News 14.12.2022

Need to Know

The Longest Ad illustrates daily long Covid struggles, Unless Collective unveils regenerative sneakers, and mental health problems rise among UK teens.

The Longest Ad illustrates daily struggles of long Covid

The Longest Ad by The Leith Agency for Covid Aid, Edinburgh
The Longest Ad by The Leith Agency for Covid Aid, Edinburgh
The Longest Ad by The Leith Agency for Covid Aid, Edinburgh

Scotland – Created by The Leith Agency for UK charity Covid Aid, this outdoor advertising campaign exhibits the daily realities of long Covid sufferers by means of 13 feet-long bus stop ads.

An oxymoron to conventional short and snappy ad copy style, The Longest Ad campaign features no less than 3,000 words, explaining the struggles that a long Covid sufferer encounters during the day. Located at two bus stops in Edinburgh, the text is printed on extra-long posters, which spill out from the frame and onto the ground for lack of space.

‘We wanted the reader to experience how difficult each day is. It’s a hard read, and as an ad it breaks most norms, but only by doing this were we able to encapsulate how utterly gruelling each day is,’ explains John McPartland, a creative director at The Leith Agency.

As over 2m people are reportedly affected by the condition in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics, this Civic Ad aims to shed light on the hardships that long Covid sufferers endure, and to raise awareness about the help that Covid Aid is offering.

Strategic opportunity

Taking cues from Covid Aid’s convention-breaking ads, reflect how unexpected mediums or formats can amplify the message you want to convey

Unless Collective unveils plant- and mineral-based sneakers

US – Regenerative fashion company Unless Collective is branching out into footwear, with the launch of an entirely plastic-free and biodegradable sneaker.

Most shoes on the market contain plastics or petrochemicals, but not The Degenerate, which has been developed in partnership with material innovation company NFW (Natural Fiber Welding), to be fully made with plant- and mineral-derived materials.

The skate-inspired sneaker has durable soles and soft cushioning for better comfort, and can be repaired, recycled or harmlessly decomposed at the end of its lifecycle thanks to its biodegradable nature.

‘This sneaker will live a long life and when it’s no longer useful, it will be turned into valuable inputs for new soil products, allowing Unless to use the decomposition process to birth something entirely new,’ says the brand’s co-founder and CEO Eric Liedtke.

A new player in the Sustainable Footwear Market, Unless is another brand showing that the industry can reduce its dependence on PVC-based materials through the use of innovative designs.

The Degenerate by Unless Collective, US

Strategic opportunity

As Unless Collective did by partnering with NFW, can you enhance your product’s sustainability feats by collaborating with biotech innovators?

A quarter of UK teens now have mental health problems

Oye Oye

UK – Data from NHS Digital, the UK’s health service, has revealed a significant rise in the number of young people reporting mental health disorders. According to The Telegraph newspaper, the crisis is being labelled as a national emergency.

One in four young people who experienced their adolescence during the pandemic now has a mental health disorder, the new data suggests. Before the pandemic, one in 10 young people aged 17–19 was classed as likely to have a mental disorder. Last year the number rose to one in six, with the latest data for 2022 showing a figure of one in four.

Most disconcerting is that young boys of primary school age (7–10) are suffering the hardest, with one in five in this age group now experiencing psychological distress.

The findings draw on a sample of 2,866 children and young people who are now aged between seven and 24, while information was also provided by parents for children aged 7–16. This shows that 25.7% of those aged 17–19 now have a probable mental disorder, up from 17.4% in a year. The figures are highest among older girls, with 33.1% of those aged 17–19 likely to have such problems, compared with 18.7% of boys of this age.

In the wake of the report, the government has been criticised for failing these younger generations. In our report, Gen Z Digital Wellness Market, we look at how new platforms are emerging to help support health and wellness among Generations Alpha and Z.

Strategic opportunity

There are opportunities for businesses to become wellness allies among younger generations; safeguarding sharing spaces such as online communities is one example of how this can be done

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