June 20, 2023
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4 mins

Live from Cannes: Wednesday, June 21st

An evolving creator economy, Chipotle Doppelgängers, Patagonia v. The North Face, and more

Vibe check 

“There’s a feeling of boundless optimism powered by innovation, creativity, and seeing around corners with all things AI,” Aaron Kwittken, CEO and founder of PRophet told me about the vibes on the beach Wednesday. 

“There is a lot of buzz around TikTok and the next gen creator economy. And, of course, Stagwell is bringing fandom to the forefront by surfacing the intersectionality of athletes, brand, and cultural currency at Sport Beach.” 

It’s 80 degrees and sunny on the beaches of Cannes, and the awards have been streaming in. 

Some notable Grand Prix winners from the last two nights include Eurofarma’s “Scrolling Therapy” app that helps people with Parkinsons practice facial therapy while scrolling social media; Nike’s “Never Done Evolving” campaign featuring Serena Williams for their 50th anniversary; and British Airways’ collaboration with Uncommon on a sprawling campaign that taps into the reasons why people travel. 

And tonight, Creative B2B Lions, Creative Data Lions, Social & Influencer Lions, Direct Lions, Media Lions, and PR Lions are up next.  

Brand Battle 

The North Face v. Patagonia

Every day this week, we are pulling two big brands hosting events at Cannes and looking into the emotional associations consumers have with each using data from Harris Brand Platform. Today, let’s see how The North Face and Patagonia stack up against one another.

Graph showing how people view The North Face vs. Patagonia.
Harris BrandPlatform. 1/1/2023–6/11/2023. Base: affluent Millennial and Gen X men. TheNorth Face n=2,344; Patagonia, n=362.

For affluent millennial and Gen X men, Patagonia resonates as more socially conscious, unconventional, and trustworthy in comparison to The North Face. In the reverse, The North Face is viewed as more dependable, practical, and younger than Patagonia. 

For a company that really built its brand on its socially conscious production, it’s surprising that Patagonia won over The North Face by only 6.5% percentage points. 

If anything, this just shows the standards buyers in this market have for their clothing and gear producers—people who hike, camp, and spend time outdoors will require more value alignment when it comes to the gear they use to perform those activities. 

Brand spotlight 

Kami

Down Syndrome International and Forsman & Bodenfors are shortlisted for a PR Lion in the Social Engagement & Influencer Marketing vertical for their collaboration on Kami: the first virtual influencer with Down Syndrome.

“I’m not real,” says the text that scrolls across the Kami launch video. “But I’m made from hundreds of real women with the common mission to make the digital world a place where everyone truly belongs.” 

Kami was created as a composite from over 100 women with Down Syndrome by The Diigitals, a groundbreaking all digital modeling agency.  

“Generating the initial concept of Kami from an algorithm, more than the touch of a human hand, eliminated any notion of unconscious beauty bias in the character creation process,” Cameron James-Wilson, CEO of The Diigitals told Muse. “We really wanted Kami's DNA to represent all the faces and aspects of these women with Down syndrome, which the program allowed us to do.”

While the virtual influencer world is still burgeoning, there are fears that growing partnerships with influencers created by machines will make beauty standards even more toxic and unachievable. 

Down Syndrome International wants to tap into the growing market for virtual influencers and create a space where the opposite is true: Through Kami, followers will get the chance to see how a person with Down Syndrome lives, creating more space for folks with Down Syndrome to share and highlight their own stories. 

Chipotle

One scoop of white rice, one scoop of brown rice, black and pinto beans, sofritas, lettuce, hot & medium salsa on the side, and a bag of chips. 

That’s my Chipotle order. 

And if I happened to order it at the same exact time as someone else, I would get an email from Chipotle telling me I had a Chipotle Doppelgänger. 

I know what you’re thinking: There’s no way someone in the world could order my exact Chipotle order at the exact same time as me. Impossible! 

Well Chipotle, with the help of Gale, proved that not only is it possible, it’s probable. 

The resulting campaign is shortlisted in the Creative Data category in the Data-Enhanced Creativity vertical.

466,000 Chipotle Doppelgängers appeared in just the first four weeks of the campaign. The resulting email click rate? 176% above benchmark, and the doppelgängers delivered $4.6M in revenue.

“Turns out you don’t need big offers or discounts to get people to open your emails. You just need a technically elaborate and oddly delightful insult to remind you you’re not special, and someone in St. Louis just ate your burrito,” Gale’s case study summed it up. 

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