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Digital snippets: Pokémon Go, McQueen’s DNA, luxury’s executive changes, AI, VR and more

McQueen pure human - digital snippets
Alexander McQueen’s DNA turned into leather in designer Tina Gorjanc’s Pure Human project

If there’s one thing that’s grabbed everyone’s attention this past fortnight, it has of course been Pokémon Go. The augmented reality mobile game has reportedly gained as many users as Uber and Tinder, topped Twitter’s daily users, and started seeing people spend more time with it than in Facebook. It also caused Nintendo’s share price to increase by more than $7bn.

We published a great piece looking at what retailers can learn from it in a broader location-marketing sense.  Also worth reading is this story tracking the retail invasion of Pokémons, via Racked, and another looking at why retailers should care about Pokémon’s forthcoming ads.

Beyond that, the news to know in the fashion, digital comms and technology space this week (and there’s a lot of it!), spans everything from an experiment with DNA in textile design to the plethora of changes at the helm of the industry’s luxury houses, the impact artificial intelligence might have on brands, not to mention how we’re faring with virtual reality so far…

  • Fashion that gets under the skin – designer creates leather prototypes grown from Alexander McQueen DNA (as pictured) [NY Times]

  • Luxury fashion: a year of big moves [The Industry]

  • Amazon Prime Day: Wow… but not yet a fashion must-buy [Trendwalk]

  • What Amazon could learn from Yoox Net-a-Porter, the “world’s biggest luxury fashion store” [Quartz]

  • Fashion apparel retailing in the age of artificial intelligence [WWD]

  • Luxury brands get off to an awkward start with virtual reality [Glossy]

  • Is a holographic fashion show for VR clothing the future? [The Creators Project]

  • The store of the future: physical retailers must stage experiences, embrace omnichannel and harness data [BoF]

  • 5 ways shoppers are using mobile to make purchase decisions, according to Google [Fashionista]

  • Sephora is driving mobile sales with Tinder-like features and digital mad libs [Ad Week]

  • Stores must learn to think like Facebook [BoF]

  • Warby Parker is offering Snapchat-exclusive sunglasses [Techcrunch]

  • Birchbox tests Snapchat for customer service – turns to revamped video and voice calling feature [Digiday]

  • Why advertisers are forking over big bucks for custom Snapchat lenses [Ad Week]

  • Snapchat is looking at a way to recognize objects in your snaps and serve you related ads [Business Insider]

  • New study says people are more likely to buy from brands that use virtual reality [Ad Week]

  • Luxury brands embrace digital, but still wary of programmatic [The Drum]

  • Using an algorithm to figure out what luxury customers really want [HBR]

  • Amazon is developing a 3D modelling system to solve online clothes shopping’s biggest problem [Quartz]

  • How the future of fit could spell the end of retail returns [Retail Dive]

  • Back to bricks and mortar: how e-commerce has embraced the real world [The Guardian]

  • Where machines could replace humans—and where they can’t (yet) [McKinsey]

  • Confessions of a fashion start-up founder: ‘Fashion tech is the Wild West’ [Glossy]

  • 3 need-to-know live streaming apps in China (and how bloggers & brands are using them) [WGSN]

  • Payments firm Klarna adds Lyst to its collection [Reuters]

  • How valuable is trend forecasting in the post-internet age? [NJAL]

  • These acrylic nails double as an Oyster Card [PSFK]
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Digital snippets: Diesel’s ads on Pornhub, Chanel’s Instagram battle, why the fashion world hates wearables

