Discover more from After School by Casey Lewis
Bomb Pops and Gen Z WAGs
In You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah, all the popular middle schoolers wear Online Ceramics; Stella McCartney is partnering with Phoebe Gates and Sophia Kianni on a new sustainable bag collection; in Brooklyn, “dirtybag twee” bands are making earnestness cool again; and have a great Labor Day weekend — I’ll see you back here Tuesday!
FOR BACK-TO-SCHOOL, NIKE MISSES A STEP, WHILE ON, HOKA GAIN, mediapost
According to new data, Nike's popularity dropped by 4.1 points to 88%, while New Balance and Hoka gained traction. Experts say Nike's shift from wholesale to DTC contributed to its decline, while On and Hoka's popularity with younger consumers helped the brands expand beyond performance-oriented markets. (Fwiw, this data is consistent with my back-to-school shopping research — so many teens are buying Hokas and On for bts.)
HOW BUBBLE AIMS TO CONQUER COLLEGE CAMPUSES, glossy
The Gen Z skincare brand is kicking off a ”Bubble on Campus” program with 13 partner schools including Baylor University, Clemson University, and The University of Indiana. They have more than 1,800 college-age brand reps helping to boost the brand on campus; in return, they earn commission on sales they drive through personal links and are rewarded with perks like stipends to host events. Campus ambassador programs are notoriously difficult to execute — not only are college students busy, but they also care deeply about appearing chill, and hawking products is not cool — but it sounds like Bubble’s sorted out a strategy that makes sense.
WALMART, CLAIRE'S EXPAND BACK-TO-SCHOOL IN ROBLOX, mediapost
In an effort to win over teen consumers, both Walmart and Claire’s are expanding their presences in Roblox with new back-to-school campaigns. I would love to know the ROI on these initiatives — in this market, less tangible metrics like “brand awareness” just aren’t as valuable as actual sales, and I just can’t imagine that many young consumers are spending cash on back-to-school clothes for their avatars when they need the money for their own back-to-school shopping lists. But then again, Roblox just reported 25% YoY growth in its user base, bringing their daily users to a whopping 65.5 million, so maybe the joke is on me.
BOMB POP REACHES TWEENS BY SELLING 20M VIRTUAL TREATS IN THE METAVERSE, adweek
Ice cream truck staple Bomb Pops is running an activation within Roblox’s restaurant simulation game, Restaurant Tycoon 2, from Aug. 22 to Sept. 5. Since the launch, players have served up 20 million Bomb Pops, shattering the brand’s goal of selling 10 million virtual treats. Again, great for brand awareness but how does this help Bomb Pop’s bottom line? (This is not a rhetorical question — I want to know!)
THE MOST FAMOUS WOMAN IN MEN’S TENNIS, nyt
Morgan Riddle, the 26-year-old influencer and WAG, has become a niche celebrity at professional tennis matches. On Instagram, she has nearly 200,000 followers, and on TikTok, she has 400,000.
Ms. Riddle had become a kind of ambassador for the sport, too. Her behind-the-scenes explainer content is a gateway drug for some people, like Jaiden McDonald, the young woman who approached Ms. Riddle with her mother in the grandstand. Within a few months of seeing Mr. Fritz and Ms. Riddle for the first time, she went from ambivalence toward tennis to making a PowerPoint presentation of her U.S. Open predictions. She watches Ms. Riddle’s YouTube videos every single week.
THE ALIX EARLE EFFECT, elle
Speaking of gorgeous Gen Z blondes who are taking over your TL, did you know that TikTok’s “bona fide it girl” is the stepdaughter of Ashley Dupré, the former escort of the former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer? I learned that and more in Véronique Hyland’s excellent profile of social media’s favorite “girl next door.”
One last thought:
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