Friday Fives, Vol. 186

This week, we’re learning how to reach a new generation of consumers, being confused and amazed by the looks at the Met Gala, and unwrapping a public art display in Paris.

All in on Alpha

Just when you thought you’d mastered Gen Z’s “adorkable” aesthetic, a new challenger in advertising demographics approaches. Meet Generation Alpha. Born between 2010 through 2025, Gen Alpha don’t yet have their own set of consumer behaviors, but brands are going after their Millennial parents in a big way. In the past, baby brand marketers used lurid rainbow palettes to snag children’s attention. Now, they’re opting for designs that more closely mirror the Millennial vibe with minimalist layouts, serif fonts, and pastels. New D2C brands especially are challenging the old guard of children’s brands. Watch your plastic throne, Fisher-Price. There are new kids on the block, pun intended.

Gawking at the Gala

The theme for the Met Gala 2021 was American Independence, a prompt open to wild interpretation. Does it mean stars and stripes? Cowboy hats? To Kendall Jenner and Irina Shayk, it meant wearing almost nothing, which equals freedom in a way, so we’d say they nailed it. To Billie Eilish, it meant paying homage to an American icon, Marilyn Monroe. Some took it as an opportunity to speak their minds, like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Cara Delevingne, who had some choice words for certain American institutions. Our favorite look was probably Lil Nas X, who we’re pretty sure was doing a satirical cosplay of King George III of Britain from whom America won its independence, but we’re not 100% sure.

Perfecting Product Placement

As people interact less and less with the “traditional” forms of media, advertisers are upping their focus on product placement, to mixed results. Why do some product placements work and others make you want to tweet at the brand angrily for ruining your immersion? According to new research, it’s about two things: subtlety and timing. Data shows that viewers respond more positively to verbal placement, or when a character says the name of the brand or product but doesn’t hold it in their hands. Talk about word of mouth. Viewers also respond more positively to product placements earlier in the plot arc, when they’re not yet fully invested in the narrative, because no one wants the main character to crack open a Sprite right before they finally kiss their love interest or kill the big bad guy.

Enter the Metaverse

Here’s a new word for us all to get familiar with: the metaverse. In the simplest terms, it’s a sprawling digital landscape in which we can present ourselves through an avatar of our own design. Popular metaverses include Roblox and Fortnite, games with features that allow players to walk around and interact with other real people’s avatars in a casual setting. Metaverses will only grow in popularity, especially as Gen Z and Gen Alpa continue to game their butts off. The big question is, what will your avatar wear? If you really want your digital self to shine, you may need to spend some real world money on NFT accessories like a jetpack or pair of shoes. See you all in the metaverse.

Wrap de Triomphe

The late artistic duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude had a crazy idea: hide one of Paris’ most distinguishable landmarks under sheets of plastic. A team of artists brought their vision to life, wrapping the Arc de Triomphe in 25,000 square meters of recyclable polypropylene fabric as part of their public art installation with the brutally simple name, “L’arc de Triomphe, Wrapped.” The project has been in the works for 60 years and was entirely paid for by the estate of artists. This is the latest in public art installations from the creators who famously cloaked other landmarks like the Reichstag and the Pont Neuf. We love this subversive reclaiming of public spaces, but can’t help thinking this is also a missed branding opportunity for Saran Wrap. Oh well, next time.

The Working Assembly is an award-winning branding and creative agency.

Established in 2017, we collaborate with emerging and evolving companies for end-to-end brand building, including strategy and visual identity, print and digital design, content, and creative campaigns.

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The Working Assembly

NYC branding agency exploring the intersection of art, design, technology and culture. Partnering with emerging and evolving brands.



NYC branding agency exploring the intersection of art, design, technology and culture. Partnering with emerging and evolving brands.

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The Working Assembly

NYC branding agency exploring the intersection of art, design, technology and culture. Partnering with emerging and evolving brands.