Your round-up of the latest stories related to fashion and technology…


  • Why you’ll soon be seeing Diesel ads on Grindr, Tinder and Pornhub [i-D]
  • Chanel may have just won a battle for the Chanel Instagram account [The Fashion Law]
  • Why the fashion world hates wearables [Co.Design]
  • High tech innovation wears well at Ralph Lauren [Forbes]
  • Burberry debuts on Apple TV with menswear fashion show [Mashable]
  • Misha Nonoo will skip fashion week to follow a consumer calendar [Fashionista]
  • Everlane’s starting a private Instagram account for new products [Digiday]
  • How Belstaff maintains a strong defense against counterfeiters [Stores]
  • How Urban Decay gets its 4.1 million Instagram followers to shop [Digiday]
  • Victoria’s Secret furthers organic storytelling mastery via Angel-endorsed Snapchat takeover [Mobile Marketer]
  • Crocs bows to critics, deletes David Bowie tribute tweet [Brand Republic]
  • Meet the female CEOs running fashion’s biggest brands [Fashionista]
  • What fashion needs to know about cyber security [BoF]
  • Shoppers are choosing experiences over stuff, and that’s bad news for retailers [The Washington Post]
  • Do ‘digital flagships’ deliver? [BoF]
  • The myth of the physical versus digital retail battle [WWD]
  • Why the social media ‘buy button’ is still there, even though most never use it [The Washington Post]
  • Inside the hidden world that handles your holiday returns [Wired]
  • Retail writes an obit on flash sale sites [Marketplace]
  • The blogosphere pays off more than ever [WWD]
  • What’s Grindr’s new agenda? [Dazed]
  • Instagram and the watch world [NY Times]
  • Why women aren’t buying smart watches [Racked]
  • Apple acquires Emotient, start-up that reads emotions from facial expressions [Fortune]
  • Why visual search will become a marketing obsession in the coming years [AdWeek]
  • These vibrating yoga pants will correct your downward dog [Fast Company]
  • 30 under 30 retail and e-commerce 2016: meet the millennials changing how we shop [Forbes]
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Digital snippets: Nike on 3D printing, HM x Balmain’s selfies, Diesel advertises on Tinder

Here’s a round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…


  • Nike’s COO thinks we could soon 3D print Nike sneakers at home [Quartz]
  • H&M x Balmain:  wants to see your selfies [Vogue]
  • Tinder ads tease Diesel fashion models as possible ‘matches’ [Mashable]
  • Louis Vuitton’s spring 2016 show dives into Oculus Rift and virtual gaming [Fashionista]
  • Most fashion houses are baffled by social media. Here’s why old-school Chanel does it best [Washington Post]
  • London-based online fashion startup, Lyst, abandoned a $25 million business — and became huge anyway [Business Insider]
  • Diane von Furstenberg is tapping into millennial tastes to secure her brand’s legacy [AdWeek]
  • Why Burberry’s Snapchat Testino campaign is the best piece of marketing in 2015 [Marketing Magazine]
  • Sears shows how it uses data to build relationships [MediaPost]
  • Can Everlane really become the next J.Crew? [Racked]
  • WME-IMG debuts all-fashion network for Apple TV [BoF]
  • How Diesel talks to its mobile customers through 400 programmatic ads [Digiday]
  • Target’s Kristi Argyilan on what ‘in-house programmatic’ really means [AdAge]
  • China’s Alibaba readies for Singles Day online shopping festival on 11/11/15 [BrandChannel]
  • How Flipkart hopes to shut out rivals by going app-only in India [Tech in Asia]
  • Facebook to test ‘shopping’ section [WWD]
  • ‘In China you have to use it’: How WeChat is powering a mobile commerce boom [Digiday]
  • Why is Silicon Valley pouring millions of dollars into old clothes? [Bloomberg]
  • How (and why) ‘Who What Wear’ bet on commerce [Digiday]
  • The rise of drones [Not Just a Label]
  • A retail geek’s take on modern high-street shopping [The Future of Commerce]
  • What role do fashion runways play in the internet age? [The Globe and Mail]
  • We have not yet reached peak wearable [Re/code]
  • Say it with an emoji: 10 text-free phrases to describe spring 2016 [Vogue]
  • Can content really drive commerce? [Forrester]
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Cannes Lions 2015 – a recap of the top trends and big ideas

After seven days, over 300 speakers and more magnums of rosé than even the Carlton probably dares to think about, Cannes Lions has wrapped for another year. Whether you were stuck at home or just spent too much time on the beach instead, here’s a round-up of the trends to know about from the Palais for 2015.


Data and creativity

If there was one word used more than any other this week, it was data. This wasn’t just about debating the need for “analytics” or “insights”, or even repeatedly raising “big data” as a buzz phrase, but how we take the fact we know that’s happening and still combine and integrate it with our creativity.

Speakers referred to data as being the linchpin to creating more emotional content. They called for greater collaboration between the industry – from creatives to technologists – as a way of moving people’s hearts. Professor Brian Cox said: “Every creative person needs data to keep them rooted in reality.”

