#Issue 109

Megan Hotson


Welcome to your weekly dose of TooXToo, this week featuring Sports Direct’s new podcast for Ramadan runners, Lay’s brand experience at Coachella, Pokémon x Ecoasia, and Unilever’s inclusive metaverse marathon…

Sports Direct’s podcast for Ramadan runners

Introducing… Sports Direct’s new podcast: ‘Fast enough: Ramadan Running’ – a series designed to guide listeners on how to train safely through Ramadan.

Sports direct want to encourage athletes of all abilities to continue training whilst they fast for Ramadan. The podcast was developed off the back of findings that reported over 80% of those asked in a survey expressed a concern about exercising in a safe way during Ramadan. As well as this, 29% of respondents noted they had access to a lack of information on how to train in a safe manner during Ramadan.

The podcast will consist of four weekly episodes including guest speakers from the British Muslim community, sports journalists, and athletes. The guests will discuss personal experiences and offer various tips and tricks they use to ensure they are training safely during Ramadan. Alongside fitness-based advice, the series will also cover a discussion of faith and its importance for the speakers when it comes to discipline, and their mindset when it comes to fasting.

Retailer Sports Direct is demonstratively promoting inclusivity and equality not just in a sporting sense, but elsewhere too – they are doing this by sharing people’s diverse lived experiences in the form of a podcast. A brand that is able to exhibit this kind of compassion and appreciation for a Muslim audience is going to resonate with the Muslim community preparing for or celebrating this holy month.

Lay’s brand experience at Coachella

Coachella festival ran from the 15th of April to the 24th of April and gave us some pretty great brand experiences to be inspired by. One of these experiences was created by the savoury snack connoisseurs: Lays. Bold, yellow, and moreish rolled into one crisp-themed dome of deliciousness- this pop-up gave all the crisp lovers attending the festival an experience to remember.

Lays cleverly tapped into the foodie reputation that Coachella holds year-to-year, allowing them to level up their mass-market savoury snacks. They had music tents resembling large yellow domes that housed light performances, and exclusive sets for those that attended Coachella. The star of this brand experience, however, was the reservation-only four-course tasting menu offering samples of Coachella-exclusive flavours and dishes.

What is extra-special about the crisps served in Lays “potadomes” is that they were baked less than 24 hours before the festival – bringing festival goers the freshest possible Lays product. These domes also set out to promote their sustainable packaging by showcasing it within, in a fun and playful setting.

Like other brands at the festival, Lays are capitalising on the return to real life music events to promote their product and more eco-oriented bags of crisps. This brand activation from Lays marks the first time that a food brand has had a fully experiential offering and presence at a music festival. Lays hope that they can appeal to the typically younger demographic that attend Coachella who they hope will be receptive to their new eco, compostable packaging.

Pokemon X Ecoasia

A collaboration between Pokémon and Ecosia allowed players to plant trees whilst simultaneously gaming…

Pokémon go teamed up with the search engine provider in celebration of Earth Day to plant a tree for every player who jumped into Pokémon Go on the 23rd April. What was great about this collaboration, is that those who wanted to get involved did not themselves have to necessarily spend their time catching Pokémon. Players could simply walk 5km in the game to have a tree planted on their behalf. The trees that were planted during this event were grown in reforestation and biodiversity hotspots.

Impact Officer, Ruby Au, at Ecosia commented on the collaboration: “Partnering with world-leading companies like Niantic enables us to continue to fund reforestation and biodiversity projects around the world to support communities and invest in our planet for the future.” 

Unilever’s inclusive metaverse marathon

Brands are working to make the metaverse a more diverse and inclusive space. Last year, a global study by the institute of digital fashion documented that 60% of people expressed they experienced a lack of inclusivity in the digital world.

Enter: the Metaverse Marathon, a project by Unilever owned deodorant brand degree that aimed to combat the lack of representation for marginalised communities in the digital world. The virtual event took place on the platform Decentraland on the 26th of April, and covered 26.2 virtual miles of the Vegas City Sports Quarter- also known as Decentraland’s largest district.

The marathon was more inclusive because it allowed participants to create their avatars from a newer and updated library that included wearables such as prosthetics, running blades and wheelchairs that offered greater representation for those users with disabilities. As well as this, the virtual course also had more accessible architecture built in- for example ramps for wheelchair users.

This is just the beginning for Unilever- a brand who wants to make the metaverse a more diverse, and inclusive space; they have also pledged to work with partners to continue developing a virtual world that is more inclusive. Examples of this include incorporating more non-binary options, adding audio descriptions for people with visual impairments, and creating a greater variety of body shapes and sizes for avatars to be characterised by.

As the metaverse becomes a space brands are increasingly having to engage with looking ahead, it is important to apply a growing awareness and commitment to inclusion in the physical world to the virtual world, too.

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