Hugo’s huge holograms

February 2nd, 2024

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Happy Friday, party people. It’s the weekend before the Super Bowl, and if you’ve been paying attention, you’re already seeing Super Bowl campaigns. Remember when you watched Super Bowl commercials during the actual game? Now it seems like they live before and after, not as much during.

In other news… Hugo Boss does literal giant holograms, search engines embrace AI bots, and Elijah Wood’s up to something fun.

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Courtesy of Hugo Boss

Hugo Boss fits building-size hologram models

The Future. German fashion brand Hugo Boss took over the London skyline on Tuesday night with a pair of high-profile holograms of supermodel Gisele Bündchen and South Korean star Lee Min-ho — allegedly making Hugo Boss the first brand to launch a campaign with the tech. Considering how sophisticated hologram tech has become, Hugo Boss could roll out a walking hologram model during its next runway show.

Godzilla couture 
Hugo Boss may as well just go ahead and change its slogan to “be your own big boss” with its latest marketing stunt.

  • The 33-foot tall holograms of Bündchen and Min-ho were projected for several hours by the iconic Tower Bridge in London.

  • The holograms were created using “an array of transparent LED screens displaying video that was specially shot on a turning platform with specific lighting to create the 3D effect,” per Business of Fashion.

  • Smoke effects and choreographed light displays were also added during the projection “to create a sense of realism and depth.”

Hugo Boss’ holograms were meant to disrupt not just the typical, social media-centric fashion market, but also your literal commute… as evidenced by people capturing photos of them while driving.

That sort of tech-enabled innovation is a pillar of the brand’s five-point strategy to boost revenue by 2025. Hopefully, the holograms lead to some larger-than-life sales.

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Pullin’ the research // Illustration by Kait Cunniff with Midjourney

Search engines enlist AI to browse the internet for you

The Future. New AI-powered search tools from Perplexity and The Browser Company’s Arc Browser are poised to reshape how people look for information online. Although this functionality could make going to websites a thing of the past, publishers that host high-quality commentary or analysis might become the only ones worth visiting.

Personal researcher
A new generation of search engines wants to help you find what you’re looking for without having to actually use a search engine.

  • Perplexity and Arc Browser either already have or are working on tools that generate summaries for search queries, contain a menu of accompanying media, and list the reputable sources where they pulled the information from.

  • In Perplexity’s case, the tool even has a feature called “Copilot,” which prompts users with suggestions to continue narrowing their search in order to pull the best and most relevant information or filter the info to specific sources.

  • And it can do more than answer questions — for example, if a user wants to make a reservation at a restaurant, Arc Browser’s tool sends users directly to the appropriate page, instead of giving them a link to click through.

The companies behind both tools are still small (yet growing thanks to investment from some big names), but they seem to provide a roadmap for where the search industry is going.

With many Gen Zers also turning to TikTok and Instagram as news sources, there’s a chink in the armor protecting Google’s once impenetrable market share.

So, now we want to hear from you…


We ask the hard-hitting questions.

Do you want AI to search the internet for you?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

91.6% of you voted for startups in yesterday's poll: Big Tech or startups?

“Startups, usually small businesses, are community-bound. Being a part of a community and generating innovation is a big win.”

“Reward the innovative, not the thieves with money.”

“More fun, less BS (most of the time).”

“Big Tech is strategic, slow, but strategic. They take time and evaluate. Startups are about risks, taking chances, and jumping at an opportunity. Depending on your mindset, stage in life, and passion for the company you're at, it can make for a very exciting career or a very dull one…”

“I don’t trust either but trust Big Tech LESS.”

“As a person working at a startup that’s trying to become bigger tech, I’ve seen firsthand how innovation gets squashed in the pursuit of profits. Ironically, it was the innovation that created the success in the first place.”

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Twitch is twitching

A few weeks ago, Twitch announced that it would lay off over 500 employees — 35% of its workforce. They’re now down half the staff from what they had a year ago. CEO Dan Clancy made it very clear as to why: “I’ll be blunt, we’re not profitable.”

The chart above shows the decline in views as they emerge from their pandemic peak.

Find this chart interesting? You’ll find plenty more like this one in Chartr’s newsletter.


A Mutant creation // Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Elijah Wood’s Mutant concocts cinema collectables

The Future. Started by Mondo vets Eric Garza, Mitch Putnam, Spencer Hickman, and Mo Shafeek, Mutant is the newest (and potentially best) name in pop-culture collectables like posters and vinyls. Thanks to younger audiences turning brands like A24 into unexpected merch powerhouses, traditional studios could look to Mutant’s expertise to capture the zeitgeist.

Handcrafted pop culture
Mutant is picking up where Mondo — arguably the formative brand of pop-culture collectables over the past two decades — left off.

  • Mutant is an independently-run arm of Elijah Wood and Daniel Noah’s SpectreVision — the production company behind genre favorites like Mandy and Cooties.

  • Like Mondo, it’ll make limited-edition posters, vinyls, apparel, toys, and other collectables from some of the biggest artists in the industry.

  • Unlike Mondo, it’ll merge into some new lanes, like anime/manga and fine art, and use more sustainable materials and packing processes.

  • Additionally, it’ll make an entrance into the experiential space, starting with a screening of Josie and the Pussycats featuring key cast and crew.

As both fans and artists proclaim their allegiance to Mondo’s former leadership (it’s a whole drama), Mutant may have no problem finding early success.

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The best curated daily stories from around the web

Media, Music, & Entertainment

  • Gamma, the music label founded by former Apple exec Larry Jackson, has raised an additional $100 million after signing Usher to release his first album in eight years. Read More → bloomberg

  • Filmmaker Jason Reitman (Juno, Ghostbusters: Afterlife) is leading a group of investors in the purchase of LA’s famed Fox Village Theater. Read More → variety

  • IATSE and the Hollywood Basic Crafts coalition (which includes the Teamsters) are joining forces to negotiate some parts of their new contract with the AMPTP. Read More → thr

Fashion & E-Commerce

  • Activist investor Elliot Investment Management has acquired a 13% stake in the embattled Etsy, making it the largest shareholder… so, big changes are likely around the corner. Read More → bloomberg

  • Nike Airs — the shoes with visible air bubbles in the heels — have gotten a total redesign for the first time since the 1970s. Read More → fastcompany

  • The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is determining whether Amazon should be designated as a “distributor” and held responsible for every third-party item sold on the platform. Read More → wsj

Tech, Web3, & AI

  • Snap has recalled and is providing refunds for the nearly 71,000 Pixy Flying Camera drones it sold after finding that their batteries are a fire hazard. Read More → theverge

  • Buzzy news platform The Messenger shut down after less than a year in operation. Read More → nyt

  • DNA-testing startup 23andMe was worth $6 billion a couple of years ago… and, now, it’s almost worthless. Read More → wsj

Creator Economy

  • Call Her Daddy, the hit podcast from Alex Cooper, will no longer be exclusive to Spotify for the first time since 2021. Read More → deadline

  • Khaby Lame, the most-followed TikToker on Earth, is starring in his first movie — a spy comedy called 00Khaby. Read More → variety

  • Elmo asked the internet how it was doing… and, oh boy, did Elmo find out. Read More → thr

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Today’s email was written by David Vendrell.
Edited by Boye Akolade. Copy edited by Kait Cunniff.
Published by Darline Salazar.

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