Kiss And Tell January 2021

 In Insights

What’s new : Pantone Colours of the Year – taking a page out of KISS’ brand book?

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and flattery comes from no higher source than the masters of colour themselves- Pantone. 

For the past 21 years Pantone has released their Colour of the Year as a trend forecast for the creative industry The annual announcement has cemented Pantone as the go-to authority on all things colour. 

At the start of December Pantone reacted to the end of a year like no other by announcing that 2021 would be defined by not one but two shades; Illuminating (13-0647 ) and Ultimate Gray (17-5104). In a statement on their website the choice is explained as “The union… expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude…practical and rock-solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a colour combination that gives us resilience and hope.” 

We haven’t seen any official references to our own KISS colour palette but given the striking similarities we are taking this as a solid sign that 2021 has only bigger and better things to come for us at KISS- so bring it on!



What we are supporting: Tred

At KISS we love to champion challenger brands and we have seen several of these modern day pirates make waves in the banking sector over the past few years. Monzo has certainly won the race (for now at least) and in the UK there has been massive disruption in the way digital natives are handling their finances. With user-friendly tracking apps and clean contemporary branding, a healthy number of challengers are usurping traditional highstreet institutions. 

The latest bank born out of this revolution goes beyond just providing a fluro-coloured piece of plastic to flash out at the till and slick app; Tred’s USP taps into (see what we did there) the most revered of Millennial values – sustainability. Tred tracks your spending and the impact your purchases have on the environment, giving pointers on how to reduce your personal footprint. At the end of each month Tred gives you the option to carbon offset your purchases. Tred has partnered with ForestCarbon – a carbon-capture offsetting initiative based Scotland who take care of the tree planting logistics. The choice to offset is optional (users are projected to average £14 carbon-debt per month) and capped at £20 – enough to get us all thinking about the environmental impact of our shopping and where our purchases come from. Tred hopes that regardless of whether users opt to pay-off their purchases the app will at least encourage greater awareness of the material choices we make. 

As Sir David reminded us in the London firework/drone extravaganza – climate issues are ever present and require collective action to resolve. We can definitely see this app chasing down Monzo and are watching this space. 

Sign up for a tred card here



What’s HOT: Repurposing Spaces

After the fastest turnaround since clinical trials began, multiple variants of COVID-beasting vaccines are filling fridges in GP surgeries across the country. With the mammoth task of vaccinating an entire population already underway we are pleasantly surprised with the way some brands have stepped to the fore to aid in the mission to bring life back to ‘normal’. 

Brewdog, the Glaswegian based craft-turned-mainstream brewer has offered up their fleet of empty bars as vaccination venues. In typical Brewdog fashion they have teased at offering a free beer with every vaccine; which leads us to question whether this offer is a genuine, well-meant gesture or a marketeer seizing a PR opportunity. Nonetheless the company is now in talks with the government and has found a new Twitter follower in Nicola Sturgeon. Elsewhere Yorkshire’s own grocery behemoth Morrisons are already using several of their car parks as ‘drive through’ vaccine centres, with more on the way. John Lewis, Tesco and Boots have plans to follow suit in the coming months, having all also pledged their spaces to the cause.

WIT Fitness, the boutique sportswear retailer has offered up its 300sq ft flagship training space in St Pauls to homeless charities to house the capital’s most vulnerable during these dark, icy months. At a time when gyms are usually packed to overflowing with resolute ‘new year new me’ types we are loving this solution to making use of such valuable space and can’t think of a better alternative to the usual January gym rush.



What’s NOT: School Meals

News outlets, Twitter and Mumsnet have all been aglow with outrage after the latest in the school meals saga. A photo showing the megre supplies from a government provided food parcel went viral shortly after being tweeted by @roadsidemum. The meals  have received widespread condemnation with a host of celebrities (spearheaded by footballer Marcus Rashford) prominently campaigning the government to resolve child food poverty. 

At KISS we wondered how different the outcome could have been if (rather than outsourcing to private companies owned by party donors) British supermarkets had rallied to the cause instead? Utilising their existing infrastructure to create an additional revenue stream by redirecting expiring products otherwise destined for the bin into food parcels.

