or even racist.
Close the borders. Send them home. Why? Because… reasons.
The notion that we all fleetingly share a spinning rock in space, happening by chance to exist as a species, is lost; the act of fiercely protecting the bit of land that your mum happened to have been lying on when you popped into the world from anyone who emerged elsewhere is, for many, all-consuming. Why is this? Well, that’s too big a question to try to answer with logic.
Germany’s largest supermarket chain, Edeka, railed against this in brilliant style recently, tackling the country’s rising levels of xenophobic sentiment with a very clear illustration of reality: they removed all non-German products from the shelves and, somewhat predictably, the shopping experience was a bit crap. The empty shelves sported signs reading 'This shelf is boring without variety' and 'Our shelves now know borders'.
It’s not just about social change, of course. People are 46% more likely to spend money with brands that actively try to connect with them in a meaningful way – so it’s quite a smart move on Edeka’s part. Lovely idea though, huh?

Digital bricks
Online shopping is a genre bursting at the seams, but that doesn’t mean the traditional bricks-and-mortar store is in too much trouble.
According to a recent study, 67% of Digitally Native Vertical Brands (or ‘DNVBs’ – brands who start solely digitally, with a manic focus on user experience) have opened actual shops in the last three years. The oldish model of strict polarisation – i.e. you’d either buy the new One Direction album (which you love, your mate told me) online from Amazon or in-store at HMV – has morphed into a model of convergence. People don’t see the world siloed in those channels any more.
Around half of consumers feel that shopping in-store gets you the goods quicker and doing so online lacks personal interaction, so it’s not surprising that digital brands want to cash in too… while DNVBs like, JustFab and Birchbox are opening shops to sell the stuff they started out selling online, so Amazon is opening bookshops and all sorts. The hook is to bring new developments to physical retail; at this point in time brands are uniquely positioned to quickly scale operations using up-to-the-minute tech, while also retaining the one-to-one interaction of social media/shop counters – fusing this effectively will drive the future of retail.

Daniel Bevis, Senior Knowledge Editor

30th August 2017