Hive Five: Apr. 11, 2017

Every week, MMC’s “hive” of trend spotters share their top five up-and-coming digital, tech, social, and cultural trends to watch.


pepsi adPepsi Falls Flat

Pepsi’s painfully tone-deaf commercial featuring Kendall Jenner was the collective groan heard round the world last week. The much-reviled ad has since been taken down, and Pepsi has issued an official apology, but not before the internet lashed back with their own creative from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s daughter, Bernice King to a parody sketch from SNL.

The ad, created by an in-house homogenous team, demonstrates the need for diversity in the creation process and the need for outside counsel, from agencies or otherwise who can advise brands on how their approach might be received.

Millennials have unbelievably high authenticity meters, and are looking for brands who jump into conversations in a meaningful way-which is why they immediately called foul on Pepsi’s shallow attempt to capitalize on a trend instead of helping the movement. There’s a significant difference in brands appropriating social justice movements and standing for them. Which side will your brand be on?


geocachingGeocaching in the Age of Activism

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

Shia Labeouf recently live streamed a flag with the words, ‘He Will Not Divide Us’ from a secret location, intending to stream for the duration of the administration in protest. 4Chan, an anarchical online community, was challenged by the undisclosed nature of the stunt and set out to discover the flag’s location. Beginning with a tip that Labeouf was in Tennessee, users mapped aeronautical contrails on the live stream (vapors left by commercial aircraft) against flight patterns and triangulated the camera’s position. The breakthrough came when an astronomical 4Channer identified the passage of a bright star against the camera’s nightscape and using its position against Polaris (the North Star) narrowed the camera’s position to the length of a city block. 4Chan then stole the flag in a daring raid. Challenge fans to solve problems, work together, and achieve shareable goals that are infectiously cleverly

While not a branded movement, this event offers an interesting angle to live streaming as a way to challenge consumers and fans to solve problems, work together and achieve shareable goals that are infectiously witty and fun.



friendship braceletsToken of Friendship: Return of the BFF

The 90s have been having a resurgence in entertainment, fashion and beauty. The newest iteration of this is BFF collectibles.

Millennial-geared retailers like Urban Outfitters are pushing friendship bracelets while brands like Bath and Body Works are tapping into this trend with new hand mermaid BFF PocketBac hand sanitizers.

“Friendship” bracelets are known for their crafty, handmade, DIY feel, which provides millennials with the DIY look without the work. They’re customizable and emphasize real world connections during a time when online shallow friendships run rampant.

Brands can capitalize on this by using their brand to celebrate IRL friendships and join BFFs together.



fashion trendsShifting Away From Tradition

Recently fashion brands have been saying goodbye to tradition and heritage for innovation with some even announcing their departure from traditional fashion cities like Paris for Zurich, a more diverse mix of art, fashion, and subculture.

Progression around fashion technology in Paris has been minimal, and an exodus is occurring from Zurich to Portugal- with style that promises newness to an audience tired by anything that lacks novelty.

Innovation is king and rather than trickle down this truth has trickled up from mass-market brands like H&M and Zara to the most expensive and coveted brands in the world looking for a way to keep their audience’s attention.




memesHigh Fashion Meets Memes

To celebrate the launch of their new watch line, Gucci commissioned a series of Memes featuring their new watch entitled #TFWGucci. A mass media approach to a high-end product.

Coinciding with Baselworld, the international watch fair, these memes utilized international artists to develop original imagery featuring Le Marché des Merveilles timepieces. #TFWGucci “That Feel When Gucci”. The result is a curated collection of captioned art by meme-makers including Amanda Charchian, Olaf Breuning, Less and Christto & Andrew, designed to help viewers express themselves online.

A brand like Gucci, mixing luxury with a typically scrappy form of creative, and tying into a relevant trend or point in time can help garner unexpected attention from media. This intentional change in brand tone can assist brands in breaking through the noise and capture the attention of new types of media and consumers.