A look at the marketing and advertising news we’re sharing internally for the week of August 23rd, 2021.

Nordstrom Debuts Young Adult Ambassador Program

Retail Dive

Nordstrom has opened applications to creators ages 14 to 22 to join The Ambassador Program @ Nordstrom, which will offer mentorship opportunities including virtual meetings with Nordstrom leaders plus paid styling and content opportunities for participants over 18 years old. Ambassadors who promote products on their social feeds will receive 5 percent commission for each item they sell.

Why it matters: Nordstrom joins the likes of Macy’s, West Elm and Express, who have all launched similar initiatives to encourage creator and fan engagement with their brands. Nordstrom’s foray into the ambassador program is part of a larger effort to attract younger consumers. In March, it debuted a shoppable livestream platform and recently acquired a minority stake in Topshop.

What Are The New Trends In Packaging?

The Drum

According to Jenny Stanley, managing director at Appetite Creative, some of the latest packaging trends include designing for recyclability, adding a QR code, including free samples and transforming packaging into art.

Why it matters: Deloitte research shows that 61 percent of UK consumers have limited their use of single-use plastic and 34 percent have chosen brands that have environmentally sustainable values or practices. As for QR codes, they not only give consumers added value but they also help cut down on packaging elements such as instruction manuals.

Nielsen Study: People With Disabilities Are Largely Absent From TV Advertising

Morning Brew

A new Nielsen study analyzed 450,000 primetime ads on broadcast and cable TV during February of this year and found that just 1 percent of those ads featured someone with a disability despite the fact that 26 percent of the US population lives with a disability.

Why it matters: Discretionary spending for people with disabilities of working age is about $21 billion, according to the American Institutes for Research. Additionally, total ad spend on disability-inclusive ads Nielsen analyzed was $57 million—less than 4 percent of the $1.6 billion spent during the time frame Nielsen studied.

Online Shoppers Don’t Always Care About Faster Delivery

MIT Sloan Management Review

MIT analyzed the preferences of online customers of a grocery chain across hundreds of thousands of purchasing scenarios and found that in many situations, customers preferred precision or flexibility over speed. Additionally, the customer is, on average, willing to wait 10.8 hours longer for a delivery if the delivery window is one hour shorter, and will wait an additional 7.5 hours longer if the delivery can be received on a preferred day of the week, everything else being equal. 

Why it matters: MIT cautions retailers that focusing solely on speed may be too myopic once the pandemic is over. For omnichannel retailers to consider preferences beyond just delivery speed, it’s important they invest in data and analytics infrastructure, collect and analyze customer-specific time-slot selection data and roll out new delivery strategies.

Do Your Digital Design Choices Take Advantage Of Customers?

Harvard Business Review

Brands that design their sites to exploit consumer behavioral bias might benefit in the short term but could cause long-lasting damage to their reputation. To avoid that, executives should play a proactive role in ensuring their digital design functions in users’ best interests because doing so deepens companies’ relationships with its customers.

Why it matters: To determine how your brand might be exploiting customers online, some questions HBR suggests asking yourself include: 1) Are you being transparent in user agreements? 2) Do you make canceling your services easy? 3) Are your default options the best options for customers? 4) Do you frame choices in a misleading way? and 5) Is your product addictive?

Taco Bell Hires Lil Nas X As Its First ‘Chief Impact Officer’

Ad Age

Lil Nas X, a former Atlanta-area Taco Bell employee, has been named the fast-food chain’s chief impact officer, a role that will see him help launch an activation around his upcoming album “Montero,” help advertise new menu items and announce the recipients of Taco Bell’s Live Más scholarship. Kicking off his foray into the C-suite, Lil Nas X appears as a narrator in Taco Bell’s latest campaign highlighting its breakfast offerings, which will be re-introduced to 90 percent of US Taco Bell locations by mid-September.

Why it matters: Brands putting celebrities into the C-suite is nothing new. Ulta Beauty recently named Tracee Ellis Ross a diversity and inclusion advisor, Vital Proteins appointed Jennifer Aniston chief creative officer and Maude tapped Dakota Johnson as creative director.