AI as the next big era

Spinning off from that focus on data came numerous references to artificial intelligence (AI) as the next big revolution in tech. Mike Cooper from PHD referred to us as being at “11.59pm on the eve of AI”. He highlighted that over $57bn has been invested in AI to date, and that number is increasing 60 per cent every year. “Success in inventing AI will be the biggest success in human history, and it may be the last,” he joked.

But Cooper also highlighted that this is going to lead to a radical reorganisation of marketing; that we will have to change from frontal cortex decision-making companies to algorithmic ones. “AI is not just heading for our industry, it’s going to pass right through our backyard,” he added.

Virtual reality and beyond

AI also made an appearance along La Croisette with a personal robot called Pepper winning visitors over, but elsewhere technologies grabbing attention largely surrounded virtual reality (VR).

Google Cardboard won the mobile Grand Prix, despite not being an actual mobile initiative per se, but an enabler for it. Speakers said there was no longer any doubt VR would be successful; the question more is when is it going to reach mass adoption?

SapientNitro introduced its new VR experience designed specifically for shopping. Created as a retail prototype, it’s an immersive piece of content that takes the user on a virtual journey to The Apartment by The Line store, in New York’s Soho. Success, said the team, comes down to storytelling.

New content formats

Creating content for VR might be one thing up ahead of us, but the here and now, according to Cannes Lions, is about big growth platforms including Tinder and Snapchat. Founders of both apps took to the stage to talk about creativity, new consumption habits, and how to be unique with what you do.

Sean Rad of Tinder said consumers arrive in the frame of mind that they’re willing to absorb content, and seemingly that includes content from brands. He called on the audience to create things that are new, exciting and unique, that will encourage users to swipe right and opt-in for relationships with them.

Calls to action

Further rally cries from the podium focused on calling upon the power of the audience and their own connections to help achieve greater goals. It was about public health from Jamie Oliver; poverty through to climate change from Richard Curtis and Sir John Hegarty; and cyber-bullying from Monica Lewinsky.

The latter referred to herself as “patient zero” in the new blood sport of viral online shaming. She asked the industry to help change that culture; to determinedly move away from a click-baiting model buoyed by public humiliation, where the media entities benefit from a revenue perspective, and the damaged individuals left behind are forgotten. It was one of the most powerful sessions of the week, and the only full standing ovation of the year.

Female empowerment

Gender equality was another big part of Richard Curtis and Sir John Hegarty’s Global Goals Campaign, a worldwide initiative aimed at raising awareness of the United Nations’ “to-do list for the planet”.

Women as a focus carried through the rest of the week too – from Grand Prix campaign winners like Always’ Like a Girl and Under Armour’s I Will What I Want, featuring Gisele, to yet more speakers on stage addressing the role of women. Meanwhile, actress Samantha Morton and Dazed founder Jefferson Hack introduced their Female Firsts Film Fund, which aims to help more female directors source funding for their first and second feature movies.

Vulnerability and naivety

Each year at Cannes Lions brings new schools of thought around how to inspire creativity. Failing fast, taking risk and creating white space for ideas have all been key buzz phrases in the past. According to experiential artist Emilie Baltz, this year it’s about going out to embarrass yourself. “Think about one place you feel vulnerable and try to do 1 per cent of it. Putting yourself in a place of that discomfort often means you’re there before others. It’s a place of innovation,” she said.

Ben Jones, CTO at AKQA, turned instead to inspiration from children. He urged the crowd to seek naivety, to ask questions, and to become a deliberate beginner.

Intention as the new authenticity

Pharrell Williams was one of the headline celebrity names on the schedule (Kim Kardashian, and Adrian Grenier being others), bringing with him a message about intention over anything else. He said intent should be the number one ingredient in any of your work. “It’s intention that makes consumers feel something,” he emphasised,

But it was Marilyn Manson, a man who chose his stage name, his look, wrote his autobiography and even booked his first venue before he had written a song, who spoke to authenticity more than anyone else. He reminded us there’s nothing more important than being real. “Consumers see through the fake faster than ever these days,” he explained.

This piece first on The Drum

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#SXSW musings: is Tinder the next marketing opportunity?


You might remember Gap launched a micro-series on Instagram for the spring season. Tied to that for Valentine’s Day was a campaign on dating app Tinder that invited users to its “Pants Party” before offering 30% off denim styles.

What was intended as a fun, guerrilla marketing idea, quickly got nixed by the app for being an “unauthorised violation of its terms of service”.

