News 09.04.2024

Need to Know

A ground-breaking horror series in VR, Gen Alpha can no longer buy anti-ageing skincare in Sweden and why influencer marketing is beating traditional digital ads.

VR horror series The Faceless Lady makes debut on Meta Horizon Worlds

The Faceless Lady VR Series by Meta and Eli Roth

Global – Unveiled in April 2024, The Faceless Lady is a ground-breaking stereoscopic 3D VR horror series set to send shivers down viewers’ spines. Developed by renowned film-maker Eli Roth in collaboration with Crypt TV and ShinAwiL, this six-episode saga ventures deep into the immersive landscape of Meta Horizon Worlds.

Set in the haunting backdrop of Kilolc Castle in the Irish countryside, the series follows three young couples competing in historic games to claim ownership of the castle. But they soon discover they’re not alone; a tragic spirit roams the halls, intertwining their fates with the castle’s dark history.

With a narrative steeped in Irish folklore and the legend of Lady Margaret Hodnett, the series promises an unparalleled immersive experience. Through Meta’s Quest headset technology, the series utilises high frame rate visuals to create an uncanny realism in a world where every corner holds secrets waiting to be uncovered.

‘If you’re a storyteller, you can now write for VR in a way you couldn’t before,’ Eli Roth told Meta in an exclusive interview. ‘If you’re a director, suddenly there’s a world of possibilities available for what you can shoot.’

For more insights on the future of the entertainment industry, head to our Pop Culture & Media sector page.

Strategic opportunity

Demand for immersive VR content will grow as VR headsets and smart glasses technologies become mainstream. Consider how your brand or business can produce high-quality VR experiences that engage audiences on a deeper level while remaining authentic

Club21’s new concept store is inspired by industrial design

Club21 by Studio Krubka, Thailand Club21 by Studio Krubka, Thailand
Club21 by Studio Krubka, Thailand Club21 by Studio Krubka, Thailand

Thailand – Located in Bangkok’s EmSphere commercial centre, clothing retailer Club21’s new concept store is challenging traditional retail norms with its industrial-style, adaptable interior.

Designed by Studio Krubka, the space boasts raw construction materials like concrete blocks, lightweight steel and metal rods, creating a stage-like setting for Club21 Lab’s curated fashion collection. Vibrant touches, including blue grouting and a bold pink table tennis table, add flair to the predominantly neutral grey space.

Spanning 350 square meters, the open-plan layout is designed for adaptability, serving as a utilitarian framework for the store’s evolution as it stocks different designers and trends.

The flexibility of Club21’s concept store underlines the retailer’s commitment to innovation and dynamic consumer experiences. For more on the latest developments in immersive, expressive, dramatic and hyper-personalised retail spaces, head to our Retail section on LS:N Global.

Strategic opportunity

Enhance your retail space with adaptable furniture and modular fixtures for agile merchandising, pop-ups for brand activations and a constantly evolving layout to retain customer interest

Swedish pharmacy chain introduces age restrictions on anti-ageing skincare

Squalane + Copper Peptide Rapid Plumping Serum by Biossance, US Squalane + Copper Peptide Rapid Plumping Serum by Biossance, US

Sweden – In response to children driving nearly half of skincare sales growth, Apotek Hjärtat, a prominent pharmacy chain in Sweden, has imposed age limits on purchasing certain skincare products. Those aged 15 or younger are now prohibited from buying items containing AHAs, BHAs, vitamin A (retinoids) and vitamin C. The move is designed to combat the rising trend of Sephora Tweens, where young kids prematurely use viral skincare products, risking skin damage.

According to Annika Svedberg, chief pharmacist at Apotek Hjärtat, advanced skincare targeting wrinkles and skin tone is unnecessary for children. The company requires parental consent or evidence of a relevant skin condition for customers under 15 to purchase restricted products. Monika Magnusson, CEO of Apotek Hjärtat, underlines the company’s commitment to discouraging unhealthy beauty ideals among young people.

This initiative emerges amid a skincare surge among Gen Alpha across Europe and the US, with a report by NIQ indicating they are driving 49% of skincare sales growth. Concerns about potential long-term damage to young skin from harsh ingredients like retinol prompt health experts to caution against early exposure to such products. Dr Andrew Kane warns of heightened sensitivity and allergies in children due to their more delicate skin barrier.

For more insights on Gen Alpha consumer behaviour, head to our Alphas Now and Next: From the Sandbox to Roblox macrotrend report.

Strategic opportunity

Players in the beauty, health and wellness industry should consider researching and developing skincare products specifically formulated for children and teenagers. Focus on gentle yet effective ingredients that cater for the unique needs of young skin, emphasising safety and efficacy

Stat: Influencer marketing brings greater ROI than traditional digital ads

Shopify Collabs, UK Shopify Collabs, UK

Global – Brands and agencies are shifting their marketing strategies towards creator-driven content, with a March 2024 Influencer Marketing Trends Report by CreatorIQ revealing that it delivers superior return on investment (ROI) compared to traditional digital advertising.

The report – based on a survey of 225 brands and agencies in the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands and Brazil – highlights that 66% of brands and 82% of agencies acknowledge the superior ROI of creator content over traditional digital ads.

Sponsored digital ads featuring creators emerged as the most impactful strategy, preferred by 22% of brand marketers surveyed. This trend reflects a growing recognition of the effectiveness of creator-driven marketing approaches, surpassing strategies like affiliate marketing and user-generated content (UGC).

Despite its proven success, creator content remains under-utilised in digital ads, with only 13% of brands incorporating it into the majority of their campaigns. But the report reveals a shift as 55% of surveyed companies have increased their investment in influencer marketing budgets year on year, with many allocating significant portions of their total marketing budget to this strategy and increasing dedicated staff accordingly.

For more insights on the future of the creator economy, head to our Web Summit Lisbon 2023 analysis.

Strategic opportunity

Identify and engage with niche creators who resonate with specific segments of your target audience for more tailored marketing approaches

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