What in the World—Week of October 3

Lululemon launches Studio fitness platform
Athleisure wear company Lululemon is rebranding its at-home fitness platform Mirror as Studio, complete with a marketing campaign that leans into the type of advertising typically associated with Hollywood movies. “The name makes no secret of its ambitions to become an aggressive player in content,” says Quartz. Lululemon is selling Studio subscriptions for $39 a month, which gives users access to 10,000 on-demand and live-streamed classes from the company’s Studio instructors as well as boutique partners including Dogpound, Forward Space and Aarmy. The Mirror device typically sells for $1,495 although Lululemon is selling it for about half that amount during the launch period. Lululemon acquired Mirror for $453 million two years ago.

Dan Wieden dead at 77
Wieden+Kennedy co-founder Dan Wieden, the brains behind Nike’s iconic “Just Do It,” has died at the age of 77. According to Oregon Live, Nike’s sales increased from $877 million to about $46 billion since it introduced the slogan in 1988. Oregon Live called Wieden, a self-described “old hippie” and “wayward child,” as “funny, self-deprecating and hugely ambitious,” but said that his greatest gift might have been his ability to oversee the “quirky, eccentric, and sometimes difficult” personalities that made up his namesake agency. Chief creative officer Karl Lieberman likened him to Saturday Night Live’s creative leader Lorne Michaels in his ability to successfully steer the agency through multiple personnel changes.

Kardashian charged with ‘unlawfully touting’ crypto
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Monday that it has charged Kim Kardashian with “unlawfully touting” a crypto security.” According to the SEC, Kardashian failed to disclose that she received $250,000 to publish a post on her Instagram account about EMAX tokens, a crypto asset security sold by EthereumMax. “This case is a reminder that, when celebrities or influencers endorse investment opportunities, including crypto asset securities, it doesn’t mean that those investment products are right for all investments,” said SEC chair Gary Gensler. Kardashian agreed to settle the charges, pay $1.26 million in penalties, and cooperate with the SEC’s ongoing investigation. She also agreed not to promote any crypto security assets for three years.

It’s game over for Google’s Stadia service
Google is shutting down its three-year-old streaming gaming service Stadia, saying it failed to catch on with the gaming community. Introduced in 2019, Stadia was expected to compete with consoles like the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox, but never took off. “[Stadia] hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected,” explained its vice-president and general manager Phil Harrison in a blog post explaining the decision. Harrison said that the underlying technology behind Stadia has been “proven at scale and transcends gaming,” and that the company sees “clear opportunities” for other parts of Google’s business, such as YouTube, Google Play, and its AR efforts. The company is promising refunds to players who purchased the Stadia controller, as well as games and additional content

Degree is reworking its inclusive deodorant product
Degree Inclusive, a proposed accessible deodorant product that was unveiled with great fanfare in 2019 (winning multiple awards spanning advertising, design, and innovation) is being reworked. According to The Wall Street Journal, testers of the original product found that it was too big and heavy to use and carry around, while also looking cumbersome and indiscreet. Degree and its parent company Unilever are now working on plastic accessories made with 3D printers—such as lids with different hooks and grips, and bases enabling users to more easily turn the wheel that dispenses deodorant—that can be attached to existing deodorant sticks. “This is something we’re continuing to work on, but we needed to go to the next iteration,” said Kathryn Swallow, the global brand lead for Rexona (the name under which the Degree brand is sold in countries outside of the U.S.).

David Brown