Need to Know
16 : 08 : 19

HoliFrog celebrates the cleanser as a hero product, Atomik vodka is distilled from rye grown near Chernobyl, and Millennials are the loneliest generation yet.

Mini’s short film challenges the notion of branded content

London – Nimic, a 12-minute film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, features no cars.

Created in collaboration with Droga5 London, the short film follows the story of a man who crosses paths with a woman on a subway. Unlike a typical campaign film, the full version is unavailable for viewers to watch online as it is being shown on this year’s film festival circuit.

According to David Kolbusz, chief creative officer at Droga5 London, the film sits outside the realm of what the industry would typically think of as branded content and made more sense for Mini than a traditional ad, despite the reach limitations. ‘Mini’s reason for investing in this work is to demonstrate a commitment to creativity and lateral thinking, therefore a campaign wouldn’t make sense,’ Kolbusz told Adweek.

Branded content is in flux, as more brands seek to express their creativity with campaigns that go beyond the traditional realm of product placement.

Artisan vodka distilled from grains grown in Chernobyl

Atomik, Ukraine Atomik, Ukraine
Atomik, Ukraine Atomik, Ukraine

Ukraine – Scientists in the UK and Ukraine have collaborated to create an artisan vodka made from rye grown in the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

The first ever bottle of Atomik vodka suggests that alcohol made from land abandoned after the 1986 nuclear accident is not only safe to consume but can also provide a means of income for local producers, while supporting the recovery of the surrounding landscape. As a result, its creators have set up The Chernobyl Spirit Company as a social enterprise.

Proving that land within the exclusion zone can now be used for agriculture, Atomik is the result of research into the transfer of radioactivity to crops in the area. Rigorous testing found minimal radioactivity in the spirit, which has been triple distilled and diluted with mineral water from an aquifer 10km south of the defunct Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

As environmental and geopolitical upheaval affects where ingredients are grown and sourced, brands are challenging what provenance and a sense of place mean for wines and spirits.

HoliFrog is re-inventing the cleanser category

US – Although cleansing is the most common of skincare steps, beauty brands often treat cleansers as an afterthought.

Founded by beauty veterans Emily Parr and Majeed Hemmat, HoliFrog will be launched in September 2019 with a range of four facial washes. Priced at £29.70 ($36, €32.20), each product uses a higher amount of active ingredients than typically found in cleansers but minimises the level of harsh surfactants.

‘Cleansing is a category that no brand really dominates,’ Hemmat told WWD. ‘Many brands throw in a cleanser to round out the portfolio – they don’t invest in it.’ According to Parr, brands do not see cleansers as a high-priced item. ‘We were inspired by different categories in skincare that have high levels of actives and wanted to infuse those properties into cleansing. Our strategy is to bring the unsung hero to light,’ she continued.

Cleansing is an integral part of the 10-step K-beauty ritual but has yet to be focused on as a hero product. To see how South Korea’s multi-step skincare routines are infiltrating the West, read our recent microtrend.


This drinking glass fosters coffee connoisseurship

Avensi Avensi
Avensi Avensi

New York – Icosa Brewhouse has created a collection of drinking glasses designed to enhance the full taste and aroma of coffee.

The Avensi range comprises three types of glasses, hand-blown from borosilicate into a soft hexagonal curve. The glasses have double layered ‘hybrid thermal wall[s]’ with a rim 60% thinner than the average coffee cup. The curve of the glass is designed to trap and concentrate the aroma of the coffee as it oxidises, allowing the drinker to smell the flavours as they develop.

‘Our vision is to inspire coffee drinkers at all levels to see coffee as an adventure, and a sensory exploration, not unlike how the wine and spirits industries have made this a common part of their cultures for so many decades,’ says Icosa Brewhouse co-founder Johnny Loh.

Coffee is known to contain 1,000 flavour compounds compared to 250 in the most expensive wines. As the Craft Coffee Market grows, consumers are seeking new ways to explore the complexity of the drink.

Stat: One-third of Millennials regularly feel lonely

Millennials are the loneliest generation yet, according to a new US study by YouGov. The data found that 30% of Millennials – reported to be aged between 23 and 38 – say they always or often feel lonely, compared to 20% of Generation X and just 15% of Baby Boomers.

Perhaps most surprisingly, 22% of Millennials reported having zero friends, with a further 27% having no close friends and 30% having no best friends. Although the poll did not measure why young adults are feeling so lonely or lacking in companionship, but earlier studies point to social media use as a potential influence.

Society’s obsession with economic growth is not just proving to be unsustainable; it’s also leading to a loneliness epidemic among citizens. To see how brands can help rebuild a sense of community, read our macrotrend Post-growth Society.

Thought-starter: Are you ready for your resilience training?

The Future Laboratory co-founder Chris Sanderson explores our three macrotrends in a new 60-minute webinar.

This year, our three macrotrends – Uncoupled Living, Resilience Culture and Programmable Realities – explore how resilience is needed to make our brands more agile, living alone more empowering, and the ways in which we shape reality more complex, flexible and multi-faceted.

The Future Laboratory co-founder Chris Sanderson explores our three new macrotrends in our first ever 60-minute webinar. The on-demand webinar features a keynote presentation that can be shared with your team, getting them up to speed with the key trends, practical insights and case studies from our global macrotrends of 2019.

You’ll learn how to equip yourself with the tools to thrive in the age of self-censorship, prepare for a future in which our consumer touchpoints are no longer set in stone or any other solid matter, and find out what the rise of singledom means for your products and services.

Watch the Macrotrends Webinar 2019 here.

Macrotrend Webinar, The Future Laboratory
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