Back and Forth 
  • Here are the best ads from 2016! It is hard to argue with 1 & 3: ‘Evan’ packs a punch… Forbes largely agrees, with some notable additions.
  • This Facebook video, courtesy of WeAreSocial, is quite clever.
  • recap of 2016’s major trends. This piece echoes the sentiment seen across most outlets that it was Snap’s year. This Guardian article claims that 2016 was when Facebook became the bad guy…
  • Looking into the new year, SocialTimes outlines how Spectacles will affect influencer marketing; a return to unboxing…
  • The Washington Post has made some predications around what will sell in 2017. Amongst food and toys they have a piece on fashion – 80s silhouettes and ‘Athluxury’ apparently.
  • The Minnesota Wild NHL team have started using Spectacles, offering fans direct access to the locker room and dugout
  • 8 tech trends that retailers need to embrace for 2017. Two cents? Voice has been hugely undervalued – except by Amazon. (Talking of which, food services are there already, e.g. ordering Pizza Hut via Alexa.)
  • Lastly, in case you missed it, Sparks & Honey, JWT, and Ogilvy all created trend reports for 2017 – find them here!

Tech Corner

Amazon opened their first grocery store, ‘Amazon Go’, in Seattle and it is cashless. Proprietary software detects when items have been taken from the shelves and then applies the amount to your Amazon account when you walk out. (Interestingly, Rebecca Minkoff is trialling something similar.) Next, 30.9% of all spending over Cyber weekend was on Amazon. Best Buy was in second place with 7.4%.

Snapchat has added a group chat function for up to 16 people (at last!). The Minnesota Wild NHL team have started using Spectacles, offering fans direct access to the locker room and dugout. Google has launched a ‘Trusted Contacts‘ app, that allows your nearest and dearest to check your phone’s status, i.e. are you using it, or has it run out of batteries. It might make it hard to avoid your Mother’s calls… Next, emoji search: if you tweet, say, a taco icon to @Google they will return food options in your location!

Instagram has introduced ‘Save it for later‘, letting viewers save images to a private folder. This is seen as a direct challenge to Pinterest. VREverything you need to knowabout Oculus Touch (but were too afraid to ask). Google used VR to let customers tour the world-famous NYC Holiday window displays. Starbucks is accepting Bitcoin payments through its app. Could this be the break that the digital currency has been waiting for?

Small But Important

  • Wunderman have produced a video report that unveils a new concept ‘Wantedness‘. It believes that companies must now prove that they really want a customer’s business. There are a number of themes, not least personalization and space.
  • Revolve introduced both a grooming and beauty shop. As with core lines it is a branded play, of which there is a decent variety. Also, they have now started offering free 2 day shipping as standard.
  • Amazon continues its push into fashion, issuing new brands (e.g. ‘Buttoned Down‘). Speculation also that they will buy American Apparel. Next target? Private label food via ‘Wickedly Prime‘.
  • We have seen an attack on Instagram stylists and now it appears that make-up artists are hitting back at their online counterparts.
  • In 2017 74% of major US companies will use Instagram, overtaking the 61% who Tweet. (Other stats included.)
  • The bane of parents everywhere, here are details about the very modern multi-channel product launch that generated the success of ‘Hatchimals’.
  • Sweetgreen is going fully cashless in all 60-odd stores in 2017.
  • Aerie sent an interesting Christmas email inviting recipients to ditch their phones and have a ‘digital detox‘. No shopping! A far cry from Gap’s ‘51% off‘ your order.
  • adidas have launched a shoe with a mid-sole that is 3D printed. They can be bought for $333! This, hot on the heels of their new 5th Avenue ‘Brand Flagship’. You can read more about it here. (Ahem.)
  • To coincide with their own store opening in Soho, Nike have launched a series about ‘cities’ – the US one is NYC (here) and celebrates athletes affiliated with the city, cultural hubs, and exercise options.
  • Under Armour will produce MLB uniforms from next season onwards, replacing Majestic. This follows base layer and cleat deals.
  • This incredible list outlines those companies who have already committed to Superbowl LI – a 30 second slot costs $5m… Also, a leaked document shows thatSnapchat are charging similar sums, following Gatorade’s success last year.
  • Rag & Bone will work with Google to produce a ‘behind the scenes’ NY Fashion Week VR experience.
  • Chance the Rapper made history when his album ‘Coloring Book’ became the first stream-only album to be nominated for a Grammy.
  • Nintendo brought Mario to the iPhone. ‘Super Mario Run’ is a glorious return to their NES gameplay style.
  • Tinder have created a TV app. Yup.
  • In an amusing move, Ikea renamed products after commonly Googled relationship issues. For example, their ‘Hemnes’ 1-person daybed was renamed ‘My partner snores’. Check them out at the bottom of each page.