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October 2016

In-Store Immersion Pod

A Bompas & Parr ‘Taste Pod’ experience was recently debuted in the Thorntons store at Westfield Stratford in London. The immersive activation was a multi-sensory experience that required visitors to sit on a stool and emerge their heads into a pod not unlike a foil dryer at the salon. With ambient lighting, music and aromas, the ‘Taste Pod’ enhances the flavors of Thorntons chocolates.

The ‘Taste Pod’ experience debuted the brand’s new Continental Collection, which recently added five new flavors. Guests of the activation are able to take their chocolates home or taste them while immersed in the Bompas & Parr-designed experience.

The Bompas & Parr ‘Taste Pod’ experience at the Thorntons at Westfield London is an example of brands meeting the desire for immersive, digitally powered added value in-stores.



VR Retail-Enabling Platform

With so many brands looking to incorporate more immersive experiences into retail and entertainment markets, the Sixense ‘vRetail’ Digital Shopping Platform is designed to help them do so in an efficient manner.

Designed to enable a virtual peek at goods while in or out of store, the Sixense ‘vRetail’ Digital Shopping Platform is engineered to work with the Oculus Rift, which is a lucrative approach being that the new VR headset from the brand will be released in the next quarter.

Created in collaboration with SapientNitro, the Sixense ‘vRetail’ Digital Shopping Platform could help to expand in-house and out-of-house offerings by retailers to help consumers feel more immersed and tailored to by their favorite brands and retailers.



VR Convenience Stores


Last summer, 7-Eleven opened a up a store equipped with smart tables that provide immersive VR experiences. Over the years, a number of retailers have turned to technology to elevate the shopping experience. Now it seems that convenience stores are using the same approach to draw in new customers.

The 7-Eleven Smart Convenience Store is located on the second floor of the chain’s Chinese Embassy store in Seoul. Unlike other 7-Eleven locations, the high-tech shop is equipped with six smart tables. As part of a partnership with SK Telecom, these tables allow customers to play games, surf the web and watch YouTube videos. One of the tables is also equipped with VR technology that brings up a virtual figure named Hyeri, who is a member of the K-pop group ‘Girl’s Day.’ Customers can then dance along with Hyeri and even take photos with the virtual star.

The high-tech 7-Eleven store demonstrates how even small retailers and convenience chains can leverage new technology to elevate the in-store experience.



Branded Fitness Park Pop-Up


A new Reebok pop-up gym concept recently debuted in London’s Shoreditch Boxpark. The CrossFit obstacle course is an experiential activation that Reebok is calling ‘The Gym is Everywhere.’ The event was organized by Reebok in collaboration with agency M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, while the brand also partnered with UK retailer Whatever It Takes to showcase the new activewear collection at their nearby Shoreditch High Street boutique.

The entertainment-focused branding at the Reebok pop-up includes a stage, large screen playing various brand content and a number of hands-on fitness drills such as a 30-second tire flip sprint. The workouts are led by Reebok ambassadors and aim to get people interested in both the brand’s performance-focused activewear and the CrossFit experience.



Instagram’s new tools allow users to report others considering self-harm

Instagram has developed tools to help people considering self-harm, and as part of the new initiative, Seventeen magazine and Instagram are welcoming everyone with open arms with a new hashtag.

“We listen to mental health experts when they tell us that outreach from a loved one can make a real difference for those who may be in distress,” Instagram said in a release. “At the same time, we understand friends and family often want to offer support but don’t know how best to reach out.”

These tools, which can be used for a variety of mental health-related issues, such as eating disorders, suicidal thoughts and countless others, are available around the world.

Instagram users can report posts they consider to exhibit dangerous behavior. The next time the user uses the app, resources will appear within Instagram, which the social platform designed with the help of over 40 organizations around the world.

In addition to the new tools, Seventeen, Instagram and Hearst Magazine Digital Media teamed up to create the #PerfectlyMe campaign. It encourages Instagram users to celebrate their bodies and continue to redefine body standards in our culture.

“The most amazing thing about social media,” said Seventeen’s editorial director, Michele Promaulayko, “is that it has the power to spread a message exponentially. And surprisingly, positive messages go farther, faster than negative ones.”

“One of Seventeen’s ongoing missions is to encourage girls to feel confident in the skin they’re in,” she said. “That’s why we were so excited to team up with Instagram on #PerfectlyMe, an initiative that encourages girls to broadcast body love.”

Influencers including Ashley Graham and Lauren Giraldo and current Seventeen cover girl, Ariel Winter, have joined in the hashtag. Non-celebrities (y’know, like, real people!) have contributed as well. The #PerfectlyMe initiative wants to collect these like-minded folks under one happy roof.

“Seventeen has an audience of young girls who are vulnerable to these negative messages, but who are banding together to support each other and shift the conversation,” said Promaulayko. “These are girls who are starting body-positivity clubs at their schools and who follow celebs, such as Ashley Graham, who display body confidence.”

“Body-bullying is not just a teen issue—it impacts everyone, guys included,” she said. And even though Seventeen declared Oct. 17 to be Body Confidence Day, “It isn’t just a one-day thing, it’s a movement.”

To join in the body confidence movement, use #PerfectlyMe and post yourself just as you are.

“Seventeen regularly features body-image role models, as we are passionate about empowering our readers and promoting self-acceptance,” said Promaulayko.


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