Each week, the PSFK research team looks for the latest signs of cultural shift and marketing, brand, and CX innovation—and we pour these patterns into our weekly newsletters on Thursdays. Instead of dashing off to the south of France, this week we’re swapping ideas around the (continued) Power & Influence of Pop-ups, how AI is automate creativity, and sell to buyers while they shop.
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Use of retailer’s own media networks
Both advertising and shopping have seen a huge shift toward digital dominance, and the pandemic has only accelerated that. However, it is only recently that the two disciplines have begun to merge in a very interesting way. Armed with solid troves of first-party data, companies have begun to leverage their customer audiences and build their own media networks. New research shows that these burgeoning media networks not only give brands more control over content, but also provide richer, more tangible insights into whether ads have performed or not, and deepen customer relationships through improved targeting and messaging.
Target’s Circle program provides a rich media strategy back-end
Leveraging loyalty-centric insights to optimize internal media solutions and drive greater personalization at scale for brands like LEGO, Starbucks, Hasbro, PepsiCo and more through selling smarter to its own regular customers is just one way Target is developing solutions to mutually benefit both its customers as well as its business partners. Continue reading
Marriott is the first hospitality brand to launch a media network
Marriott, which operates over 30 brands internationally, leverages its unique positioning and scale to showcase the hospitality industry’s first global omnichannel media network. The new solution offers travelers and guests curated content at every touchpoint of their journey to a Marriott property, including in-room screens and TVs. PSFK
Home Depot transforms ecosystem touchpoints into a media platform for vendors
Retail Media+ by the Home Depot is a full-service advertising and media networking solution that helps third-party branded companies like Behr Paint, Scott’s Miracle-Gro, Boise Cascade and others increase sales and promote products both online and in-store beneficial to Home Depot and its buyers. Continue reading
Read more: A PSFK guide for retail as media
Discover 5 strategies for leveraging retail media networks to achieve better loyalty, advertising and consumer experience programs. Increase sales with retail media
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AI is the new creative director
Innovations in AI technology herald a new form of imaging and creative expression. Similar to the increasing digitization of the fashion industry, these tools herald a cultural change similar to the invention of the camera, later the digital camera, and will herald a large expansion in the volume of images produced. From bespoke artistic projects to fully commercialized editorial exercises, AI-powered automated systems represent an exciting new frontier in creative ideation.
The cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine is adapted to AI for the latest cover art
Cosmo was one of the first major print publications to use OpenAI’s Dall-E 2 image generator to design their cover, which features a purple-shaded astronaut on the moon. Trained with around 650 million images, the Dall-E 2 can generate a completely original image from a simple text input in seconds – in just 20 seconds to create the cover of the special issue of the magazine. cosmo
With AI concepts, product aesthetics are raised to a new level
In a project exploring the shape of the camera, photographer Mathieu Stern tapped into the Dall-E image generator. Using imaginative text prompts, Stern created a mix of pop culture mashups and physical objects, especially cameras, that radically rethink the way products are designed. Matthew Stern
AI Deep Learning turns the internet into a paintbrush
Vox covers how advances in AI research have created deep learning models capable of generating original images from specially curated text prompts. The tools remove the need for technical work from the image generation process. Researchers from OpenAI, Google, Meta and other companies have developed image generation tools that are not yet available to the public, while similar models are widely used online in open source. vox
Adobe Photoshop integrates new AI tools for smarter design
Neural filters and content-aware AI tools enhance the Adobe experience for creatives, making once-technically tedious tasks like refreshing old and torn photos or removing objects and unwanted photo bombers from images a seamless experience, even for the self-proclaimed amateur. Adobe
What is retail media and how can it increase sales in store and online?
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The art of pop-up product presentation
Retailers and brands are taking advantage of popular summer events and warmer weather to promote their products and activate new avenues of discovery. Personal, experimental and guided discoveries shorten the path to purchase. In practice, not dissimilar to the idea of a product drop, by placing pop-ups in locations and regions that people trust, businesses can create billboards that consumers can step on and interact with.
Peter Thomas Roth sells at Sephora with branded ice cream carts
Skincare brand Peter Thomas Roth’s Mask for Every Task campaign is promoted with branded ice cream van pop-up trucks parked outside of select high-traffic Sephora locations in NYC. The trucks are offering free uses of the brand’s face masks and “Hero’s Product” eye gel patches this month and 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 technology-enabled concept stores across London to bring its online service connecting brands and retailers to the real world. Each of the stores will be open for six days this fall and will be marketed as a retail store, but they will only be open to retail industry insiders. product guru
Snap and Vogue Bring Virtual AR Try-On Exhibition to Cannes
Snap and Vogue are partnering to unveil a pop-up in Cannes offering a virtual fashion fitting experience featuring pieces from Balenciaga, Dior, Gucci, Kenneth Ize, Stella McCartney, Richard Quinn, Stella McCartney and Versace. The experience takes place at Center d’art La Malmaison and is accessible to Snapchatters around the world via the Cannes map marker in the Snap map or the Dress Up tab in Lens Explorer. snap
H&M opens Hotel Hennes Experience on Manhattan’s Lower East Side
“Hotel Hennes,” a fictional hotel featured in H&M’s summer campaign, is now a three-day pop-up experience in New York, open today through Saturday. Designed to attract Gen Zers and Millennials and located in Lower Manhattan, visitors to the Activation can “check in” at the hotel for an hour or for the evening. The hotel-themed pop-up offers a variety of experiences, including a cafe, photo studio, and rooftop bar. Hotel hen