It’s interesting this week then to see Tinder back in the spotlight from a marketing perspective, and this time at SXSW. Needless to say the app gets heavy usage at a festival that pulls in over 30,000 people, but those coming across a 25-year-old woman called Ava this weekend might have been sorely disappointed.

Ava is in fact a Swedish actress called Alicia Vikander who plays the role of an artificial intelligence in a new movie that premiered at the festival last night called Ex Machina. The whole campaign is done in an incredibly clever way, hinting at what it feels like to be a human as well as directing the user to Instagram where the actual ads for the film exist.

It’s a timely fit given artificial intelligence is emerging as one of the big trends from the event so far (heavily discussed in sessions on the one hand, while protested about outside the convention centre on the other). But it’s the usage of Tinder particularly that’s so genius.

We’re not suggesting brands should all place a fake profile on the platform to drive people to their content elsewhere, but certainly take inspiration from some outside of the box thinking related to an app that has so much relevance in daily consumer lives.

After all, while the social buzz at SXSW might be about live streaming app Meerkat, we guarantee you there are a greater number of people on the ground swiping through their Tinder matches day to day.

This post first appeared on

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Topshop plays out Tinder date in Valentine’s Day campaign

Topshop and Topman are playing on the theme of modern-day online dating with a new short campaign dedicated to Valentine’s Day.

The British retailers have co-released a three-minute film called Valentine’s Dilemmas, which explores all of the issues that come ahead of a first date. There’s the awkard Tinder chatting, the multiple different outfits to choose from, the working out how to greet each other when you first meet, and more.

All in, it’s pretty cute; both characters sharing the thoughts inside their head more than what they’re saying out loud to each other.

It also comes with an editorial page showcasing certain looks for different kinds of dates, from the posh dinner to the cinema trip. Each are fully shoppable.


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Digital snippets: Matthew Williamson, Gap, Amazon, Instagram, Wanelo, Tinder

A round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech:


  • ‘Is it scalable? I think it has to be,’ Matthew Williamson head of digital on customer acquisition through Instagram [The Drum]
  • Amazon launches #AmazonCart (#AmazongBasket), a new way to shop without leaving Twitter [TNW]
  • Fashion world sashays to Instagram for brand-building [FT]
  • Wanelo profiled: like mall browsing, with a click [NY Times]
  • Meet the new wave of Tinder-like shopping apps [Fashionista]
  • Stylect, the Tinder for shoes, finds you a perfect pair [Co.Design]
  • Study shows prevalence of consumer ‘webrooming’; more people researching online and buying in local stores [AdWeek]
  • Tracking is dead: the next wave of wearables is context [re/code]
  • Millennial-focused marketers start to dig in to new SnapChat video feature [AdWeek]
  • Must see: colour-changing fabric uses heat sensitive technology to react to sound files and its surrounds [PSFK]
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Digital snippets: Michael Kors, Rebecca Minkoff, Vivienne Tam, Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen

From New York to London, and everything in between, here’s a mega round-up of all the latest stories surrounding fashion and tech…


  • Rebecca Minkoff gives inside look at fashion week with Keek app [Mashable]
  • Vivienne Tam’s WeChat partnership delivers NYFW front-row access [Jing Daily]
  • Marc Jacobs opens fashion week pop-up that accepts Tweets as payment (as pictured) [Fashionista]
  • Zac Posen curated a Spotify playlist for his new lookbook [Styleite]
  • Alexander Wang showed colour-changing clothes during fashion week []
  • Warby Parker tops list of top 10 retail innovators [Fast Company]
  • London Fashion Week: Nokia and Fyodor Golan create ‘world’s first’ smart skirt [Marketing]
  • Net-a-Porter puts its fashion sense on paper in new print magazine [BrandChannel]
  • Miu Miu unveils ‘Spark and Light’ short film [WWD]
  • Sass & Bide launches 360-degree shoppable ad [PSFK]
  • Bloomingdale’s hosts live-styling event on Instagram to drive interaction [Luxury Daily]
  • The new Moda Operandi app is like Tinder for designer clothes [NY Observer]
  • Instagram is shaping up to be the world’s most powerful selling tool [Forbes]
  • Seven ways retailers are embracing tech, from body scanning to digital wallets [AdAge]
  • What’s so alluring about a woman known as Man Repeller? [NY Mag]