Cost of Living Crisis

How organisations and brands are flexing their business operations to cater for customers facing a global cost of living crisis.

Need to Know
10 : 07 : 23

Volkswagen brings dead singer back to life in a new ad, Claudent’s stylish UPF clothing and why European travellers seek less crowded destinations.

Volkswagen ad brings dead singer to life via deepfake technology

Volkswagen, Brazil

Brazil – Volkswagen’s short film celebrating its 70th anniversary in Brazil went viral overnight in July 2023 for featuring singers Maria Rita and her late mother, Elis Regina, singing together while driving.

Creative agency AlmapBBDO and production company Boiler Filmes brought Regina’s face and voice to life using deepfake and AI technology. The pop singer died in 1981 when her daughter Maria Rita was only three years old. Both are re-united thanks to technology in the promotional film showing Rita driving the ID Buzz – the 100% electric version of the firm’s signature Kombi – and her mother Elis driving a classic Volkswagen model.

‘The campaign uses sophisticated technology for a very human purpose: emotion,’ says Marco Giannelli, also known as Pernill, the chief creative officer of AlmapBBDO. ‘We are promoting an unprecedented duet that was only possible in the imagination and that now becomes absolutely real during the two-minute film.’

The campaign hints at new opportunities for a tech-powered funeral industry that we previously analysed in our Digital Afterlife Market report. AlmapBBDO also perfectly embraced the elasticity required from creative agencies to use AI as a way to create even more meaningful connections and emotions between brands and consumers.

Strategic opportunity

Volkswagen proves that artificial intelligence and nostalgia aren’t necessarily incompatible – for future content, how can your brand augment a nostalgic figure, song, event or aesthetic and turn it into a warm embrace powered by tech?

Claudent launches stylish UPF clothing with in-built sun protection

US – Newly launched brand Claudent is revolutionising ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) clothing with its stylish and chic designs that offer effective sun protection. Co-founded by Emma Gerber and Mia Zee, Claudent aims to bridge the gap between functionality and fashion.

Unlike traditional sun-protective clothing, Claudent’s collection features downtown-meets-uptown prep styles. The locally manufactured line includes polo shirts, crop tops and tennis skirts. All garments are created using fabric with a UPF 50 rating, blocking 98% of the sun’s rays while allowing only 2% to penetrate. In contrast, a regular t-shirt typically has a UPF rating of 5 – allowing about 20% of UV radiation to reach the skin.

Gerber and Zee, who have personal experiences with sun-related skin conditions, recognise the importance of UPF clothing. Claudent aims to expand the market by catering for young, fashion-conscious adults, breaking away from the notion that sun-protective fashion is only for children and older demographics.

Claudent’s creative process combines inspiration from film, nature and vintage clothing with identifying market gaps to develop unique designs. The result is a collection that seamlessly blends style and sun safety. As seen in Safety Fits, Claudent’s clothing redefines safety and protection with flair.

Claudent, US

Strategic opportunity

Health is moving beyond what’s on our plate to other aspects of our lifestyle. Brands that can provide consumers with these benefits, without compromising on style and fashion, can successfully build a loyal consumer base

Stat: European travellers seek quieter, cooler destinations

Basejam venue, Italy Basejam venue, Italy

Europe – The Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel study, conducted by the European Travel Commission (ETC), which looked at projections for traveller behaviour from June to November 2023, suggests seaside destinations in the region around the Mediterranean are becoming less popular. Based on data collected in May 2023 from Europeans in 10 high-volume source markets, the study shows a 10% drop in the number of European travellers planning to visit Mediterranean destinations compared with 2022.

Although Spain remains the most popular destination for travellers, with 7.6% planning a holiday there next, cooler countries like the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Ireland and Denmark are experiencing a surge in popularity. The report shows that European travellers are seeking less crowded destinations and milder temperatures. According to Miguel Sanz, president of ETC, they are also ‘hunting for alternative travel choices, looking for more affordable experiences or considering off-season travel to stretch their budgets’ more than ever.

As explored in our Travel & Hospitality section, industry players have to simultaneously deal with rising inflation and travellers searching for experiences at the right price point. Assisting those going off the beaten track and travelling in the less busy months is a new challenge for an industry used to a seasonal influx of visitors.

Strategic opportunity

Global warming won’t spare warm travel destinations and will hit a growing number of travellers who will turn to cooler countries. Major industry players should consider how to adapt their venues and services to higher temperatures or invest more in Eastern and Northern European tourism with new acquisitions

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