Stylus Curve editor Charlie Gilbert gives us a round-up of trends explored London’s YMS17 and how brands want to enhance our daily lives.
In the marketing world, the pressure’s on. As explored at YMS 2017, brands want to do more than engage with us; they want to enhance our daily lives. They’ve come to terms with the fact that consumers no longer want to see actual ads – and some, in response, are disappearing altogether.
This concept of ‘invisible’ marketing was one of the past week’s most talked-about developments. Stylus’ head of Media & Marketing Christian Ward, who’s just published a report on the subject, believes that brands should concentrate on being useful by essentially becoming a utility.
One brand that appears to be taking heed is Airbnb, which is bidding to become the go-to home-sharing service in China by ditching its name. It will soon be known as ‘Aibiying’ in the country, where it currently trails far behind its main competitor, Tujia.
Gucci, meanwhile, recently launched a collection of memes to promote its Le Marché des Merveilles watches range. By tasking meme makers with creating visuals and witty captions, the fashion house appears to have taken a step away from traditional advertising.
Even publicity-hungry brands appear to be changing tack. Paddy Power, whose name has previously been emblazoned across footballers’ underpants and hills in the Cotswolds, last week confirmed its intention to hire a “head of Trump betting”. They’ll be in charge of the bookmaker’s new ‘hub’ of special bets related to the outspoken US president – in addition to keeping track of his “general idiocy”.
Others, however, are trying to become more visible. JustEat, for example, has established a physical presence at Morrisons’ Victoria Shopping Centre store in Bradford, where it gives diners the choice of dining in or taking out. It’s the first partnership of its kind in the UK – and while it’s not necessarily ‘invisible’, it is an example of an established brand trying to become more useful.