Dear Distinguished Subscribers,

Welcome to the 56th Edition of Stuffed.

Leaves changing colours, pumpkin spice, bonfires, September, Bake Off…yes, it’s officially Autumn folks and whilst there may be shortages of soup (more on that later) and the temperature may not quite have dropped to “sweater weather”, we’re looking forward to the season ahead. Keep your eyes peeled on our socials for some appropriately September themed activity happening in the coming week.

Now onto this week’s Stuffed. In this edition, we question why designer brands have suddenly partnered up with gaming platforms, the Vikings give the Danish Road Safety Council a helping hand in encouraging road safety and we dive into the “Metraverse”.

If you haven’t already done so, you can subscribe to Stuffed here.

Happy reading and stay safe everyone.

From your friends at Goodstuff.

STUFFED WITH CULTURE

It probably hasn’t escaped your notice that lots of weirdness are happening in the economy at the moment – and it’s all related to the problems of getting stuff from one place to another, more commonly referred to as the Global Supply Chain. Gas shortages are causing chaos in the energy market, used car prices are sky high because there’s a shortage in transistors, and my local supermarket has a definite shortage of tinned soup. Luckily, there’s a Twitter thread to help at least explain what’s going on – even if there’s not much we can do about it.

It’s Friday, winter is on the way, we’re still in this bloody pandemic and you can’t get hold of soup. Why not allow yourself a moment of pointless internet distraction? First up we have Marvel Character or Font – and see if you can beat our “peak nerd” score of 16/20. Or failing that, have a browse of this site of niche museums – and be amazed at the levels of enthusiasm and knowledge there are for things you scarcely knew existed.

Luxury fashion retailers selling £900 jumpers, and cartoon video games might not seem like natural partners; but Louis VuittonGucci, and now Balenciaga are all creating partnerships with free-to-play video games – clearly, something is going on. Perhaps it’s a natural extension of hype culture, which has brought a valuable young audience to high fashion who can’t be reached in their print heartlands. Or maybe gaming is being tested as a bridge into the burgeoning world of NFTs. Whatever’s happening, it’s a fascinating development.

STUFFED WITH CREATIVITY

The Anti-poaching Foundation raise money with old rope

If you want to help raise funds for the International Anti-poaching Foundation (IAPF) in Southern Africa, all you have to do is buy an old boot. Through an online shop, the IAPF is auctioning off actual items collected from anti-poaching camps in Africa, telling real stories about defending endangered animals.

Danish Road Safety Council pillage advice from Viking ancestors

The Danish Road Safety Council has enlisted the help of &Co to get Danes wearing bicycle helmets. The campaign reminds Danes that helmets have always been a good idea, ever since the Vikings. Featuring a takeover of The National Museum, hopefully, riders will be wearing helmets for years to come.

RNIB proves there’s little in store for the partially sighted 

Last month, the Royal National Institute of Blind People and The&Partnership created a pop-up shop, Whatsin Store, to highlight the issues of shopping when partially sighted. Every item was completely blank leaving shoppers confused and frustrated, not knowing what they were buying, something blind people deal with every day.

4Creative make Bake Off bigger than ever 

Bake off is back! This time they’re transforming boring spaces into massive mouth-watering cakes. Mirroring the shows TV teasers; the white cliffs of Dover, a busy motorway and now a building site in Glasgow have all been transformed into 3D cakes. 4Creative really knows how to make some tasty OOH.

STUFFED WITH COMMS

Non-commercial and commercial broadcasters are closer to bringing a combined CTV platform to market.

There is a new connected TV platform due to launch imminently after an agreement has been finalised between broadcasters including The BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5. This new CTV platform will be a space where all content will be available and grouped into genre categories, along with links to each broadcaster’s platform to stream separately. The broadcasters are in negotiations with new smart TV manufacturers trying to come up with a deal so they can appear on smart TV remotes similar to Roku, putting themselves front of mind vs the other streaming services which are currently growing their share of viewing in the video space. There’s already BritBox in the market which includes a joint venture amongst ITV, Ch4, and BBC where viewers pay monthly subscriptions to watch their content, but this will now be expanding even further to include Channel 5. This new opportunity is definitely something to look out for, where these broadcasters are finally putting themselves in the ring to compete against CTV market-leading platforms Rakuten and Roku, as well as the SVOD Netflix and Disney+ giants. 

The Metraverse

Escapism has slowly but surely traversed from TV to digital, where we now find ourselves literally absorbed in alternative realities, whether that be through virtual online gaming, virtual reality sessions, or even esports.

Social media and display platforms still dominate the virtual space, however, these middle ground platforms are becoming ever more mainstream. With this, comes virtual marketplaces in which to accessorise your digital self. A great example of this is the case of the sale of a digital pair of trainers earlier this year, which raised $3.1 million in seven minutes. This highlights the vast potential of the metraverse as a very powerful economic player.

In terms of advertising potential, the metraverse opens up a whole new audience for brands, such as “the 17-year-old who can’t yet afford a designer watch [but who] can buy one for their avatar”(Campaign, Sep 21, 2021, Sue Unerman). It will demand a new medium of digital advertising, as a campaign fit for Facebook will not be fit for purpose on the metraverse. But with this brings new challenges and opportunities, and the potential for fully-immersive brand experiences.

Thanks for tuning in to the 56th edition of Stuffed, we’ll see you next week.