Pulse Capsule Vol. 3

July 1, 2021

We're kicking off July with Pulse Capsule, Volume 3. If you’re new here, Pulse Capsule is a curated snapshot of interesting stories in culture from the previous month. Stories that are driving conversations, making waves or changing perspectives, all through the POV of our strategy team. This month, we cover our version of hot girl summer, a plant shop in Long Beach bringing their community together, and brands sell-ebrating holidays (see what we did there?).

As a reminder, what you see here is a highlight reel of stories we share in client newsletters throughout the month. Let’s jump into the highlights from June—

Forget hot girl summer, it’s quirky hobby summer for us

The hottest accessory on beaches this summer is something you wouldn't expect: Metal Detectors. We're not kidding. Detector makers are reporting record sales, and Detector Content is a growing trend on YouTube. The pandemic has gotten us all to start considering hobbies we could have once thought were dated or weird. When we think about our brands, are there some unconventional hobbies or subcultures we can tap into that our competitors have yet to consider? Read more from The New York Times, here

A lesson in CSR from a plant shop in the LBC

Like a lot of Latinxs, Anthony Diaz and Kevin Alcaraz dealt with unemployment and anxiety due to COVID, but through sheer resourcefulness, they took this negativity and channeled it into a thriving new business. Plantitas is an affordable plant shop in the Long Beach community for the Long Beach community. It started with a one-off Facebook post, then a couple of tables outside a garage, and has now grown to a full-fledged store with lines around the corner. But more than IG-worthy apartments, Plantitas is about healing. Diaz and Alcaraz realized that by caring for plants, we can't help but care for ourselves. So, in addition to selling plants, the store hosts regular community healing events, promoting good mental health in the underserved Latinx and LGBTQ+ communities through gardening. Could it be that the best way to serve unmet community needs is via indirect but innovative ways? Read more from the Los Angeles Times, here

We don’t have to $ell-ebrate every holiday

It's not news that in 2021, we expect brands to not only advocate for social issues but also to know their role in the larger societal conversations. This makes the growing profile of Juneteenth somewhat uncharted waters for brands. The new federal holiday was already pressure tested by Old Navy, which had to suspend a campaign featuring influencers in Juneteenth shirts that was met with heavy criticism. As our holidays become more and more brand-saturated, next Juneteenth offers a potential fresh start for brands to truly support what it stands for, rather than try and push products. Which makes us wonder: these days, is there more power in sitting out a holiday than in joining it with a sales agenda? Read more from Ad Age, here

And that’s our third edition of Pulse Capsule, thanks for reading! Make sure to check back on our website and LinkedIn around the start of every month for new trends, content, and perspective on interesting things happening in culture.