Each week the PSFK research team studies for the latest signs of cultural change and marketing, brand and CX innovation – and we pour these patterns into our weekly newsletters on Thursdays. This week, instead of dashing off to the south of France, we share clusters of ideas around the (continued) power & influence of pop-ups, how AI is automating creativity, and selling to shoppers while they shop.
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Leveraging Retailer-Owned Media Networks
Advertising and shopping have both seen a huge shift towards digital domination, and the pandemic only served to accelerate that. Yet only recently did the two disciplines begin to merge in very interesting ways. Armed with robust troves of first-party data, companies have begun to leverage their customer audiences and establish their own media networks. New research shows that not only do these emerging media networks give brands more control over content, but they also provide richer, more tangible insights about whether or not advertising has been successful, as well as deepen customer relationships through enhanced targeting and messaging.
Target's Circle Program provides rich back-end for media strategy
Using loyalty-focused insights to supercharge in-house media solutions and drive greater personalization at scale for brands like LEGO, Starbucks, Hasbro, PepsiCo, and more by selling smarter to its own repeat shoppers is just one way Target is creating mutually beneficial solutions for both its customers and business partners. Read More
Marriott becomes first hospitality brand to launch a media network
Marriott, which operates over 30 brands internationally, is taking advantage of its unique positioning and scale to debut the hospitality industry’s first global omnichannel media network. The new solution will offer curated content to travelers and guests throughout every touchpoint of their Marriott-property travel journey, including in-room screens and televisions. PSFK
Home Depot turns ecosystem touch points into vendor media platform
Retail Media+ from the Home Depot is a full-service advertising and media network solution to help the brand’s third-party vendors, like Behr paint, Scott's Miracle-Gro, Boise Cascade, and more drive sales and promote products both online and in-store that are beneficial to Home Depot and its shoppers. Read More
Read More: A PSFK Guide to Retail as Media
Discover 5 strategies for utilizing retail media networks to deliver against better loyalty, advertising and consumer experience programs. Driving Revenue With Retail Media
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AI Is The New Creative Director
Innovations in AI technology are heralding a new form of image-making and creative expression. Similar to the increasing digitization of the fashion industry, these tools herald a cultural shift similar to the invention of the camera, later the digital camera, and will introduce a large expansion in the volume of produced imagery. From individual, artistic projects to fully commercialized editorial exercises, AI-powered automated systems represent an exciting new frontier of creative ideation.
Cosmopolitan Magazine cover turns to AI for latest cover art work
Cosmo became one of the first major print publications to tap OpenAI’s Dall-E 2 image generator to design its cover art, which features a purple-shaded astronaut on the moon. Trained on around 650 million images, Dall-E 2 can generate a wholly original image from a simple text prompt in a matter of seconds – taking just 20 seconds to create the special magazine issue’s cover. Cosmo
Product aesthetics taken to new extremes with AI concepts
In a project to explore the form of the camera, photographer Mathieu Stern has tapped the Dall-E image generator. Using imaginative text prompts, Stern created a medley of pop-culture and physical object mashups, specifically cameras, that radically rethink how products are designed. Mathieu Stern
AI deep learning is turning the internet into a paintbrush
Vox covers how advances in AI research have created deep-learning models capable of generating original images from specifically curated text prompts. The tools remove the requirement for technical labor from the process of image-making. Researchers at OpenAI, Google, Meta, and other companies have developed image-generation tools that are not yet available to the public, while similar models have proliferated online in the open source arena. Vox
Adobe Photoshop integrates new AI tools for smarter design
Neural filters and content-aware AI tools are powering up the Adobe experience for creatives, making once-technically-onerous tasks like refreshing old and torn photos or removing objects and unwanted photobombers from images a seamless experience even for self-described amateurs. Adobe
New: Proprietary Insights from PSFK Quant Surveys
The Art Of The Pop-Up Product Pitch
Retailers and brands are taking advantage of popular summer events and warmer weather to promote their products and activate new approaches for discovery. In-person, experiential and guided discovery shortens the path to purchase. Not to dissimilar in practice to the idea of a product drop, by placing pop-ups in locations and geographies people trust, companies can create what are essentially billboards for consumers to walk into and engage with.
Peter Thomas Roth sells at Sephora using branded ice cream trucks
Skincare brand Peter Thomas Roth’s “Mask for Every Task” campaign is being promoted with branded ice cream cart pop-up trucks parked outside of select high-traffic NYC Sephora locations. The trucks offer complimentary applications of the brand’s face masks and “hero product” eye gel patches throughout this month and the next. More Info
Product Guru's pop-up series connects smaller brands with UK retailers
Brand discovery platform Product Guru is curating a series of POP tech-powered concept stores in London to bring its online service, connecting brands and retailers, into the real world. Each of the stores will be open for six days this fall, and merchandised like a retail store, but they will only be open to retail industry insiders. Product Guru
Snap and Vogue bring virtual try-on AR exhibition to Cannes
Snap and Vogue together are unveiling a pop-up at Cannes that features a virtual fashion try-on experience with pieces from Balenciaga, Dior, Gucci, Kenneth Ize, Stella McCartney, Richard Quinn, Stella McCartney and Versace. The experience will be held at the Centre d’art La Malmaison, as well as be accessible to Snapchatters around the globe via the Cannes Map Marker in the Snap Map, or Dress Up tab in Lens Explorer. Snap
H&M opens Hotel Hennes experience in Manhattan’s Lower East Side
“Hotel Hennes,” a fictitious hotel featured in H&M's summer campaign, is now a three-day pop up experience in NYC open today through Saturday. Designed to attract Gen Zers and Millennials, and located in lower Manhattan, visitors to the activation will be able to “check-in” to the hotel for an hour, or for the evening. The hotel-themed pop up will have a variety of experiences including a cafe, photo studio, and rooftop bar. Hotel Hennes