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Kidulting, The Skinnovation Index, and Walmart Expands Drone Delivery

PLUS: Archetypes comes to NYC!
December 21, 2022

Welcome to Wednesday, futurists. Today may be the shortest day of the year, but we’re not wasting daylight. We’re busy gearing up to bring an Archetypes experience to NYC during the NRF Big Show. 

Following the success of our sold-out event at Art Basel, we’re partnering with our friends at Industry West as a three-day-only pop-up event.

Join us January 15-17 as we bring Archetypes to life at the SoHo showroom of Industry West at 14 Crosby St. Discover your archetype live and in-person, hold our Journal, and peruse our elevated merchandise.

Can’t wait? Pick up a copy of the Journal, or our elevated merchandise, such as a cozy jacquard-weave blanket or a rocks glass. All of it is available now, and shipping same-day, over on

I CAN Kidult Today. The toy industry is having a strange boom, driven by adults buying toys… which isn’t that unusual. The difference now is that they are buying the toys for themselves, not kids. This group of consumers referred to as “kidults” account for a fourth of toy sales each year, and Mattel has started creating toy lines specifically for adults.

Drone Deliveries. Walmart has expanded its drone-based last-mile delivery beyond Northwest Arkansas into Arizona, Florida, and Texas.

More Sights & Sounds. Breaking: Epic Games will refund $245M to customers who were tricked into online purchases through “dark patterns.” Fast Company has predicted marketing trends for 2023, noting traditional methods may be the direction things are headed. 3M has committed to stop producing “forever chemicals” by the end of 2025. Warner Music Group is partnering with DressX to give artists the capability to create digital fashion wearables. An iPhone satellite SOS system saved a couple whose car fell 300 feet into a canyon. Digital collectibles are where it's at, and Adam Brotman who helped create Starbucks Odyssey talked about it in an interview with Fast Company. Wired talks about taming ChatGPT. Teens in the Luddite Club in Brooklyn are freeing themselves from the chains of smartphones and social media. Gen Z is shopping at Goodwill for low-cost clothing and homewares, but donations are down making that a tough order to fulfill. Here’s an overview of the Amazon x Rivian electric delivery vehicle in all its detail. Holiday music is all part of the curated shopping experience, and Bloomberg has charted out how early retailers started playing it this season. Walmart rolls out text-to-shop (and Phillip signs up for Walmart+). Google Play is letting kids send purchase requests to the owner of the family account. CEOs of big firms and investors from midsize companies seem split on their optimism about the economy. Elon Musk took a Twitter Poll on whether or not he should step down as head of the platform. And finally, go vote for your favorite headline of the year.

When They Go Lo, We Go Hi. The return of the hi/lo brand pairings is in full-swing. Luxury matched up with an unexpected partner once again when Prada and Candy Crush joined together for a mini-game that launched on Thanksgiving. The campaign to spotlight a new fragrance, Prada Candy, bumped up sales and increased weekly traffic by 1,813%. This is more evidence that mobile gaming is recession-proof, or that very low numbers can create large growth multiples. 

  • Our Take: Alex Greifeld partnered with Future Commerce to create the “Skinnovation Index” in 2021. This Prada activation seems like a low-lift, low-return, low-brow way to activate the brand. Digital luxury experiences deserve more careful consideration than pattern-matching games. But where else do you stare at a luxury logo for 2-3 hours between sips of eggnog? 

    This could be an interesting pilot before the economy dips, as mobile gaming is
    darned-near recession-proof. During the global financial crisis in 2008, Zynga's revenue grew significantly as more people turned to mobile gaming as a form of entertainment. This trend was also seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, when many people were unable to engage in their usual leisure activities due to lockdowns and social distancing measures, and mobile gaming saw a surge in popularity as a result.

    Prada is no stranger to digital activations; this year they rolled out a pilot program with Aura to authenticate products on the blockchain.

The Ultimate Winter Butter Board. Burton and Cabot Creamery have collabed on a snowboard featuring an image of a butter stick, for the richest ride down the mountain one can find.

Formula Delivery. Bobbie has launched an Uber Eats pilot in Manhattan and is even donating a can of its formula to shelters in NYC to help support asylum seekers.

More Palate News. Starbucks is joining the ranks of companies that support digital tipping. Also, enjoy reading this history of Buca di Beppo — the tacky, boisterous Italian-American restaurant chain filled with Catholic paraphernalia — which was founded by a Lutheran American.

Worrisome Wagers. Gambling problems are increasing among young men as sports betting is getting legalized by more and more states and video games contain elements that resemble gambling. This is likely to get worse before it gets better.

Future Fears. Psychology Today is theorizing that Gen Z’s high levels of depression and anxiety could be due to previous generations overwhelming them with fears about the state of the world and what their future could be.

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