Female Futures

The influential consumer and technology trends that are driving a female future that rewrites narratives around gender, career and family

Need to Know
03 : 06 : 19

Hackney Half rebrands to make running more inclusive, Australia’s teenage girls reclaim sports and older consumers are shopping on Instagram.

A dining destination for fermented food and drink

The Soak, London The Soak, London
The Soak, London The Soak, London
The Soak, London The Soak, London

London – The Soak offers a menu based around fermenting, soaking, steeping and brining techniques.

Recently opened near London’s Victoria station, the all-day restaurant aims to offer guests an immersive dining experience rooted in fermentation. Its drinks menu features signature ‘soaked’ cocktails as well as non-alcoholic kefir and kombucha mocktails, while the food menu includes a cider pickled egg, hazelnut and chicory salad and a preserved wood pigeon with fermented mooli (daikon radish).

Alongside its experimental food and drink offering, The Soak has made music an essential part of the dining experience, with live DJ sets and acoustic sessions. In addition, a social club offers members the chance to attend exclusive events and sample new menu additions.

The fermented food and drinks market is maturing fast, as more restaurants incorporate fermentation, soaking and brining into their practices.

Hackney Half rebrands running as a community activity

Hackney Half Marathon rebranding by Soft Power Hackney Half Marathon rebranding by Soft Power
Hackney Half Marathon rebranding by Soft Power Hackney Half Marathon rebranding by Soft Power

London – The 2019 race, which was the first in partnership with Nike London, expanded into a three-day festival of fitness.

Creative agency Soft Power headed the rebranding for the Hackney Half, creating an identity that is easily adaptable for future collaborations with artists, designers and the local community. In order to make the event more inclusive, the photography for the new identity features local running collectives TrackMafia and Tempo.

The brand’s press release explains that running continues to have an image problem: ‘[It is] seen as a solo activity, [being] alone with your thoughts in full public view. The reality is that due to the boom in urban running crews, a generation of people are championing the value of community, acceptance and inclusivity.’

As well as a new identity, the race organisers teamed up with Nike to create an ergonomic rest area with modular soft play pieces from recycled PVC and foam, which, following the festival, will remain in the local community.

In line with our microtrend Inclusive Fitness, sports events and brands have a responsibility to change the face of fitness.

Pokémon will turn sleep into game play

Tokyo – The creators of Pokémon GO are launching Pokémon Sleep, a game to reward good sleeping habits.

Announced at a press conference, the mobile app will act as a sleep-tracking successor to its Pokémon GO Plus device, which functions like a smart watch, allowing users to catch Pokémon without taking out their smartphones. The game will track players’ sleep and use this data for game play, monitoring how long users slept and when they awoke.

Although the brand has yet to announce details about how the sleep tracker will affect game play, according to Tsunekazu Ishihara, the company’s CEO, the game will ‘turn sleep into entertainment’, while Niantic CEO John Hanke said: ‘We’re excited to find ways to reward good sleep habits in Pokémon GO as part of a healthy lifestyle.’ The game will be launched in 2020.

While various technologies are being developed in order to retrain how we sleep, gaming could also add an entertainment element to our future bedtime routines.

Pokémon Sleep Pokémon Sleep

Suncorp encourages teenage girls to stay in sport

Team Girls, Suncorp, campaign by Leo Burnett Melbourne

Melbourne – Team Girls is an initiative by the insurance and banking provider in collaboration with Leo Burnett Melbourne.

The campaign was created in response to new research from Suncorp, which found that nearly half of Australian girls are turning their back on sport by age 17, despite two-thirds knowing that sport can make them feel more confident.

To raise awareness of the teamwork, leadership and confidence that come from involvement in team sports, the brand organised a rally cry in a live, televised performance by 38 teenage girls during half-time at the Suncorp Super Netball match in Melbourne. The girls also feature in an accompanying video campaign, which ends with the tagline ‘let’s build a nation of confident girls’.

As Generation Z fight against feelings of anxiety, sport offers a practical way for teenage girls to feel empowered while also engaging in fitness. Read our microtrend Street Sport Rebels for more.

Stat: It’s not just teenagers shopping on Instagram

Instagram Shopping is an increasingly powerful selling tool for brands, according to a new study by GlobalData. Unsurprisingly, the primary users of the shopping tool are Generation Z, with 39% of UK shoppers aged 16 to 24 having used Instagram Shopping to make a purchase.

However, older consumers are also engaging with the tool, which has streamlined the process of purchasing products directly from a brand or influencer’s profile. The study found that 21% of 35–44-year-olds have used Instagram Shopping, as well as almost one in 10 (8.4%) 45–54-year-olds.

Instagram tends to be overwhelmingly linked to the visual-first nature of Generation Z. But, with so many older consumers engaging with the platform, brands must use their channels to acknowledge shoppers of all ages.

Thought-starter: Should eSports players receive health protection?

While the negative stigma around gaming is gradually fading, junior creative researcher Livvy Houghton examines how eSport is still some way from becoming a recognised competitive activity.

The number of eSports enthusiasts is growing throughout the world. Some gaming fans have begun to turn their all-consuming passion into a full-time career, allowing them to earn up to £200,000 ($252,036, €224,848) a year. Acknowledging the potential of this nascent sporting category, more than 50 colleges and universities in the US have established varsity eSports teams, while 22 now offer scholarships to train players into professional eSports athletes.

But at present, the health and wellness territory in eSports remains under-developed. While brands are beginning to introduce products to improve players’ nutrition and comfort, this could be considered an opportunity for profit, rather than a necessity to protect performers.

If such brands are comfortable capitalising on the growth of eSports, shouldn’t they – and the industry itself – be working to better protect those who created such opportunity? Without the athletes, the market wouldn’t exist. To manage players’ needs, the correct training, medical care and treatments need to be in place.

Read the full Opinion piece here.

Xbox game controller redesigned to your hand for better comfort by Yeong Seok Go, South Korea Xbox game controller redesigned to your hand for better comfort by Yeong Seok Go, South Korea

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