Live-stream Commerce, Weed Culture and 10 Travel Facts

Live-stream Commerce, Weed Culture and 10 Travel Facts

"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans" John Lennon


Laptop Woes

A quick update of what's going on and what's next for the WGA crew

Over the past few days, I have spent a disproportionate amount of time watching random YouTube videos and I mean random. Everything from who invented chicken noodle soup to isolated tribes in the Amazon. 

My laptop was shipped away to be repaired and I have been having withdrawals ever since. It has made me realize that doing work on your phone is a test of discipline. One minute I’m typing an email and the next I’m watching TikTok ramen recipes for 20 minutes . 

Aside from that, we are waiting on the shipment date for our summer essential box. If you haven’t checked out the new videos on the WGA club be sure to head over and take a gander. Oh, Alex and I might do a sports card box opening on live soon. 


TikTok's Growth Plan

Live-stream commerce offers big potential for TikTok's growth.
It goes without saying that TikTok has transformed the way we consume digital content. Good or bad? Who knows. But just like every business, they have to adapt, innovate, and grow. So what’s next? 

Predicting the future of social media marketing trends is always difficult, with new functions continuously emerging, and the sheer amount of apps gaining attention at any one time. It makes it impossible to stay current on every single new thing. But if you want to know the future of TikTok, you have an advantage, because TikTok’s coming trends are already happening in China, with the Chinese version of the app, called ‘Douyin’, being used by over 600 million people. Douyin is already well ahead of TikTok in terms of development. That’s why many of TikTok’s new features seem so well-formed, and why its algorithms seem so advanced – because it’s been refining them since 2016, when Douyin was first launched for mainland Chinese users.

So what’s the key trend on Douyin right now? Live-stream commerce is the thing, with sales generated via Douyin live broadcasts rising 7x year-over-year in 2021, and the number of eCommerce live broadcast users exceeding 384 million – more than half the platform’s user base. The live shopping trend is huge in China, with predictions that live shopping revenues will reach $400 billion in the region this year alone, which is equivalent to almost half of all eCommerce spending in the US last year.

If you were trying to get a gauge on the next big focus for TikTok, and where things are headed with its plans, this is where you should be looking.


Brands Embrace "Weed Culture"

Restaurants leverage delivery boom to reach 4.20 enthusiasts. 
The demand for weed is high.. .. .. ha ha.

I don’t know what it’s like for people who live in legalized states but weed dispensaries in the Niagara Region popped up like wildfire over the last 2-3 years. On one street in Fort Erie (little small town my parents live in) I counted 4. I don’t indulge in that “good good” but for the peeps who do, there is certainly no shortage. Subsequently, there is no shortage of opportunity for brands to capitalize on this boom. But how? Let’s dive into it.

Whatever hesitancy brands once had in associating their products with weed appears to be cooling given the rush of 4/20-related promotions this year. The restaurant category was particularly eager to capitalize on the holiday, with a lot of PR copy pledging to help consumers get rid of the “munchies” and making nods to stoner-comedy classics and actual strains of marijuana.  The looser approach could be inspired by the number of markets that have moved to legalize weed in recent years, such as New York (and Canada). But the delivery boom under the pandemic is also clearly a factor behind these campaigns. Brands may feel there’s less risk in meeting weed enthusiasts in their own homes versus encouraging a stoned dine-in experience at restaurants that also draw families.

Jack in the Box, Wingstop, TGI Fridays and Another Wing were among the restaurant brands running promotions tied to 4/20, a holiday celebrating weed culture. Jack in the Box for the month of April sold a Pineapple Express Shake. On April 20, the item — along with every other shake on the menu — was sold for $4.20 and in ounces versus regular sizes on third-party apps. The brand pledged to plant a tree for every pineapple shake ordered and ran ads expressing how much “Jack Loves Trees,” a euphemism for marijuana.

Wingstop got in the spirit with a 4/20-inspired flavor called Blazed & Glazed that was available starting April 18 and featured hemp seeds.
TGI Fridays had a similarly named Blazed & Glazed bundle available through Uber Eats delivery.

DJ Khaled’s Another Wing promoted a plant-based wing dish through a dispensary pop-up in partnership with The Flowery, a Miami-based cannabis store.

The campaigns show brands are getting more comfortable marketing around the holiday as marijuana sees greater widespread legalization and decriminalization in the U.S.


Top 10 Amazing Travel Facts

Time to expand your worldly knowledge.
Here’s a little warm up fact.. don’t check a bag at Pearson airport. 
1. France covers more time zones than any country on the planet.

2. Canada has over three million lakes. That’s 60% of the world’s total.

3. New York City is actually further south than Rome is.

4. Russia is bigger than Pluto.

5. Papua New Guinea has over 820 languages listed as being spoken in its country.

6. 99% of Libya is covered in desert.

7. Finland has almost 180,000 islands. More than any country on earth.

8. San Marino has more cars in its country than people.

9. Only 4% of all the world’s languages are spoken by 96% of its population.

10. In the 60 odd seconds you’ve been reading this article, 56 pieces of luggage have been lost, over 2,174 people have arrived in a foreign country, and a quarter of a million dollars has been spent by Americans abroad.


We Go Along Top Picks

Our favourite Food, Flix and Fact of the week


Sentinelese: World’s Last Stone Age Tribe | 2018 | Documentary | YouTube

What life is really like on an island cut off from everyone for 30,000 years. A view of one of the very free remaining “uncontacted peoples” in the  world.

Random fact of the week

Tornadoes can develop over water just as well as they can over land. When they do, they're called "waterspouts," and they suck up large amounts of lake or sea water—as well as whatever's swimming in that water. If the waterspout travels on to the land and the winds decrease, there's nowhere for those fish to go but down. As far as we know, there's no tornado powerful enough to pick up sharks, but a fish-nado is entirely possible.