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Magnum ice cream’s anti-metaverse campaign, Goldman Sachs invests £1.6bn in Black women-owned businesses and why Gen Z are not that vegan.

Magnum anti-metaverse campaign promotes pleasures of real life

#NotAvailableInTheMetaverse by Magnum, UK

Global – Magnum, the popular Belgian ice cream brand that introduced the first premium hand-held ice cream for adults in 1989, has launched an anti-metaverse campaign. The campaign includes a short film featuring a virtual character who is offered a Magnum ice cream in a digital world but cannot eat it, concluding with the message that ‘pleasure is not available in the metaverse’.

The ice cream brand has hit a cultural nerve, tapping into anti-digital sentiment as consumers attempt to balance online and offline activities as technology advances and our lives become increasingly phygital.

As part of the campaign and Magnum’s broader mission, the company partnered with mental wellbeing neuroscientist Dr Jack Lewis to develop a 20-point guide for enjoying pleasure both online and offline. The Magnum Pleasure Guide includes tips on taking breaks from screens, limiting social media use and avoiding binge-watching tv.

In our Anti-provocation Platforms analysis, we observe exactly what Magnum’s campaign is highlighting; that consumers are burnt out on negativity in digital spaces. For them to trust new technologies, they want businesses and brands to show them they can be used healthily.

Strategic opportunity

In our report on The Betterverse, we look at the metaverse’s potential as a healthier digital space, helping consumers connect and express themselves. When designing for it, businesses and brands must bring to the fore values of inspiration, joy and connection

Luxury book publisher Assouline launches new travel-inspired candle collection

Travel From Home collection by Assouline, US Travel From Home collection by Assouline, US
Travel From Home collection by Assouline, US Travel From Home collection by Assouline, US

France – Luxury book publisher Assouline is expanding further into the home and moving beyond its famous, limited-edition, colourful books with the launch of an interior decor line. Best known for its beautifully designed and crafted coffee table books, Assouline’s first product in this new range is a collection of travel-inspired candles.

Inspired by its best-selling travel series, each candle pays homage to one of six beloved destinations: Mykonos, Tulum, Marrakech, Ibiza, Gstaad and finally, the Moon. The scents, perfumed by Jérôme Epinette, are designed to recreate the essence of these destinations and transport the consumer into these getaway worlds – including the unexpected terrain of the Moon.

The body and packaging of the candle are recognisably Assouline as they play on the books’ aesthetic. ‘As a graphic company, the packaging is everything to us,’ Alex Assouline, the brand’s chief of operations, brand and strategy, told In our Future of Bookshops market piece, we explored how the book economy continues to grow along with the various strategies shops and publishers undertake to re-invent themselves. Assouline’s move into the interiors sector attests to the innovation needed to remain relevant while the book market explores new horizons.

Strategic opportunity

Assouline’s interior decor line taps into book publishers’ willingness to re-invent themselves, consumers’ trust in the legacy brand and their desire to uplift their living spaces and dream of their next travel destination at the same time

Goldman Sachs invests £1.6bn in female Black-owned businesses in the US

US – The Goldman Sachs Group unveiled the first results of its One Million Black Women initiative in April 2023 and has officially deployed £1.6bn ($2.1bn, €1.9bn) in investment capital and over £18m ($23m, €21m) in philanthropic capital to 137 organisations in the US run by Afro-American women.

The Wall Street titan’s research on Black Womenomics previously revealed that reducing the pay gap between Black women and white men could raise US annual GDP by as much as 2.1% and create up to 1.7m jobs. In addition, more Black women in the US are in the process of starting a new business (17%) than white women (10%) and white men (15%), according to Harvard Business Review.

‘When a Black woman entrepreneur is able to grow her business, she employs Black people in the community, she’s a leader in that community, she mentors individuals in that community,’ Asahi Pompey, president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, told CNBC.

In Yassified Marketing, we previously looked at how businesses seeking cultural relevance, including giants like Goldman Sachs, should put Black women in charge of the whole narrative from start to finish to avoid the misogynoir and appropriation trap.

Photography by Alexander Suhorucov, UAE

Strategic opportunity

Find inspiration in the rise of small, local yet digital-first businesses opened en masse by Afro-American women who know how to turn their community into customers. Study how they channel local WhatsApp groups, collaborate with their peers and are resilient in a country riddled with racial prejudice

Stat: The majority of American Gen Z and Millennials aren’t vegan

Future Farm is creating plant-based protein that captures the taste and texture of real meat, Brazil
Future Farm is creating plant-based protein that captures the taste and texture of real meat, Brazil

US – Despite Gen Z’s reputation as an eco-conscious generation, a recent study by US market research firm YPulse suggests that they are not as interested in plant-based diets as Millennials.

When asked which labels describe their current diet, ‘unrestricted’ was the most popular answer among American Gen Z, at 63%, while only 5% follow a vegan or plant-based diet. Among Millennials, 8% define themselves as vegan or plant-based eaters. Only 10% of young people describe their diet as vegetarian, 7% as vegan or plant-based and 6% as pescatarian (no meat besides fish).

While fewer than two in 10 young people say they regularly eat or drink plant-based products, 28% of them are interested in them.

But, as we highlighted in The Zalpha Reckoning, young people prioritise eco-consciousness. This remains true with food, as 63% of Millennials and Gen Z agree it is 'very or extremely important' for food products to be eco-friendly. But food brands should note that sustainable options do not necessarily have to be meat-free for young people.

Strategic opportunity

As Gen Z mature, they will seek out businesses and brands that can assist them in reconciling their desires with their values. Think about developing products that enable them to uphold their strong sustainability principles while still expressing their preferences

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