Competition between the brands would lend itself to creating an environment to drive down costs and up product quality in order to best benefit the brands’ PR image. A missed opportunity not only for social good but brand visibility.


What we LOVE: Drone Takeover

Over the past few years our lives have grown to resemble a progressively grim episode of Black Mirror, so the use of drones to ring in the new year seems particularly apt. These displays known as (cue dystopian name) ‘drone-swarms’ aren’t new; back in 2017 we saw hundreds of drones steal the show at the Seoul Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony and as a supersized backdrop to Lady Gaga’s Superbowl performance.

Much noise has been made over London’s ‘woke’ end of year celebrations. The traditional firework display was complemented by drones highlighting key moments from 2020’s turbulent times; such as the realities of remote working and Captain Tom’s valiant fundraising efforts. Mention of the Black Lives Matter movement triggered an unsurprising outpour from Daily Mail readers who bearated the ‘woke’ messages featured in the display. Others questioned the 1.5M pricetag when funds are desperately required across public sectors, then there is the hypocrisy of setting thousands of fireworks into the skies alongside an environmental plea from David Attenborough. 

Amongst all this ‘controversy’ it is no surprise that Scotland’s quieter, ethereal and arguably more beautiful display ‘Fare Well’ has been overshadowed. Shot against a twilight backdrop of the Highlands and accompanied by the melodic poetry of Jackie Kay the display provides a thoughtful retrospective to the year and is certainly a departure from the rowdy, wild famous Hogmanay celebrations Edinburgh is known for. 

Watch London’s Display here

Watch Scotland’s Fare Well here



What’s caught our attention: ClubHouse

We’d say we’re late to the party – but we’ve still not been invited. TikTok is old news, Facebook has become a prehistoric QAnon breeding ground and MySpace still doggedly chugs on as…well we’re not really sure actually. It’s safe to say social networks live in a fickle world. All the rage one minute and gone the next (RIP Vine). 

A steady buzz has built around newish ‘drop in audio-chat’ app ClubHouse. No doubt aided by its exclusivity and celeb following (Oprah and Drake were both early adopters) it remains invite-only and restricted to iPhone users. Details about the brand are bizarrely scarce;  their current website (just a landing-page) is markedly brief when it comes to information and we are still not sure what the Clubhouse logo actually is-even the app icon offers no cues. But fret-not; this exclusivity does appear to be quickly diminishing; users have soared from 3500 in early December 2020 to over 600k at the start of January 2021. 

With Twitter monopolising written word, Instagram showcasing image and TikTok the king of viral dance routines, a Clubhouse exploits a remaining gap in the offering – audio. 

In a nutshell ClubHouse acts like an interactive podcast. Diverse topics (anything from mixed-race identity politics to round-tables featuring the cast of Hamilton) are hosted in club ‘rooms’. As a user you can host your own discussion or move between existing rooms, not only eavesdropping on the room occupants’ discussions but having the option to ‘raise your hand’ and chip in. Unlike a podcast nothing is recorded – at least not officially – so if you’re not there for the chat you won’t know what was said and the pressure to be cautious over your words is reduced – leading to potentially candid, honest conversation. Theoretically you could end up sliding into actual verbal conversation with Drake, or sit back and listen to the inane ramblings of Kanye West – the appeal isn’t hard to comprehend.

Stripping interactions back to simple conversation, where thoughts and opinions top a curated physical appearance does at least sound like a healthier social network for these dark times. However, the question remains; is the content enough, or has ClubHouse been relying too heavily on its (now diminishing) exclusivity?  Once the account-floodgates have opened and everyone’s mum, aunt and second-cousin has access, will ClubHouse retain its cool or become just another cesspool for the toxic conspiracies of the internet? 

Join the club here

More Kiss & Tell?

Look out for more Kiss and Tell 💋Just because we can’t get out and about to discover the inner workings of the world, doesn’t mean we’re not staying in touch with all the latest goings on. We’ll keep you posted!